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How to Install Garlic OS Custom Firmware for Anbernic RG35XX

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Garlic OS is an open-source custom firmware specifically made for the Anbernic RG35XX retro gaming handheld. Gaming experience on this custom firmware is smooth and stable. The Garlic OS interface is very user-friendly and it looks super clean and elegant. In this article, we will guide you through the detailed installation process of Garlic OS on Anbernic RG35XX!

Preparing to Install Garlic OS on RG35XX

To install Garlic OS on Anbernic RG35XX, you will need:

And the following tools:

Note: If you’re using the original SD card, remember to copy your device’s data such as ROM, BIOS (the folder containing the SD card’s BIOS file is located at RetroArch > .retroarch > System), save files, etc., to your computer for backup. After installation, copy these data back to your card.

Installing Garlic OS on Anbernic RG35XX

Now, let’s start installing Garlic OS!

Step 1: Download Garlic OS and necessary software

Download the firmware file and required tools to your computer. The download links are provided above. Use 7zip to extract the Garlic OS firmware file to garlic.img

Step 2: Flash Garlic OS firmware onto the SD card

Insert the SD card into your computer, open Rufus tool, select the correct SD card under the Device section (in the example, a 64GB card is used), in the Boot selection section, click the SELECT button on the right, then choose the path to the downloaded garlic.img file. Leave the other options as default.

Install Garlic OS Custom Firmware for Anbernic RG35XX
Select the correct path for the SD card and Garlic OS image, then click START.

After that, click START, and the computer will ask whether you want to flash the image. Click OK to proceed.

Flashing Garlic OS Anbernic RG35XX
Click OK to start flashing Garlic OS onto the SD card.

Wait for about 5-10 minutes until the process is complete. Once done, click Close.

Anbernic RG35XX custom firmware
Wait for it to finish running, then click CLOSE to complete.

Step 3: Expand the partition for game ROMs on the SD card

After flashing Garlic OS firmware, your SD card will be divided into 4 partitions (in this case, G:, H:, I:, J:), but you only need to focus on the most important FAT32-formatted partition for game storage, in this example is (J:).

By default, this partition is allocated about 3GB of the SD card, so you need to expand it in order to utilize the maximum SD card capacity. Note: If Windows prompts you to format the SD card, press Cancel.

On the main partition of the SD card, the default allocated capacity is 3.15 GB (J:).

Install the MiniTool Partition Wizard software, open it, and choose the correct SD card drive. In my example, the 64GB SD card with Garlic OS installed is DISK 3.

Garlic OS installation
64GB SD card with Garlic OS installed is DISK 3.

Identify the FAT32-formatted partition, which is the main partition for storing game ROMs. We need to expand its capacity to the maximum. Right-click on the FAT32 partition (in the example, J:(FAT32)), and then click Extend.

Guide to install Garlic OS for Anbernic RG35XX
Select the correct FAT32 partition, click EXTEND.

Under “Take free space from” section, select “54.51 GB Unallocated” as shown, then drag the slider to the right to choose the maximum capacity of 54.51GB. Click OK, then click Apply -> Yes in the bottom left corner.

Install Garlic OS step by step
Drag to the right to use the full SD card capacity, click APPLY -> OK in the bottom left corner.

Wait for a moment… and it’s done.

Expand the capacity of the partition for game ROMs on the SD card.
Expand the capacity of the partition for game ROMs on the SD card.

After completion, the main partition for copying games (J:) will have nearly maximum capacity of the SD card.

After expanding the capacity, the partition (J:) for copying games on the SD card receives 57.6 GB.
After expanding the capacity, the partition (J:) for copying games on the SD card receives 57.6 GB.

Now, let’s proceed to copy games.

Step 4: Copy game ROMs and BIOS to the SD card

Access the expanded partition (J):, go to the /Roms folder, and copy the game systems you want to play here.

Copy your favorite games to the /Roms folder.
Copy your favorite games to the /Roms folder.

Some emulator systems like Sega, Neogeo may require additional BIOS files to play games. You can search for these files on Google and copy them to the /BIOS folder.

Step 5: Adjust Garlic OS configuration files (optional)

Go to the CFW/skin/ folder on the SD card, open the settings.json file with Notepad, then adjust the first two items as shown:

“text-alignment”: “center” => change to “left”
“text-margin”: 16 => change to 32

Edit the settings.json file and click SAVE.
Edit the settings.json file and click SAVE.

Step 6: Insert the SD card into the device and start gaming

At this point, you have finished the installation process. Remove the SD card and insert it into the RG35XX device to start playing games. If you’re new to Garlic OS, you can read the detailed usage guide written by Mushroom Retro here.

Conclusion

In this guide, we’ve successfully walked you through the installation of the Garlic OS custom firmware for the Anbernic RG35XX. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us through Facebook or email. Don’t forget to share if you find this guide helpful!

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