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Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to Install Apps and Games on the Caanoo

Hey, there. So, today, between game development tutorials, I thought that I would put a little tutorial on how to install games or apps on the GPH Caanoo.

Picture taken from the

A surprising amount of people both buy this little gem and also are new to the open-source handheld scene, and so don't quite know how to use it. Well, it's actually quite simple. Here are the steps for putting a game or application on the GPH Caanoo.

This tutorial assumes you have the latest firmware revision for your Caanoo - if you don't, certain software programs may not work correctly on your Caanoo. A later tutorial may cover updating the firmware on the Caanoo.

A good site for downloading games or applications for the Caanoo is Here's the link to the Caanoo File Archive. There are a lot of different games and apps available, even one written by yours truly, SolarLune (CanTime, a Timer app for Caanoo)! You can download the games or applications to your Caanoo if you have an SD Card to put them on; if you don't have one, you can easily get one very cheaply from an electronics store, from a store on the Internet, or even EBay. So, then, let's walk through putting a game or app on your Caanoo, shall we?

Screenshot of OpenHandhelds and the CanTime download page.
  1. On, you'll find a large archive of games and applications made for the GPH Caanoo. Let's select one to download and install. In the upper right corner of the page, there's a search box - type 'Cantime' and click on the first zip file to appear ( Or, click here for the link to the CanTime App download.
  2. Click the DOWNLOAD button on the bottom right corner, and click the ACCEPT button to accept the license agreement. The download should start.
  3. Once you've downloaded the file, you should be able to open it up and see what the download consists of - 1 folder named CanTime, and 1 text file named cantime.ini. The Ini file is what tells your Caanoo where to find the files necessary to display and run the game - the icon for the game, the banner picture that displays when the game is highlighted in the Games menu, and where to find the game itself. Unzip the file somewhere (it doesn't really matter where).
  4. Make sure you have an 'apps' folder on your Caanoo's SD Card. If you don't, run the Caanoo and it will create folders ('game', 'apps', 'music', etc.) automatically. Put the CanTime folder and the cantime.ini file in the apps folder.
  5. Using your Caanoo, go into the Apps folder and select CanTime to run it.
That's all there is to installing games or applications on your Caanoo. If a game doesn't have an ini file, look around in the download - most likely, it is just a folder or two deep. Have fun with your Caanoo! ~ SolarLune


  1. doesnt help. (sorry) i still cant seem to get emulators to show up under the games portion of my caanoo. can you be more specific in regards to seting up the files on the sd card so the caanoo will recognize the files? thanks a million.

    1. Sure. What exactly are you having trouble with? Open a file browser, like My Computer for Windows, and find your SD card directory. For me, it's the J drive. It probably will be a different directory for you. Anyway, open that drive, and see if there's an "apps" folder there. If not, create one. Then, inside of that folder, place the application files - the folder, and the .ini file. That should be it.

  2. i'm having trouble using drpocketsnes. i've had a caanoo for a few years now but ever since i updated the firmware to 2.6.24 rev 167 drpsnes just freezes at startup and i can't play any games on it. do you have any suggestions? i tried putting the files in the app folder... same thing. i mean its a pretty simple device which means theres only one or two ways of going about this. i need help man. i love super nintendo

    1. Hey, there! Sorry, but I don't have a Caanoo anymore - it's been quite awhile since I last did anything with one. Maybe you can find a community that still uses them somewhere on the Internet.

    2. Oh, I guess I could suggest downgrading to a previous firmware.