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EmulationStation Alternatives for Linux

There are many alternatives to EmulationStation for Linux and since it's discontinued a lot of people are looking for a replacement. The best Linux alternative is RetroArch, which is both free and Open Source. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 25 alternatives to EmulationStation and 15 are available for Linux so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement. Other interesting Linux alternatives to EmulationStation are Mame, Retropie, Pegasus and Lakka.

EmulationStation alternatives are mainly Game Emulators but may also be Game Library Managers or Linux Distros. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of EmulationStation.
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  • FreeOpen Source
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Raspberry Pi

EmulationStation is a graphical and themeable emulator front-end that allows you to access all your favorite games in one...

Learn more about EmulationStation

  1. RetroArch icon

    RetroArch

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Blackberry
    • iPad
    • OpenPandora
    • Steam
    • Raspberry Pi
    • Playstation
    • Xbox

    RetroArch is a graphical frontend for emulators, game engines, and media players.

    ⚫︎ Dark ModeRetroArch supports dark mode for comfortable usage in low light conditions.
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    RetroArch vs EmulationStation opinions
    Some users think RetroArch is a great alternative to EmulationStation, some don't.

    RetroArch allows you to emulate directly using "cores" included with the program and downloadable from their website. EmulationStation does not do emulation, and only acts as a front-end for other emulators installed on the system.

    Negative comment ago
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    RetroArch is core (emulator) but emulationStation is like a interface or GUI.

    Positive comment ago
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  2. Mame icon

    Mame

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • AmigaOS
    • MorphOS

    MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. When used in conjunction with images of the original arcade game's ROM and disk data, MAME attempts to reproduce that game as faithfully as possible on a more modern general-purpose computer.

    ⚫︎ PortableMame can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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    Mame vs EmulationStation opinions
    Some users think Mame is a great alternative to EmulationStation, some don't.


  3. Retropie icon

    Retropie

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Linux
    • Raspberry Pi

    RetroPie allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi or PC into a retro-gaming machine. It builds upon Raspbian, EmulationStation, RetroArch and many other projects to enable you to play your favourite classic games with the minimum set-up.

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    Screenshot
  4. Pegasus icon

    Pegasus

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • Raspberry Pi

    Pegasus is a graphical frontend for browsing your game library (especially retro games) and launching them from one place. It's focusing on customizability, cross platform support (including embedded devices) and high performance.

    ⚫︎ PortablePegasus can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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  5. Lakka icon

    Lakka

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Cubieboard
    • HummingBoard
    • Raspberry Pi
    • Nintendo Switch
    • Odroid

    Lakka is the official Linux distribution of RetroArch and the libretro ecosystem. Each game system is implemented as a libretro core, while the frontend RetroArch takes care of inputs and display.

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    Splash screen


  6. Mednafen icon

    Mednafen

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux

    Mednafen is a portable, utilizing OpenGL and SDL, argument(command-line)-driven multi-system emulator with many advanced features.

    ⚫︎ PortableMednafen can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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  7. Recalbox icon

    Recalbox

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Linux
    • Raspberry Pi
    • Odroid

    Recalbox is a light embedded system created to run on the raspberryPi ,raspberryPI 2 and others!

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  8. Batocera.linux icon

    Batocera.linux

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Linux
    • Raspberry Pi
    • Odroid

    batocera.linux is an operating system (like Windows 10 and Mac OS) specialized in retrogaming

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  9. Nostlan icon

    Nostlan

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux

    A front-end or user interface (UI) is the presentation and interaction layer of an app or website. Most modern emulator apps have basic game list UIs that you can interact with using a mouse/keyboard but not a game controller.

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    Dolphin (Wii, Gamecube, Virtual Console) [Linux, macOS, & Windows]
  10. BizHawk icon

    BizHawk

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux

    BizHawk is a multi-system emulator designed predominantly around the production of Tool Assisted Speedruns (TAS). BizHawk focuses on core accuracy and power user tools while still being an easy-to-use emulator for casual gaming.

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Showing 10 of 15 alternatives