Ubuntu 20.04 - RetroPie

Hi, so my first OS installed on my new VIM3 was Ubuntu 20.04 on SD, I also had Ubuntu 18.04 on EMMC for a test. My purpose is to run PSX games . I was nearly satisfied with it on RPi 3B, but VIM3 seems faster that even Pi4 and I can’t just get even the EmulationStation GUI to work fluently. So far from my comparison the EmuELEC worked best, it really was smooth, but my gamepad didn’t so I moved to RetroPie and I’ve tried with both Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04.

On 18.04 retroarch emulator did not build, because there are conficts with package libgbm-dev and https://dl.khadas.com/repos/vim3/pool/main/l/linux-gpu-mali-fbdev/, the emulationstation built fine and was running faster than…

… ubuntu 20.04… I know this is very first release for now, but emulationstation stutters and works terrible even in menu, but actually can run some games decently, but I would say, much slower than my Pi 3B. Also the fan doesn’t work for me (it did on EmuELEC and 18.04), so hopefully it’s just throttling but I think overall 20.04 runs insanely slow even firefox compared to 18.04 with 4.9 kernel. What’s wrong here, wasn’t 20.04 supposed to be faster with 5.7 kernel?

How is EmuELEC different that it works fine and ubuntu doesn’t quite well?

Also I keep finding Odroid N2 guides, but does it apply to VIM3? I’m not very advanced actually…


@xmesaj2 that is actually a good question,
simply to say emuelec is just more optimized for emulation,

let me explain,
Ubuntu is a desktop linux operating system, it has all the things a normal OS has to provide a user with the tools, applications, software packages etc,

but a elec type OS like emuelec, have the things in linux required exactly for what it is about to do, jeOS (just enough OS)
Coreelec, libreelec, just enough linux for Kodi to run
Emuelec just enough linux for emulation apps to run,

about the firefox stuff, we still need more optimization, as Raspi is an old champ, at this stuff, we are kind of like the superfast rookie :grin:

I hope that explain it for you :slight_smile:


Firstly do not compare between boards, OS, Kernels or distro’s.
Yes Vim3 is very powerful than RPI4, but RPI4 have GPU driver and VPU driver while there is still no support for GPU and VPU on Vim3, It is being worked on by Panfrost team for GPU and linux kernel devs are working on VPU driver support. It will take some time to get a stable driver for both processing unit.

Next thing to consider is there is non-free drivers available from arm which works quite well but they’re only for legacy kernel which is 4.19 etc. Odroid do make use of it on 4.19 kernel which makes it very smooth to play games on it.

For Vim3 you might have to try all the distro’s and see which one fits best for you, maybe you might have to compile the kernel with all the config’s you need.

Not necessary. Even though it should be but it all depends on what is enabled in the kernel and what is present in the userland to support the configs enabled in the kernel.

EmuElec is not a Desktop Environment, so it does not make use of X11 or wayland, it is much harder to accelerate x11 or wayland than something running over GBM.

It may or may not work, it all depends on kernel version, userland configs, libraries used and the application in question.


If you want to use ubuntu & Retropie for emulation, which is a bad option in my opinion, you definitely want a version that is really optimized,

clort76 has a wonderful guide of how to convert Ubuntu into Devuan, I see it has better synthetic performance, should be more optimized I guess, you can try that out as well :slight_smile:

Here is his guide to convert it.

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I forgot to tell you that you can try it on Manjaro and install retroarch it does work over cpu acceleration.

Try and report back.


works nice on VIM3 and VIM3L

if u have any problems with game-pads i think its must be easy to solve :wink:

PS: libretro under ubuntu bad idea for ARM at this moment :wink:


I understand, but I wouldn’t expect this would be such a big issue when Pi just ran it well even with Raspbian under the hood :stuck_out_tongue:

So far best results with Android, just the pads are not recognized there at all, over USB, anyway I didn’t plan to run Android on my VIM3 at all, just Linux and retrogaming as addition

Oh so that explains it, thank you

Probably will give up on that

I’m going to try it now :smiley: I really liked manjaro on PC

I don’t know it seems like buttons are totally different in games than in menu, perhaps something with RetroArch, just I bricked my system with update package for now so perhaps will try again a bit later

wasn’t actually too bad for PSX, just overall slow including emulationstation gui, I think if this was fine the games would be fine as well. I got shanwan ps3 clone and it was working very well on ubuntu 20.04 unlike emuelec, but gui overall much slower and slower also than 18.04, although libretro didn’t compile under 18.04 due to conflicts in packages so I couldnt test anything else. RetroPie has some driver for shanwan clone I think may be problem in EmuELEC or it was fixed in later releases than we got https://github.com/EmuELEC/EmuELEC/pull/134


You can try superceleron’s Android ROM, they have support for some gamepads :+1:

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on Android it is important to guess with the application, for example, I know there is an all-in-one emulator, it goes perfectly on any firmware, I can send it if it’s interesting


Retroarch works well

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well yes, to whom which OS is closer

are you asking, Which OS it works on ?

no, I already understood what it works with, I want to say that with android there are also good emulation options

Maybe, but Retro arch is a complete combo of all the major emulators, except Playstation, for which there are better emulators I guess

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I realized, it’s just not very convenient, in the sense that the entire OS is under the emulator, everything is possible in the android, music, movies, games, etc.
all in one

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But android is not much optimized for emulators, it is lucky that we don’t have all the graphics stuff in Ubuntu linux or else, Retropie would be smashing it in both performance and optimization

I had no problems on Android with emulation,and on vim3 pro all the more!

Yes, plenty of RAM to play around with, making emulation smoother,

But when it comes to Retro emulation VIM3 isn’t the biggest of shots, that goes to The jetson lineup, especially for their massive GPU’s

And the use of 64 bit bandwidth memory for speed

I would put the processor in the first place! I only need a lot of memory for torrents online

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I am sorry even then VIM3 falls back in those terms, the real deal for VIM3 is the price, making it easy for people to be able to achieve equal heights of performance at a lower priice :wink:

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