The PiBoy DMG Software Stack

Figure 1: The PiBoy DMG needs a collection of custom software to operate properly.

The PiBoy DMG Software Stack

The PiBoy DMG features several different pieces of software custom developed by Experimental Pi. Each piece serves a different function, but each is needed for a PiBoy DMG to be fully operational.


The firmware is the software that runs on the control board’s microcontroller. The firmware sits between the PiBoy’s hardware and the Raspberry Pi. It filters and controls timing for the analog controls, enables controls for troubleshooting and shutdown and brings up the screen during booting. The firmware can be updated by the user when new releases become available. When updating the firmware it is best to update the rest of the software stack at the same time.

On Screen Display (OSD) Software

The OSD software displays the information about the system as an overlay on top of whatever else is being displayed at the time. The OSD can display battery status, network status, CPU utilization and current draw. What is displayed is customizable by the user via a configuration file. It is packaged with the safe shutdown software discussed below therefore it’s installation is necessary. However, if you would like no status information to be displayed you can configure it that way.

Safe Shutdown Software

The safe shutdown software allows the PiBoy to perform a safe and gentle shutdown of the Raspberry Pi. It prevents the Pi from simply being powered off instantly which can lead to corruption of the file system and result in a system that is no longer bootable. It also saves the system from data loss. In the event that you do need to perform a hard shutdown, such as if the system locks up or is otherwise unresponsive, you can hold down the joystick to immediately power down the system.

Installing and Updating Software

If you flash the official image to a newly built PiBoy you will not need to install any software, everything is pre-installed in the image. However if you flash a stock version of RetroPie you’ll need to install the safe shutdown and OSD software, this article explains how to do so. If you have a system that already has everything installed and would like to update the whole software stack, which we recommend, follow this tutorial.
Article last updated on: 17 Mar 2021