Guide: PortMaster on Retro Handheld Devices

Last updated: 10JUL2022

PortMaster is a new tool developed by ChristianHaitian (ArkOS developer) and a few other community members, which allows you to easily install various ports on Ubuntu-based operating systems running on the RK3326 chipset, such as ArkOS, RetroOZ, and The Retro Arena (TheRA). It also works for AmberELEC (formerly known as 351ELEC) and JELOS too! PortMaster support currently includes the following devices:

Anbernic RG351P (ArkOS final, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG351M (ArkOS final, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG351V (ArkOS, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG351MP (ArkOS, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG552 (AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG503 (JELOS, ArkOS)
Anbernic RG353P (JELOS, TheRA)
PowKiddy RGB10 (ArkOS) and by extension the RGB10S and RGB20S
GameForce Chi (ArkOS)
RK2020 (ArkOS)
ODROID Go Advance (ArkOS)
ODROID Go Super (The RetroArena, RetroOZ)
PowKiddy RGB10 Max and Max 2 (RetroOZ)

So in this guide I’ll walk you through how to use this simple tool to get some of your favorite ports up and running on your device. Note that your device will need to be connected to the Internet for this to work!

Installation

If using ArkOS on currently supported devices (Anbernic RG351V, GameForce Chi, PowKiddy RGB10, RK2020, OGA), RetroOZ, or JELOS, you can simply update your version of the firmware via the online update tool within the OPTIONS menu. You will likely find PortMaster in the OPTIONS > TOOLS section, or the Ports section. For AmberELEC, check out this page for a detailed installation procedure and compatibility list. If you are using JELOS or The Retro Arena, you will find PortMaster in the TOOLS section (provided you are using the latest builds).

If using ArkOS Final on the RG351P or RG351M, PortMaster is easy to manually install:

  • Head over to this page and download these three files: PortMaster.sh, oga_controls, and version. Insert your SD card into your PC, then in the ROMS/tools folder, create a folder named PortMaster and add those three files.
  • Note that later ports aren’t supported on ArkOS Final, so if you want the most seamless experience for your RG351P or RG351M device, I recommend trying out AmberELEC or JELOS.
  • For ArkOS Final and TheRA, go into the OPTIONS section, then TOOLS, and you should find PortMaster there.

If you don’t want to bother with PortMaster and would like to manually install each port, head over to this page, find the zip you want, download and unzip and place the contents into your ROMS/ports folder.

Note that The Retro Arena and RetroOZ firmwares still have some limited functionality, so some ports (like Freedom Planet) are not yet working.

Adding game assets

Many of these ports (such as Cave Story, Maldita Castilla, and Spelunky) will simply work as soon as you install them. Others will require additional licensed data files in order to boot. For those games, check out the comprehensive ArkOS wiki page regarding Ports information.

Updating PortMaster

To update PortMaster, simply open the program while connected to WiFi. If there is an update available, it will prompt you for an update.

Updating ports

Some of these port packages may get updated over time, and PortMaster is future-proof in that regard. Simply update PortMaster to its latest version (you’ll be prompted when first booting the app up), and then reinstall the port onto your device. In most cases, it will not overwrite the licensed game data files you already added, or your save games, unless there was an update to the port backend that impacted previous saves (which should be relatively rare).

Contributing to PortMaster

If you are interested in contributing a port to the platform, here is more information from the ArkOS Wiki page.


Changelog

10JUL2022
– updated links and supported device list

04MAY2022
– updated link to AmberELEC

20APR2022
– updated devices and supporting firmwares

22NOV2021
– added 351ELEC section

22SEP2021
– added 351ELEC installation instructions

21SEP2021
– published guide

7 thoughts on “Guide: PortMaster on Retro Handheld Devices

  1. Thanks for the guide! Freedom Planet doesn’t seem to work for me, it loads for a minute and kicks me back to EmulationStation. And will you be adding the usual game logo, screenshot, and video for Freedom Planet?

    Like

    1. download PortMaster.zip from github and unzip whole archive to tools folder rather than just the 3 files mentioned in article

      Like

  2. Using the new Retro Oz 0.60 build and can’t find portmaster anywhere. Looked under Ports and it’s not there, nit under OPTIONS>TOOLS either. Thanks for everything you do Russ!

    Like

Leave a Reply to Jason Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s