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Linux KMS Mode


KMS (Kernel Mode Setting) mode is a feature where RetroArch can use the OpenGL driver outside Xorg, running straight in the virtual terminal. It is a fairly obscure feature, but very powerful in a console scenario.


To use KMS mode you need:

  • Recent version of MESA (9.0+) (dev)
  • libgbm 9.0+, libdrm (dev)
  • Open source driver which supports KMS
  • ./configure with flags "--enable-kms" and "--enable-egl"

These require a fairly up-to-date distro.

After compiling RetroArch, you should see this when running retroarch --features:

    KMS/EGL context support: yes

If KMS mode is working correctly, RetroArch should start up outside Xorg as well.

Last update: 2024-04-19