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I have a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, with the RPi 7-inch touchscreen hooked up.

I installed Raspbian Stretch Lite on a 16GB SD card. I have booted the Raspberry Pi, changed my password, connected to Wifi, and enabled SSH. I updated and upgraded the OS, and then installed chromium (sudo apt-get install chromium-bsu).

I am trying to run Chromium, chromium-bsu, and get the following:

Couldn't initialize SDL: No available video device

I don't want all the other crap that comes with the full version of Raspbian Stretch. I don't want the Debian GUI, I do not want Mathematica, I do not want whatever else they throw in there. Can I get to where I need to be, without the full version? What packages can I install to get between here and there?

I am a newb, and have no idea what to do here. I cannot find anything online about this. I don't even know what SDL is, or what the purpose of it is. Any help?

  • I am having the same problem trying to run MAME. I've tried quite a few different solutions without success. I am pretty sure you need a distro with a GUI. You could always find a small one and then reduce it as much as possible after you get things running. Did you ever find a solution for a no-GUI distro? – Logan Kitchen Sep 24 '18 at 3:21
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You are using Raspbian Stretch Lite that has no graphical support but chromium-bsu needs it. It's a game with GUI. To install and play it you need the full version of Raspbian Stretch with graphical support.

Update:
If you do not want all the overhead from Raspbian Stretch you can try to install the missing Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL). There are some libraries from this. Look with apt list libsdl2* what's available. I think libsdl2-2.0-0 is the first library you want to install. This will also install the needed X11-server for graphics support and will install a lot of dependent packets. You can look what will happen without really install it with:

rpi ~$ sudo apt update
rpi ~$ sudo apt full-upgrade
rpi ~$ sudo apt --simulate install libsdl2-2.0-0

If you are sure to install all this packets (and maybe brake your installation?) then simply omit the --simulate option.

Seems not to be a simple task for a newb if it doesn't run on the first try ;-)
Maybe you have to install additional libraries from libsdl2.

  • I don't want all the other crap that comes with the full version. I dont want the Debian GUI, I do not want Mathematica, I do not want whatever else they throw in there. Can I get to where I need to be, without the full version? What packages can I install to get between here and there? – lukehawk Jun 12 '18 at 13:59
  • @lukehawk Yes, I can understand it. I have updated my answer. – Ingo Jun 12 '18 at 17:43
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    Thanks. I am probably in over my head, but that's pretty much where I live.. – lukehawk Jun 13 '18 at 18:43
  • I ran this and installed SDL and it still gives the error. The installation did not break, but the same error message is applied. Do I need to do something else to configure SDL? – Logan Kitchen Sep 24 '18 at 3:25
  • @LoganKitchen I never had used SDL so I'm afraid I cannot help much. Seems there is a problem with your display. You may have a look at google Couldn't initialize SDL: No available video device. – Ingo Sep 24 '18 at 11:57

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