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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14.0 published to contrib

I've published 14.0 Helix to contrib (i.e. stable). This changes the package names from XBMC to Kodi, but upgrades should work correctly. If you've been using the Jessie builds you'll need to add contrib to your source list since it didn't exist before.

PVR client tvheadend?

Dear Michael,

thanks a lot for your great work. The update worked perfect!

Do you know where to get a working version of the tvheadend PVR addon? The version contained in the official wheezy repositories seems to be incompatible to helix.

Best regards, Thomas

Solution tvheadend

First uninstall: apt-get remove xbmc-pvr-tvheadend-hts Then reinstall: apt-get install xbmc-pvr-tvheadend-hts Now, a package for kodi is installed (and working after restarting the kodi service)

wont start

evrything has installed well but i can't lauch the application service kodi start kodi-standalone or menu>sound & video > kodi media center nothing happends please help me !

it Works

never mind i just had to plug in the HDMI cable because i was using vnc it didnt work thanks for everything !

Instructions for kodi

Hi there. To get this to work the instructions are a bit off. The section Under Running references xbmc which should be kodi.

So the service is

sudo service kodi start

And the start on boot config is in


Also, the created user kodi also needs to be added to the group dialout.

Thanks for all the effort!

How does one add kodi to the

How does one add kodi to the group dialout?


usermod -a -G dialout kodi

But you can only do this after the install, after the user kodi was created. You can check the assigned groups by doing:

groups kodi

Add joystick support?!

Thx for the nice work... but my joytick (aka usb gamepad) won't work... have you build this package with the --disable-joystick --disable-sdl arguments?

if yes, can you make a build without these arguments to enable joystick support?

I tried building with SDL

I tried building with SDL enabled a while ago and the resulting build didn't work.

I would like this too

I would like this too.

Helix works fine on Raspberry Pi

Hi Michael,

again, thanks for your great work here! I upgraded from Gotham to Helix using the unstable repository and it worked like a charm. I havent tested the installation from a blank image, but I'm totally positive ;-)

I can't remember if the kodi user is now automatically being added to the system... If so, maybe you should update the documentation a little for both, new installations and upgrades.

Thanks a lot Markus

Instructions to compile it myself?

Could you share how you compile XBMC in raspbian, please? I would like to give it a try, but every guide I read proposses a different and outdated mehtod. Many thanks!

Unmet dependencies

Hello thanks for the hard work on this, i've used your xbmc for months

anyway i've just reinstalled raspbian but when i try to install xbmc from stable repo i have:

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
Recommends: python-qt3 but it is not going to be installed

That usually happens when

That usually happens when trying to install XBMC from the Raspbian repo. Did you run apt-get update after changing the source lists?

Yes i did apt-get update as always

Yes i did apt-get update as always, i have

/etc/apt/sources.list.d/mene.list with deb http://archive.mene.za.net/raspbian wheezy contrib

and the full stacktrace of the apt error is:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ 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 (>= 2:11.0~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
Recommends: python-qt3 but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.


Hi Michael,

Im also having problems with Airplay now, i dont know if this is anything todo with it but the XBMC remote IOS app also has stopped detecting XBMC

Thanks, matt


[...] isn’t in the raspbian repos, but someone does maintain a binary package for [...]


[...] few months back, I was running Michael Gorven’s xbmc version under Raspbian without any real [...]

Still no keyboard for text entry

Changed a whole bunch of settings as advised here, but still unable to get the keyboard working. I've been using an unconventional way of running XBMC by using the display manager to launch it instead of Xorg. When you launch it by selecting it from the login menu, it does not load Xorg and it's easier to switch between XBMC and desktop environment this way. I did try launching as recommended here and that did not make text entry work either.


I flashed the sd image how do I get to rasbian desktop?. It boots in xbmc and startx is not a command.

This image doesn't contain a

This image doesn't contain a desktop installation. If you want that rather use the foundation image and install Kodi from the archive.


hey michael,

i cannot get airplay to work.. everything is enabled but does not shown up on my iphone (ios8.1.2) i use helix from unstable repo..

could you please help me?

I don't have any iOS devices

I don't have any iOS devices so I can't test airplay unfortunately. Check that avahi-daemon is installed and running, that's been the issue for others before.

Helix via update

Dear Michel, just upgraded from 13.2 to unstable Helix 14.0. Everything went fine, all settings including databases still working. Great work, have fun and thanks for all your work! Andreas



worked well with my Rpi.. and the performance is much better than openelec oder rasbmc! is there any chance to get helix?


New release

So kodi released helix 14 stable.

I look forward to seeing it soon.

Thanks and happy holidays

Just published 14.0 release

Just published 14.0 release to unstable. Will move it into contrib after a week or two.

Kodi 14 RC3

Any chance getting the RC3 built? Alternatively would it be possible for you to sum up instructions how to build Kodi from source on RPi?


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

Updated Jessie builds?

Is there a chance that new Jessie builds will be published? Currently, the latest ones are from November (beta 1).

My builds broken on Jessie,

My builds broken on Jessie, which is why I haven't been publishing those. I've just fixed it though, and 14.0 release is available for Jessie.

I'm installing it right now,

I'm installing it right now, thanks a lot!

Thanks a lot, finally a working solution

Hi Michael,

Wow ! I've been roaming the net for a few hours only to find dead repos and useless informations.

Thanks a lot for your hard work ! I'll finally be able to watch my favorite shows without resorting on cables from my laptop.

Can't wait to try my new setup when I return from work !


Thank you so much for your hard work, this is the only working solution i have found to install XBMC via rasbian. Its freakish how well this is runing on my A+

Keep the updates coming,


Missing RSS

I wanted to test the RSS crawl, the thing that scrolls some info on the bottom of the main screen, but apparently the RSS option is missing in settings. As I never used the RSS, mainly because of performance reasons, I'm not sure if the option got missing with the recent version or if that's just missing only on my installation. Does the RSS works properly for others?

FYI: apt-get install warning (Raspbian 2014-09-09 install)

Not sure if will result in any issues down the line but FYI:

http://archive.mene.za.net/raspbian/ wheezy/contrib xbmc all 2:13.2-1 ... Setting up powermgmt-base (1.31) ... /run/udev or .udevdb or .udev presence implies active udev. Aborting MAKEDEV invocation. Setting up pm-utils (1.4.1-9) ... ...

KODI naming

Can you please change your packages just to reflect the KODI naming scheme ? For example, the pvr addons works fine but the naming are still xbmc-pvr-* and they should be kodi-pvr-*. The same for eventclients. Its just a "cosmetic" thing but it would be nice if all follows the KODI naming scheme till the final release.

Thanks for your work.

The eventclients are renamed,

The eventclients are renamed, but I hadn't added transitional packages to make upgrades work. I've added those for 14.0 release. The PVR addons hadn't been renamed upstream which is why I didn't make the change. That's also been done now and I've updated the packaging.

doesnt play videos

heya at first i wanna thank you for your work here, very nice.

ive installed raspbian to run a seafile cloud. everything is fine with it. then i installed the xbmc media center like you said here. the xbmc is running and i can download apps and such things. but when i want to play videos like in the youtube app, i get these errors.

i first had only the stable versions and this error occurs


as ive got the unstable package i didnt get the error, but the video also doesnt play. http://abload.de/img/p_20141202_215647xckpq.jpg

so if anyone could tell me what im doing wrong or what i have to do, to fix this, i would be happy

this has fixed

this has fixed

thanks but my problem is different because the video does play it just is not visible for a few seconds until the video menu changes to the playing video , I have reverted to gotham again now as the iptv addons are not included in any from here

kodi 5

i have upgraded to kodi 5 and 2 problems 1st when playing video files the play back starts but the menu screen is still showing so only the sound from the files is heard then the menu screen clears after some time. 2nd there is still no pvr addons such as simple iptv client

upgrade to beta 4


First ... THX for the great work :D

but i have a little problem with updating kodi (beta) ... Apt get tell me i have the newest version .. but i have beta 1 ... i have try'd upate/upgrade but nothing happens. how i can update the version?

Try this...

It should work by doing this:

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

I hope this helps.

I meant:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

(In 2 different command lines)

didnt work kodi

didnt work

kodi --version 14.0-BETA1 Git:d6947be Media Center Kodi Copyright (C) 2005-2013 Team Kodi - http://kodi.tv

Are you using the unstable

Are you using the unstable repository?

yepp... do i need a different

yepp... do i need a different update rout?


W: Ошибка GPG: http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org wheezy Release: Следующие подписи неверные: BADSIG 9165938D90FDDD2E Mike Thompson (Raspberry Pi Debian armhf ARMv6+VFP) mpthompson@gmail.com W: Ошибка GPG: http://archive.raspberrypi.org wheezy Release: Следующие подписи неверные: BADSIG 82B129927FA3303E Raspberry Pi Archive Signing Key E: Encountered a section with no Package: header E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/mirrordirector.raspbian.org_raspbian_dists_wheezy_contrib_i18n_Translation-en E: Списки пакетов или файл состояния не могут быть открыты или прочитаны. root@malinka:~# apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-key 5243CDED Executing: gpg --ignore-time-conflict --no-options --no-default-keyring --secret-keyring /tmp/tmp.ExdByQiYuv --trustdb-name /etc/apt//trustdb.gpg --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg --primary-keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-key 5243CDED gpg: запрашиваю ключ 5243CDED с hkp сервера keyserver.ubuntu.com gpg: ключ 5243CDED: "Michael Gorven (Package Signing Key) michael@gorven.za.net" не изменен gpg: Всего обработано: 1 gpg: неизмененных: 1 root@malinka:~# apt-get upgrade Чтение списков пакетов… Ошибка! E: Encountered a section with no Package: header E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/mirrordirector.raspbian.org_raspbian_dists_wheezy_contrib_i18n_Translation-en E: Списки пакетов или файл состояния не могут быть открыты или прочитаны. root@malinka:~#