New to ES-DE? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions


News 2022-08-03: Version 1.2.6 is now available for download! This release enables 20 new game systems and adds support for a lot of additional emulators. See the Changelog for more details.


Be aware that two somehow disruptive changes are included in this release; the ROM directory for the ColecoVision system has been changed from "coleco" to "colecovision" and the new PCSX2 Qt release is now the default standalone PS2 emulator. So if you want to continue to use the old standalone PCSX2 release you need to change to the alternative emulator "PCSX2 Legacy (Standalone)".


EmulationStation Desktop Edition (ES-DE) is a frontend application for browsing and launching games from your multi-platform game collection.


It comes preconfigured for use with RetroArch and a number of standalone emulators. It's also fully customizable so you can easily expand it to include emulators or applications not covered by the bundled configuration.


ES-DE is true multi-platform and runs on numerous operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, SteamOS, Arch Linux, Raspberry Pi OS, Manjaro, Linux Mint, Fedora and FreeBSD.


It's also free and open source, but donations are very much appreciated to support the development!

Features

Modern and attractive user interface
Full controller navigation support
Supports over a 100 different game systems

ES-DE System View

Ships preconfigured - minimal setup required

Simple to use, you'll be retrogaming within minutes

Still highly customizable if you prefer to tailor your setup

ES-DE Gamelist View

Built-in scraper for downloading game info and game media

Supports scraping of both images and videos

Lots of scraper configuration options

ES-DE Scraper

Fully themeable which allows for very different looks

Ships with two comprehensive theme sets

Backward compatible with most RetroPie EmulationStation themes

ES-DE Theme Support

The screenshot above displays the modern-DE theme set that is bundled with ES-DE as an alternative to the default theme.

Download

The latest version is 1.2.6 (released 2022-08-03)


Windows 11, 10 and 8.1

EmulationStation-DE-1.2.6-x64.exe

EmulationStation-DE-1.2.6-x64_Portable.zip

For the portable release make sure to read the README.txt file that is included in the ZIP archive. For new installations this is also the recommended release since it's much easier to setup.


macOS 10.14 "Mojave" to 12 "Monterey" (Intel and M1)

EmulationStation-DE-1.2.6-x64.dmg

EmulationStation-DE-1.2.6-arm64.dmg


Legacy macOS 10.11 "El Capitan" to 10.13 "High Sierra"

EmulationStation-DE-1.2.0-x64_legacy.dmg

Version 1.2.0 will be the last legacy release for macOS.


Ubuntu 20.04 to 22.04, Linux Mint 20, possibly others

emulationstation-de-1.2.6-x64.deb


Fedora 36 Workstation, possibly others

emulationstation-de-1.2.6-x64.rpm


Arch Linux, Manjaro, possibly others (AUR)

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/emulationstation-de


Linux AppImage

EmulationStation-DE-x64.AppImage

EmulationStation-DE-x64_Current.AppImage

EmulationStation-DE-x64_SteamDeck.AppImage

The first AppImage should work on most distributions but contains older libraries and does not support the latest controllers. The second AppImage has updated libraries and controller support but only runs on current Linux distributions like Ubuntu 22.04 and Fedora 36 that use libc 2.35. The last AppImage is specific to the Valve Steam Deck.


Raspberry Pi 4 / 400 (Raspberry Pi OS)

emulationstation-de-1.2.6-armv7l.deb

emulationstation-de-1.2.6-aarch64.deb

Linux
macOS
Windows

If using FreeBSD, NetBSD or OpenBSD you need to compile from source code for the time being. A detailed guide is available here describing this process step-by-step.


If you would like to download an earlier version for any of the supported operating systems, you can find all releases at the GitLab Package Registry.


Refer to the Changelog for detailed information about each release. This document also includes  a list of known issues.

Installation

There are videos available to explain the basic ES-DE installation, and there is a comprehensive user guide that covers setup and configuration in more detail. This guide also covers all application settings. If you need additional support, join our Discord server and we'll try to help you. If you prefer Reddit, then we have subreddit as well! For new users the FAQ is a good starting point as it answers some common questions about ES-DE.

This video shows how to install ES-DE on Windows 10 although it's also applicable to Windows 11 and 8.1. As of ES-DE v1.1 you no longer need to set the Path variable manually as RetroArch will be auto-detected.

This video shows how to install ES-DE on macOS, and should be applicable to all macOS versions supported by ES-DE.

This video shows how to install ES-DE on Linux (Kubuntu). It's however also applicable to Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. As of ES-DE v1.1 no workaround is required any longer if you've installed the Flatpak version of RetroArch.

Source code and additional info

GitLab

The ES-DE repository is hosted on GitLab, head over there for a lot of additional information. The Kanban board is where you can see the development progress and report bugs. (It's also OK to provide bug reports via email or on Discord.)

RetroArch

ES-DE by itself does not provide any emulators, instead it's mostly relying on RetroArch for this. So in order to have a working retrogaming setup, you need RetroArch installed as well.

ScreenScraper

One of the most important features provided by ES-DE is the ability to scrape for game information and game media. Two scraper services are supported, TheGamesDB and ScreenScraper with the latter being the primary choice as they have a better database of information and media. It's a good idea to register an account with them as their service is frequently closed for non-registered users.

Donations

Please donate to support this independent open-source software development project!


You can become an ES-DE patron via Patreon, or you can make donations via PayPal.


Your contribution will be used to cover running costs such as web hosting, signing certificates etc. There are quite some expenses to run a project like this so any funding is much appreciated!