Have Your Pi and Eat It!
In this post I’ll be documenting how I set up a Raspberry Pi 3 (you can also use a Pi 2) as a lightweight PC replacement, combining a fully-fledged desktop GUI (Raspbian), Media Center (Kodi), and video games console and computer emulation suite (RetroPie).
The Pi 3 actually makes for a very capable PC replacement; this, and recent, posts, including graphics work, have been undertaken solely on the machine.
Topics Covered in this Post
- A Little Background
- Considering the Options
- Undertaking the Installation: A Step by Step guide
- Obtaining and Installing Raspbian
- Configuring the Raspberry Pi
- Installing RetroPie
- Installing Kodi Media Center
- Building on the Foundations
A Little Background
I have a couple of older Raspberry Pi machines, each of which is limited to a single task. The Model 1 Pi has been doing duty for a couple of years as a media center, and is dedicated to running XBMC (named for XBox Media Center, showing the roots of the project which is now known as Kodi).
The Pi 2 is currently used for retro video gaming, running an installation of RetroPie 2; I ill-advisedly used the
retropie_setup.sh script option to delete Raspbian files that were not directly needed by RetroPie, thereby removing the option of using the machine as a desktop replacement.
Having taken delivery of a shiny new Raspberry Pi 3 I was keen to take advantage of the increased power of the machine, along with a sizable 64GB SD Card, using it to perform multiple duties: a media center, a retro-gaming system, and PC workstation. I also wanted to avoid the need for swapping SD Cards, which is both a hassle and introduces needless wear and tear on the card port.