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Frontend Development

Libretro frontends are programs that have implemented the libretro API specification. If fully implemented, this allows the program to run any libretro core that has been developed.

Frontend Development Guides

  • A Libretro retrospective - Developer Emery Hemingway's detailed look back on implementing a new libretro frontend for the Genode Operating System.

Reference frontend

RetroArch is the official reference libretro frontend, developed in-house. It is usually the first in implementing new features added to the libretro API. Written almost entirely in C, targets a large amount of platforms.

Name Author(s) Description
Anarchy Arcade Elijah Newman-Gomez AArcade is a virtual reality 3D desktop that launches shortcuts to absolutely anything you like.
Arcan Letoram Powerful development framework for creating virtually anything from user interfaces for specialized embedded applications all the way to full-blown standalone desktop environments.
BizHawk BizHawk Experimental libretro player support for the BizHawk multi-platform emulator.
Emutest kivutar A headless libretro frontend to test libretro cores.
GNOME Games GNOME Games is a GNOME application to browse your video games library and to easily pick and play a game from it.
Hackable console leiradel Debugging tool for libretro cores.
Haiyajan deltabeard A tiny and fast libretro entertainment application.
Ludo kivutar libretro frontend written in Go.
Lemuroid Swordfish90 All in 1 emulator on Android.
Mininal reference fronted bparker06 This is a barebones minimal reference frontend for the libretro API.
minir Alcaro WIMP interface (Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers), and only cares about the major desktop OSes. Drops flexibility in favor of improved out-of-the-box experience.
minir test fronts Alcaro Three different fronts, none of which has IO drivers: retroprofile just runs the core, intended for performance tests and PGO; retrorepeat runs the core twice, expecting identical output; retrostateverify traces the entire core and verifies whether its savestates are perfect.
miniretro davidgfnet This is a small (Linux only for now) CLI libretro frontend for automated testing of libretro cores.
nanoarch heuripedes Small frontend providing video, audio and basic input features to run non-libretro-GL cores. Built on GLFW.
New Retro Arcade Digital Cyber Cherries
noarch RobLoach Minimalist frontend which does not provide video, audio or even basic input. It loads a libretro core, runs an iteration, and then exits. Good for unit testing.
picoarch neonloop picoarch uses libpicofe and SDL to create a small frontend to libretro cores. It's designed for small (320x240 2.0-2.4") screen, low-powered devices like the Trimui Model S (PowKiddy A66).
Phoenix Phoenix Upcoming libretro frontend written with the Qt5 cross-platform application framework.
raylib-libretro RobLoach Libretro frontend using raylib.
retro_frontend Ehmry Frontend for the Genode operating system framework. Following the Genode philosophy this frontend strives to be a minimal implemention that is extensible via the abstract OS services provided to it.
RePlay OS RTA Upcoming libretro based frontend optimized for use with Raspberry Pi boards using both LCD and CRT screens.
replay avojak Native Linux multi-system emulator built in Vala and GTK for elementary OS.
Retrobot Ross Squires A self-hosted Discord bot that allows friends to play games over chat.
RetroPlayer Kodi-Game Also known as Kodi-Game, RetroPlayer is a libretro compatibility layer for Kodi.
sdlarch heuripedes Small frontend providing video, audio and basic input to run basic libretro cores. Built on SDL.
URetro Nintendo WiiU frontend
Vintage Simulator runvnc 3D Lua-programmable libretro frontend supporting many 3D formats, some Cairo graphics, physics, emulation control with scripts
ZMZ Alcaro Abandoned

Last update: 2024-04-19