| General topics
|Want to discuss or ask about what hardware is good for Kodi? Check out the Hardware for Kodi subforum|
Kodi needs a 3D capable GPU graphics hardware controller for all rendering. The required 3D GPU chips are common today in most modern computers, and even some set-top boxes. Kodi runs well on what (by Intel ATOM standards) are relatively underpowered OpenGL 1.3 (with GLSL support), OpenGL ES 2.0 or Direct3D (DirectX) 9.0 capable systems that are IA-32/x86, x86-64, or ARM CPU based.
When software decoding of a Full HD 1080p high-definition video is performed by the system CPU, a dual-core 2 GHz or better CPU is required in order to allow for perfectly smooth playback without dropping frames or giving playback a jerky appearance. Kodi can however offload most of the video decoding process onto GPU and VPU hardware that supports one of the following types of hardware-accelerated video decoding: Android StageFright and MediaCodec API, Intel's VAAPI, Nvidia's VDPAU, AMD's XvBA, Microsoft's DXVA, Apple's VDADecoder/VideoToolBox, or OpenMAX. By taking advantage of such hardware-accelerated video decoding, Kodi can run well on many inexpensive and low-power systems which contain a modern GPU and VPU.
1 Supported hardware by OS
It is highly recommended for users to not make any purchases in anticipation of running Kodi on Android without first researching the device you want to buy. Before you do buy, make sure multiple people have verified that it works! If in doubt, do not buy that hardware!
- Due to the fractured nature of the Android operating system ecosystem and diversified hardware devices with poor usage of standard APIs by manufacturers, it makes it very hard to give exact minimum requirements, so instead the basic set of requirements includes:
- Android 4.4 operating-system or later is recommended, though Android 4.0 or later is supported by Kodi 14 (Helix), however the newer Kodi 15 (Isengard) and later will require at least Android 4.2 or later version of the operating-system.
- x86 (Intel) or NEON compatible ARM processor, (for example: Nvidia Tegra 3 and newer are fully supported by Kodi, while Tegra 2 and older Tegra probably will never be supported because its processor lacks NEON instruction set compatibility).
- Hardware decoding support in Kodi is likely a must for high definition video playback (720p or higher resolution). Do not expect Kodi to work properly on any device until someone knowledgeable have specifically already tested it and can confirm working hardware decoding support for that device. For more details on hardware video decoding support, see Android hardware.
- The main aim for the Android port of Kodi is to foremost target media-players/set-top-boxes/sticks that connect to a large screen television and uses a standard remote control as its main interface device, (that is the same market as for HTPC). However expect the initial tablet/phone/touch/mobile/etc support to eventually improve with time.
- To Install Kodi on ATV2 you must have a jailbroken Apple TV 2 running versions 4.1 to 5.3
- Kodi only works on the second generation Apple TV (ATV2), which is the black version that outputs 720p. Kodi does not work on the newer third generation Apple TV (ATV3) that outputs 1080p (Full HD), because there is no jailbreak for the ATV3.
- To install Kodi for iOS you must have a jailbroken iDevice running iOS 4.0 through 8.1.2. (4.3 or higher recommended).
- For hardware: iPad (1,2,3,4), iPad Air (1,2), iPad Mini (1,2,3), iPhone (4, 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6+), iPod touch (4, 5).
|CPU|| x86 or x86-64 processor such as: Intel Pentium 4/ Pentium M, AMD Athlon 64 / Opteron, or newer CPU (that support SSE2, which all CPUs made within the last 10-years does).
Kodi will run on most graphics cards made within the last 10-years or so, though for good hardware video decoding support a little newer graphics cards can be required. This includes most cards from AMD/ATI, Intel, or NVIDIA which support OpenGL 2.0 or later.
|Video decoding||For hardware video decoding, which may be necessary on low-performance CPUs to playback 1080p content, make sure your GPU or VPU supports either VAAPI, VDPAU, or OpenMAX.|
|Drive space|| The Kodi application generally only takes up between 100 to 200 MB of space, depending on how the binary is compiled. Technically speaking, if your hardware supports netbooting, you do not even require a internal storage for either the operating-system or for Kodi.
1.3.2 Embedded systems (ARM/MIPS-based hardware)
Other than OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics support being a must it is very hard to generalize Kodi hardware requirements for Linux-based operating-system distributions on ARM or MIPS based embedded systems. This is partially due to most of the work in this area still being early/on-going in development. For most ARM and MIPS-based devices, hardware video decoding support will also be needed for most high-definition videos, (and possibly even some standard-definition videos). Some newer and faster high-end ARM/MIPS chipset can decode some high-definition video using software video decoding, but those encoded with the latest video codecs.
Here are a few popular embedded hardware devices that are known to work with Kodi and Linux:
- Raspberry Pi (and Raspberry Pi 2) - Hardware video decoding support for H.264, MPEG-2, and VC-1. GUI is responsive on most light skins. Official supported by many third-party JeOS (Just enough Operating System) Linux distributions made for Kodi such as OpenELEC, GeeXboX, Xbian, and OSMC
- Cubox-i - Official supported by OpenELEC, GeeXboX, Xbian, and OSMC
- Pandaboard - GeeXboX is a good OS/Kodi distro for this platform. Limited support, as it is generally not a development target by Team Kodi.
- APF6Dev - Buildroot is a good OS/Kodi distro for this platform. Based on i.MX6 chip, this platform has good Kodi support since 14.x and GUI is very responsive on most skins.
- Various "Android" boxes - can run reinstalled with a Linux firmware and boot directly into Kodi. Hardware video decoding for most video codecs, GUI is very responsive on most skins. Running Linux and Kodi on these "Android boxes" will likely result in better performance and enhanced playback capabilities than running Kodi under Android.
1.3.3 JeOS implementations for Kodi
JeOS is the abbreviation (pronounced: Juice) for "Just Enough Operating System" as it applies to software appliances and embedded operating system are very easy too install and use implementations of Kodi for appliance usage on dedicated devices. Hiding a powerful combination of a Kodi and an almost hidden operating system for bare metal installation, a good JeOS implementation can make Kodi installation look, feel, and act just as any commercial set-top box or professional Smart TV media player, with many even offering automatic OTA (Over The Air) updates.
There are several of these JeOS (Just enough Operating System) Linux distributions out there made by third-parties that are specifically designed to make Kodi into an software appliance, these include OpenELEC, GeeXboX, Xbian, OSMC, Buildroot and a few more.
These JeOS implementations for Kodi are all separate independent projects on their own, all aiming to provide the best complete media center software suite. These include a pre-configured version of Kodi and some pre-installed third-party addons/plugins. Most of these JeOS implementations are extremely small and very fast booting Linux-based distribution, that are primarily designed to be booted from USB flash memory or a solid-state drive. While this is kind-of a similar concept to that of the Kodibuntu distribution, JoOS distributions takes it a step father and specifically targeted minimum set-top box / Smart TV appliance hardware setup based on ARM SoC or Intel x86 processor mini-computers.
1.4 Mac OS X
- Requires Mac OS X 10.6 (up to Kodi 14.1) or Mac OS X 10.7 (Kodi 14.2 and later) and only runs on Intel Macs.
- OS minimum to run Kodi: Windows Vista.
- OS recommended: Windows 7, which is required for hardware video decoding.
- Windows Home Server and Windows Server are not supported but have been reported to work with some tweaks.
- For end-users the recommended minimum requirement is a x86-based computer, with a graphic adapter that supports DirectX version 9.0c.
- x86 (Intel/AMD-based) processor: with .
- SSE2 support
- Fast modern (last few years) dual-core processor is required to decode H.264 videos in FullHD (1080p) without the assistance of a hardware video decoder.
- ATI/AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA graphic controller.
- ATI Radeon R420 (X800) or newer supported, ATI Radeon R700 (HD 4000) or newer recommended.
- Intel GMA 950 (945G) or newer supported, Intel GMA X4500HD (G45) or newer recommended.
- NVIDIA GeForce 6-Series and newer supported, GeForce 8-Series and newer recommended.