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 stable?

Is there a plan to make Gotham version stable?

Yup, I'm planning to move

Yup, I'm planning to move 13.1 into stable/contrib. I just want to give it a few days in unstable to check for problems, and I still need to test upgrade from 12.3.

13.1 packages work fine on

13.1 packages work fine on Raspbian testing, although I'm using a custom built version of libcec2 with RPi support enabled (the Raspbian version does not have that).

where did you get the libcec2

where did you get the libcec2 from? After the upgrade from 12.3 to 13.1 my tv remote doesn't work any more. So I guess, it's the same issue you had.

Thanks for any information! :-)

Same issue here. :( Upgraded

Same issue here. :(

Upgraded from 12.3, libcec2 is in the repo and automatically installed. I also removed the old libcec. XBMC debug logging revealed that it receives the remote commands but XBMC chooses to ignore them. :(

Does anyone has an idea?

Found it!

You need to "reconfigure" the cec adapter in xbmc after the upgrade to 13.1! Just apply "use defaults" and after a restart of xbmc the tv remote finally works! :-)

Thank you very much! It also

Thank you very much!

It also defaulted some other settings but CEC works like a charme again. :)

OK, got happy too early.

OK, got happy too early. Switching the language back from English ended my remote happiness. :(

In English it works though.

Great, thanks for letting

Great, thanks for letting everyone know :)

Stable for me too

13.1 is stable for me too, thanks a lot for sharing your work !

Stable it is

I went from 12.3 to 13.0r2, then to 13.1. Also perfectly fine... keep rocking!


13.1. for me is stable

Dear Michael, did the upgrade(s) from 12.3 via 13.0 RC1 and now 13.1. Both went fine and everything still works fine. Sound for me is good (HDMI-sound) and also Youtube etc. runs smooth, also all MySql-databases are fine. Thanks for the work, keep hacking :-)

Kind regards Andreas

Thanks for the report!

Thanks for the report!

For me is stable too!


I've been tested versinn 13.1 succefully. I had no problems yet. I'll continue my tests but I think I gonna have no problems.

Thks in advance and congratulatios for your great job.

Sergio From Brazil.

libcec update

When you move the packages to stable, can you please update the libcec version?


I haven't run into any libcec

I haven't run into any libcec issues, so I haven't considered upgrading it. I'll look at upgrading to 2.1.4. Is there a specific reason you're asking for this?

Upgraded libcec to 2.1.4.

Upgraded libcec to 2.1.4.


That's cool. I actually couldn't wait and tried out Gotham last night. Unfortunately i had to roll back because of some issues: 1. GUI sound turned into annoying noise. i'm not sure if it has to do with my TV hdmi sound or something 2. some videos are not playable or choppy. try the daily show with jon stewart, or the big big theory.

Let me know if you need any more info. Thx for the hardwork!

Other people have reported

Other people have reported similar issues, which were caused by an older firmware version. Did you do an apt-get dist-upgrade which should have installed newer firmware from either my archive or raspberrypi.org and rebooted after upgrading? What is the output of uname -a and dpkg --list | grep bootloader?

i'm using berryboot

i pressed on save too soon...

i'm using berryboot with debian wheezy. not sure if that matters :)

my output

Yeh I think i should have the latest firmware. i run sudo rpi-update frequently.

here's my output: pi@raspberrypi ~ $ uname -a Linux raspberrypi 3.6.11-rpi-aufs #1 PREEMPT Sat Sep 7 23:10:27 CEST 2013 armv6l GNU/Linux pi@raspberrypi ~ $ dpkg --list | grep bootloader hi raspberrypi-bootloader 1.20140530-1 armhf Raspberry Pi bootloader

The kernel you're running was

The kernel you're running was built on 2013/09/07, which is too old. Your raspberrypi-bootloader package is recent however. Have you rebooted since upgrading the packages? Try reinstalling the raspberrypi-bootloader package or running rpi-update again.

XBMC 13.1 Gotham – RC1

Hello, Did you get the chance to update the package for getting 13.1 - RC1? Thank you for the work.

Yup, it's in unstable.

Yup, it's in unstable.


Just wanted to say thanks man, you are legend for making those builds :>

In this version even youtube plugin works for me which just makes my weekend so musical ;) Cheers.


Solved noise and skipping issues

Running 2:13.1~git20140525 . I too had background noises in the menu screens and video was skipping forwards and backwards.

I checked that my firmware version (/opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd version ) was at least from january. Upgraded the firmware with rpi-update and all is good now!

Thank you for your work!


I asked around on the xbmc forms, and someone suggested the in the config.txt gpu_mem=128 must be stated. For 128 is the least you need.... Changed it , and I have no more troubles!!!

What did you install?


Thnx for your message. Yesterday I thought of the firmware and updated it. Did not solve anything for me though. Did you install all twelve deb. packages in the incoming tree? Maybe I could do with Some packages less :)

I realy want to get this to work. I own a picadface , and I can't get it to work on raspbmc. It works fine on a raspbian installtion though. It has a display, and infrared reveiver , for me this would be ideal. Also because my other system is running 13.1 to so they dan share a mysql database. If it were'nt for the menu issues , I would be a happy man.

Best regards and cheers again Jerry

Installed but nothing is shown

Hi, I just install xmbc following all instructions here, I made sure to follow them exactly, I even did it twice, but I dont see the xmbc interface. Task manager shows two instances of xmbc (i ran it twice thinking the first time was not correct), but no interface. Anything I missed here?

Exact same problem!

I followed the instructions to the letter and just got the blank screen of death. Was I suppose to assume something that was not written down with the instructions?

How to install from incoming


First off : thnx for your efforts! I installed the unstable 13.0 version , and like many others I have the problem when I enter the settings menu. Because of that , I want to try the 13.1 version from the incoming tree. But what do i need , and how do I install it? Just download the tar.gz? But which one?

Best regards Jerry

You have to download all the

You have to download all the .deb files you need and manually install them using dpkg -i. You need at least xbmc and xbmc-bin.

succeeded , but still the menu trouble

Thnx for the guidance. I succeeded to install the 13.1RC1 version, but still when entering the submenu's I got the problem. On my bedroom tv, when I open the settings menu, or any other menu, the screen breaks up, blocks , overlaying images, flickering etc. On my computer monitor it's slightly better, but still eventualy the blocks are appearing. Livingroom TV , same thing , flickering, blocks and overlaying images...

best regards Jerry

I have tried the 20140525

I have tried the 20140525 13.1 debs. I get distorted audio over both HDMI and analog outputs when listening to music or enabling UI sounds. When watching movies or playing back music via omxplayer from the command line, sound is fine.

That's on Raspbian testing

That's on Raspbian testing FWIW

No more issues with the

No more issues with the latest firmware


[...] che è la distribuzione ufficiale di Linux per Raspberry Pi.I pacchetti di XBMC sono mantenuti da Michael Gorven che sul proprio blog ha una guida aggiornata sull’installazione del media center. Riavviato [...]


Hi everyone,

xbmc 13.0r2-1 works great! fyi, if you wanna use airplay, u have to install avahi to see xbmc from the ipad.

Thx Michael for your work!



Could you please check if your analogue output works? Is anyone else having trouble with the analogue output? Or is it just me....

analog audio output works

analog audio output works fine for me... but im also using analog video instead of hdmi/dvi. no idea if this is relevant ;-)

Unstable = RC2 = Noise

Hi Michael,

thank you for all your work. I have installed XBMC on my raspbian several times using your website and it went well each time. However, I am very dependent now on the latest XBMC Gotham, but using your repo "unstable" does only install release candidate 2 if I read well. But each time I install it, the audio output via analogue is horrible (there is actually 90% noise and 10% music).

Do you think you could add the latest stable releae 13 or (as soon as there will be a release 13.1) to your stable repo? I am really waiting for it. Because 12.3 has some problems with my mp3 tags which are resolved in 13 (tested under windows).

Many thanks! Michael

13.0r2 is the actual release,

13.0r2 is the actual release, not an RC (it was re-rereleased due to problems in the first release). If you want to try the 13.1 beta you can find the packages in incoming. I'm still travelling and don't have access to my Pi, so I can't test the audio output myself.

13.0r2 is the actual release,

Thanks, Michael for your kind reply. I really appreciate that. However, I cannot manage to install 13.1 from incoming. Would you please be so kind to tell me how to modify "mene.list" to get the 13.1 from incoming? Thanks again, Michael

Unstable = RC2 = Noise

Is anyone else having problems with analogue output? THX for feedback!

Analog Output works fine after firmware update

I did at a first attempt only a "apt-get install xbmc" because I wasn't sure if i wanted to use the firmware packages from the unstable repo. I had the same problem with nearly 100% white noise. After performing an "apt-get upgrade" which fetches the raspberry firmware packages in and a reboot, sound is working fine.

Analog Output works fine after firmware update

Thanks for the hint on sudo apt-get upgrade, that did exactly the job. Now it works fine, no more noise with analogue.


Thanks for the work Michael

great work!!!

great work!!!


Hey Michael, will you create a prebuilt XBMC v13?

I'll start working on this

I'll start working on this once I'm back from my travels next week.