Recalbox Installation Tips

We installed Recalbox recently and we wanted to discuss the experience we had when installing Recalbox on a Raspberry Pi V3. Note that before we begin, while we may compare RetroPie and Recalbox, this is not going to be an in depth comparison over which is better, Recalbox vs RetroPie. This will be more of a quick how-to with a few basic tips and observations we encountered when installing Recalbox. For more in depth information, you can always read the full Recalbox documentation.

How to install Recalbox on Raspberry Pi

Installing Recalbox (or pretty much anything) on a Raspberry Pi is easier than ever. In a previous post, we wrote about how to install Raspberry Pi OS on a Raspberry Pi and the process here is no different as we will be using the Raspberry Pi Imager. Thanks to the Rapberry Pi Imager, you can install any one of the many different operating systems offered.

To install Recalbox, follow these steps:

1.Download the Raspberry Pi Imager
2. Choose the Recalbox from under the Emulation and Game OS menu.
3. Choose which version of Recalbox to install based on which Raspberry Pi model you have.
4. Click on Choose Storage and select your SD Card to install to.
5. Click Write and once it is finished, insert the SD card into your RPi.
6. Voila, you have now installed Recalbox.

Recalbox…First Steps

Once you’ve booted up you Pi and you’ve got Recalbox running, you may want to configure a few things. The first, and most important thing to do when Recalbox first boots (at least for us) is to TURN OFF THE MENU MUSIC. The music is absolutely endearing at first and serves as an homage to retro gaming, but man, we were going a little nuts with it playing while we were setting up and learning the Recalbox interface. Here’s how to do it:

How to turn off the menu music in Recalbox

Turning off the menu music is very easy to do, but it can be annoying if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Solution:  From the Main Menu, navigate with the keyboard to Sound Options, press A to select and enter the sub menu.  Select  Audio Mode and choose No Sound.

Recalbox command line Options and Access

As a Linux user, you may want to access the command line from Putty or your favorite terminal emulator.  It’s good to know what what the Recalbox default username and password is.

username: root
password: recalboxroot

ProTip: You should probably change the root password once you’ve logged in. Note as well that you can do this from the GUI (see below).

Recalbox has a read only filesystem

This threw me off initially but for security reasons, Recalbox‘s filesystem is read-only by default so you need to mount the filesystem read/write if you plan to edit files such as /etc/fstab or /etc/network/interfaces, for example.

To make Recalbox’s filesystem read-write, make sure you’re in the root folder( / ) so change directory if you need to or just run the following:

cd; mount -o remount,rw /

Now you can edit your fstab or any other system file as you need to.

Setting Recalbox with a static IP

While we are in r/w mode, set a static IP. I don’t know why anyone would not want a static IP. After all if you want a permanent Kodi bookmark, you should have a static IP.

Something like the following should be more than enough. Your ips and gateway may vary:
iface eth0 inet static

When you’ve finished editing fstab and network, reboot.

Recalbox GUI/Web Interface

Now that you’ve messed around on the command line, you should also know that you can tweak lot of the Recalbox configuration directly from the built in GUI. This is very convenient and there are plenty of changes that you can make from here which may be daunting from the command line. Especially if you’re a Linux beginner.

You should be able to access the Recalbox Manager by going to the following on your local network like so:


Now you can manage your ROMs and system configuration from an easy to navigate GUI.

How to Set Up NFS shares on Recalbox

Setting up NFS shares on Recalbox is easy. We are basically using the same procedure that we used for setting up NFS shares on Retropie.  Again, we are creating our nfs shares on a Synology Diskstation

1. Create the directory on Recalbox. I did the following:

Note that Recalbox already has /recalbox/share/kodi/ so create some additional directories in there as you need.

Next, edit /etc/fstab to reflect your directories that you just created. For example: /recalbox/share/kodi/tv_shows nfs rw,nolock 0 0 /recalbox/share/kodi/roms nfs rw,nolock 0

Make sure you apply the correct permissions on the Diskstation:
Under Control Panel/Shared Folder, click Edit on the Shared folder and select NFS Permissions. Ensure that you create/have an entry with your Recalbox IP address and that the privilege is set to read/write.

When everything is set, mount the directories from the Recalbox shell with:

mount -a

Using the Kodi App with Recalbox

If you plan to use the Kodi app from the Play Store and you cannot connect the app to Kodi on port 8080, try using port 8081. Counterintuitive, I know, considering that we set port 8080 for http access in System Settings.

And that’s it for now. We’re still discovering and setting up our ROMs for some Retro Gaming. Overall, Recalbox has been a fairly out-of-the-box experience. We’ll update this space more as we discover and try more features.


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