Citra is an experimental open-source Nintendo 3DS emulator/debugger written in C++. It is written with portability, with builds actively maintained for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Citra emulates a subset of 3DS hardware and therefore is useful for running/debugging homebrew applications, and it is also able to run many commercial games!
The project was founded in 2014 and has since seen over 150 contributors! The team is very active and regularly releases new updates. The list of contributors can be found on GitHub. Citra is not affiliated with Nintendo. However, the company has expressed support for the project. In 2019, a Nintendo employee even contributed code to Citra! This shows that Nintendo is open to unofficial projects like Citra, as long as they are not harmful to the company’s business. Thanks to the hard work of the Citra team, fans of Nintendo 3DS games can enjoy their favorite titles on their PC or phone.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Citra on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish using two different methods using the command line terminal along.
Table of Contents
First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date to avoid conflicts.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
Install Citra – APT PPA Method
The first method is to install Citra using the “RetroGames” PPA maintained by Sunderland93. The PPA contains other packages that may be useful besides Citra for those seeking software similar to what we are bout to install.
Begin with importing the PPA.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:samoilov-lex/retrogames -y
Next, run an APT update to reflect the new additions.
sudo apt-get update
Now install the Nintendo emulator.
sudo apt install citra -y
Install Citra – Flatpak Method
The second option is to use the Flatpak package manager. Flatpak is not installed natively on Ubuntu 22.04, given Canonical is behind both Ubuntu and Snaps, but it is available to install if you so wish.
First, install the Flatpak manager if it was removed previously.
sudo apt install flatpak -y
For users installing Flatpak for the first time, it is often recommended to reboot your system. Failure to do this can occur with odd issues, such as paths not being generated for icons.
SKIP THE REBOOT IF FLATPAK IS INSTALLED.
Next, you need to enable Flatpack using the following command in your terminal.
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Now install the software using the following flatpak command.
flatpak install flathub org.citra_emu.citra -y
How to Launch Citra
Launching can be done in a few ways now that you have the software installed.
First, you can use the following command to launch the software immediately in your terminal.
Alternatively, Flatpak users will need to launch using the command below from a terminal instance.
flatpak run org.citra_emu.citra
However, this is not practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop.
Activities > Show Applications> Citra.
The first time you launch Citra, you will be prompted about Telemetry tracking. Typically, most users would deny this for large tech companies. Given the type of project, it may be beneficial to allow for further improvements, but this is the user’s choice.
Once done, you can load up your file and even browse rooms for people with the same games as you. To my surprise, there are lots of rooms and people playing. However, you must have the game to play.
Congratulations, you have installed Citra.
How to Update/Upgrade Citra
Depending on the method of installation used, the following commands can be used to update.
APT Update Method
sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade
Flatpak Update Method
How to Remove (Uninstall) Citra
Use one of the following commands to suit the original installation method for users who no longer require the application.
APT Remove Method
sudo apt autoremove citra
Lastly, if you are not using the PPA for any other packages, remove it using the following command.
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:samoilov-lex/retrogames -y
Flatpak Remove Method
flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.citra_emu.citra
Next, run the following command for any leftover clean-up.
flatpak remove --unused
Comments and Conclusion
If you have an interest in game emulation or just want to see how far 3DS emulation has come, Citra is worth checking out. The emulator is still a work in progress, but it has come a long way since its release in early 2015. For the most part, games run smoothly with only minor graphical glitches. You can find a list of games known to work (or not work) on the Citra website. With each new update, the developers get closer and closer to perfecting this emulator.