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I am building a MAME cabinet. I got some ROMS, tested everything on my laptop, and now I am trying to put it on a raspberry pi 3 to use in the cabinet. I thought it would be nice to minimize memory use, so I installed Raspbian without the GUI.

However, when I try to run MAME it gives me an error:

Could not initialize SDL No available video device

I am assuming that this is because I don't have a GUI. I considered just installing Raspbian with the desktop instead, but figured I would ask here to see if anyone had a solution that lets me keep the GUI free version of raspbian.

I have tried everything mentioned in other questions posted for this error and nothing works.

Here are the specs of my setup:

Raspberry pi 3 B+

raspbian 4.9.80-v7+

mame v0.182

I have installed xscreensaver, SDL (libsdl2-2.0), OpenGL, and xorg-dev. (To the best of my knowledge. It is possible I might have missed something there.)

What do I need to do to get mame to run on my pi? Is this error even something I can fix or should I go with the version of Raspbian that has a gui? Let me know if you need any more information.

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  • how did you install MAME in the first place? Sep 24, 2018 at 6:50
  • I just installed it from aptitude. "sudo apt install mame" and it didn't give any errors. Sep 25, 2018 at 16:27
  • Just for everyone's info I really dug into this and it got incredibly complex. I nearly got there by installing SDL, but could not find a suitable video engine to work with it. (both X11 and OpenGL-ES did not work). I installed the full version of Raspbian Stretch and got MAME running easily. Still interested if anyone finds a solution to this question. Sep 28, 2018 at 6:43

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