RetroArch on ODROID-U2, revisited

After my previous blog post I am considering creating a stand-alone, auto-updating modified Linaro image for RetroArch on ODROID-U2, but don't hold your breath for this now :)

Tip: listen to this great song while reading and hacking your ODROID+RetroArch setup

Update 7 May 2013: I released neagix' excellent (and unofficial) Debian Wheezy for Development&Emulation (with X11 hardware acceleration), get it while it's hot!

Some general advices for people approaching console emulation on ODROID-U2:
  • there is currently no known way to natively exploit the ODROID framebuffer (Exynos 4), thus we have to go through Xorg to run any emulator
  • composing desktop environments are bad for you, so no Unity/Compiz/you-name-it, use instead LXDE or XFCE
  • I have experienced kernel panic/oops/alignment trap issues when using my own compiled version of the kernel, thus I advice to stick to kernel 3.0.63 for now (this has proven to be stable so far) issue was due to PSU
  • remove xscreensaver and other screensaver packages, then modify xorg.conf to not automatically turn off DPMS and other screen blank settings
  • RetroArch runs fine with GL video driver and SDL input
  • be kind with your MCC/SD support, it's not like a regular hard disk and wearout factor is present. Nothing to be scared of, but consider moving write-often directories to external mountpoints
  • create a backup script and run it regularly. You don't know when, but your SD/MMC will one day wake up and tell you "So long, thanks for all the fish..."
  • use nobootwait in your fstab mountpoints, and if you are using NFS mountpoints specify an option for short timeout, like timeo=5
  • disable the long timeouts in /etc/init/failsafe.conf, and feel free to comment lines 34-35
  • if you are using lxdm as login manager, consider enabling autologin by uncommenting autologin=username in /etc/lxdm/lxdm.conf (username shall be your actual username)
  • if you are using LXDE, edit/create ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart and add a single line @retroarch (retroarch binary must be in your $PATH for this to work), this way once you boot ODROID you will be presented with retroarch
Suggested settings block for  ~/.retroarch.cfg:

video_driver = "gl"
video_fullscreen = "true"
video_windowed_fullscreen = "true"
video_aspect_ratio = "1.33333333333333"
audio_enable = "true"
audio_driver = "alsa"
audio_sync = "true"
input_driver = "sdl"
input_joypad_driver = "sdl"

Please note that only the first definition in the configuration file will be read, so I advise to remove duplicate definitions to reduce confusion.

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