Lakka: Turns Your Raspberry Pi Into Gaming Console

Lakka is a lightweight Linux distribution that transforms a small PC or Raspberry Pi into a full blown console for gaming.

Lakka is built purely for turning your Raspberry Pi into a finely tuned retro gaming console. It only contains the packages and services required to run the RetroArch software allowing the Raspberry Pi’s hardware to run as fast it can. Lakka features numerous features that make it a fantastic choice for setting your Raspberry Pi into console for gaming.

Built on top of LibreELEC, Lakka uses RetroArch to emulate a huge selection of retro gaming systems. It’s designed to operate out-of-the-box and comes only with cores that work with whatever architecture you choose to download. Cores contain the code necessary to emulate a specific system like NES or PlayStation.

In addition, Akka has plenty of features like USB controller recognition, custom wallpapers, and online multiplayer, that turns your Raspberry Pi into a full blown retro gaming console.

Lakka gaming on Raspbbery Pi

Which Raspberry Pi is Best for Gaming

Generally, the most up to date Raspberry Pi should work best. In this case, Lakka works extremely well on the Raspberry Pi 4, turning it into dedicated console for gaming. There’s a Raspberry Pi 4 Lakka image available to download, and out-of-the-box performance is great. Since Lakka most closely approximates a vanilla version of RetroArch, it’s a nifty pick for the Raspberry Pi 4.

What’s new in Lakka 3.0

It has been over a year since the latest 2.3.2 release, so there are many changes in this update.

  • Operating system based on LibreELEC 9.2 build system
  • This release includes the latest RetroArch 1.9.3
  • Support for new devices/architecture
    • 64 bit images for Raspberry Pi 4
    • Odroid Go Advance / Anbernic RG351P/M and V / Gameforce Chi
    • Nintendo Switch
    • iMX6 with mainline kernel and MESA
  • Vulkan API enabled for AMD and Intel GPUs and for Raspberry Pi 4
  • Support for joycons
  • Cores updated to their most recent versions

For detailed information on all changes, you can refer to the project’s website.

The devs are also preparing for next major release, which will be based on LibreELEC 10. As with this release, support for some devices might be dropped.

How to Install Lakka on a Raspberry Pi

Definitely, Lakka is one of the most popular retro gaming platforms for the Raspberry Pi. So, If you are using the Raspberry Pi and want to transform it into gaming console, here’s how you can do it.

You’ll need to download the proper image and mount that on a microSD card. Go to the Lakka website and download the latest Raspberry Pi image. The downloaded image file is compressed using gzip and needs extracting before you can write it to the SD card.

gunzip Lakka-*.img.gzCode language: CSS (css)

Now that we have extracted the IMG file we need to write it to an SD Card. Once the Etcher software has finished writing Lakka to your SD card go ahead and insert it into your Raspberry Pi. Then attach your keyboard and screen. Next, plug the power supply in and turn the Raspberry Pi on.

The Lakka image will perform some one-time setup actions the first time it boots. It may restart during this process. Let the setup complete, and you will be greeted with the “Main Menu” screen. Now, your Raspberry Pi gaming console is ready for action.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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