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Libretro frontends are programs that have implemented the libretro API specification. When properly implemented, this allows the program to run any libretro core that has been developed.


Main article: RetroArch

The official reference libretro frontend, developed in-house. It is usually the first in implementing new features added to the libretro API. It is written almost entirely in C and targets a large amount of platforms. It tries to be as portable as possible while providing impeccable audio/video performance.

It does not feature a WIMP UI of any kind as of this point.


Mostly the opposite of RetroArch; it embraces WIMP, only cares about the major desktop OSes, and drops some flexibility in favor of improved out-of-the-box experience. It is the only libretro frontend other than RetroArch to pioneer an extension to the libretro API.


Description to be added.


An upcoming libretro frontend written with the Qt5 cross-platform application framework.


Description to be added.


A fork of ZSNES that rips out its emulation code, using libretro instead. Due to ZSNES being inflexible, ZMZ became quite a bit of a mess, and the author eventually got tired of fighting against the messes.


A minimal frontend for the Genode operating system framework. No features intended, but is extensible via abstraction of operating system services.

Github repo


Various libretro frontends that never were are listed here.