Cabinet with raspberry pi -- ran out of disk space

Hey guys. My students made an arcade cabinet powered by a raspberry pi zero. Everything has been going great, however we have run out of disk space.

Whenever I try to drag a uf2 over it says that it is out of space. So far we have loaded about 32MBs of my students 40ish MBs of games. This is confusing since there is a 32GB card in there.

It is also really sad because I was hoping to be able to also load all of next semester’s students on to the cabinet also. So I’d need around 100MB of space for games. Is there anything I can do?

Here is a picture of it in our hallway. The kids flock around it every class exchange. It has turned a lot of students into programmers.

1 Like

Hmmm… How are you transferring the games? Are you using a usb cable or just putting them onto the SD card?

If dragging over USB is failing, it might be easier to load them straight onto the SD card

@peli is there an easy way to get the elf file for the game?

I’ve been dragging them over using a usb cable.

1 Like

Not sure if this online .elf download link generator could help with anything?:

Though, it is not batch capable, nor does it work with UF2 files(yet)…

that might work! i wish i had a raspberry pi around to test, but i don’t have one at home. i’ll see if i can get someone to give it a shot in the office tomorrow

1 Like

I did some testing and have more information to share. Here is what I did:

  1. Connected my USB to my pi0 and had windows look at the bootloader drive that pops up. It had 0 free of 30MB. It was formatted as FAT. Weird.

  2. I pulled the SD out and put it in my laptop. Windows said I had plenty of GBs left on it and it was formatted as FAT32

  3. I backed up the prj folder with all the .elf files and then emptied the folder on the SD card

  4. SD card went back into the raspberry pi zero. I booted the arcade cabinet. There were no games listed in the menu. I connected my USB cord to it. Now the boot drive said 30MB free of 30M (still FAT).

  5. I copied over the remaining games my students programmed

  6. I pulled out the SD card and put it into my laptop. I merged my backed-up prj folder with the one on the SD card and put it back into the raspberry pi

  7. All the games were listed, but only the new ones worked. The rest sent me to a BlackSOD

  8. I connected my USB cable to the pi. The boot drive now said 0 free of 30MB. Looking in the folder where all the .uf2 files go (I think it was called Projects) there were only a few files with odd characters for names. I am guessing corruption.

  9. I rebooted my pi and disconnected the cord. Everything worked as magic. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So kinda a work around? Maybe my SD card is just… bad? IDK.

1 Like

I received some help from guys at adafruit that I thought I’d post here just in case some future maker/teacher runs into this problem.

Unfortunately the SD image for that project is kind of complicated: it holds a very small OS called piCore which then uses a system called Docker to create a virtual Linux computer from the 9.0.3.gz file (which contains an entire Raspbian file tree).

By default, Raspbian assumes the SD card has a BOOT partition that holds 32MB. It looks like the data that builds the virtual filesystem still uses that 32MB limit, which is where you’re running into size limits.

There isn’t an easy fix for that, but I’ve sent a message to the author of the project to see if they know how to increase the size of the partition.

and then his next reply:

I talked to the project developer, and modifying the partition sizes would be an advanced, in-depth project. The partitions don’t exist physically… instead they’re emulated by the UF2 bootloader. To change the partition sizes would involve modifying the boodloader.

Here is a link to the adafruit thread

1 Like

DId you manage to get hold of a Raspberry Pi(RPi), @richard?

I know they are hard(or expensive) to get at the moment, because of the chip shortage;

But they are still very popular, and a lot of people are therefore naturally eager to get MakeCode Arcade games running on them, like here in this thread. And therefore it would be great if the @MakeCode had RPis available to test and replicate on, as well.

For some reason, as MakeCode Arcade(MCA) development progresses and time goes by, there seems to be a growing difference in functionality between the RPi and the web simulator and other other hardware devices and a growing number of unsolved issues with MCA on the RPi.

Latest example:

Is this just a feeling, or grounded somewhat in facts?
(I am hoping the former…)

Yeah, I still don’t have one sadly.

We don’t have anyone actively working on RPI compilation at the moment. That being said, we have been building a new experience that is easier to use for RPIs and other OSs that have a “kiosk mode”

You can find it here:

The idea is that you put the RPI in kiosk mode and have it load this webpage fullscreen. This page accepts gamepad input, so you can build a cabinet using gamepads or an arcade button kit with gamepad support. You can add new games using a phone and the button in the top right.

This webapp is still under active development, but it works now!

1 Like

Thanks for your quick reply with some clearer perspectives on the current RPi situation!
(I hope it does not regress to quickly for the RPi going forward and/or that someone, inside or outside MS, will pick up active maintenance/development for the RPi again!

Thanks for the tip about progress with the Arcade Kiosk! -I am looking forward to trying it out!

-Very good idea, especially if it is launchable also from inside a running OS! The RPi and many computers might be too expensive and powerful to only be a “one trick(boot) pony”.

The RPi is maybe a tough nut for MakeCode(?), given that it falls inbetween the most basic microcontrollers you have great support for, and the more powerful(full browser capable) full PCs, which also have great support. And I don’t mean to nag, rather to commend you for all the great ideas and support you have already and going forward. My beef is only that I still don’t understand why MakeCode hasn’t grown even bigger and faster in user adoptation and community… I wish for it to, and I still believe and repeat myself again that getting all the makers onboard, with especially RPi, but also Odroid etc. would probably be a big boost!

Keep up all the great work!

1 Like