Is there any SNES emulator that will work on a Debian 9 (stretch) based Raspbian system?

SNES9X is missing the libjpeg8 libraries which don't seem to exist in the latest Debian release.

ZSNES doesn't compile since the target architecture for the armv7l chipset is not supported in the compiler.

2 Answers 2


There are several, but you're correct that ZSNES requires x86 assembly and thus isn't one of them. For Raspbian 9 Stretch in particular, many of the various Snes9x forks have not been maintained. For example the popular PiSNES requires that you refrain from enabling the full OpenGL driver.

Stretch also removed /opt/vc/lib/lib{EGL,GLESv2}.so to avoid conflicting with their Mesa counterparts, so for some binaries you need to rebuild from source while explicitly linking libbrcm{EGL,GLESv2}.so. If you must use an existing binary that references the old names, you can create symlinks reminiscent of Jessie like so:

cd /opt/vc/lib
sudo ln -s libbrcmEGL.so libEGL.so
sudo ln -s libbrcmGLESv2.so libGLESv2.so

(Caveat that this may interfere with other graphical applications.)

In fact, the above isn't even sufficient for the PiSNES release binary which assumes the two libs in the wrong location. For that you'll have to redirect snes9x's library search like so:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/vc/lib ./snes9x <path to ROM>

On other old emulators you can troubleshoot this with the ldd command, but sometimes it's easier to build from source! Jason_25 posted a great summary of what's working (and what isn't) in this thread on the Pi gaming forums.

As for how to install libjpeg8, I answered your other question.

  • Thank you for the comprehensive answer. I ended up flashing a SIM with Retropie image and it works a treat on my 3b pi. Will add multiboot or just get a second SIM if I need the Pixel desktop Dec 25, 2017 at 11:14
  • I haven't tried it yet (but hope to) - I would think the pi 3b is capable of handling vanilla snes9x, or is this not the case?
    – bbarker
    Nov 1, 2018 at 2:04
  • Pi 3B: Unless you downgrade to Jessie or try a different fork of snes9x/PiSNES, you'll still have to deal with the renaming of libEGL.so as instructed above.
    – jdonald
    Nov 10, 2018 at 22:03

For my Raspbian system, I try two emulators RetroArch and the Mednafen. Both emulators work ok but if I chose one that will be the Mednafen Snes Emulator because it runs much smoothly from the RetroArch. You have more options with this emulator so I recommend it to try first if you don't like it there are much more emulator to try.

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