Awesome news for those who were waiting for custom firmware for the Anbernic RG35XX; community member Black Seraph has created Garlic OS!

It’s a free custom firmware that is available right now to install on your RG35XX to unlock its true potential. Something that even Anbernic themselves could not deliver.

If you have kept up with any early reviews for the RG35XX, you would know that the stock operating system was the number one complaint all around.

It was clunky, dated, and missing a lot of valuable features.

And it’s a shame that Anbernic continues to ship their consoles with an OS that you most certainly will want to replace as soon as you receive it.

But for those who are able to do some light tinkering, Garlic OS is here to save the RG35XX.

Table of Contents

The RG35XX’s Fatal Flaw

Garlic OS

Installing Garlic OS


The RG35XX’s Fatal Flaw

After taking a closer look at the RG35XX device, we actually thought it looked pretty great, and it was one of Anbernic’s strongest showings from their busy 2022 schedule.

It had less buttons than the crowded RG353V, and was aimed to compete directly with the ultra pocketable Miyoo Mini which took the number one spot on our top consoles for 2022.

The RG35XX looked like the perfect size. Not too big, not too small.

And the button configuration meant you’d be using it to play 8-32 bit era games. My gold zone.

So really, the only thing that was holding the new RG35XX back was the fact that Anbernic had not shared their source code for the console with the community to allow for custom firmware to be in early development.

Or that they don’t just build a better relationship with that community and hire somebody like Black Seraph to build their next OS.

Knowing that the OS was so bad and no custom ones had yet been developed… that was plenty reason to not be in any rush to pick up the RG35XX.

Some say that Anbernic is a bit stubborn by holding their OS hostage.

But you could also consider that it may have had something to do with the license agreement with the CPU manufacturer.

It has been said on Discord that this chip was an older one that had never been open source, so we shouldn’t expect it to be now.

Open source code or not, it has never stopped the community from rallying together and making miracles happen.

They did the exact same thing for the Miyoo Mini and created the Onion OS… a super minimal interface that worked very well for the simple console.

Garlic OS

Photo Source : Patreon / Garlic OS by Black Seraph

The wait is over and we now have a viable custom firmware for the RG35XX that totally redeems the console.

Garlic OS is Black Seraph’s nod to the Onion OS on the Miyoo Mini.

It has a very similar look and feel. It’s clean, it’s minimal, and it gets the job done.

The operating system was built around RetroArch, our favorite all-in-one emulation suite.

And Garlic OS even takes full advantage of the RG35XX’s ability to go into true sleep mode.

You can press the power button to pause game play and put the device to sleep without draining the battery (which was a problem with early attempts to unlock the device).

It also adds support for many more consoles than the RG35XX could originally emulate. There are now over 30 systems supported in Garlic OS, with more on their way.

Garlic OS is still quite new (just a few days old), and we should expect to see it continue to improve and grow in its capabilities.

Installing Garlic OS

Getting Garlic OS onto your device is going to be exactly the same as most other custom firmwares we have seen for Linux based devices.

You can grab a disk image of the OS on Black Seraph’s Patreon page (you don’t have to be a paid subscriber to get it, they are offering it totally free).

You then load that disk image to a new micro SD card and it should be ready to rock n’ roll.

If you’ve got any concerns about the process, our guy Russ from Retro Game Corps has a full guide that he loaded to his Youtube channel today.

Russ is very thorough on his guides, I’ve used them quite a few times myself!


Overall, we are just happy to see the custom firmware finally exists for the RG35XX, which seemingly saves the device from its maker.

We have said it many times before: Anbernic just cannot deliver a console that is 100% upon delivery.

We shouldn’t have to fix our consoles when we receive them, but that’s just kind of how it goes with these Chinese emulators.

For now, we should just consider Anbernic a pretty good hardware producer. And the software is best in the hands of the awesome emulation community.

Thank you Black Seraph for providing all of us with such an awesome holiday gift.

By Aman

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