Here is a Dual Boot build of RetroPie & OpenELEC (15.1 Isengard) for the Raspberry Pi 2 and Pi 3:

As usual this is a NOOBS USB installer build so please follow the instructions in the included ‘readme’ file.

This build also incorporates my new ‘smart’ switching scripts, which will seek out which partition is the correct one before mounting it and loading the other OS. This prevents the incorrect partition being mounted if you were to mix and match OS’s, which could leave the card in an ‘un-bootable’ state.

I have created an ‘Always boot to KODI’ entry in the RetroPie menu. Use this to always boot to KODI (obviously!) on every boot and you can turn it off again should you desire. More info on this in the readme file.

Other than that, both operating systems are standard so should work as they were designed. Please test it out and let me know your thoughts! 🙂

All the best.

69 thoughts on “RETROPIE V4.0.2 + OpenELEC V6.0.3 DUAL-BOOT”

    1. All I can say is UNREAL!!! I have 2 rpi 3’s and 1 rpi 2. I have 1rpi3 as main openelec 6.0.3build / 1rpi2 mini arcade(retropie 3x) and a spare rpi3 for spare. I ran your dual boot openelec/retropie 4 on the spare rpi3 to test out your build and liked it so much-im going to reload the mini arcade with it but FIRST its currently being installed on main openelec rpi3 machine because i liked it so much on the spare rpi3. Next comes the mini arcade. EXCELLENT WORK!!! Much allreciated 🙂

    1. Hi Robert.

      Triple-boot Raspbian build is on the to-do list. Its the biggest pain of all to set up so will probably be a few different builds out before I get to that. 🙁


  1. Steve,
    I was hoping this new release would resolve an issue ive been having, and it has just a bit. So my problem is when retropie attempts to map my buttons on the PS3 controller I was maybe able to get one before it froze up and accepted no inputs. With this new build i seem to be able to get to the “A” button mapping before this happens. so it is a bit better. These work fine on my PS3 and i have mapped with the keyboard. any suggestions?

    1. I have the same problem. Can’t map properly the PS3 contoller buttons. The Xbox 360 controller is working just fine via wireless receiver, and I can map all buttons without any problem.

    2. Hi Travis.

      Are you setting up the pad using Bluetooth or wired connection? Also, is it a genuine pad or a fake (Gasia, Shanwan etc.)?

      I am personally running RetroPie v4 RC2 (havent got round to updating yet), and I was able to set up my genuine PS3 pad no problem. I also have a fake Gasia and fake SZMY power pad and the Gasia pad works fine but the SZMY Power pad is hit and miss (its unsupported at present really).

      Let me know what type of pads you have and how you are connecting them. In the meantime I will test this build out myself with a PS3 pad when I get a moment and see how I fare.


    3. Try disabling the onboard bluetooth and using a dongle if you have a spare one. I’ve read others that had a problem with ps3 controllers freezing on retropie and this solved the issue.

  2. I have a Fat32 formatted Lexar 128GB MicroSDXC card and have put all the contents of the NOOBS folder into the root but doesnt boot anything just a blank screen.
    I’ve tried a separate RetroPie install and it works fine.
    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

      1. Good to hear! I don’t have any 128GB cards so I wouldn’t have been able to test it, but I have heard they should work ok.


        1. There is an issue with 128GB sd cards where you need to make the partition smaller such as 32GB initially for NOOBs to recognize the card. Once the NOOBs installer runs it auto resizes to the full 128GB partition and works as expected. I generally use a format tool like the hp disk formatter then use gparted to delete everything and make a 32gb FAT32 Partition before copying the OS folder. Just a heads up.

  3. Having some issues with this. When I start it, it goes straight to pi@retropie: $ I have no idea how to launch kodi from this part, what do I type in to launch kodi and how do I make it so kodi launches on boot? It should boot kodi, not into retropie.. what’s going on here?

    1. You’ll need to give me some more information on what you have done so far otherwise I can’t really help. I can advise that this build works perfectly fine for others so it must be something you have done at your end. When you first boot up you should see the NOOBS OS selection screen and from there you choose to boot into either RetroPie or OpenELEC – it should not boot to the terminal unless you have asked it to (you can do this in the RetroPie setup script).

      Please give me further info.

    1. Haha, no probs. Incidentally though you could update OpenELEC to the latest BETA / Alpha builds of Jarvis via the normal methods if you so desired. I tend to steer away from non-stable builds personally (I’m still running OpenELEC 6.0.3 myself and don’t feel I need to upgrade to Jarvis as I have no issues).


  4. Works for me perfect, but I would like to install it on a USB and use a small sd only to send pi using USB , modifications must be done

  5. I’m sure this will be working great for me soon, but I’m having trouble. I can’t get any emulators up! The only thing that shows in emulation station is Kodi and Retropie. Opening Retropie leaves me in a menu with a bunch of settings. One of which, is retroarch. Is this how I’m intended to launch games every time? How can I make it show up just like regular retropie, but with Kodi in there too? Thanks for the work! It’s highly appreciated, even if I’m having trouble with it now.

    1. Hi Aaron.

      Have you installed any roms yet? My builds do not include any games at all so you will need to add these yourself, just like in the standard RetroPie builds.

      If you have installed your roms and they still do not appear then please let me know some more info, i.e. where and how did you install them?


  6. As always, awesome work!

    For studying purpose, how you do this “dual boot thing”? Can you point me where to begin my studies, what files on Rasp to look at? For what I’ve seen, only you do this excellent work, this fluid transition between the two systems.

    Saudações do Brasil 🙂

  7. Hi. I really appreciate you sharing your work with us. I love being able to switch between Kodi and Retropie effortlessly.
    I am however experiencing a problem with Kodi. For whatever reason I am not able to change the skin. When I go into settings to change the skin it does not give me the option to ‘get more’
    Am I missing something?

  8. I seem to be having an issue where Kodi doesn’t shut down correctly. When I hit reboot or power off, it gets stuck on a black screen (sometimes with immovable mouse pointer) until I pull the rpi’s plug out.

    This wouldn’t be such a big deal but it’s preventing Kodi from swapping into Retropie correctly. It stays on the black screen until I reapply power, and will then boot into Retropie. Booting Kodi from Retropie is unaffected however.

    Has anyone else encountered this problem?

    1. I haven’t ever encountered this personally, sorry. You might be able to debug it somehow if you SSH into the Pi and issue a shutdown command (try typing poweroff in the terminal), and see if any error messages pop up? You can also enable the debug log in OpenELEC Configuration program which will log all activity including errors to a logfile, so when you issue the shutdown command it should log what happens and you may be able to pinpoint the error and search for a resolution on google? Just a thought anyways.

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks for the reply and the great work, Steve.

        It turns out that Kodi wouldn’t exit properly because I kept my XBox One controller plugged in during the shut down. Without the controller plugged in, everything works fine.

        One other thing; is it possible to disable the sound that plays when switching into retropie?


  9. Manually upgraded openelec to latest version and it worked right after, now Kodi keeps restarting over and over. REALLY do not want to lose my customized retropie install but I can’t even get openelec to boot into retropie now. Is there a script I can run (like the in retropie) that I can use to switch the boot partition in openelec? I’d like to backup my retropie config before I nuke this SD card. 🙁

  10. Pi2 with kodi and progtv.

    Can you help me work out how to run kodi and progtv from my pi2 box?

    Currently have osmc that boots into kodi.


  11. First off: great build. Thanks! Been using it for quite a while now! However i wanted the same system in my bedroom, so i thought i’d just clone it. Issue i’m having: my current working system SD card is somehow just a tad larger (200mb or so) than the SD for the bedroom pi. Hence, i can’t use Win32DiskImage. Also running into issues while using Gparted on a Linux Live USB (LiLi USB creator: Gparted Live image). I think maybe it’s due to the Settings Partition on the very end of the image, but i am not able to get a working copy yet. (I should have set “expand filesystem” to false at creation i guess… But that is to late now.) And the Rpi-Clone script is not for NOOBS SD’s… Perhaps any ideas? Can i just create another card via your setup and then copy everything over?

  12. I bought a WD pi drive and it came with a berryboot sd card. I am trying to add these OS’s to my pi, I can get to the part where I can add an OS from USB, but when I browse (in berryboot) to the OS folder on a USB drive, it’s not detecting any OS to load. is there a difference in images between noobs and berry boot? if so can I convert one to the other? if not, how would I go about setting the pi to switch over to the HDD and still dual boot kodi and openelec with the scripts to switch between the two still in tact?

  13. Been following your work on these builds for a year or so now. Really appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into this. I absolutely love it! Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. Thanks for that!!
    Great work!
    I have just one problem, openelec doesn’t seem to have the network database capability in this build. Is it possible that there is any add-on missing? I’ve copied my advancedsettings.xml from my other Pi with OpenElec, but it doesn’t connect to my KODI MySQL database. Any idea?
    Thanks in Advance

    1. .. sorry for that – problem solved.
      Raspi 3 is too fast 😉
      I had to set the option “wait for network”.
      When KODI started it couldn’t find the database.

  15. This is great, I was messing about with some stuff and managed to loose the boot kodi icon on menu strip next to the Retropie icon.. It was replaced with Ports icon.. Anyway to restore it ?

  16. Hey there.
    Being a noob and all I am so keen for this setup but was wondering if it has instructions on how to install it onto a sd card not a USB?

    1. Hi Peter, Yes the instructions for doing this is in the readme file, and really requires just formatting the sdcard, copy the files from the NOOBS folder across to the root of the sdcard and stick it into the rpi and bootup, select both openelec and retropie and then install 🙂

  17. Hey guys. Anyone had a issue when using the retropie shortcut on Kodi and end up at the retropie command line instead of emulation station??

    Stuck please help


  18. Awesome stuff! Can’t thank you enough.

    I have a 16GB microsd card. I’m thinking that Kodi doesn’t need to use half that card, especially since all my media is on an external drive.

    I’d like to resize the partitions to give more room to RetroPie, but I’m not sure how to go about it. I’m on a Mac, but I have just installed VirtualBox and Ubuntu, and I can access the microsd card via GParted. I thought there’d just be two partitions, and it would be obvious what to do, but that’s not the case.

    So, any tips on how to resize the partitions? I’m a Ubuntu/Linux newbie, but command-lines don’t scare me, so if there’s a script I can run, that would be fine also.


  19. Is there any way to store data files – mp3s for OpenElec and various ROMs for RetroPie on a USB drive instead of the SD Card? I don’t even get why you provide instructions for installing the OS’s from a USB drive when it just installs everything to the SD Card anyway.
    Lots of us are having problems with the SD Card getting corrupted and I’m tired of recopying all my mp3s and ROMs over again and again – not to mention losing save states and such

  20. Thanks for the builds! Works great on my rPi3 with one exception. As with gas man, I am also having issues with no sound in retropie either through Hdmi or 3.5mm jack Sound does however work in Openelec. Any help would be appreciated.

  21. I have Retropie 4.2 and LibreElec 8.01 dual booting. Is there any way I can restore a backup from another LibreElec system? I tried the restore option and it copied the backup tar file but it wont update on boot. The backup I have is 9GB (many household users and addons).

    I would really appreciate any help. Thank you kindly

  22. Is there any way to get the “Retropie” program tab back?,
    I got my openelec back from a back up and it pretty much deleted that option under “programs”….so i have no retropie….
    Thanks in advance man

  23. Hey people. I’m having some trouble getting my wireless connection configured.

    I have the RPi 3. I can switch back and forth between emulation station and kodi just fine. Connecting to the WiFi through the RetroPie WiFi GUI. My network shows up, I type in the password, and after a day it finally connected, and shows my IP address. I can then connect to my RPi 3 as a server from my Mac using the given IP.

    However, when I switch over to Kodi > System > System info > Network it does not show any connection and I cannot install any add-ons because it does not find a network connection. So how do I get Kodi to recognize the WiFi I’m connected to with RetroPie? or How do I connect to WiFi in Kodi? Other tutorials show going to Kodi > Programs > OpenELEC but under Programs I only have RetroPie.

    Thanks ahead of time

  24. hello,
    can you please explain, how to update openelec and kodi to the newest versio? i tried on the normal method (updatefile from Openelec), but so the screen is black after the update.
    thanks in advance

    1. Did you use the correct file? The latest build for openelec is 8.0.4 ([Stable] OpenELEC 8.0.4 (arm) Update file) which is different file for rpi1 and rpi2+3.

      I have managed to do install it through the normal update procedure

  25. thank you so much for this and the triple boot when i was first introduced to the R-PI 3 i was in love at first sight after a few weeks of learning what all i could do with it made my brain even more hunger so right now im using my R-PI 3 as a HTPC but didnt want to stop there thats when i ran across retropie and too make a long story short you read my mind with these builds that i know you put in a lot of time to do and i want to say you are fucking blessing man for real now i got a lot of people super jealous all because you and thank you big time

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