Downloading and Running Ren’Py OS
Ren’Py OS is now available for download by general audiences. Please read these disclaimers before installing it.
Some of the tools and changes you might need to run Ren’Py OS can be dangerous. While these tools are the same as those used to work with operating systems like Raspian (for the Raspberry Pi), when used improperly, they can damage your computer. Similarly, when changes are required on your computer, you should make sure you understand them and how to revert them before proceeding.
The usual Ren’Py disclaimer applies:
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
Ren’Py OS is intended to run on computer platforms that were available before April 2018, though it may also run on some platforms that have been in development since this time. The recommended hardware is
CPU: An Intel or AMD CPU that supports 64-bit instructions.
RAM: At least 4 GB of RAM.
VIDEO: A computer with Intel or AMD graphics. Certain Nvidia graphics are supported through the Noveau driver, but I have no experience with this driver.
USB: USB 3.0 or better is highly recommended.
DISK: An 8 gigabyte or larger USB 3.0 flash drive is required. The contents of this drive will be destroyed.
In addition, you will need a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer with about 2 GB of free space to download and write the image.
Creating the USB Drive
Ren’Py OS is designed to be run from a USB flash drive. To create the USB flash drive, download balenaEtcher from:
You’ll also want to download the 1.4 GB Ren’Py OS disk image from:
You don’t need to unzip the file you download, as balenaEtcher is capable of dealing with zip files containing disk images.
Flashing the image to the USB drive involves inserting the USB drive, running balenaEtcher, selecting the renpyos-19.04.01.zip file, selecting your USB drive, and choosing “Flash!”. The process may take some time to complete, depending on your USB drive and computer’s speed.
Be very careful when selecting the USB drive. This will destroy the data on your drive in a manner that is irreversible.
Starting up and Shutting Down
Ren’Py OS can be started by putting the USB flash drive you created into a computer, and rebooting or powering the computer on. For most computers, you’ll need to access a boot menu to tell it to boot from Ren’Py OS. This menu can usually be accessed by pressing f10, f11, or f12 during boot. Please check your computer or motherboard manuals for details on how to access the boot menu.
If you are having trouble, it may be necessary to disable Secure Boot on your computer. Please consult your computer’s manual for information on how to do this and what it means.
To shut Ren’Py OS down, either hit the computer’s power button, or shut off power to the computer at the switch. Unlike other operating systems, Ren’Py OS is designed to handle power loss. Currently, Ren’Py OS does not support persisting save files after shutdown. Once power leaves the system, your saves and persistent data will be lost.
Playing Visual Novels
By default, Ren’Py OS comes with The Question. After it finishes booting, The Question will be on the screen and playable.
You can replace the game by placing the USB flash drive into your computer, and opening the drive named RENPY. Delete the_question from the drive, then take one of the distributions that supports Linux (such as the -pc or the -store distributions), and unzip it to the drive. You may want to run the game to change the settings, like switching it to fullscreen mode.
Once that’s done, safely remove the USB flash drive from your computer, and boot up Ren’Py OS as described above.