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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problem with 13.0r2

I have upgraded from 12.3 to 13.0r2. It doesn't run well. When I enter settings the screen starts to change size all the time and xbmc doesn't respond anymore. Besides, most of the letters are replaced with just blocks of the letter's size. What could be the reason for that?



My screen looks the same as

My screen looks the same as your screenshot. I found out, that it only happens on certain TVs. Tried to deactivate CEC but no change. I went back to 12.3 for now.

Yup, 12.3 running without

Yup, 12.3 running without issues.

Thanks, I've pushed it to the

Thanks, I've pushed it to the unstable archive. I'm going to wait a while (posibly for 13.1) before pushing it to contrib.

Thank you Michael, it works

Thank you Michael, it works like a charm ! Quentin

My fresh raspbian has

My fresh raspbian has unsolvable dependancy issues related (or so it seems to python and libtag):

xbmc-bin : Depends: libpython2.7 (>= 2.7) but it is not going to be installed

Do you know how can I fix that ? It happens both with Gotham and Frodo.

Python 2.7 is part of

Python 2.7 is part of Raspbian itself, so I'm not sure why this is happening. Did you configure my repo and trying to install with apt-get install xbmc? Have you tried apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade?

I use the raspbian repos but

I use the raspbian repos but the distro itself is Volumio. A hifi oriented version with a couple of things locked down. So I will check that first instead of bothering you.


Ok, I had issues with python.

Ok, I had issues with python. I had to downgrade so that the dependancy gurus accepted to install xbmc:

dpkg: warning: downgrading python2.7-minimal from 2.7.6-8 to 2.7.3-6+deb7u2

Great job, runs smooth

Hi Michael, have just installed the 13.0rc2, runs very smooth, better than 12.3. and still all movies via mysql-database and settings working. Great job, thanks for all your work... Andreas

Same here, great work! -

Same here, great work! - Markus

Gotham - finally STABLE

Gotham is finally STABLE.

Looking forwards for the stable packages. Thanks in advance!



There is a final build in the incoming

There is a final build in the incoming folder but it crashes playing web streams. I think it is now fixed on github. We will have to wait until Michael creates new packages. The rest appears to be fine.


[...] How to install XBMC with a binary package (easier & faster) [...]

build Gotham

Dear Michael,

trying to compile Gotham (compilation of Frodo works) I got the following problem while doing:

make -C tools/rbp/depends/xbmc/

-->> /usr/bin/arm-bcm2708-linux-gnueabi-g++ is missing

How to install that? there does not seem to be a raspbian package available.

thx! and best lg

I haven't come across that

I haven't come across that issue before. I build the packages using pbuilder with Qemu usermode emulation. All the build dependencies are listed in the Debian packaging.

Updating the firmware

OK I did the following:

sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install rpi-upgrade sudo apt-get install curl sudo rpi-upgrade my_chosen_hash (3.10.37+)

It went all the process and said the firmware will be 3.10.37+ on reboot. On reboot the firmware still shows the original 3.10.24+.

Is there any reason your firmware can not be upgraded in the normal way?

I only manage firmware with

I only manage firmware with Debian packages, not with rpi-update or rpi-upgrade. Those should theoretically work though, so I don't know why it isn't.

XBMC 13.0 Gotham

XBMC 13.0 Gotham final is out!

Yup, I've just pulled the

Yup, I've just pulled the latest source. Unfortunately I'm going to have limited Internet access for the rest of the week, so I'll probably only be able to upload the build this weekend.

Can you post it

Cant you post it sonner into the incoming folder when compiled, so I can begin testing it?

Thanks for your work.

I've only just been able to

I've only just been able to upload the build to incoming. If you can let me know if it works that would be great.

And can you use a more recent

And can you use a more recent version of gcc? Like 4.8.2? I think it can benefit a little bit with this like a little bit of speed improvement.

I'm just using the version

I'm just using the version provided with Raspbian. Changing this is not trivial, so it's not something I'm going to do unless really necessary.

Ok! And the web streams bug?

Ok! And the web streams bug? Is it hard to fix? I read it was a common bug and affected all platforms but it is now fixed. When will you be able to make new packages?


also looking forward

also looking forward

It crashes playing web streams

It crashes playing web streams. Anyone. I think it is this bug. http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=194048

Here is the log file: http://pastebin.com/BNLWVcb0

I've uploaded the new release

I've uploaded the new release to incoming.

dpkg: dependency problems

dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of xbmc-bin: xbmc-bin depends on libtag1c2a (>= 1.8.0-1); however: Version of libtag1c2a:armhf on system is 1.7.2-1.

how can i solve it? thx in advance!

Had the same problem ..

don't forget to add the repo (mentioned at the instructions above) then it will be ok.

Hi Michael, Did you know

Hi Michael,

Did you know when you will update you repo to include Gotham?


Updating your images

Thanks for making the images available. I believe your latest image is 3.10.24+ and I was looking to update it to 3.10.37+.

I have added rpi-update and curl because rpi-update now uses curl but it is requesting readelf. Any idea how I can add readelf?

I found readelf by adding

I found readelf by adding binutils but still unable to run rpi-update.

XBMC issues


I'm having issues with this XBMC package. Only the main menu is usable, the others are with strange letters and freezes my Raspberry.

Example pictures,

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4068117/xbmc1.jpg https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4068117/xbmc2.jpg

Anyone with similar problem?


Release for Gotham

Hi, do you have a date for the availability of the new version ?

I've finished building RC1,

I've finished building RC1, but I'm travelling at the moment (without my Pi) so I can't test it further than installing the package. If someone could grab the packages from here and let me know if they work, I'll publish them to the repo.

I have just installed the rc1

I have just installed the rc1 packages and they seem to work very well.

Awesome, I'll publish them to

Awesome, I'll publish them to the archive. Thanks.

Static noise

I have experienced some static noise when XBMC (Gotham beta 4) started. It turned out to be solvable by updating the firmware (run sudo rpi-update).

Memoury split ratio for XBMC


I installed Your version of XBMC on Rasbian and it works very good. I have only one question: I have many services on my Pi (transmission, amule, cups, smb, ftp) without Xorg so my CPU and RAM usage are high.

How much RAM should I reserve for GPU?

Thanks, Jarek

XBMC for Raspberry Pi - unstable versions

Thank you! I have tried both stable and unstable repos. Currently running the beta 4 for daily use along with official raspbian image. It is really smooth. They have really done a good job with the v13 in terms of CPU and GUI. It would be great to see the release version Gotham pushed down soon. Appreciate the effort, Cheers Sam

Xbmc only shows black screen after some YouTube streams

Hi everyone,

I have the following problem, it happend twice already.

When I open YouTube and stream a video to xbmc via upnp everything seems to be working fine. After a few videos I only see the audio, there is no more video on the screen. After I reboot the system and start xbmc again I only get a black screen. SSH stops working and the pi won't react to keyboard input.

The first time this happened I had xbmc in the "autostart" of the pi. So I couldn't get access to it anymore. I redid the entire pi setup with xbmc install and everything seemed to be fine.

Today the same thing happened and now xbmc won't start properly again. On the plus side I didn't run xbmc as service so I have full access to the pi. Would anyone pls help me? Thanks in advance

Alsa support


Great builds. But is it possible to add Alsa support so we can use audio devices like HifiBerry or USB DACS?


[...] Building XBMC on my own was quite difficult and time consuming, so instead, I resorted to Michael Gorven’s tutorial. [...]

Unable to dist-upgrade


I wanted to test out the new beta3 from unstable, so I added the unstable repo, did an apt-get update and an apt-get dist-upgrade but during the process I got: 0% [Working]FATAL -> Failed to fork.

And then apt-get quits. I've got a 256mo PI, do you think a memory outage could be the reason?

I answer to myself. I finaly

I answer to myself. I finaly managed to do the dist-upgrade by killing xbmc first in order to free some memory. Unfortunately, gotham beta 3 is no good for me, the video stutters all the time. I don't have this problem with frodo. I guess I'll have to revert back to frodo to avoid those stutters...


[...] XBMC telepítése: [...]