Bash (shell script)


I am trying to create a Game Launcher in bash (shell script) for retroarch. I have some of the code already completed, but it turns out I want to make it more efficient. I would like to shorten the code so that instead of having a ‘menu’ to start the retroarch core, I would like to remove the menu, and I would like to allow the user to select any retroarch supported rom file from an array and when they select a supported rom file, the correct emulator will launch it automatically. Can someone guide me to getting that working?

Here’s my current code:

Please note, you can probably tell, I am no bash expert by any means, but I should be able to follow tutorials and piece things together…



core_snes="$HOME/.config/retroarch/cores/" core_nes="$HOME/.config/retroarch/cores/" core_gb="$HOME/.config/retroarch/cores/" core_n64="$HOME/.config/retroarch/cores/"

case “$1” in *.fds) core="$core_nes" ;; *.nes) core="$core_nes" ;; *.smc) core="$core_snes" ;; *.sfc) core="$core_snes" ;; *.gb) core="$core_gb" ;; *.gbc) core="$core_gbc" ;; *.z64) core="$core_n64" ;; *.n64) core="$core_n64" ;;



PS3=’ Please enter your choice: ’ options=(“Play Nintendo Game” “Play Super Nintendo Game” “Quit”) COLUMNS=0 select opt in “${options[@]}” do case $opt in “Play Nintendo Game”) nes_roms="$HOME/.config/retroarch/roms/Nintendo/Nes/" file=zenity --file-selection --filename="$nes_roms*" --file-filter=" "*"" --title="Select Nintendo Game" retroarch -L $core_nes “$file” --fullscreen --config=$config; clear exit ;; “Play Super Nintendo Game”) snes_roms="$HOME/.config/retroarch/roms/Nintendo/Snes/" FILE=zenity --file-selection --filename="$snes_roms" --file-filter=" "*"" --title="Select Super Nintendo Game"

        retroarch -L $core_snes "$FILE" --fullscreen --config=$config;

clear exit

    "Option 3")
   "you chose choice $REPLY which is $opt"

clear break ;; *) echo “invalid option $REPLY”;;




Neat idea! And your probably fine if every system’s rom you use has a different extension. But I am unsure what you do when multiple systems use the same extension like .bin .iso or .chd?

I am not real familiar with bash either, but maybe it’s possible to select a core based on a part of the pathname instead?

Hi Sloth,

Thanks for the comment! I am not at that stage of having the same extensions, but yes, I do believe the last part of your message is possible, I will have to experiment with the code.

1 Like

I would recommend taking a look at my lobby viewer, which allows me to join rooms through a terminal.

It’s Python not Bash, but converting between shell scripts and Python is simple enough.

I use RetroArch’s JSON playlists to fetch CRCs and ROM paths; an INI file is used to configure the viewer and to set up links between system/cores and playlists.

I was thinking of something like this pseudo code:

creating an arrary to store all the supported retroarch extensions, so for example:

extArrary would have something like this array:

nes smc gen n64

and then I would create an if then else statement that would go something like:

if ext=nes then

retroarch -L nes_core “$FILE” --fullscreen --config=$config;

else if ext=smc then retroarch -L nes_core “$FILE” --fullscreen --config=$config;

note about $FILE that would be a zenity call that would open a file select dialog so any rom can be selected.

actual zenity call:

FILE=zenity --file-selection --filename="$HOME/.config/retroarch/roms/" --file-filter=" "*"" --title="Select a Game"

Could someone help me create the array AND the if statement to work? I just haven’t had any luck yesterday, and I am running out (away from computer for a while) so I would be so greatful if someone could find a way to get the array and if statement to work so that when I choose a rom file from the zenity file select box, the correct core will be loaded and run the game.

I have been messing around, but still hitting pitfalls with the code, here’s is what I have been thinking would work, but I have come up short:

Basically, I am trying to load retroarch based on file selected and if the file selected is .nes then it will load the nes retroarch core. That’s how I am trying to go about this script. If some one could enlighten me with a resolution to my code I would greatly appreciate it.


Retroarch Config Path


Core Selection

core_nes="$HOME/.config/retroarch/cores/" core_snes="$HOME/.config/retroarch/cores/"

Retroarch Supported Extensions

ext=(“nes smc”)

File Selection (Game Selection)

FILE=zenity --file-selection --filename="$HOME/.config/retroarch/roms/" --file-filter=" "*"" --title="Select a Game"

Case Selection for Retroarch Supported Extensions

case “$ext” in

*.fds) core="$core_nes" ;; *.nes) core="$core_nes" ;; *.smc) core="$core_snes" ;; *.sfc) core="$core_snes" ;; *.gb) core="$core_gb" ;; *.gbc) core="$core_gbc" ;; *.z64) core="$core_n64" ;; *.n64) core="$core_n64" ;;


If Statement not working

if $ext==nes then retroarch -L $core_nes “$FILE” --fullscreen --config=$config;

else if $ext==smc then retroarch -L $core_snes “$FILE” --fullscreen --config=$config;