XBMC for Raspberry Pi

This page describes how to install XBMC on a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian. You can either install packages on an existing Raspbian installation, or you can download a prebuilt image and flash it to an SD card.

Installing packages on an existing installation

I've published a Debian archive containing packages for XBMC and some dependencies which it requires. This can be setup on an existing Raspbian installation (including the foundation image).


The easiest way to install the package is to add my archive to your system. To do this, store the following in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mene.list:

deb http://archive.mene.za.net/raspbian wheezy contrib

and import the archive signing key:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-key 5243CDED

Then update the package lists:

sudo apt-get update

You can then install it as you would with any other package, for example, with apt-get:

sudo apt-get install xbmc

The user which you're going to run XBMC as needs to be a member of the following groups:

audio video input dialout plugdev tty

If the input group doesn't exist, you need to create it:

addgroup --system input

and setup some udev rules to grant it ownership of input devices (otherwise the keyboard won't work in XBMC), by placing the following in /etc/udev/rules.d/99-input.rules:

SUBSYSTEM=="input", GROUP="input", MODE="0660"
KERNEL=="tty[0-9]*", GROUP="tty", MODE="0660"


To run XBMC, run xbmc-standalone from a VT (i.e. not under X). XBMC accesses the display directly and not via Xorg.

If you want XBMC to automatically start when the system boots, edit /etc/default/xbmc and change ENABLED to 1:


You also need to set the user which XBMC should run as (the xbmc user is not automatically created at the moment). Run sudo service xbmc start to test this.

Release history

  • 13.1-2: Link to libshairplay for better AirPlay support.
  • 13.1-1: Gotham 13.1 release.
  • 12.3-1: Frodo 12.3 release.
  • 12.2-1: Frodo 12.2 release.
  • 12.1-1: Frodo 12.1 release. Requires newer libcec (also in my archive).
  • 12.0-1: Frodo 12.0 release. This build requires newer firmware than the raspberrypi.org archive or image contains. Either install the packages from the raspberrypi.org untested archive, the twolife archive or use rpi-update. (Not necessary as of 2013/02/11.)
  • 12.0~git20130102.7a6cb7f-1: Frodo RC 3.
  • 12.0~git20121219.74b907c-1: Frodo RC 2.
  • 11.0~git20121114.25bb46a-1: Frodo Beta 1. This includes a database schema upgrade, so make sure to backup your userdata folder before upgrading.
  • 11.0~git20121027.99da926-1: Fixes the issue of the last few seconds of video being cut off.
  • 11.0~git20121018.ff434fe-1: Upgrading to this version will probably result in the GUI resolution being zoomed as described in this forum post. To fix this edit userdata/guisettings.xml and remove the contents of the <resolutions> element.
  • 11.0~git20120804.efef226f-1
  • 11.0~git20120728.365953fb-4: Initial release

Flashing an SD card with a prebuilt image

I've built an image containing a Raspbian system with the XBMC packages which you can download and flash to an SD card. You'll need a 1G SD card (which will be completely wiped).


Decompress the image using unx:

% unxz raspbian-xbmc-20121029.img.xz

And then copy the image to the SD card device (make sure that you pick the correct device name!)

% sudo cp xbmc-20121029-1.img /dev/sdb


The image uses the same credentials as the foundation image, username "pi" and password "raspberry". You can use the raspi-config tool to expand the root filesystem, enable overclocking, and various other configuration tasks.


Both Raspbian and XBMC can be updated using normal Debian mechanisms such as apt-get:

# sudo apt-get update
# sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Release history

Unstable versions

I've started building packages for the upcoming Gotham release. These are in the new unstable section of the archive. To install these packages update your source list to look like this:

deb http://archive.mene.za.net/raspbian wheezy contrib unstable

Release history

  • 13.1-1: Gotham 13.1
  • 13.1~git20140525.4410736-1: Gotham 13.1 RC 1
  • 13.0r2-1: Gotham 13.0 release
  • 13.0~git20140426.2372235-1: Gotham RC 1
  • 13.0~git20140418.482ccd3-1: Gotham Beta 4
  • 13.0~git20140328.2dcc855-1: Gotham Beta 3 (same firmware requirements as Beta 2)
  • 13.0~git20140315.a1cab7a-1: Gotham Beta 2 (this requires newer firmware, my archive includes packages as of 20140319)
  • 13.0~git20140303.128426f-1: Gotham Beta 1
  • 13.0~git20140218.6e16f0f-1: Gotham Nightly 2014/02/18
  • 13.0~git20131231.8eb49b3-1: Gotham Alpha 11
  • 13.0~git20131201.27834c6-1: Gotham Alpha 10

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Problem with starting


I've done everything, but the xbmc does not start.

Log: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ca3dwcnxke0uo2/Screenshot%202014-07-10%2021.4...

If you have any idea please send me a message: sandrosdj @ hotmail. com

XBMC dvdplayer

I think dvdplayer is missing in your builds. Can you please add it in the next build? Thanks

Packages with unmet dependencies at installation

Hi Michael Thanks a lot for your work. I'm getting an error message when I try to install: "The following packages have unmet dependencies: xbmc : Depends: xbmc-bin (>= 2:11.0~git20120510.82388d5-1) but it is not going to be installed Depends: xbmc-bin (< 2:11.0~git20120510.82388d5-1.1~) but it is not going to be installed E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages." Could you please help? Hugo

I retried and it worked

I retried and it worked

Graphic problems

Same graphic problems here for me.

Graphic problems

Sorry, now I've read comments below.

graphic problems :-/

Hi followed this guide on a fresh and up2date system.

The installation was no problem and after starting with "xbmc-standalone", I see the main menu.

That works - but when I start selecting something in the menu - e.g. "System" - the screen starts "blinking": It is shown in 3 different "variants", the cursor is gone. Sometimes it's possible to go back to the main menu with a combination of "Esc", "Left" and "Right", but in most cases, I have to pull the power plug :-(

So, two questions:

  1. is there something like "CTRL + C" for xbmc? ;-)

  2. The more important question: What is wrong with my installation?

Thanks in advance, RoCMe

Waste of keyboard

What a waste of keyboard... when you could just scroll down and read a little to find the answer for your problem...


Sorry, I didn't see :-( Now it works!

libcec 2.13 packages

There's some sort of regression lurking in libcec 2.14 that results in the remote getting ignored after a while. 2.13 worked fine, and there are some patches for RPis waiting to be merged at https://github.com/Pulse-Eight/libcec/pull/29 too. Could you keep serving 2.13 in your repo for those of us with issues?

Thanks for the report. I've

Thanks for the report. I've put libcec 2.1.3 back into contrib, and added 2.1.4 to unstable.

5.1 FLAC audio

Hi Michael, After upgrading to 13.1 5.1 FLAC audio in mkv files stop woking.

Thanks, Marcin

XBMC Scaling of 3d sbs movies in 2d mode

Hi Mike, thanks for the work you put into this, it allowed me to get my piface control and display working with xbmc finally :D I started up a movie that is 3d half side-by-side and chose to view it in 2d. The image is halved to show only the left or right eye which makes sense, however, with openelec and raspbmc it stretches it to the correct aspect ratio to fill the screen. Do you have any insight to how i can make this happen with your build of xbmc? Thanks

Maybe it's not XBMC.....

Upon doing a little more digging I understand that xbmc on the rpi uses omxplayer to playback content within xbmc. So I'm thinking openelec has a custom build of omxplayer that has code in place to account for the scaling of sbs/ou 3d files. If anyone has any insight please let me know if I am on the right track. Thanks


Hi Michael,

Thank you for the latest release. It works perfectly apart from pulseaudio which is not detected in the audio output settings. Could you please test it and confirm whether it is supported or not?



on raspbian jessie i have these errors :(

xbmc: Depends: xbmc-bin (> = 2:13.1-2) but it is not going to be installed          Depends: xbmc-bin (<2:13.1-2.1 ~) but it is not going to be installed          Recommends: python-qt3 but it is not installable          Recommends: samba-common-bin but it is not going to be installed E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

I haven't looked at building

I haven't looked at building XBMC for jessie. The wheezy packages are unlikely to work on jessie.

Screen flickering

After updating to V13.1 I too have bad screen flickering and text overlay. This version is completely usable to me on my raspi. Hope there will be a fix soon.

when screen flickering, set gpu_mem to 128


I also had problems with screen flickering in 13.1. Setting gpu_mem=128 helped. Now 13.1 works fine.

Love u!

My gpu mem was on default 64. Did what you said. XBMC works like a charm now!

For me the same. I set

For me the same. I set gpu_men=128 and XBMC works perfectly. Nice work, Thank you!

The same

Hi :) It's the same for me, flickering and a noise sound with the 2:12.3.2 :s

I tried with the version 2:12.3.1 and the problem does not appear and XBMC is realy so good :)

Have a good day :)

Is your firmware up to date?

Is your firmware up to date?

Ok I completely removed xbmc

Ok I completely removed xbmc and all the relevant packages with autoremove. Then updated firmware to 3.12.22+. Installed V13.1 as instructed above. Still screen flickering...

Kernel version

My kernel version is: Linux raspberrypi 3.12.21+ #689 PREEMPT Wed Jun 11 21:45:12 BST 2014 armv6l GNU/Linux

Mine is " Linux raspberrypi

Mine is " Linux raspberrypi 3.12.20+ #687 PREEMPT Fri May 30 16:39:11 BST 2014 armv6l". I ran update and dist-upgrade it says there is nothing new to update.

Screen flickering

Same problem here. Yesterday I upgraded to V13.1-2 on my RasPi but when I try to open any menu, this doesn't work and let's the screen flicker and text overlay. Any idea about this?. I Hope there will be a solution soon. Thank you in advance.

Great... By changing source back to frodo I can't install it too

sudo apt-get install xbmc Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable distribution that some required packages have not yet been created or been moved out of Incoming. The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies: xbmc : Depends: xbmc-bin (>= 2:12.3-1) but it is not going to be installed Depends: xbmc-bin (< 2:12.3-1.1~) but it is not going to be installed E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

Did you remove all xbmc

Did you remove all xbmc packages first (probably xbmc and xbmc-bin, but check that with dpkg --list | grep xbmc)?

Yes it was clean

Yes it was clean uninstallation. That command you gave me returned nothing

Maybe this works dpkg --list

Maybe this works

dpkg --list | grep xbmc

to check if there're any old packages still present (rc status) that need to be purged. If nothing is shown, updating the sources.list (or the file in sources.list.d) to the version you wish to install (Frodo or the newest), running

apt-get update && apt-get install xbmc

should give you the version you want.

I meant unusable

I meant unusable

Older packages

Hello, since the new 13.1 packages are giving way too much headache - opening any menu doesn't work and let's the screen flicker and I tried some things described below - can you provide us with the older 12.x packages you deleted from your repository ? Would like to do a rollback and downgrade to a working version - maybe old but working. Thanks in advance

I've added a new archive

I've added a new archive section frodo; change your source list to this:

deb http://archive.mene.za.net/raspbian wheezy frodo


Thank you. That old version works for some - yet - unknown reason while nothing else has been changed on the system.

External sound card

Has anybody made it work with a USB sound card? I have tried by installing Pulseaudio, but the audio card is not listed in the xbmc audio settings.

My usb sound card is CM106 and it works with both ALSA and Pulseaudio in my Raspbian installation with other media applications like mplayer.

USB Sound Card

I have the same problem and I couldn´t find a solution. Anybody?

Repository for PVR addons

Hi Michael, thank you for your work on this!

I have been using your build of XBMC for a while, but now want to install an add-on from the PVR repository - but that repository isn't listed. I've looked around in various places online but can't find a solution to this. Is it something you can help with? Many thanks

The PVR addons are in the

The PVR addons are in the same repo listed above, you should be able to install the packages with apt-get.

I experience wierd noise

with the old berryboot firmware. trying new raspbian now.

I experienced tha same every

I experienced tha same every time xbmc starts and I use Raspbian. Another problem that persists is when I press exit button and try to go back to Raspbian, the system has black screen.

I Had That Too!

I Had That Too! now i am waiting to finish downloading xbmc. First world problem: Internet too slow!!!

works fine now.

works fine now..

13.1-1: Gotham 13.1 not working

13.1-1: Gotham 13.1 release not working, please return 12.3-1: Frodo 12.3 release to repository

upgraded to 13.1 from

upgraded to 13.1 from contrib, yesterday. works great for me.


after i install xbmc on reinstalled Raspbian all works fine, thanx

Having the same problem

I am having the exact same problem plus the sound is a noisy snow that rips my ears of ;) BTW, thank you for XBMC :)

Audio problems are usually

Audio problems are usually caused by out of date firmware. Do an apt-get dist-upgrade to update the firmware and reboot.

How is it not working? Many

How is it not working? Many other people have successfully installed and run 13.1.

I also get this when I try to

I also get this when I try to run it: /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/gtk-2.0/gtk/init.py:57: GtkWarning: could not open display warnings.warn(str(e), _gtk.Warning)

It opens, but I can't do anything without it freezing