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Frequently Asked Questions


Does JELOS offer any formal support?

No. JELOS is something that we develop for fun, it is provided as-is. There are a variety of avenues to seek community help, but this is a tinkerer's distribution so you will need to get your hands dirty to solve any issues.

Do you plan to add additional ports, software, or emulators?

We are a community developed distribution, and we believe that it is the responsibility of the person who wants a new feature to develop and contribute that feature. If you would like to add something to JELOS, pull requests are welcomed. Please review our code of conduct, our contributing guidelines, and our build guide before submitting your first pull request.

Do you support X device? Will you add support for X device?

You can find the list of currently supported devices here: Devices

If the device you are interested in isn't in that list then no one has contributed the work to add support for it yet. Why? To add support for a device we (1) need to be interested in adding support for it 😊 and (2) need to have direct access to the device.

That said, anyone who is interested can submit updates to JELOS to add support for a device they care about! If you are interested in adding support for a new device please start here: Contribute

Licensing JELOS for redistribution

JELOS utilizes a non-commercial CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 copyleft license on our branding which is intended to prevent abuse of our work. Device Makers and others who would like to bundle on devices may not do so without our express permission.

Selling JELOS

The JELOS brand is licensed for non-commercial use only. It is not allowed to be sold or included as an up charge in any form what-so-ever. Period. This is not negotiable.

What if you stop working on JELOS?

We don't expect that to happen, however JELOS is an Open Source project hosted here on GitHub which means the source code is readily available for anyone in the world to pick up and continue where we left off. Our license model(GPLv2) license when no other license applies.) allows for this to happen by providing and encouraging redistribution (freedom 2) and the right to distribute a modified version (freedom 3). JELOS only prohibits commercial use through our branding which is licensed by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Which emulators and game engines are supported by JELOS?

Emulators and game engines are configured on a per device basis and are automatically documented at build time. Documentation can be found at the following URL: Per Device Documentation

How do I log in over SSH or Samba?

External services (SSH and Samba) are disabled by default in release builds, and can be enabled in the Network Settings menu. When enabled, the SSH/Samba username is "root". The root password is regenerated by default after each reboot, and can be found in the System Settings menu. You can optionally provide your own root password if you wish.

If logging in to Samba fails on Windows with the message, "The user name or password is incorrect", see these links for a solution (Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home).

Please also see the Networking and Adding Games to JELOS pages for additional details.

Sound suddenly stopped working on my device!

Log in over ssh, and run the following steps.

systemctl stop pipewire-pulse pipewire-pulse.socket pipewire pipewire.socket wireplumber
rm -rf /storage/.local/state /storage/.config/pulse

EmuStation displays duplicate game titles. How can I disable a file extension to remove the duplicates? (e.g. display only .cue and don't display .bin files for PlayStation)

  • Within EmuStation, select the relevant game system (e.g. PlayStation)
  • Press Select to View Options
  • In View Options section, choose View Customisation
  • Under File Extensions, deselect any file extensions that are not required (e.g. deselect .bin for PlayStation when also using .cue files)

How do I edit es_systems.cfg (for example, to modify the list of systems in EmuStation, add a custom core or script, or change the order that systems are displayed)?

  • Delete the ~/.config/emulationstation/es_systems.cfg symlink.
  • Copy the custom version of es_systems.cfg to ~/.config/emulationstation.
  • Stop the UI service: systemctl stop ${UI_SERVICE}
  • Restart the UI service to use the custom version: systemctl start ${UI_SERVICE}

Note: System updates will overwrite it, custom settings will be preserved as last_es_systems.cfg.

Where do I put bios files and files and Retroarch system files

  • Bios files go in /storage/roms/bios
  • Please see the corresponding system documentation in the wiki for required files for each system.

Where do I put music files to enable background music within emulationstation (while browsing my game library)?

  • Music files should be added to /storage/roms/BGM

My game has slowdown and stuttering issues. What can I do to improve performance?

First make sure you don't have a TDP configured that is too low for your emulator to function correctly. Next, try adjusting settings within the emulator, either retroarch core or standalone emulator configuration menu.

Where are log files stored?

Log files can be found in /var/log/

Various logs are generated, including

  • EmuStation logs es_log.txt (cumulative log of all ES activity), es_launch_stdout.log (last emulator launched from ES) and es_launch_stderr.log (blank if there wasn't an error for the last emulator launch)
  • Execution log exec.log (generic execution log that indicates what was last executed, including the command to launch the emulator) e.g. for gzdoom launch of heretic.doom Executing /usr/bin/bash /storage/roms/doom/heretic.doom
  • Boot log boot.log (Output from autostart during system startup)
  • Emulator-specific log (for non-retroarch emulators) e.g. gzdoom.log is the log specific to gzdoom to indicate whether there is any issue within the emulator when launching heretic.doom, noted above
  • Retroarch logs are turned off by default, but can be enabled within Retroarch (Tools > Retroarch: Settings > Logging > Log to a File), are stored in /var/log/retroarch and are quite detailed, so should provide sufficient detail to identify missing roms within a game's romset, configuration issues and other errors that prevent games from working

Note: Retroarch uses a shared config file, so logging can be enabled within 64bit or 32bit and it will be enabled for all Retroarch cores

I have a device with a single microsd and I can't see the games partition in Windows or macOS.

JELOS does not create an ExFAT partition on the boot device, and expands the full partition using ext4. You can sync files to the device over the network or by loading your files onto a EXT4, ExFAT, or FAT32 formatted usb stick and copy them with FileMan or over ssh. Please see the Adding Games page for more details.