RetroPie HDMI Sound Issue (Fixed)

Tutorial: Fixed RetroPie HDMI Sound Output.

Hey there!

So I’ve notice around Reddit’s RetroPie sub and some other forums lately that a lot of people have run into a sound problem with the RetroPie that I doubt with a while back. While running a RetroPie system through an HDMI port, the video has great quality, but there is no sound at all! To many people, including myself, this is just simply an unacceptable gaming situation. But fear not! As I’ve said, I’ve doubt with this before and helped some Redditors fix the problem rather easily. The problem stems from a pesky little # in the configuration file of the stock RetroPie system. Follow these simple instructions and you should be gaming with sound in no time!

There are 2 methods of editing the configuration file, and both are rather easy. You can either load the Pi normally or remove the SD card from the Pi and open the file from another computer.

To edit the configuration file from the Pi, follow these instructions! You will need a USB keyboard of some type for this.

Method 1

Step 1: Load RetroPie Normally

Start RetroPie normally and let it load completely.

Step 2: Opening the RetroPie Terminal

You will need to Quit EmulationStation to enter the terminal of RetroPie.

To do this you will need to press whichever button you have designated as the Start button. This should bring you to the Main Menu.

Navigate to the option that says “Quit” and press the button you’ve designated as A. This will bring you to the Quit menu with a list of 4 options:

  • Restart Emulation Station
  • Restart System
  • Shutdown System
  • Quit EmulationStation

Navigate down to the last option, “Quit EmulationStation”, and press A.

It will ask you if you really want to quit, select Yes and press A.

This will bring you to the RetroPie terminal.

Step 3: Opening the Configuration File

You will now want to open the configuration file so you can edit the line that will allow your RetroPie to output sound through the HDMI port.

To do this, type the command:

Sudo nano /boot/config.txt

This will open the configuration file.

Step 4: Locating the Correct Line

You will need to locate the configuration line we will be editing, which is as follows:

#hdmi_drive = 2

Step 5: Editing the Line

To allow this line to function properly, you will need to remove the # from the beginning. This is referred to as “uncommenting” the line.

Delete the # from the line so it looks like this:

hdmi_drive = 2

Step 6: Saving Your Edited File

The hard part is now done, and you file is edited. Now you need to save so the file becomes active.

Press Ctrl+X on your keyboard.

The RetroPie will give you the option to save your edited file.

Press Y and then Enter. DO NOT RENAME THE FILE! By simply pressing enter, the file will overwrite the existing configuration file and become active.

Step 6: Exit and Restart

Your file is now saved and ready to be used! The next step is to exit the terminal and restart your RetroPie.

Type the command “exit” in the terminal

This will restart EmulationStation

Press the Start button, and as in Step 2, navigate to the Quit menu.

This time, select the option “Restart System” and select “Yes” when prompted.

Method 2

The second method of editing the # hdmi_drive = 2 line is to remove the SD card from your Pi and use a secondary computer.

Step 1: Remove SD and Plug it into Secondary Source

Remove the SD card from your Pi and plug it into your computer.

Step 2: When the SD card shows up on your computer, whatever OS you might be using (I used Linux Mint 17.3) it should show up as “boot”. Open the boot folder if it doesn’t automatically open.

Step 3: Locate the Configuration File and edit the #hdmi_drive = 2 Line

Locate the file named config.txt and open it.

Screenshot 2016-02-16 00_13_09

Find the # hdmi_drive = 2 line.

Screenshot 2016-02-16 00_13_59

Remove the # from the line as described in Step 4 of the previous editing method.

Screenshot 2016-02-16 00_17_16

Step 4: Save and Reload

When you’ve removed the # from the hdmi_drive = 2 line, save the file. Again, DO NOT rename the file, just overwrite the existing file.

Screenshot 2016-02-16 00_17_41

Close all windows and eject the SD card. Reload the card into the Pi and start your improved RetroPie!

You’re all done! Your RetroPie should restart and your sound should be active! If this does not work for you, then leave a reply and I will see if I can find another way to help you out!

Full Credit to Redditor Revol- for figuring this out!

All the best,



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