RetroPie is a fantastic Linux distribution to turn your Raspberry Pi into a fully featured game console and computer emulator. It can emulate the Commodore PET and many other retro computers a videogame consoles.
You can follow the RetroPie official installation instructions to install RetroPie in your SD Card. If you're anxious, a basic installation boils down to this simple steps:
- Download the RetroPie image that suits your Raspberry Pi model.
- Unzip the file you've downloaded. You should get an .img file.
- Burn the image to the SD Card by using an app like Balena Etcher.
RetroPie doesn't comes by default with the Commodore PET emulator installed, so we're going to solve that now.
- Put in the SD Card with RetroPie into the Raspberry Pi, plug in a keyboard, a regular HDMI monitor and the power cable to start it and go through the first time setup configuration process.
- It's recommended that you also plug in a USB gamepad or joystick, since RetroPie is a lot easier to control with one of these. It will also allow you to play thousands of retro games in your PET, so why not? This gamepad is compatible with RetroPie.
- Go through the initial RetroPie setup by following the on-screen instructions.
- Connect RetroPie to the Internet by configuring your WIFI, or by plugging in a network cable.
- Enter the RetroPie configuration screen from the main menu and then choose the RetroPie-Setup option. Enter the Manage packages option and then the Optional section.
- Install the Vice package on that list, that's the emulator for C64, VIC-20 and PET computers.
Other recommended emulators to install now you're there are: DosBox for retro DOS games and ScummVM for retro adventure games. Can you imagine playing Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island in your Commodore PET Mini?
Don't turn off your Raspberry Pi yet, we're going work on it a little bit more on the next step.