Installing Dolphin

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This page explains how to install or upgrade Dolphin on computer running on different OS. Read the FAQ for more Dolphin information and requirements.

Windows and Mac

Installing or upgrading process for Dolphin on Windows PC or Mac is pretty simple. Download the latest revision or version from the Download page and extract it into a new folder (preferably named after the revision) or to replace an existing Dolphin setup, and you're good.

  • Dolphin for Windows now use Global User Directory. By default, it is under %userprofile%\Documents\Dolphin Emulator\. You do not need to migrate anything if the previous Dolphin build was 3.5-2381 or higher. Otherwise, you may want to migrate every folders beside \Languages\ and \Sys\ to there. And if one migrated folder happens to be \User\ then move all subfolders one level up from that folder.
  • The older save states may not work between versions.

Linux

Ready to use packages for a range of Linux distributions are available from Open Build Service: https://software.opensuse.org/package/dolphin-emu

Arch Linux

Install: # pacman -S dolphin-emu

See also the AUR and read more on the ArchWiki.

Debian

Dolphin is available in the repositories of the "testing" and "sid" branches of Debian, for AMD64 and ARM64 platforms. NOTICE: Users of Jessie or any earlier versions MUST build from source as per the instructions linked below in "Other Distros"!

Install: # apt install dolphin-emu

See further package information on the Debian Package Info page.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu users can add a PPA by executing the following commands to receive updates for Dolphin (Universe repository is needed to be enabled first).

This applies to all Ubuntu-based distributions.

Install the stable version:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:dolphin-emu/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install dolphin-emu

Or to install the development version:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:dolphin-emu/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install dolphin-emu-master

NOTICE: 12.04 LTS and 14.04 LTS users will need an updated libstdc++6 (>=4.9) to run dolphin-emu or dolphin-emu-master, so install this PPA first:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
sudo apt-get update

You don't need to update all GCC packages, just upgrade libstdc++6, gcc-4.9-base and eventual dependencies in Synaptic, and disable the PPA.

Fedora

On Fedora 24 and later, run the following command:

# dnf install dolphin-emu

Required dependencies will automatically be installed. See also the Fedora Package Database.

Other Distros

Other GNU/Linux users have to build and install from source code.

Post-Installation Quick Guide

In most cases, the default settings works fine, but Configuring Controllers is the first part that comes into mind that is more than likely needed to be configured.

See Ripping Games to learn how to rip games and saves to your new Dolphin set up. For complete Wii NAND dump to use on Dolphin, see NAND Usage Guide. The homebrew apps are freely available over the internet and can be added to the game list at any time.

Browsing Files

You can simply launch a compatible file by hitting File > Open... then open a file. To add a game to the game list, select Files > Browse for ISOs... then select a folder to be added to the game list.

Banners for Wii games will not load at first. Making a save file for that game fixes it. This is a limitation with the format of Wii games rather than a bug.

Compatible Files by File Extension

File extension Platform Notes
.ISO GameCube and Wii Generic file extension for disc image files.
.GCM GameCube This file extension is interchangeable with .ISO.
.GCZ GameCube and Wii Compressed GameCube/Wii disc image file.
.WBFS Wii "Wii Backup File System", compressed Wii disc image file.
.WAD Virtual Console and WiiWare
.DOL, .ELF Homebrew app

Managing Game List

You can also batch add/remove titles in the game list by creating folders that group each titles by platform (this is to keep game directories well organized), then go to Options > Configure... > "Paths" tab > then hit Add... then enable Search SubFolders within the "Paths" config, then add these folders to the ISO Directories list.