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Got it working, just a few issues I need help with...
I couldn't get the stand alone lubuntu distro working, but I did manage to get MME4CRT working by installing SparkyLinux ( a lightweight Debian based distro with a LxQt desktop environment) and running alphanu's script. RetroArch compiled and for the most part works. I only need to figure out how to work around a few issues and I'll be happy.

I set the startup resolution for the main GUI menu via retroarch.cfg to be 640x480. I don't enable SwitchRes here, but on a per game basis. There may be no reason to do it this way, but I've had issues with other builds of RetroArch acting strangely otherwise. However, when launching a game, RetroArch switches from 640x480 to 1280x1024. This is not the desktop resolution either. The desktop is set to 1280x960. I'm using a uGreen HDMI to VGA converter to display the image to a 31 Khz CRT. This converter box always seems to want to default to 1280x1024. I don't know if converter boxes have EDID but this seems to be set to the preferred resolution. Windows and Linux both want to default to it. Once in game, I can use the quick menu to turn on CRT Switchres and it works fine. I then save a per game override. However, after closing the game (using "Close Content), rgui remains in whatever super resolution was set by CRT Switchres, not 640x480. If I exit RetroArch, it still remains in this resolution and doesn't reset to the desktop resolution. Is there a way to fix this?

For games above 480 height where I don't use super resolution (I tried it but it didn't seem to do anything, I think I read CRT Switchres isn't meant to work in this case), I thought I could create a per game .cfg file override and specify the resolution and refresh rate, with for example, video_fullscreen_x = "640", video_fullscreen_y = "480", and video_refresh_rate = "60.0000" but RetroArch ignores this even though the OSD comes up and says the override was loaded.

The last issue is with tate games. The "problem" is that CRT Switchres works as its supposed to work. That is it assumes you're going to play it that way. For example, I tried Pengo which is 224x288 horizontally, but since its a tate game, Switchres considers the resolution to be 288x224 and creates a modeline with a 224px height. Displayed horizontally, I can't get the correct aspect ratio using integer scaling, and non integer looks bad. In Windows I could get around this by creating a 288px super resolution and switching to it manually, but in Linux you can't switch resolutions from the gui. I'm rather inexperienced with Linux, I understand you can create custom modelines with Xrandr, but since RetroArch seems to ignore overrrides, if I created a custom modeline and put the resolution I want in the games' .cfg file it wouldn't work anyway.

Any help anyone can give would be appreciated.
I solved the issue of not returning to the desktop resolution by editing the launcher and adding the commands "retroarch; xrandr -s 1280x960 -r 85."

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