How to Use

So, you’ve got your MiSTer, followed the “How to Setup” guide, now what? Let’s get you more familiar with what you can do!

Before you continue…

You’ll need a USB keyboard, and internet for the MiSTer.

Make sure both are plugged in, and power on the MiSTer. The red, orange and green led lights should start pulsing, and you should see the MiSTer menu onscreen after a second or two.

Important Menu Keys

Key Function
Brings up the Menu in a Core. F12
Brings up the Core Menu ALT+F12
Navigate the Menu Up and Down
Changes the Background F1
Bluetooth Pairing Menu (bluetooth) F11
Linux Prompt F9 / F12 to go back to the Menu
Reboot Left Shift+Left Ctrl+Left Alt+Right Alt
Screenshot Win+Print Screen

bluetooth: for supported BT adaptors.

Fixing Missing Certificates

The default system comes with no cert files, which is a bit annoying, as you need to add --no-check-certificate on wget to download anything https. Lets fix that.

SSH into your MiSTer and type:

cd /etc/ssl/certs
wget --no-check-certificate

Assuming it downloaded correctly, you can now use wget normally!

Keeping your system updated

We’ll need to download the script from Github, so lets login to Linux and do so.

Press F9 to bring up the Linux prompt. (Login with user “root”, and password “1”, then copy / paste the below)

cd /media/fat/Scripts
wget --no-check-certificate -O

That will download the updater for you in the correct folder. Once that’s downloaded, it should exit back to the prompt, and we can now update the system from within MiSTer. We only need to download that script once. Once its installed, you can simply run the updater from the Scripts menu.

Updating our system

Open up the System Menu (F12) Navigate to Scripts, then run “update” (use the cursor to move and press enter to select). It will download all the latest cores for you and keep your MiSTer updated. MiSTer cores are regularly updated - sometimes daily, so run “update” regularly! Ok, you’re updated, now what?

Samba Sharing Setup

Lets setup samba sharing. By default the samba script is disabled, so we need to rename it.

From your MiSTer: Press F9 to go to the linux prompt.

(The default user is root, and the default password is 1) Type or paste the following to enable samba, this will enable samba, and reboot MiSTer

cd /media/fat/linux

If you press F12 again once rebooted, you can see the ip address of your MiSTER in the setup menu. You can now navigate to your mister via \\IP ADDRESS on windows or smb://IP ADDRESS on Mac.

Check your ip address, and navigate to it.

eg if your ip address is


Note: this is something I don’t want to call attention to.

File, Run

to open the share.


Press Cmd+K

Click connect

You’ll want to start copying appropriate file backups of your cartridges - i.e. roms to the appropriate locations. I usually stick my Console or Computer roms in a folder called roms under the root folder, then sort by name under there.


├── linux
└── roms
    ├── Megadrive
    ├── SNES
    ├── NES
    └── NeoGeo

Arcade roms, Computer BIOS and Core system rom’s will need to be put elsewhere in a folder called bootrom.

/bootrom/ [ BIOS / Arcade Roms / Core roms go here ]

Important Folders or files - what goes where!

Note - If the folders or files don’t exist make them!

If you are connecting over SSH or over Linux (F9) on the MiSTer then use the full folder name ‘/media/fat/…’

If connecting over SMB, then remove the /media/fat/ below as you are already in that folder! eg /media/fat/menu.jpg would simply be a file called menu.jpg in the root folder

/media/fat/menu.jpg or /media/fat/menu.png

Background menu image for MiSTer (Press F1 to cycle through when in the MiSTer menu). Needs to be a jpg or a png format file. MiSTer will resize it for you.


Fonts folder. Get your fonts here

Edit /media/fat/MiSTer.ini and edit font=fonts/ to your choice of font


Screenshots taken with Windows Key + PrintScreen will go in here


Place your rom files in this folder. Cores will look in this folder first. Note that Arcade cores need to be built specially for MiSTer and copied in here. Instructions to build roms are in the core menu per core.

eg Asteroids, you will need to acquire the rom’s from, uh, your PCB, and download the files from here - then run the or bat file to create the MiSTer compatible file - a.asteroid.rom and finally copy that into to /media/fat/bootrom.