[How To] RetroPie & KODI Dual Boot

Here is my easy how-to for building a multi-boot RetroPie & KODI system.
You can also install any other systems as well (eg. Raspbian) & easily boot to them from KODI.

It is compatible with all versions of the Raspberry Pi.
An internet connection is required on the Pi.

How to Install

Step 1

Follow THIS post to install NOOBS Lite Extra to your SD card.

Step 2

Power on the Pi.
NOOBS will load and then give you a list of OS's to install.

You can select any combination of systems you like.

For KODI, you can choose either LibreELEC or OSMC (or both).
Then select RetroPie & any other systems you want.
Above I have chosen Raspbian + LibreELEC + RetroPie

Once you have selected your systems, simply press i or click Install.

NOOBS will now download and install your chosen systems.
This can take a bit of time depending on how many systems you are installing.

Wait for it to complete, and then move on to step 3.

Step 3

Follow THIS post to install my NOOBS Companion Add-on in KODI.

Step 4

Let's now make RetroPie able to boot back into our KODI system.

Go to the main menu.
Scroll down to Add-ons.
Select the "NOOBS Companion" add-on.

Move down to the RetroPie system.
Open the context menu and select "Install Boot-Back"

RetroPie now has a new KODI system installed.
Simply click into this and then select KODI, and it will boot-back to our KODI system.

Watch the video on the NOOBS Companion post for more things you can do with it!

Enjoy :)

Optional Tweaks

Tweak #1
If your using LibreELEC and want to remove all the extra sources in File manager, see HERE


Issue: NOOBS Companion add-on is removed from KODI.
Solution: Redo Step 3 from above.

Issue: RetroPie no longer boots back into our KODI system (eg. after an update)
Solution: Redo Step 4 from above.

More Info


- Initial Post

Thanks to the teams at Raspberry Pi, KODI, LibreELEC, OSMC, PINN & RetroPie


  1. Greetings, thank you piice part of the retro pie, I wonder if it would be possible to install from osmc as an add-on? Because I already have several configurations in kodi and recalbox. Thanks again.
    I'm using a translator, my English is not very good.

    1. No sorry. The whole foundation of this system is NOOBs and keeping the systems separate.

      After a quick google, I found this:

      Maybe give that a go.

    2. I've tried this, but It doesn't work

  2. I found this http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Raspberry-Pi-3-Media-Center-OSMC-With-RetroPie/ I can not understand very well because my English is very bad, I do not understand very well He talks fast (to me) if you can help me, I appreciate it.

    1. Probably best you ask over there or their forum.
      It's not my "product" so can't really help :)

    2. @Ta Simoes This is the same solution you've been proposed.

      I've tried this. Wasted 2 days of compilation of stuff that don't really work... Accidentally found Matt's work here and I think is the best solution for start.

      If you make it compile correctly with PSP emulator let me know :) Offcourse i prefer to have one system with everything inside, but if this don't work... I prefer something that does :)

    3. I personally prefer separate systems for each task.

      It means one system doesn't break another and they can update independently and don't rely on other maintainers updating them (eg. Recalbox still uses 15.1 KODI I think)

      in KODI 18.0 - they will have built-in emulator and retro gaming anyway :)

    4. One question, I've selected OSMC as default and don't know how to change it during boot process.

      Any adivice?

    5. Ok, I've managed to do this presing Shift in the right moment :)

  3. So does it mean that they are independent systems can I upgrade one without giving problem in the other? In your opinion which is better the recalbox or Retropie? I currently use the recalbox and Retropie has some more emulators so I intended to have both. Which is better? Thank you, it's great, yours.

    1. Yes. They are completely isolated from each other (on different parts of the SD card). Therefore they can update independently. I have not had much experience with RetroPie - so can't really compare them. I quite like Recalbox for it's "out of box" ready to go.

  4. I have a SD of 64gb I think I should have no storage problem to have the 3 systems, or is it silly of mine to have the 3 systems?

    1. 64GB would be heaps of space for 3 systems :)

  5. This is exactly what I am looking for as I prefer recalbox over reys128gb image. But kodi within recalbox does not allow a vpn. So I really need to do that via libreelec
    I have experienced some issue formatting a 128gb card which I thought I would share as it needs to be fat32 for noobs to work, as you stated... This might help others.

    I have a 128gb SD card. I found the macorit tool to just produce a blank screen even with an extra config with hdmi setting in.
    I then tried Formating in sdformat with yes and then using the GUIFORMAT EXE. That had issues it would boot but complain of sd partition size and not go any further etc. Winning format for my sandisk 128gb card seemed to be...Format in standard sdformatter tool with the yes option. Then load minitool partition magic and reformat down to fat32 from the exfat !!

    I did that and set the file to ...

    runinstaller quiet ramdisk_size=32768 root=/dev/ram0 init=/init vt.cur_default=1 elevator=deadline no_default_source alt_image_source=http://files.matthuisman.nz/pinn.json


    What I was hoping to do was Install Libreelec set at 4gb then select retropie to use the existing space.

    Unless I am being thick......
    When it loaded nicely and had no partition issues it only gave me the choice of 3 systems. Recalbox, Lakka and retotpie it think.

    I did not see an option to install librelec and cant seem to see a way to boot into it ?

    Assumed I would get to either pick it like I did with recalobox or get some kind of boot menu.

    I think I am nearly there and would appreciate any help you can provide.

    I have managed to take the 90GB of roms from reys image and get down to 60gb by removing the hand helds and the n64 stuff !!!

    1. alt_image_source=http://files.matthuisman.nz/noobs.php?url=http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/os_list_v3.json%20http://files.matthuisman.nz/pinn.json&LibreELEC_RPi2=4000

      That's all you need :)

      This will make the LibreELEC partition 4512.
      As my script adds the size to any existing nominal size (512 in case of LibreELEC).
      So, you might want to use 3500 instead to get 4012 total size.

  6. So the bit I got wrong is I had set alt_image_source=http://files.matthuisman.nz/pinn.json

    When I needed alt_image_source=http://files.matthuisman.nz/noobs.php?

    Wish I had posted earlier as you solved this quickly !

    Hi Matt, thanks so much for your help all up and running. Xbox controllers had the lights set per controller after the installs . I installed your kodi addon too. I boot into kodi 17 and use your addon to get to recalbox. When I then kill my power as I have a switch on the pi it then reboots to kodi just as a like it. So tomorrow I will install a VPN in kodi 17 which you cant do in recalboxes version.

    One thing I have noticed and its a small thing just for your thoughts really. I started with a 128gb card and recal box thinks there is about 56 GB left before I start copying items onto it. Thats fine as I have trimmed what I want down to 60 gb anyway, so will trim some more !!

    I've looked in partition editor and think the reason is there is a logical partition called :*share which is 57.96 gb which I assume that is what recalbox uses for its share ???

    Then there is another logical partition called *: which is also EXT4 that is 57.96GB

    So I assume thats where it has installed RECALBOX and expanded it out then created a second bit of space for the share. Its just under 60 gb so no big issue.

    I am not bothered as my aim was to dual boot, the wasted space is an easy price to pay !!

    Cheers for all your hard work Venom

    1. Shouldn't be any wasted space.
      If you are only installed Recalbox + LibreELEC and have used below url
      (I assume you are using a Pi3 or Pi2)


      Then only Recalbox share will be set to expand.

      Sounds like your LibreELEC partition is expanding to half the size. But if you have used the URL correctly and make sure you are selecting LibreELEC_RPi2 when installing - then it should only be set to 4500.

  7. Pretty sure I did that but can easily have another go this is the actual line from the recovery.cmdline which is on sd card is this ...................... Yes I have a RPI3

    With the stuff you see before the line you sent as well, assumed I needed that ???

    quiet ramdisk_size=32768 root=/dev/ram0 init=/init vt.cur_default=1 elevator=deadline alt_image_source=http://files.matthuisman.nz/noobs.php?url=http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/os_list_v3.json%20http://files.matthuisman.nz/pinn.json&LibreELEC_RPi2=4000

    I did select the Recalbox unstable assumed that the latest verison if that makes any difference.
    This leaves me with a disk in partition manager that looks like this

    E:Recovery Capacity 131.56 Mb FAT32
    *.Settings 32MB EXT4
    *:512mb FAT16
    *: 58.45GB EXT4
    :boot 60MB FAT32
    :root:1.95GB EXT4
    *:share 57.96

    What I find odd is the its called SHARE i wonder if recal box installs in one partition then creates this other partion as the shared area ? This is a big card. I will reformat and give it another go as I have not put any roms etc on yet.

    1. You need no_default_source in the cmdline as well. That could be the issue

  8. As the eng;ish would Say "buggar" had that in my earlier one must of lost it when I re-edited it all. Will have another crack at it fingers crossed !

  9. Hi! Awesome post! I have used a 64gb sd card to install recalbox + openelec as show in this post http://www.matthuisman.nz/2015/11/recalbox-kodi-dual-boot-images.html (it might be no longer available). Is my sd using all the space? Or is just using 32 gb? If it is only using only 32 gb it is possible to expand any partition to take the whole size of the sd card? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi. Recalbox and OpenELEC will automatically split all the free space so it should be using all the space :)

    2. Thanks for the answer Matt! If I run "df -k" connected to LibreElec the output values summation must be 64gb more or less, isnt it? My doubt was because in the file "recovery.cmdline" it is typed "ramdisk_size=32768" .Excellent blog!

    3. Matt, the line I commeted above (file "recovery.cmdline" where is "ramdisk_size=32768"). Has relationship with the sd card size or doesnt?

    4. It is not related to SD size.


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