Turning old computer into an emulation station


Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
I want to turn an old laptop, a Dell Inspiron 6000 into an emulation station. It has to run some kind of software that would boot straight into an emulation platform - not run emulators from windows.

The only software I found to do this is "Lakka", but I hate it, and I was wondering if anyone knows any alternatives.

Lakka is very difficult to use. It's compatibility is very much hit or miss. Older versions ran fine on my laptop, but newer ones don't run at all, despite being listed as compatible. Also, Lakka requires a direct ethernet connection to the router, and plenty of Linux, SSH, and networking knowledge which I don't want to deal with. I want my ROMS to be easily accessible from usb or SD card.

Are there any alternatives out there?


Diamond Member
Oct 20, 2014
RetroPie is a Debian-based LInux distro that does what you want.

And yes, it runs on regular PCs. Although at this point, it's less of a distro, and instead a set of instructions that you follow.

If RetroPie runs on x86 like it does on Raspberry Pi it's great for an emulation box. I use it myself for MAME, Genesis, PS1, Famicom Disk System, Neo-Geo, and Master System gaming. It is exactly what you'd want for an emulation box since it has a simple console like interface. But it's also cool in that it's linux so you can SSH into it to do configuration from another computer on the network. The art and information scraper in RetroPie can be a bit of a pain sometimes so for maybe 5% of my games I had to go edit the XML files by hand.
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