Raspberry Pi Super Nintendo – Part 3

build a raspberry pi super nintendo

Recently, Classic NES became a big holiday seller, and people were paying top dollar to be able to play all their favorite Nintendo Games.  Raspberry Pi NES / Super Nintendo can play those same games, a lot cheaper.

If you buy a cheap Raspberry Pi, know a little bit about Linux, and can use Emulators and Roms, you can build a Raspberry Pi NES / Super Nintendo!   Read this article to find out how to build a Raspberry Pi Super Nintendo, and what software to add.

Part 1 – The Parts
Part 2 – The Build
Part 3 – The Software
Part 4 – The Roms

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How to Build a Raspberry Pi Super Nintendo - Part 3

Noobs stands for (New Out of Box Software).   An easy Operating System installer for the Raspberry Pi.

NOOBS is designed to make it easy to select and install operating systems for the Raspberry Pi without having to worry about manually imaging your SD card.

NOOBS is available for download on the Raspberry Pi website.    

Noobs is the easiest way to get started with a Raspberry Pi. Download it to a new blank Micro SD card, and you will have it started.

When you first boot NOOBS will format your SD card and allow you to select which OSes you want to install from a list. This OS list is automatically generated from both locally available OSes (i.e. those contained in the /os directory on disk) or those available from GitHub remote repository (network connection required).

The NOOBS user interface contains these functionalities:
  • Install – Installs the selected OS onto your SD card.  If you change this, it will erase all other OS installed.
  • Edit Config – opens a cmd prompt that allows editing of the config file of the selected OS
  • Language Selection – Allows you to select the language to be displayed
  • Display Mode – By default, NOOBS will output over HDMI at your display’s preferred resolution, even if no HDMI display is connected.   If you do not see any output on your HDMI display or are using the composite output, press 1, 2, 3 or 4 on your keyboard to select HDMI preferred mode, HDMI safe mode, composite PAL mode or composite NTSC mode respectively.
  • Keyboard Layout Selection – Select keyboard layout to be used
  • Online Help – (Network Required) Displays Raspberry Pi Help Page
  • Exit – Quits NOOBS and reboots the Raspberry Pi into OS boot menu.

1 a. How to install NOOBS on an SD card

Once you’ve downloaded your copy of Noobs.zip, you will want to put the contents onto a formatted SD card.  First, grab a blank SD card at least 8 GB, I used a 64 GB.

  1. MAKE SURE the SD Card is Formatted with FAT32.  You can plug insert into your computer, check properties if you don’t know.   If it is not formatted yet, you will need to format the SD card as FAT32.  (*Note – 32GB + are formatted differently)
  2. Download and extract the files from the NOOBS zip file.
  3. Put a copy of the extracted files onto the formatted SD card.  The file needs to be at the root directory of the SD card, not a subfolder.  In the event that it does extract into a folder, copy the files a level up into the root directory.
  4. Upon first boot, the “RECOVERY” FAT partition will be automatically resized to a minimum, and a list of OSes that are available to install will be displayed.

Operating System Choice

NOOBS is available in 2 formats:
  • NOOBS Full includes the installation files for Raspbian only.
  • NOOBS-Lite does not include any Operating System at all.
OS Network Download

Both versions of NOOBS allow additional Operating Systems to be downloaded from our remote repository. To do this, the Raspberry Pi must be connected to a wired network, or it can connect over Wifi using the Raspberry Pi USB wifi dongle or the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B built-in wifi (which I have picked for the project).

How to Format an SD Card as FAT

Note:  If you’re formatting an SD (or micro SD) card that has a capacity over 32GB (i.e. 64GB and above), then see the separate SDXC formatting instructions.   

This will tell you “According to the SD specifications, any SD card larger than 32GB is an SDXC card and has to be formatted with the exFAT filesystem. This means the official SD Formatter tool will always format cards that are 64GB or larger as exFAT.”

To format exFAT into FAT32, quickly and easily, take note here.  I have searched multiple forums for you, and found a tool that pops up again and again and again.  http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm – I did several search engine searches to make sure the forums I was currently on were not betraying me, this pops up over and over in multiple forums as THE ANSWER to format 64GB exFAT drives into a more useable FAT32.

We tested it out, and in a matter of seconds it had formatted successfully.  We were also able to launch Noobs and Raspbian from our Raspberry Pi on a 64GB Sandisk Drive.  Both programs require instances of FAT32 to function properly.  


As a Windows user, we recommend formatting your SD card using the SD Association’s Formatting Tool, which can be downloaded from sdcard.org.  You will need to set “FORMAT SIZE A DJUSTMENT” option to “On” in the “Options” menu to make sure SD card entire volume is formatted.  Instructions for using the tool are available on the same site.


The SD Association’s Formatting Tool is also available for Mac users, although the default OS X Disk Utility is also capable of formatting the entire disk.  Which can be done by selecting the SD card volume and choose Erase with MS-DOS format.

What's inside the NOOBS download

How to install Raspbian Software on Raspberry Pi, or install NOOBS onto a Micro SD card

1 b. How to install Raspbian directly to Raspberry Pi

If you want to skip Noobs altogether, you have that option.  This method is just as easy if you are familiar with command prompt.  You can download a fresh Raspbian Image from here. The Raspbian image can be installed the same way as the RetroPie image (as described here).

Raspbian now automatically expands the filesystem so that step is no longer necessary.

You can check your free disk space with

    df -h

/dev/root is your main partition. Then, I would recommend to update and upgrade the existing APT packages with

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

How to Build a Raspberry Pi SNES

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