|For more info and help, check out the XBMC Raspberry Pi support forum|
The Raspberry Pi is an series of ARM powered, credit card sized computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation for educational and hobbyist purposes. These low power computers is mass produced at very low prices and the high number of units sold gives it massive community support. As an Kodi HTPC, all Raspberry Pis supports full 1080p (Full HD) video playback of the most commonly used codecs, support for most if not all Kodi add-ons, and reasonably responsive GUI performance.
1 Installing Kodi
- Easy / Kodi centric distributions
- Advanced / can be used with Kodi
- Raspbian - Up-to-date versions of Kodi are now on the default Raspbian repositories. See full guide here
- RetroPie - See full guide here
- Recalbox - Installing (note: game controllers currently don't work in Kodi, so an additional remote or keyboard is needed)
- Buildroot - For experimented users only !
2 Frequently Asked Questions
- See: Raspberry Pi FAQ
3 Maximizing performance
- Use a lightweight skin such as the default Confluence, Amber, Quartz, Bellow, or xTV-SAF.
- Turn off RSS feeds and any scrolling text options for your skin.
- Use an SD card with good rewrite speeds. The class of the SD card doesn't always mean it will be faster, as that speed listing is for sustained reading and writing. For Kodi random read/write speeds are more important. The class 4/6 Samsung SD cards sold on the Raspberry Pi Store (the ones with NOOBS on them) typically have much better performance than most class 10 cards. For more information about SD card speeds, check out this excellent thread on the R-Pi forum: http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=53159
- You can also try to use a combination of SD and fast USB drive for your Kodi install, but recent improvements to the software make it so that even just using a good SD card is about as fast as using a fast USB drive.
- Avoid using wifi. If you do use wifi, use a wifi adapter that contains two antenna (either internally or externally). Otherwise, stick to wired ethernet, local USB drives, or ethernet-over-power devices (like Homeplug, etc).
- If you are using wifi and it seems just on the edge of being fast enough, check out HOW-TO:Modify the video cache.
- Try using NFS file shares instead of SMB file shares.
- Try mounting network shares through OS rather than Kodi. This allows more tweaking of filesystem options, like chosing UDP and larger block sizes. See This raspbmc thread for details
- Overclock. Most Pi's can handle a significant overclock, as long as they have a good power supply. There is no universal setting that will work for everyone (except for the default speed that you get without overclocking). Try various overclocking settings and run Kodi for a while and see if it's stable. If one group of overclocking settings causes crashes, try a group of settings that are lower than that. For more information about this check out this forum thread: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=199272
- "Extract thumbnail and video information" from file lists settings is disabled by default on the Pi as it improves browsing performance.
- For smoother video playback enable "Adjust display refresh rate to match video" from playback settings
- When using dvdplayer "Sync playback to display" and "adjust PLL" for sync method are recommended. See playback settings
- Make sure the video is using H.264 (up to High Profile. Hi10P will not work) or MPEG-4, or, if a codec was purchased and enabled, MPEG-2 or VC-1.
- Passthrough is recommended as it lowers CPU usage for DTS and AC3. Use audio passthrough if your TV/receiver supports it.
- To determine which audio passthrough formats your HDMI-connected TV supports, you can log in to your chosen distribution, via SSH, and run this command:
/opt/vc/bin/tvservice a(on OpenELEC:
- Feeling adventurous? Check out the latest OpenELEC test builds, which often have even more speed improvements. Just remember that these builds can often be unstable: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=192380
- Some additional advanced tips for speeding up boot times. http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=201354
- For locally connected drives containing videos and music, the format of the drive can have an impact on read and write speeds. For example, NTFS tends to be much slower on any Linux-based system than the more native EXOFS formats (ext2, ext3, etc).
- If you use MySQL then you will want to make sure your images are pre-cached using the Texture Cache Maintenance utility tool. Local libraries typically don't need this as their images are cached when videos are scanned in. Using MySQL can improve performance as the database queries are handled by another machine.
- Organizing your movies in single folders for each movie, rather than all movies in one folder, is recommended. The individual folders reduce the time it takes for Kodi to look for supporting media like external subtitles, making browsing, scanning and starting playback a little faster. You might also want to consider pre-scraping the meta data using a Library manager to reduce the time it takes to scan in both movies and TV shows.
- For Raspberry Pi units with only 256MB of RAM, see http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=222498
4 Remote controls
- GPIO IR receiver
- Don't have a CEC TV or a smartphone remote? For less than a dollar/euro, you can add an IR receiver to your Raspberry Pi that works with most MCE and Apple remotes (and a few others). Most Kodi install options for the Pi should work with the GPIO IR out of the box, or by enabling a setting from within Kodi. Go to a local electronics store or search on ebay for "
TSOP4838" and use some simple jumper wires (or solder the pins directly, if you wish). (We need a link to a good, up to date GPIO IR guide. Most of the links I found are outdated and contain instructions for additional configurations that are no longer required. If you find a good link/guide, please add it to the wiki.)
If you are using OpenELEC just add this to your config.txt file:
- If your TV supports CEC then you should be able to use the remote control that came with your TV to control Kodi. The remote control signals are sent over the HDMI cable and most often don't require any further settings or configuration.
- MCE remotes
- Various MCE USB receivers and remotes will work on the Pi.
- Keyboards and mice
- Any Keyboard such as wired, wireless, bluetooth. This includes remotes that are seen as keyboards, such as Rii remotes, the Mele F10-Pro remote, or the (very awesome) Flirc.
- Smartphone/tablet remotes
- Use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control.
- Web interfaces
- Control Kodi from anything that has a web browser.
5 How good is it, really?
See for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErWF2sYgJec
6 Further reading
7 Random notes
Feel free to place various notes, tips, and links here. As this section of the wiki gets more organized, those notes will be properly sorted. Consider this like a dumping ground for when you're not sure where to put something.