Total beginner here. My SD card was preloaded with NOOBS. I installed Raspbian, watched a tutorial on how to put RetroPie onto my SD card. The first go round I screwed up by wiping my card when I formatted it. So I re-installed NOOBS, then Raspbian, went through the whole process again.

Here's what I did. Download the RetroPie image to my computer. Used 7-Zip to extract the file onto my desktop, then used Etcher to put it onto my SD USB reader.

I've been through the process twice and both times it gives me the rainbow screen when I power up the Raspberry Pi after installing RetroPie.


1 Answer 1


If you have a Raspberry Pi Model B+, you must use RetroPie v4.4 or newer.

RetroPie 4.4 is out, bringing with it Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ support via our new Raspbian Stretch based images. Raspbian Jessie is no longer receiving firmware and kernel updates, so the move to the new version was required.

For RPI users it is recommended to start from a fresh image with this update. It is possible to upgrade the system from Jessie to Stretch but there have been reports of issues by some people when doing so.

RetroPie 4.4 is released - 14th April 2018

Old Answer

RetroPie v4.3 has a known compatibility issue with the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

The bootloader included with Raspbian Jessie (v8) doesn't support the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. As a result, RetroPie v4.3 fails to boot on a Pi 3 B+ with a rainbow screen and a low-power symbol. RetroPie's developers are currently testing an update to support Raspberry Stretch (v9).

Until RetroPie v4.4 is released, Pi 3 B+ owners have two options.

Method 1 - Install a RetroPie 'Stretch' beta image

Follow the standard install process for RetroPie, only using the latest beta.

  • Download the newest beta image for RetroPie 4.3.x (Stretch).
  • Format your SD card
  • Write the .img.gz file to your SD card.
  • Insert the SD card into your Raspberry Pi and turn on the power.

Method 2 - Manually install RetroPie over Raspbian Stretch

You can find the full manual install guide on GitHub, but to summarize:

  • Make a clean install of Raspbian with the NOOBS installer.
  • Update existing APT packages.

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Verify that locale settings have all been set. (Usually to en_US.UTF_8)

  • Install required packages for RetroPie's setup script

    sudo apt-get install git lsb-release
  • Download and execute the latest RetroPie setup script

    git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup.git
    cd RetroPie-Setup
    chmod +x retropie_setup.sh
    sudo ./retropie_setup.sh
  • On the setup menu, select Basic Install

You should now be able to launch RetroPie from the terminal by typing emulationstation.

If you want to boot directly to RetroPie on startup, re-open the setup script and select:

Configuration / tools -> Autostart -> Start Emulation Station at boot
  • Related: How to install RetroPie over Raspbian Stretch?
    – Stevoisiak
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 17:09
  • 1
    Your statement that the Pi 3 B+ has dropped support for Jessie isn't really true; see Raspbian 8 on Raspberry Pi 3 B+. Even older Stretch installations don't work with the Pi 3 B+; it's the firmware, not the version of Debian. That said, did the OP say they were using the Pi 3 B+? I couldn't see any mention of their model.
    – Aurora0001
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 19:02
  • @Aurora0001 I've updated my answer with your correction. The OP did not specify their model, but I was able to reproduce issue on my own Pi 3 B+.
    – Stevoisiak
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 19:15
  • Odd thought, is this a firmware blob (like in the fat partiton) or is it compiled in - in other words could the firmware files just be swapped to make it work? I don't have a B+ to test!, though it would interesting to look at older raspbian and its derivatives (such as the one for the OctoPrint image)
    – Wilf
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 20:09
  • 1
    @Wilf According to Mike Redrobe, Raspbian Jesse can run on a Pi 3 B+ if you update the bootloader.
    – Stevoisiak
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 20:36

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