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How to play Sega Naomi games on Linux

The Sega Naomi (New Arcade Operation Machine Idea), released in 1998, is a Sega arcade board. The Naomi shares a hardware architecture to the Sega Dreamcast, and as a result, many Naomi games eventually made it to the Dreamcast.

Naomi is now defunct and not in service anymore. Thankfully, you can play Sega Naomi games on Linux with Retroarch. Here’s how.

Note: Addictivetips in no way encourages or condones the illegal downloading or distribution of ROM files for the Sega Naomi. If you choose to install Retroarch, please use your own game ROMs you’ve backed up to your PC, legally.

Installing Retroarch on Linux

To emulate the Sega Naomi on Linux, you will need to install the Retroarch emulation tool. Retroarch is well supported on the Linux platform, so it is easy to install.

To start the installation for Retroarch, open up a terminal window. You can open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Alternatively, search for “Terminal” in the app menu.

With the terminal window open, follow the installation instructions below that correspond with the Linux distribution you currently use.


To get Retroarch working on Ubuntu, run the following apt install command in a terminal window.

sudo apt install retroarch


Debian Linux supports Retroarch; however, this version is seriously outdated. If you’d prefer a more recent release of Retroarch on Debian, follow the Flatpak installation instructions instead.

sudo apt-get install retroarch

Arch Linux

To get Retroarch working on Arch Linux, run the following pacman -S command in a terminal window.

sudo pacman -S retroarch


Retroarch is available on Fedora Linux. To get it working, run the following dnf install command.

sudo dnf install retroarch


Depending on what version of OpenSUSE Linux you use, the release of Retroarch you install may be outdated. To get a more recent version, install the Flatpak version.

sudo zypper install retroarch


To get the Flatpak release of Retroarch working on your computer, you must first enable the Flatpak runtime on your system. Enable the runtime by following our guide on the subject.

After setting up the Flatpak runtime, enter the two flatpak commands to install the latest version of Retroarch.

flatpak install flathub org.libretro.RetroArch

Installing the Flycast emulation core

Sega Naomi emulation on Retroarch is possible through the Flycast emulation core. However, this emulation core isn’t available out of the box on any Linux operating system.

To get the emulation core, you’ll need to enable the core download function inside of Retroarch. To do that, open up Retroarch and follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Find the “Settings” button inside of Retroarch and click on it with the mouse.

Step 2: Inside the “Settings” area, locate the “User Interface” option, and click on it with the mouse to access the UI settings.

Step 3: In the “User Interface” area, locate the “Menu Item Visibility” button and select it with the mouse. Once in the “Menu Item Visibility” area, find the “Show ‘Core Downloader'” option and change it from “OFF” to “ON.”

Step 4: Go back to the “Main Menu” in Retroarch, and select the “Load Core” button. Then, select the “Download a Core” button to download a core.

Inside of the core downloader in Retroarch, download “Sega – Dreamcast/NAOMI (Flycast).”

How to play Sega Naomi games on Linux with RetroArch

To play Sega Naomi video games in Retroarch, you must install the Naomi BIOS inside of Retroarch. Grab the BIOS files from your personal Sega Naomi backup. Then, ensure they are compressed in a ZIP file named “naomi.zip.”

When the files are compressed, open up a terminal window. Then, use the cp command to install the BIOS files to Retroarch.

Native Retroarch installation (installed from Linux package manager):

cp /path/to/naomi.zip ~/.config/retroarch/system/dc/

Flatpak Retroarch installation:

cp /path/to/naomi.zip ~/.var/app/org.libretro.RetroArch/config/retroarch/system/dc/

With the BIOS configured in Retroarch, follow the step-by-step instructions to play Sega Naomi.

Step 1: Find the “Main Menu” button inside of Retroarch and select it with the mouse. Then, select the “Load Core” button.

Step 2: After selecting the “Load Core” button, choose “Sega – Dreamcast/NAOMI (Flycast) with the mouse. Choosing Flycast will put Retroarch in Dreamcast/NAOMI mode.

Step 3: Find the “Load Content” section of the “Main Menu” area, and select it with the mouse. Upon selecting it, browse for your Sega Naomi ROM file. Please note that Flycast does not support archives (RAR, ZIP, 7Z, etc.), so you will need the correct DAT file format.

Step 4: After selecting your Naomi ROM in the Retroarch file browser, the game should startup. Enjoy!

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