Retro Arcade Gaming on PocketC.H.I.P.




About: Software engineer and open source enthusiast

Do you remember Moon Patrol? Or Cadillacs and Dinosaurs? Or Final Fight? Or Street Fighter? Probably if you were kid in the 80s and 90s.

In this tutorial I will show you how to built XMAME from scratch on PocketC.H.I.P. and to enjoy again these games. Have a look at the video for more details and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tutorials.

PocketC.H.I.P. is a portable retro gaming console powered by Linux and the $9 computer C.H.I.P. I got as an early backer of Next Thing Co campaign in Kickstarter. The devices has Allwinner R8 ARM CPU at 1GHz, Mali GPU, WiFi, Bluetooth, 512MB RAM and 4GB storage. Out of the box PocketC.H.I.P. comes with the GNU/Linux distribution Debian, mainline U-Boot and Linux kernel as well as custom UI. XMAME is an arcade machine emulator for Linux. It is an open source project which preceded MAME.

Step 1: Install Dependencies

  • Turn on PocketC.H.I.P.
  • Connect it to a WiFi network
  • Open a terminal
  • Install dependencies by executing the following two commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y build-essential libgtk2.0-dev libgnome2-dev libsdl1.2-dev libxv-dev libxv1 git

Step 2: Get the Source Code

Execute the following command in the terminal to get the source code from GitHub:

git clone

Step 3: Build XMAME

Run the following command to compile XMAME:

cd xmame-arm

Keep in mind that PocketC.H.I.P. is powered by 9 USD computer and the hardware is modest so the build could take up to several hours.

Step 4: Play Retro Games

  • Browse for your favorite arcade games and download their ROMs. For example, I tried out Cadillacs and Dinosaurs:
wget -P roms
  • Launch the game:
./xmame.x11 roms/
  • Press TAB to configure the controls
  • Enjoy :)



    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest

    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Thanks! I got this working with my favorite game Shaolin's Road. Do you have any advice about how to make it go fullscreen? I tried -fullscreen on the command line, and setting fullscreen to 1 in mamerc, but no dice.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    You are welcome. Unfortunately fullscreen mode doesn't work. Try adjusting screen width and height manually when launching xmame, for example:

    ./xmame.x11 roms/ -ah 720 -ws 5