How to install Garlic OS 2.0 on Anbernic RG35XX Plus?

Here is an in-depth guide on how to install Garlic OS 2.0 on Anbernic RG35XX Plus. The Garlic OS 2.0 is only in alpha state for the Anbernic RG35XX Plus, but it relives the good experience of what Garlic OS did on the original RG35XX. I recommend to wait for a stable version, but hey, if you’re in the first line of buying the latest RG35XX Plus, why not testing a little bit.

Again, I want to say thanks to Black-Seraph for his awesome work. The guy is making Garlic completely on his own, and his work is always free for everyone. Even Anbernic does recognize his amazing work and includes Garlic in its RG35XX by default. That’s why we can believe one day, the RG35XX Plus will run Garlic OS 2.0 on stock.

Before you start, I must warn you that Garlic OS 2.0 is only in alpha state, so it lacks a lot of quality of life things from the stable version of Garlic OS. There will be audio stutters on high-loading CPU states, as well as nearly unplayable gameplays on demanding systems. As a result, you run the testing operating system at your own risk.

What you need

How to install Garlic OS 2.0 on Anbernic RG35XX Plus?

Unlike the previous Garlic OS that can run dual-boot systems on one SD card, Garlic OS 2.0 seems to work with each OS independently on each SD card, at least in my tests. If you have only one SD card, you can skip the upcoming “Step 1”.

You should prepare the first SD card (in TF1 slot) for Anbernic stock image, so it needs at least 4 GB. The second SD card (in TF2 slot) will store Garlic OS as well as all of your ROMs, so I recommend at least 64 GB for this. You should read my handheld SD card guide, to know which SD card you should choose (quite a long guide).

One thing you should remember, you must keep the SD card using in TF2 slot in exFAT format.

Step 1: Preparing the TF1 SD card

The TF1 SD card should be a bootable stock OS for the Anbernic RG35XX Plus. You need at least a 4-GB SD card for this slot.

  • Copy PhoenixCard, stock OS firmware and bootloader that you previously downloaded in prerequisites to the root of your SD card
  • Use 7zip to extract everything, at the root of your SD card
  • Start PhoenixCard.exe
  • Select Image button, on top-right of the PhoenixCard software, select h700_linux_tv_uart0_20231108.img
  • Under Work Type, select Start up
  • Under Dev List, select your SD card that you previously extracted everything into
  • Select Burn button, wait for the process to finish

Step 2: Preparing the TF2 SD card

The TF2 SD card is the bootable Garlic OS 2.0 for your Anbernic RG35XX Plus, which includes your BIOS and ROMs as well. So, prepare good amount of storage for your games, at least 64 GB.

  • Double check your SD card in exFAT format, by right-clicking the SD card folder, and choose Properties. 64 GB or bigger SD cards use exFAT format by default
  • Make a boot folder at the root of the SD card
  • Make a script file with Notepad, copy these lines into this file

# Mount the rootfs loopback file
mount -t f2fs -o loop /boot/boot/rootfs.f2fs /root

# Bind mount the exfat partition
mount -o bind /boot /root/media

# Iterate the required folders
for f in dev dev/pts proc sys tmp firmware vendor/firmware lib/firmware lib/modules device-resources $DEVICE_CUSTOM_ROOTFS_MOUNTS
	# Create a mount point
	mkdir -p /root/$f

	# And bind mount the folder to it
	mount -o bind /$f /root/$f

# Setup the shell environment
export PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:$PATH
export HOME=/root
export SHELL=/bin/sh

# Set the CPU governors to performance
# This is needed for devices with buggy governors (most T310/T618/H700 devices)
# It's currently enabled for all devices to make debugging easier
for policy_dir in /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy*
	if [ -d "$policy_dir" ]
		echo performance > "$policy_dir/scaling_governor"

# And hand off control to the rootfs
chroot /root /usr/bin/init
  • Save in boot folder
  • Extract the rootfs file that you previously downloaded in prerequisites in the boot folder

Step 3: Finalizing the setup

  • Put both SD cards into the respective slot, turn on the RG35XX Plus
  • The bootloader will boot the first operating system it finds in the TF2 slot first (which should be Garlic OS 2.0), then TF1 (which should be stock firmware)
  • After the first boot, take the SD card in TF2 slot out and put it in your computer
  • Copy BIOS files into /RetroArch/system folder
  • Copy ROMs into Library folder. Don’t forget to follow guidelines of ROM folder names
  • Put the SD card back in the TF2 slot, restart the RG35XX Plus

You’ve finished installing Garlic OS 2.0 on your RG35XX Plus. That’s it, if you have any other questions, please find it in my RG35XX tutorial.