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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I did that. The user wasn't

I did that. The user wasn't a part of group tty. Even after adding user to that group keyboard doesn't work. I added user to each group individually. Updated the 99-input.rules as well. Still doesn't work.

Did you log out and in again

Did you log out and in again (or reboot) after adding the user to the group?

Yes. It seems that it shuts


It seems that it shuts down the keyboard when I launch XBMC. The lights go off on the keyboard.

prebuilt image

Sir, where can I find the prebuilt image? I can't find the link... Sorry for bothering and thanks for your effort in making this available!!!

Under "Release history" in

Under "Release history" in the "Flashing an SD card with a prebuilt image" section above. There are links to torrent files and magnet URIs.

Lovely! Thanks a lot

Lovely! Thanks a lot

No video display

Thanks, Michael for your build. But when i try to play some movies(mkv,rmvb,mp4),i can just hear voice of the movie,but no video displayed,the log here is:

14:23:33 T:2580542480  NOTICE: Previous line repeats 1 times.
14:23:33 T:2580542480  NOTICE: Thread Jobworker start, auto delete: true
14:23:37 T:2605708304  NOTICE: Thread Background Loader start, auto delete: false
14:23:38 T:2580542480  NOTICE: Previous line repeats 2 times.
14:23:38 T:2580542480 WARNING: could not find codec parameters for /media/USBHDD1/shares/movies/bigday.mp4
14:23:38 T:2580542480   ERROR: ExtractThumb - Error creating demuxer
14:23:39 T:2695787536  NOTICE: CDVDVideoCodecFFmpeg::Open() Using codec: RealVideo 4.0
14:23:40 T:2695787536   ERROR: Decode - avcodec_decode_video returned failure
14:23:40 T:2580542480  NOTICE: CDVDVideoCodecFFmpeg::Open() Using codec: RealVideo 4.0
14:23:41 T:2580542480   ERROR: Decode - avcodec_decode_video returned failure

thanks again

The logs indicate that your

The logs indicate that your video file uses the RealVideo codec, which isn't supported for hardware decoding on the Pi. Your video files need to use h.264 (or MPEG-2 or VC-1 if you've bought those separately).

xbmc not starting automaticaly on boot


I installed the stable version as stated here in the blog and running it with xbmc-standalone works perfect. I setup the xbcm user and set ENABLE=1, but xbmc is not starzed on boot. If I do sudo service xbmc start, no failure is shown but the xbmc screen is not shown. I still remain in the console and doing ps -ax shows an xbmc-stanalone process running. Any ideas? What am I doing wrong?

Cheers Kemal

How to use ext hdd

Xbmc not found ext hdd

XBMC won't automatically

XBMC won't automatically mount your external harddrive. You either need to manually mount it, or use something like udisks.

Unstable versions

when you said you put an updated firmware version for PI, do we have to start with a clean install of it or it will automaticly upgrade the one already running on the SD?

You don't need to do a clean

You don't need to do a clean install, just do a full system upgrade with apt-get dist-upgrade. There's actually a newer official firmware available now, so my version won't be used anyway.


[...] for us and even hosts the packages we need. Go ahead and open a new window or tab and browse to http://michael.gorven.za.net/raspberrypi/xbmc . The author has already done a great job of documenting this process so I won’t duplicate [...]

HDMI and Analog output


is it possible to use the analog Audio output and HDMI audio output simultaneously.

Best regards Markus


[...] http://michael.gorven.za.net/raspberrypi/xbmc [...]

Audio Volume always changing

Has anybody else this problem?

The raspberry xbmc always changes the volume from set volume to the default volume 1) if I start a new video file 2) if I change a channel in live tv 3) if live TV switches to or from advertisements. If I press once the volume button it changes back to the volume I have set before.

The xbmc on my desktop pc don't shows this behavior. Does anybody know where this comes from and how I could solve it? I don't think that it has to do with XBMC settings, because there I played a lot.

Gotham PVR plugins

Hi, thanks for your excellent XBMC packages! Are you also going to provide the pvr plugins for Gotham? Or are they already included somewhere and I just overlooked them?

I've just published the PVR

I've just published the PVR addons for Gotham, although I haven't actually tested them.

Thanks a lot, working great

Thanks for posting those, I've been using your build of the vuplus plugin with gotham alpha 11 without any issues.

New version 12.3. Frodo

Dear Michael,

thanks for your work on this RapsberryPi fork of XBMC. Shortly after the latest update to 12.3, i was able to update my Pi to this new version, that is great! Thank you for your work!

Release of Froto 12.3

I tried to update using the "sudo apt-get update" and "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" commands, but it stayed 12.2. is there a reason for this? have you not updated your library? Thank in advance.

I haven't built the 12.3

I haven't built the 12.3 release yet; I'll start looking at that.

You are a wonderful human

You are a wonderful human being.

Unable to install xbmc

Hello, thanks for the tutorial.

I have followed the directions, added deb to sources.d/mene.list, was able to succesfully install the key, and sudo apt-get update.

Once I did all this, I tried - sudo apt-get install xbmc, and then I got the following unmet dependencies: ...xmbc : Depends: xbmc-bin (>= 2:11.0-git20120510.82388d5-1) but it is not installable ...xmbc : Depends: xbmc-bin (< 2:11.0-git20120510.823885-1.1~) but it is not installable ...Recommends: python-qt3 but it is not going to be installed E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages

I am running Raspbian Wheezy - 2013-12-20 release. Any suggestions?


I can confirm this behaviour and error I successfully installed using this blog a few minths ago. When trying to do it again yesterday evening on my new pi I got the same error. Thanks

Those are the old versions in

Those are the old versions in Wheezy itself, so something is wrong with the archive setup. Does apt-get update show that it is downloading files from mene.za.net? Any warnings about invalid signatures?

Same error here

How do i fix this?

contrib armhf not found 404 faild to fetch /raspbain/dists/wheezy/contribut/binary-armhf/ packages 404 not found

You misspelt "raspbian" as

You misspelt "raspbian" as "raspbain" :-)

Code block

How do i create code block, then i will import my errors from my raspberry pi :)

Comments use Markdown

Comments use Markdown formatting. To create a code block indent each line using 1 tab or 4 spaces.

Yes thats a typo

Yes that is a typo didnt do that in the config. Made comment on other pc not from system its self. I still have the error. Please help :(


[...] Once that was all setup I installed XBMC using this guide (http://michael.gorven.za.net/raspberrypi/xbmc) [...]

Not working :(

Hi, i have install Raspbian on Raspberry PI, and i follow your install note, but i have this 3 time when i run xbmc-standalone : Segmentation fault (core dumped)

Any idea ?

Thx for advance

I have found why. If you have

I have found why. If you have this error, up your allowed memory for GPU ^^

IR Remote on GPIO

Hi mike I have installed frodo and it is working great but I am having trouble getting a ir remote working i have got the lirc config file but the remote is not recognised by the xbmc installation it needs to be setup in settings remotes gpio but this tab is missing from your build is there a way to put this tab into the settings


Awesome Blog Gorv. Time to change the default favicon though ;). Mike F

Heh, thanks. The whole site

Heh, thanks. The whole site is looking a bit dated, I've been meaning to find the time to restyle it.

Thank you for the Gotham

Thank you for the Gotham repo, still as posted here (http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=180265) builds made prio 2 Dec don't have the Subtitle Service option in system -> video -> subtitles so you can't really search for subtitles in the new paradigm (as a service and not as an addon)

black screen after exit

is there any cure for the blackscreen when pressing the exit button in frodo 12.2 it would be better if it could issue the reboot command as i run my pi as a sickbeard/sabnzd downloader and samba server i have to keep restarting it after watching the tv/movies I have downloaded with xbmc

black screen after exit

I would comment further that although the screen is black the pi is still running and is accessible through putty, samba, and mobaxterm so it is just the display that is not working

Youtube plugin doesn't play videos, only audio

Hello, many thanks for the release.

Everything works fine on my RaspberryPI with this xbmc release, except I am not able to play videos from Youtube with youtube plugin, except sometimes when I am able to see some few videos by chance.

Do you have any idea, guys?


vp8/WebM: only audio and animation - no video itself


first many thanks to Michael for his work and a happy new year to all.

I have the same problem like described by (other) Anonymous at 2013/11/28 - 16:51: only audio and video animation, not the video itself at many youtube videos. I expect it is a problem with codec vp8/WebM. Therefore I downloaded a file with this codec - the same behaviour.

Do I need some additional raspbian packages or some XBMC addons to view videos with special codecs?

Thank you for your help. Ulrich

Solved: vp8/WebM: only audio and animation - no video itself


I now added the following lines to /boot/config.txt as described at different places.

The original description was:

Because fixup_x.elf does not exist I use fixup_x.dat instead and it works.

Best regards, Ulrich

Thanks for posting the

Thanks for posting the solution; I'll check that this is correct in my prebuilt image.

Great instructions.... but can't YATSE it

Thanks for the great howto.

The only problem is I am not able to connect to the XBMC via YATSE.

I have tried a manual config (looking at port 8080) and automatic detection but my YATSE cannot see this server.

yatse or xbmc remote

the correct config is your raspberry ip address http port 8082 username = xbmc password= whatever you set in the xbmc system event server port 9777 wifi only access point your routers id every thing else is as default

Its works fine here, so it

Its works fine here, so it must be something on your side...

update to XMBC 13

Will there be an update to XBMC 13 'Gotham' in the near future?

I've started building

I've started building packages for Gotham; see "Unstable versions" in the main post above.