World 1-4 (part 2): How to install multiple OS’s on RPi

Hey everyone,

Yesterday we walked through how to install multiple Operating Systems on a Raspberry Pi. While that’s an easy and basic way of installing multiple Operating Systems at once, I actually prefer a way slightly more round-a-bout. This way certainly isn’t for everyone, but it is what I do, so I thought it was at least worth mentioning. 🙂

First, I start with one of Steve’s MultiBoot NOOBS packages loaded directly onto my SD Micro card. The wonderful thing is that the most common Operating Systems are pre-loaded with his MultiBoot script, so they all seamlessly transition to one another at the beginning. The downside is that these versions of the Operating Systems are quite out of date.

Since I personally only want to install RetroPie and LibreElec, before I put my SD Micro card in my Pi, I go into the “os” folder and delete the non-RetroPie folders. Once NOOBS has booted up on the Pi, I log into my WiFi and select the latest version of LibreElec that becomes available, as well as the RetroPie version we started with. Click “Install” to begin installation.

NOOBS

NOOBS allows you to easily select and install Operating Systems for Raspberry Pi.

 

At this point we now have 1) the latest version of LibreElec, without Steve’s MultiBoot script installed and 2) the outdated version of RetroPie, with Steve’s MultiBoot script installed. When NOOBS is finished, I boot into LibreElec.

The first thing I do is when LibreElec has loaded is download Steve’s MultiBoot script so I can switch over to RetroPie on demand. I also configure the settings while I’m here, such as disabling the UI sounds (I personally prefer no audio). You may also notice that if you reset your Pi at this time, your screen will have a momentary square rainbow and it’ll take you back to the NOOBS “Select an OS to boot to” screen. However, will continue to auto-boot into LibreElec, and this selection screen will go away after we load RetroPie. 🙂

Once we’ve installed that script, we now have 1) the latest version of LibreElec, with Steve’s MultiBoot script installed and 2) the outdated version of RetroPie, also with Steve’s MultiBoot script installed. From here, boot into RetroPie.

The first time you boot into RetroPie, it’ll ask you to configure a controller. Deceptively, it does not count an attached keyboard as a usable controller. However, if you hold down a button on the keyboard RetroPie will configure it correctly. After you configure your keyboard or controller, it’s time to configure some of the basic settings.

Here are some of the settings I use:

You may notice RetroPie has black bars along all 4 edges. Personally, I like the UI to take up the entire screen, so I update this by going to: Raspi-Config > 9. Advanced Options > Overscan > No.

I also want my RetroPie to boot as quickly as possible. One way to save a little time is to go to Raspi-Config > 4. Wait for Network at Boot > No.

If I turn off my pi while it is booted into RetroPie, I want it to reload into LibreElec every time. I usually use my media center for movies and music, so this saves me a few clicks. You can do it by clicking “Enable ‘Always Boot to Kodi'”.

I also want to get rid of my unused MultiBoot options. Because I didn’t install Rasplex, or Raspbian, I delete them by hitting Select > Edit Metadata > Delete > Yes. Unfortunately you have to reset your system every time you do this…

Finally, the last setting I want is “Auto-load a Game’s Savestate on Start” and “Autosave a Game’s Savestate on Exit” and I do this through SSH. I personally use WinSCP. Once loaded, go to “/opt/retropie/configs/all/”. You’ll want to edit “retroarch.cfg” and update the lines: “savestate_auto_save = true” and “savestate_auto_load = true“. I also delete the proceeding #, but I’m not actually sure if that’s necessary.

We’re fully configured! Now, let’s update RetroPie to the latest version. Just to on the safe side, though, I make a quick backup first using Win32DiskImager. However slim the chances, I don’t want to risk my hard work so far get ruined!

Win32 Disk Imager

This program allows you to quickly read from or write to an SD Micro card. Good for making backups and image copies!

To update RetroPie we go to RetroPie Setup > Update all installed packages. The software will walk you through the updating process. Updating takes about 20 minutes, since it is updating everything across the board, but luckily it doesn’t require any participation on our end. Now we wait…

Eventually, you’ll get a message that says “Installed packages have been updated.” Success! Again, just to be on the safe side, I recommend rebooting and saving another backup.

From here you’re free to load ROMs, install custom themes and splashscreens and just have fun playing with your new dual-booting system. There is one particular project I’m hoping to try out in the future. 🙂

Enjoy!

-Curtis

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