Retroarch in KMS mode from login manager?


I’m trying to launch Retroarch from SDDM, I created a retroarch-session.desktop file /usr/share/xsessions/, but unfortunately it launches Retroarch in X11 mode. Is there a way to force launching Retroarch in KMS mode from SDDM ?

If you’re launching from an X session, it’s going to be in X11 mode. You would have to launch from a console with no window manager running.

However, IIRC, the results from Wayland are quite good, too. Almost as good as KMS.

Yes, In don’t think it’s possible to launch a non-X11 (or Wayland) session from SDDM. :confused:

The idea was to be able to launch RetroArch in KMS without having to use a keyboard (the machine is an Asus PN50 Ryzen mini-PC plugged into the TV).

Can you make a launch script that kills the window manager and then fires the retroarch command?

I’ll look into it, thanks !

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Hi @Tromzy, are you planning on using this machine only for Retroarch? If this is the case you can use Lakka (easiest solution) or alternatively use systemd on your distro to start Retroarch on boot.

No, it will mainly be a Kodi machine, I stream movies from my main computer to this machine and I play them with Kodi. I used to use a special build of Libreelec which could launch RA and EmulationStation from Kodi (in KMS mode :stuck_out_tongue: ), but it stopped being updated.

Would it be viable to have a command line option to force RetroArch to start in KMS mode?

To add to the situation described in the OP, I would like to launch RetroArch on a tty even if I already have a desktop session open on another tty. With the current RetroArch autodetection, this is impossible to achieve.

This would give Linux users all the benefits of KMS while still having a desktop to jump to.

You can try looking at some /home/pi/bin scripts running on Pi 400 / Bullseye:

… with some /home/pi/Desktop shortcuts:

This allows for ease of “switching” between Desktop and Console modes. I have RetroArch built to run the same stuff on an X11 window (or fullscreen) from the desktop, or use KMS mode from the console menu.

I also have this line appended to /home/pi/.bashrc: [ -z "$DISPLAY" ] && ~/bin/ … so it will keep the menu script running on the console screen only:

offtopic: are those martin logan speakers there? If so, how do you like them?

@hunterk yes they are, and not to come off as an infomercial, while the Sony TV built-in speaker is nice, there’s too much side-wall reflections. These MartinLogan speakers do fill the room much better and without any need for a surround sound setup. In fact, with the Marantz driving them, it’s powerful to deliver music (or dialog) throughout the house without any noise interference or muffled sounds. I almost went with horn-style towers, but the high-to-low separation these radiate convinced me it was worth the few extra $$.

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Yes, I was a horn fanboi for many years but moved relatively recently to some smaller planar and ribbon models because they sound more realistic and have better off-axis performance.

I still like the horn sound subjectively, but I think they’re just kinda outclassed by planar/electrostat when it comes to pure realism/verisimilitude. That’s certainly helped by being dipole, too, what with the realistic room reflections.

Anyway, thanks for the input. That’s not a bad price on them, tbh. I think I need to track some of these guys down for a listen! I’ve been eyeballing that exact Marantz head, as well. You’ve got good taste, clearly :smiley:


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