Something for the weekend in the shape of Internet Archive Games Launcher
I decided to install Internet Archive Games Launcher on my KODI box this weekend. It’s an old Intel Quad Core Q6600 with 8GB RAM and a 64GB Samsung SSD, but it does the job. It’s been running Ubuntu 18.04 for a while with KODI 18.x (Leia). Originally, I was going to just drop KODI 19 (Matrix) on there but I chose to go the whole hog and do a clean install of the latest Ubuntu too.
My decision was based on some issues I’d been having with Ubuntu. We’d recently had the power trip out due to a faulty earth on an upstairs power socket. Ubuntu had an unclean shutdown due to this and the file system had some corruption. I’d run a manual FSCK but the same issue reoccurred every time I rebooted the box. I’d thought about updating prior to this so I didn’t bother putting too much effort into sorting it out.
Well, I did my clean install of Ubuntu 20.04 and proceeded to install KODI. Everything went well. I then installed IAGL (Internet Archive Games Launcher) to play some retro games. KODI’s built-in Retroplayer is a bit limited so I went down the Retroarch route. I installed Retroarch using the SNAP store and configured IAGL to launch games using Retroarch. Here’s where things went a little off-course.
No matter what configuration I used, or what I was attempting to emulate, Retroarch would launch but “App Only” mode. Even though I had installed all the necessary cores IAGL couldn’t see them to allow me to select one. The only options that were available to me were to launch Retroarch only or to manually enter a launch command (which made no difference).
Trying things a different way
After much faffing with settings and configuration files I decided to go with the tried and tested method I’ve used on previous installs. I removed the SNAP Store version of Retroach and installed from the Libretro repositories instead.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libretro/stable && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install retroarch* libretro-*
This seemed to do the trick and now IAGL could select cores and run my chosen emulators for each category of games. I’m not sure what I was doing wrong with the SNAP Store version but I just couldn’t get it to work no matter how much I tried.
I’m still having problems launching MAME (current). Retroarch launches then freezes on the “Loading complete” screen. I’m not so bothered about that though because the arcade games I play are mostly Golden Age with a touch of Turtles in Time and Street Fighter II thrown in and they run in previous MAME versions anyway. The only thing I’d use the current MAME version for is emulating the Philips CD-i via software list (MESS) and I’m not that desperate to emulate that on my TV.
“Munky” is a computer engineer with over 20 years experience. He has worked in both public and private sectors, mostly in the education sector, specialising in operating systems and mobile technology. He has carried out work for IBM, RM, Carillion, Capita, Click and Birmingham Metropolitan College as well as running his own I.T. Services business. He is a retro gaming enthusiast, especially when it comes to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. He is a parent, a grandparent, and a bit of a child at heart.