Site icon Libretro


The libretro organization covers three projects that each complement one another:

Libretro’s design goals

Libretro is the library programming interface. Programs get ported to this library and can then be run with any libretro-compatible frontend.

Our reference frontend is RetroArch. The two projects are not the same, and this is reflected in the licensing as well. RetroArch sticks to GPL version 3 whereas the libretro API is a MIT-licensed API.

Some of the design goals for libretro:

RetroArch’s design goals

RetroArch is the official reference frontend to the libretro library. Previously it was meant as a small and simple libretro frontend implementation so that it was left up to other frontend implementors to create a feature-rich alternative to it. With changing expectations by endusers and lots of requests, it has since outgrown those boots and turned into a feature-rich frontend for emulators, games and other content.

Its design goals are as follows:

RetroArch’s privacy/philosophy/enduser-respecting guidelines

It’s in the best interests of RetroArch as the reference frontend to remain a no-strings attached enduser project. Therefore, we draw a strict line on the following issues:

Note – these stances are final. We feel very strongly in them.

Lakka’s design goals

Lakka is the turnkey solution for the libretro and RetroArch projects. It turns commodity PC  hardware and hobbyist devboards into game consoles powered by the libretro API, running RetroArch.

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