How to Build a Media Center with Kodi and the Raspberry Pi
If you’ve been holding off on putting in place a Kodi-based media center pc as a result of they’re loud, expensive, don’t slot in your media rack, the Raspberry Pi is your savior. for under $35 (plus some accessories you will have lying around), you’ll be able to get alittle, economical pc which will play all of your media from one lovely, couch-friendly interface.
This guide assumes you’re a minimum of somewhat accustomed to the Raspberry Pi and Kodi, therefore if you aren’t, make sure to examine out our complete guide to the Raspberry Pi and read abreast of Kodi before continued.
Cost Only 35$
What You’ll Need
>>A Raspberry Pi board (we recommend the latest Raspberry Pi 3 for best performance)
>>A microUSB power supply (we recommend the official CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 power supply for best results)
>>A microSD card (8GB or larger recommended)
>>A case (you can find many cool ones on Amazon, though this official Kodi case is pretty sweet too)
>>An HDMI cable to connect to your TV
>>An ethernet cable or Wi-Fi adapter (ethernet is strongly recommended for best performance)
All told, these parts may run you more than the advertised $35 if you need to buy them all, but chances are you have some (if not all) of this stuff lying around, so you may be able to get by with very little. Again, you can read more about gathering these parts up in our complete guide to the Raspberry Pi.
Which Version of Kodi?
Installing Kodi on a Raspberry Pi isn’t quite a similar as putting in it on a Windows or UNIX machine. rather than putting in associate software system then putting in Kodi on high of that, you’ll typically install associate all-in-one package that simply delivers Kodi and also the vacant necessities. The underlying software system should be some variant of Debian UNIX, however optimized to bring a robust, light-weight version of Kodi to your TV screen with very little effort.
There square measure many various builds of Kodi for the Pi, however of late, we tend to suggest LibreELEC. It’s implausibly light-weight, well-maintained with updates, and common, thus you’re absolute to notice facilitate on the means if you wish it. If you don’t love it, there square measure different choices, like OpenELEC (the precursor to LibreELEC), OSMC (the successor to the now-defunct Raspbmc), and XBian. putting in them are going to be terribly likeputting in LibreELEC, thus you must be ready to follow most of the directions below.
Step 1: Download and Flash Kodi to Your SD Card
Paste your text here and click on “Next” to observe this text redactor do it’s factor.
don’t have any text to check? don’t have any text to check? Click “Select Samples”.The first step takes place on your computer. In our testing, LibreELEC’s standalone installer didn’t work, therefore we’re aiming to produce our Mount Rushmore State card manually exploitation artist, a free program for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Head to Etcher’s home page and transfer the version for your operative system—if you’re exploitation Windows, we tend to advocatethe transportable version, since you don’t ought to install it.
Next, head to LibreELEC’s transfer page and scroll all the way down to the “Direct Downloads” section. choose“Raspberry Pi v2 and Raspberry Pi v3” from the dropdown (unless you’re exploitation the Raspberry Pi one or Zero, within which case choose that possibility instead. Then, scroll down and click on the link to the .img.gz file for the platform you only selected .
Once the file downloads, take off artist. Click “Select Image” and so select the .img.gz file you only downloaded.
Then, click the “Change” link underneath the second step to form positive artist has selected the correct device. In our case, it’s a Transcend Mount Rushmore State card reader with a 16GB Mount Rushmore State card in it, therefore artist selected with wisdom.
When you’re done, click the “Flash!” button. It’ll take a moment or 2 to finish the method. you will get a popup error regarding Windows not having the ability to scan the drive, however don’t format it! this is often traditional, since the ensuing Mount Rushmore State card can use a Linux filesystem. simply shut that window and continue on with the below steps.
When it’s finished, eject your microSD card and gather up your Pi hardware.
Step 2: Fire Up Your Raspberry Pi and Configure Your System
Pop your microSD card into your Raspberry Pi, and hook it up to your TV with the HDMI cable (and plug in the ethernet cable, if applicable). Then, plug the power supply into your Pi and a standard wall outlet, and it should start up. You should see the LibreELEC splash screen appear on your TV.
Give it a few minutes on first boot to create the necessary folders and get everything in order. You’ll be presented with the traditional Kodi home screen, with a LibreELEC popup to walk you through initial steps like setting up your time zone.
This should be all you need to get up and running—almost everything from here on out is the same as setting up Kodi on any other box. You can add new videos to your library, control playback with a remote (or the official remote apps for iOS and Android), and do other advanced stuff—like sync your libraries with MySQL or Control Kodi with an Amazon Echo.
If you ever run into any LibreELEC or Pi-specific problems, though, you’ll find a few extra settings under Add-Ons > Program Add-Ons > LibreELEC Configuration. Most of these will be similar to the settings you set in that initial wizard, though there are a few things you may want to pay attention to:
- If you’re using network sources and/or MySQL for your video library, you may want to head to Network > Advanced Network Settings and enable “Wait for Network Before Starting Kodi”. This ensures that the library appears properly when you boot up.
- Under Services, you can enable or disable Samba and SSH, which are useful for accessing your Pi from other computers on your network. Samba lets you view and edit files (useful for editing Kodi’s configuration files), while SSH is useful for command line troubleshooting.
- If you watch videos that require an MPEG-2 or VC-1 license, you can buy a cheap license and add it to your Pi using these instructions. (You’ll need to add it to your config.txt for LibreELEC since it isn’t built into the configuration menu.)
Apart from some basic setup, though, you should be off to the races! You can customize Kodi to your heart’s content just like on any other platform—get new skins, install add-ons, and meticulously organize all your movies and shows (and when you’re done, clone the SD card for foolproof backup). The sky’s the limit, and it only cost you $35.