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 Kodi/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 kodi

The user which you're going to run Kodi 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 Kodi), 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"

The GPU needs at least 96M of RAM in order for XBMC to run. To configure this add or change this line in /boot/config.txt:


You will need to reboot if you changed this value.


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

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


Run sudo service kodi start to test this.

Release history

  • 15.2-2: Isengard 15.2 release, and most PVR addons.
  • 14.2-1: Helix 14.2 release.
  • 14.1-1: Helix 14.1 release.
  • 14.0-1: Helix 14.0 release.
  • 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.)

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 Kodi 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 Jarvis 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

  • 16.1-1: Jarvis 16.1
  • 16.0-1: Jarvis 16.0
  • 16.0~git20151213.a724f29-1: Jarvis 16.0 Beta 4
  • 15.2-2: Isengard 15.2 with packaging changes to support PVR addons, and most PVR addons.
  • 15.2-1: Isengard 15.2
  • 15.1-1: Isengard 15.1
  • 15.0-1: Isengard 15.0
  • 15.0~git20150702.9ff25f8-1: Isengard 15.0 RC 1.
  • 15.0~git20150501.d1a2c33-1: Isengard 15.0 Beta 1.
  • 14.2-1: Helix 14.2 release.
  • 14.1-1: Helix 14.1 release.
  • 14.0-1: Helix 14.0 release.
  • 14.0~git20141203.35b4f38-1: Helix 14.0 RC 2
  • 14.0~git20141130.ea20b83-1: Helix 14.0 RC 1
  • 14.0~git20141125.4465fbf-1: Helix 14.0 Beta 5
  • 14.0~git20141124.ec361ca-1: Helix 14.0 Beta 4
  • 14.0~git20141116.88a9a44-1: Helix 14.0 Beta 3
  • 14.0~git20141103.d6947be-1: Helix 14.0 Beta 1. This requires firmware as of 2014/10/06 and libcec 2.2.0 (both included in the archive). There are also builds for Jessie but I haven't tested them. PVR addons are also updated.
  • 14.0~git20141002.d2a4ee9-1: Helix 14.0 Alpha 4

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Gotham Beta 2

Is it in the pipeline? Thanks in advance!

It's built, but it requires

It's built, but it requires newer firmware than is packaged and I haven't had time to work on that. You can grab the packages from http://archive.mene.za.net/raspbian/incoming/ if you want.

I've just published the Beta

I've just published the Beta 2 build to the unstable archive, along with newer firmware packages.

Thank you very much! Already

Thank you very much! Already started with beta3? ;-)

Yup :-)

Yup :-)

Yay! Already done! :P


Already done! :P


Does the new build has Alsa enable so we can use Alsa audio device with it? That's the only thing I miss in xbmc builds.

Thanks for your reply. I'll

Thanks for your reply. I'll wait until the firmware is also available.

iptv simple client pvr-addon fehlt

Warum ist das PVR-Addon IPTV Simple Client nicht enthalten? Wie kann man das eventuell nachinstallieren?

Gruss me@raspi

Sorry for my German post

Question: Why is the iptv simple client pvr-addon not included? Is it somehow possible to install it?

Thanks me@raspi

That client seems to have

That client seems to have been added recently, and the Debian packaging I'm using doesn't handle it. I'll try find time to update the packaging.

I've updated the PVR addon

I've updated the PVR addon packaging, the latest build includes the IPTV Simple client.

XBMC Unstable no Airplay

In the last unstable version (2014-Mar-05) there is no Airplay (System - Services).

Can you please fix this in the next binary build please?


I disabled it because it was

I disabled it because it was causing the build to fail. I'll try to get it working when I have time.

Great work, but where is Raspbmc Settings Program?

please anyone can help me on how to get raspbmc settings program, I need it to get into the GPIO settings thanks in advance

These packages or image are

These packages or image are not related to or use anything from Raspbmc.


just unzip addons from /raspbmc/downloads/bin/xbmc/ website, since they say for some reason this addons its not added by default, anyways, now im having hard time getting an ir remote to work with raspbmc, any help? thanks

Alsa and USB DAC

10x for your effort, it was easy to install and run. i need Alsa support to use a USB DAC, is it enabled on your image and if not, how can i ad it?

10x, Yaron.

I haven't done anything

I haven't done anything specifically regarding USB DACs, and I'm not familiar with them either. The image is a standard Raspbian installation though, so if you can find instructions for that they should work with my image as well.

xbmc Gotham not working

Hello, I have upgraded from a working xbmc to the Gotham version by adding first "unstable" to mene.list then sudo apt-get update followed by sudo apt-get upgrade on my raspberry.

When I try to start xbmc now, I get a white screen and nothing happens. The same when I tried to uninstall xbmc and reinstalled xbmc Gotham. Any ideas about the root cause and how to fix this?

Thanks for any help! me@raspi

No idea?

Any input what could have gone wrong or what else I could try to get xbmc Gotham running?

Thanks for any help! me@raspi

Memory problem?

I had the same problem. Try setting the GPU-Memory to a higher value. Default is 64, but after changing it to 124 it worked for me. sudo raspi-config=>AdvancedOptions=>Memoy Split

Greetings, Michael

GPU Memory war die Lösung!

DANKE sagt,


Thanks for your hint!

I will try it and give feedback about the outcome here.


Bug in provided package vnc-plugin-vnsiserver

Hello Michael,

first of all thanks for your great work! I found a bug in one package out of your repository:

The package Package: vdr-plugin-vnsiserver Version: 1.0.0+git20130415.d37ec1d-1 contains file: /usr/lib/vdr/plugins/libvdr-vnsiserver3.so that should be named /usr/lib/vdr/plugins/libvdr-vnsiserver3.so.1.7.28

Expected behaviour: vdr loads plugin on startup. Current behaviour: plugin is not found.

Logfile before rename as stated above:

Mar 18 10:17:01 raspberry vdr: [5854] found 28 locales in /usr/share/locale
Mar 18 10:17:01 raspberry vdr: [5854] loading plugin: /usr/lib/vdr/plugins/libvdr-streamdev-server.so.1.7.28
Mar 18 10:17:01 raspberry vdr: [5854] loading /var/lib/vdr/sources.conf

Logfile after rename as stated above:

Mar 18 10:53:17 raspberry vdr: [9066] found 28 locales in /usr/share/locale
Mar 18 10:53:17 raspberry vdr: [9066] loading plugin: /usr/lib/vdr/plugins/libvdr-streamdev-server.so.1.7.28
Mar 18 10:53:17 raspberry vdr: [9066] loading plugin: /usr/lib/vdr/plugins/libvdr-vnsiserver3.so.1.7.28
Mar 18 10:53:17 raspberry vdr: [9066] loading /var/lib/vdr/setup.conf

Suggested fix: rename packaged file "/usr/lib/vdr/plugins/libvdr-vnsiserver3.so" to "/usr/lib/vdr/plugins/libvdr-vnsiserver3.so.1.7.28"

BTW, i like your home very much. I've just been the second time in Capetown. I hope to come again, soon.


I'll have a look at this when

I'll have a look at this when I have time. It's not as simple as a rename though, something with the library versioning is going wrong.

I've updated the PVR addon

I've updated the PVR addon packaging, so this should be fixed. It did mess with the versioning for the vdr-plugin-vnsiserver however (it went from 1.0.0 to 0.9.4), so you'll need to uninstall and then reinstall the package manually to get the new build.

Gotham is missing PVR?

I've installed Gotham, but the PVR addons seem missing? Or am I blindfolded because I'm new to Gotham..

You need to install them

You need to install them separately -- new PVR addons are in the same unstable repo. Run apt-cache search xbmc-pvr to see the available plugins.


[...] (http://michael.gorven.za.net/raspberrypi/xbmc)上说的去做。另外对于 [...]

Streaming issues

I have a video streaming add-on which is not working. I contacted the add-on developer and he identified "an issue with XBMC's ffmpeg video library not being built with support to play streams over HTTPS." He made a patch for OpenELEC (https://github.com/OpenELEC/OpenELEC.tv/issues/3012) which fixed the issue and suggested I built OpenELEC on my Pi. But I would prefer not to do that and continue to use XBMC on Raspbian. Is there any similar patch you could implement to fix this issue?

As far as I can tell, GNUTLS

As far as I can tell, GNUTLS is available and picked up by configure in my Gotham builds. I don't have the build logs for Frodo anymore, so I can't check that easily. Are you trying this with Frodo, and if so, can you check with Gotham?

I'll look into applying that

I'll look into applying that patch to my build.

Gtk-Warning - could not open display


I've followed your instructions on a raspbian wheezy installation, but when I attempt to start up xbmc-standalone from the command line, python throws a 'Gtk-Warning - could not open display' followed by some complaints about an Incompatible VHCIQ Library.

I've clearly missed something simple - any thoughts?

Kind regards,


Is your firmware up to date?

Is your firmware up to date? If you're using the raspberrypi.org image or my image, run apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade to update it. uname -a should show a build date of 3 Jan 2014.

Openelec work's fine, XBMC on Raspberry not...


My problem is, that under Raspbian some files doesn't play. When I select a movie, I see a picture and can hear sound for 1 second, then the movi stop an I see the Menue...

When I try to play the same video under openelec the movie play fine...

Im' not sure, but in the debug log I find following entry:

20:33:05 T:3036394208 ERROR: Error: Requested setting (audiooutput.guisoundmode) was not found. It must be case-sensitiv

in the config.txt I added the following line:


The complete log is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ugzo9cfv6p1100/xbmc.log

Thx for your help!


I haven't seen this behaviour

I haven't seen this behaviour before. Is your firmware up to date? I'm running the 1.20140107-1 firmware packages from raspberrypi.org.

RaspbianXBMC not working

Something went broke with my raspbianXBMC during this week. I updated kernel with rpi-update and packages with apt-get update & upgrade.

Before this my installation worked flawlessly but now some videos play only that 1 second and then whole system freezes. I can SSH to raspberry and kill xbmc process with "sudo top", but nothing changes on screen (it still shows xbmc and freezed screen of the movie). If I try to poweroff RPi with "sudo halt", nothing happens. I must poweroff RPi by taking powerplug off.

Crappy quality .flv -files seemed to work and play, but HD-quality .avi and .mkv -files are freezing.

Any hints?

Hi, do you also use


do you also use PAL?

Cheers, Marco

Same problem here. It

Same problem here. It happened after upgrading to the latest firmware version.

After going back to firmware version of early January, the problem vanishes again. Don't yet know which particular change breaks video playback through xbmc. omxplayer is not affected.

Here the command to go back to firmware version of early January:

sudo rpi-update 67e40f93807591fc4c70404c5f92ece5dd092d65

RaspbianXBMC - now working!

Much thanks guys! I knew I could trust you.

The problem was indeed firmware-realted and after "downgrading" with "sudo rpi-update 67e40f93807591fc4c70404c5f92ece5dd092d65" everything started to work perfectly again!

Marcos: I'm not using PAL.

I don't test with bleeding

I don't test with bleeding edge firmware from rpi-update, I stick to the firmware deb packages provided by raspberrypi.org.

on my pi is the following

on my pi is the following firmware install: Linux Mapi 3.10.25+ #622 PREEMPT Fri Jan 3 18:41:00 GMT 2014 armv6l GNU/Linux

is sudo rpi-update 67e40f93807591fc4c70404c5f92ece5dd092d65 not the same version? With this version i have the problem...

and is 1.20140107-1 the xbmc-version???

Thx for your help!

Hi, i have the same problem


i have the same problem with the version from Jan 3... (67e40f93807591fc4c70404c5f92ece5dd092d65)

Cheers, Marco

That's the same firmware

That's the same firmware version that I'm running. 1.20140107-1 is the version of the deb firmware packages (dpkg --list | grep raspberry). I can't find that Git commit in the firmware repo, so I'm not sure how it's different from the deb packages.


with raspbmc I don't have any problems, too...

Boblight support ?

Is it possible to get boblight working with this version of XBMC ?


Gotham Builds

Thank you for the Gotham beta builds!

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