To install PiMame on an SD card in Windows, you need to download an image burner such as Win32 Disk Imager. After you have PiMame downloaded, you should be able to extract it to view the PiMame.img file. Launch Win32 Disk Imager and under "Image File", select the PiMame image. For "Device", select the drive letter for your SD card. Then click "write" to burn the image to the SD card.
For Mac computers you do not need any extra software. Just download the PiMame zip file and extract it. Insert your SD card and open up a terminal prompt. Type in "df -h"
Record all of the "disk" entries that are listed (ex. disks1). Go into your Disk Utility settings and find your SD card and unmount it (not eject). Then go back to your terminal prompt and type "df -h" again to see which disk is no longer there. The missing one is the disk ID of your SD card. With that in mind, type in this command
sudo dd bs=1m if=~/PATH TO PIMAME/pimame-0.5.img of=/dev/DISK#where PATH TO PIMAME is the path to where you downloaded the PiMame image and where disk is set to your SD cards disk number (ex. disks1 = disk1).
Executing this command will burn the image to your SD card. When it's done, you can type in
sudo diskutil eject /dev/DISK#
This will eject your SD card. Insert card into the Raspberry Pi and power it up.
Upon a successful bootup, you will be automatically logged in and the PiMAME main menu will appear on screen. From here you can access multiple emulators and utilities for the Raspberry Pi. Use the up and down arrows to navigate and press “Enter” or “c” to select an option.
All ROMs for the systems should be stored in the /home/pi/roms/ directory. PiMAME has a built in FTP server and web uploader that makes adding games easy. To access it go to the IP Address of your Raspberry Pi in a browser (you will need to have your Raspberry Pi connected to your network) and you will be greeted with the PiMAME web page and from there click on the “ROM Uploader” button
enter in your username and password. (Default: pi / raspberry)
you will now see your home folder so click on ROMS
click choose file and select the item you want to upload
click upload and wait for the transfer to complete
Using a file server like FileZilla https://filezilla-project.org
is another way but it is more complex.
Mame4all uses 0.37b5 roms and advancemame uses 0.106 roms but some are not compatible so you will have to try each rom to see if it will work.
I spent more time on the software than building the box! I am no programmer just an ordinary car mechanic so I have learnt a lot from this project. This is a very helpful site for programming http://elinux.org/RPi_Beginners
There is plenty to do to get all this working from installing the operating system to the configuring the controls but its definitely doable for even an amateur like me. I found it was always important to keep a backup up just in case so I wouldn't lose all my hard work.
This project was created with ideas and guides from various sources (experts of course) that are linked throughout this Instructable.