HOW-TO:Compile Kodi for Linux

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Warning: This is only a copy and paste from the README.linux just to get this article started. Please refer to the GIT version of README.linux to be sure you got the latest edition!
Information: The compile process below is basic and further information about compiling in own platform can be found in Readme.your-platform


1 Prerequisites

Supported Linux Operating-System installed on a supported computer, currently the officially supported OS are
Ubuntu Desktop Edition
Ubuntu Server Edition
Ubuntu Minimal
Ubuntu for ARM
Note: Note that it is also possible to compile and run 32-bit XBMC under 64-bit (AMD64/EMT64) Ubuntu if you run it in a 32bit chroot.
Other working distributions (but officially unsupported) are
Some hardware requirements

x86-based computer. No other special hardware is required for development, as developers can compile using the "make sdl_2d option" (see README.linux). However for end-users the minimum requirement is a 3D GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) that at least supports Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0 (that features 24bpp or 32bpp for 3D hardware-acceleration support, which XBMC GUI need to run smootly at an acceptable frame-rate). Graphic adapters that support DirectX version 9.0c or later usually meet all of those mentioned requirements, (Team-XBMC recommends NVIDIA GeForce 6150 or later as NVIDIA are currently the manufacturer that offers good device-drivers for Linux (and NVIDIA GeForce 6150 or later supports OpenGL 2.0).

  • Correctly installed graphics device-drivers which supports 24bpp or 32bpp for 3D hardware-acceleration, (Team-XBMC recommends that you run Envy which is a application that automatically downloads and installs the correct proprietary device-driver for your ATI or NVIDIA graphic chip).

2 Getting the source code

For the first time:

sudo apt-get install git-core -y
cd $HOME
git clone git://

In order to update the source code (and clean old make files):

cd $HOME/xbmc
git clean -xfd
git reset --hard
git pull --rebase

3 Installing required Ubuntu packages

The current list of required packages for each supported version is located in the README.linux file in the GIT

Use a single command to get all build dependencies

For this, you need to specify the PPA in your apt sources.Where are XBMC packages in Ubuntu.

Method 1

With ppa

sudo apt-get update

Here is the magic command to get the build dependencies (used to compile the version on the PPA).

sudo apt-get build-dep xbmc
Method 2
sudo apt-get update

Without ppa (only Dependencies including the ones on Method 1

sudo apt-get install automake autopoint bison build-essential ccache cmake curl cvs default-jre fp-compiler gawk gdc gettext git-core gperf libasound2-dev libass-dev libavcodec-dev libavfilter-dev libavformat-dev libavutil-dev libbluetooth-dev libbluray-dev libbluray1 libboost-dev libboost-thread-dev libbz2-dev libcap-dev libcdio-dev libcec-dev libcec1 libcrystalhd-dev libcrystalhd3 libcurl3 libcurl4-gnutls-dev libcwiid-dev libcwiid1 libdbus-1-dev libenca-dev libflac-dev libfontconfig-dev libfreetype6-dev libfribidi-dev libglew-dev libiso9660-dev libjasper-dev libjpeg-dev libltdl-dev liblzo2-dev libmad0-dev libmicrohttpd-dev libmodplug-dev libmp3lame-dev libmpeg2-4-dev libmpeg3-dev libmysqlclient-dev libnfs-dev libogg-dev libpcre3-dev libplist-dev libpng-dev libpostproc-dev libpulse-dev libsamplerate-dev libsdl-dev libsdl-gfx1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libshairport-dev libsmbclient-dev libsqlite3-dev libssh-dev libssl-dev libswscale-dev libtiff-dev libtinyxml-dev libtool libudev-dev libusb-dev libva-dev libva-egl1 libva-tpi1 libvdpau-dev libvorbisenc2 libxml2-dev libxmu-dev libxrandr-dev libxrender-dev libxslt1-dev libxt-dev libyajl-dev mesa-utils nasm pmount python-dev python-imaging python-sqlite swig unzip yasm zip zlib1g-dev

4 How to compile

4.1 Default compile and install

Requires 3D GPU that has supported OpenGL 3D hardware acceleration, set bitdepth to 24bpp or 32bpp

sudo make install

5 Compiling Libtag

libtag 1.8 is a requirement to compile XBMC from GIT, If you are using Ubuntu 12.04LTS or older use method below.

make -C lib/taglib
make -C lib/taglib install

6 Compiling libnfs

make -C lib/libnfs
make -C lib/libnfs install

6.1 ./configure command line switches

These switches are possible when running configure:

  • --prefix=/path
    • Install XBMC to /path rather than default (/usr/local)
  • --disable-gl
    • Much much slower GUI rendering but works on all adapters and bitdepths. For development purposes only.
  • --disable-debug
    • No debug information (smaller executable, no FreeMem text in screens)
    • open issue: FreeMem is still shown even with --disable-debug

It is also possible to combine these options, for example:

./configure --disable-debug --disable-gl

6.2 Quicker compilation

By adding -j<number> to the make command, you describe how many cores will be used. So for dual core the commands are:

make -j2


make -j2 sdl_2d

Experimental: You could add distcc if you have more than one computer networked. This will run make on several computers sharing the workload between them.

7 How to run

Everything is now taken care of by the install script. Simply run the xbmc command from anywhere:


8 Fullscreen

Toggle FS with \ key while XBMC is running.

9 Multi-monitor Fullscreen

If you have a multi-monitor setup and you want to use fullscreen, make sure to set the env variable SDL_VIDEO_FULLSCREEN_HEAD to the display no. which you want SDL to use for the fullscreen mode.

For e.g. "SDL_VIDEO_FULLSCREEN_HEAD=1 ./xbmc.bin -fs" to tell SDL to use display no.1

10 Weblinks

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