Retro Gaming Software Ecosystem Reference
Kodi is part of a large software ecosystem that enables retro gaming.

libretro ecosystem

The biggest player in the scene is libretro, a C-based interface between emulator backends and user-facing frontends. The following projects are in the libretro ecosystem:


The first frontend, designed to run on every OS and every major console. RetroArch has been around since 2011.


In 2012, I wrote a new player core named RetroPlayer. It was the second frontend for the libretro API.


Runs on Raspbian, uses EmulationStation as a frontend launcher for RetroArch.


The official Linux distribution of RetroArch and the libretro ecosystem. Uses RetroArch's graphical frontend. Based on OpenELEC.

OpenELEC / LibreELEC

Kodi on barebones Linux. First builds to include RetroPlayer were released in 2013.


Like RetroPie, uses EmulationStation as the frontend to launch multiple standalone emulators (including RetroArch and its cores). Lifehacker did a comparison between RetroPie and RecalBox here.


Add-on for Kodi on Raspberry Pi. Defaults to RetroArch, possible to install EmulationStation.

OpenEMU ecosystem

OpenEMU is only for Mac OSX. Written in Objective C, they apparently have ported all the emulators themselves.
BTC: 1JtXwJdGdE9YnYgThWBT2StFCU5sEYkbVD (personal), (foundation). Donations in the form of controllers, especially ones that don't work in Kodi, are also appreciated.
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