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RetroDECK Debug Mode

RetroDECK in Debug Mode

You can use the flatpak shell for debugging from bash by using the following command:

flatpak run --command=bash net.retrodeck.retrodeck

NOTE: on wayland in some cases it's needed to enter with the command above otherwise some emulators will not run:

flatpak run --command=sh --nosocket=fallback-x11 --socket=x11 net.retrodeck.retrodeck

This is can be used as a RetroDECK Debug Mode.

Launch ES-DE in Debug Mode:

From the RetroDECK Debug Mode use the following command to open ES-DE in Debug Mode.

es-de --debug --home /var/config/

List runnable components in Debug Mode

RetroDECK consists of a variety of features all called components.

These consists of emulators, game engines, other software or functions.

You can list all the available components via the command:

ls /app/bin

How to run a component?

Just type the compoants name directly into the flatpak shell CLI.


  • retrodeck launches full RetroDECK.

You can also launch specific components by running them, example:

  • retroarch launches RetroArch.

This is useful when for example a game is not starting and you want the output printed in the terminal.

Run a component with a specific game or content

The easiest way is to run:

es-de --debug --home /var/config/

Then start or try to start the game or content you want to debug.

ES-DE will spit out two important values Raw emulator launch command & Expanded emulator launch command.

Raw emulator launch command

This tell you the dynamic pathing to the core file + rom file.

Example output of amstrad game being launch via the RetroArch core:

Raw emulator launch command:

This tells that the Emulator that is launched is retroarch and the core is cap32 via the selected %ROM%

Expanded emulator launch command:

This is the fullcommand to launch the file

Example output of the game above, a game called Dank Rider:

Expanded emulator launch command:
/app/bin/retroarch -L /app/share/libretro/cores/ /home/deck/retrodeck/roms/amstradcpc/1001\ BC\ (1984)(Dank Rider)(fr).zip

Deeper per game / content debugging

If we want to debug a game or content copy and run the full Expanded emulator launch command from above.

Example debugging of Dank Rider:

/app/bin/retroarch -L /app/share/libretro/cores/ /home/deck/retrodeck/roms/amstradcpc/1001\ BC\ (1984)(Dank Rider)(fr).zip

This will give you the raw RetroArch output.