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PiPlay Raspberry Pi 3 Setup

PiPlay Raspberry Pi 3 Setup

Let me first preface this guide with the fact that I had zero experience with raspberry pi before tonight. I'm comfortable in the command line and I've played with linux as an enthusiastic dabbler.

If you follow this guide, you should be able to go from fresh raspberry pi to running roms on piplay. Also, only use roms that you've legally obtained. I used Robot Bowl available for free, for non-commercial use at

  1. Install raspbian to your sd card using a different computer than your pi

  2. plug in the pi your username/password will be pi/raspberry

  3. update/upgrade package manager/packages

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade -y
  1. Expand your filesytem, configure your timezone, keyboard, and anything else you want to configure
$ sudo raspi-config
  1. Install dependencies
$ sudo apt-get install git build-essential joystick htop python-pygame jstest-gtk
  1. install piplay
  1. Create piplay-sound.slate file
$ touch ~/pimame/config/piplay-sound.state
  1. Press tab and select "Controller Setup" to configure your controller (I used a wired xbox 360 controller)

  2. Install MAME4ALL and AdvanceMAME by moving to the right screen and selecting "Install MAME"

  3. Roms go into ~/pimame/roms, you can ftp, scp, rsync them from another computer if you'd like. Your IP address is located in the top right of the piplay menu. For me, I ran this from my laptop:

rsync -r pi@

MAME ROMs stay as .zip files

  1. Anything else you should be able to figure out from here.

Helpful tips

If you need to restart pimame-menu


If you need to reboot your raspberry pi

sudo reboot

Additional Notes

I've still got an error that shows up occasionally: "No state is present for card ALSA", haven't figured it out yet, but it doesn't seem to affect anything.


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@sepeters228 sepeters228 commented Dec 14, 2016

in #6 change to for downloading the installer... --SP


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@TheEngler TheEngler commented Dec 31, 2016

I am new to Linux as well but was very comfortable with DOS a long time ago.

  1. I agree with sepeters228 above that it is and not

  2. Can I assume step 7 is create piplay-sound.state and not slate

  3. You should note that Raspian LITE should be installed and not the full Raspian package.

  4. The is throwing errors as the requisite directories are not being created (anything to do with pimame). I can create manually (i.e. I used mkdir pimame and the directory was created in the home directory so I don't think it is a permission issue) but I am not sure of the full directory structure. Any thoughts as to why and how to fix?


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@TheEngler TheEngler commented Jan 1, 2017


I decided to start over and I finally got it to install.

In step 3 I also executed the following:
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y
$ sudo reboot

After the reboot I then forced a Raspberry Pi firmware update:
$ sudo apt-get install rpi-update
$ sudo rpi-update

I would like to get away from having a keyboard attached and want to remap some of the GPIO pins to arcade buttons. I know others have done this and will try in the upcoming weeks.


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@karljakober karljakober commented Oct 27, 2017

Thanks for this

in addition, in order to get mame working properly
modify ~/.advance/advmame.rc

remove ' or keyboard[0,escape]'
change 'lctrl' to 'lcontrol'

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