Supported hardware

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XBMC/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. XBMC/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. XBMC/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, XBMC/Kodi can run well on many inexpensive and low-power systems which contain a modern GPU and VPU.


1 Supported hardware by OS

1.1 Android

Attention.png NOTICE:
It is highly recommended for users to not make any purchases in anticipation of running XBMC/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 XBMC 14 (Gotham), however the newer Kodi 15 (Helix) 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 XBMC/Kodi, while Tegra 2 and older Tegra probably will never be supported because its processor lacks NEON instruction set compatibility).
    • Hardware decoding support in XBMC/Kodi is likely a must for high definition video playback (720p or higher resolution). Do not expect XBMC/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 XBMC/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.

1.2 iOS

1.2.1 ATV2

  • 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.

1.2.2 iDevices

  • 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, iPad Mini (1,2), iPhone (4, 4S, 5, 5c, 5S), iPod touch (4, 5).

1.3 Linux

1.3.1 Desktop

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).
  • If your GPU/VPU does not support hardware video decoding then you will require a fast modern processor is required to decode some 1080p videos encoded in H.264, VC-1/WMV9, HEVC/H.265 VP9, etc.. Editor note: Hard to quantify this, but maybe we can get a rough benchmark score in here?
  • There is very limited Power PC (PPC) support: [Linux] How to install on Linux-ppc
  • Recommended: 1GB or more in a HTPC media player appliance-like computer dedicated for XBMC/Kodi, and 2GB or more in a computer for multipurpose use.

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.

ATI Intel Nvidia
Minimum without HW decoding: ATI Radeon RV710/M92 (HD 4300/4500) Note: These are uvd2.2 cards Intel GMA 950 (945G) Nvidia GeForce 6-Series
Minimum for HW decoding of H.264 and VC-1: AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series or newer Intel GMA X4500HD (G45) or newer Nvidia GeForce 8-Series or newer
Minimum for HW decoding of HEVC (H.265) and VP9: TBA: AMD Radeon R9 Series? (R9 390?) or newer Intel HD Graphics 5500 or newer Nvidia GeForce 900 series (GM20x) or newer
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.
Note: Ubuntu 12.10 (or newer) users of ATI graphics cards are recommended to use a UVD 2.2 or higher graphics card for proper hardware video decoding support.
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.
  • Minimum: 4 to 8GB
  • Recommended: 16GB or more
Depending on how big your video library is. Most of the space required for Kodi comes from the images/artwork cache, which can be adjusted: HOW-TO:Reduce disk space usage.

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 XBMC/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 XBMC/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. Editor note: need feedback on performance. A little snippet, like the one above for the R-Pi, will do
  • 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 oftware 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 XBMC/Kodi into an software appliance, these include OpenELEC, GeeXboX, Xbian, OSMC, and a few more.

These JeOS implementations for XBMC/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 XBMC/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 and only runs on Intel Macs.

1.5 Windows

Note: Due to changes in code it may be possible that older hardware/videocards are no longer supported. If starting of Kodi fails then try upgrading to last available drivers (or beta drivers).
  • 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.
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