Linux FAQ

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▶ Linux FAQ
Attention.png NOTICE:
The Linux FAQ is going though a major overhaul and some things might be missing. For a copy of the old version see here.
Kodi FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for XBMC running under Linux-based operating systems.


1 General FAQ

See also: All platforms FAQ for FAQs that apply to all versions of Kodi.

1.1 Supported Linux distributions

  • Team XBMC provides precompiled binaries for Ubuntu from the Team XBMC PPA. In the future there will also be precompiled binaries for Debian and Steam OS.
  • Team XBMC recognizes OpenELEC versions of XBMC as "pretty damn awesome".
  • Generally speaking, as long as XBMC is compiled per recommended guidelines (see HOW-TO:Compile XBMC for Linux), those builds are considered "kosher".
  • XBMC builds that use external ffmpeg/libav are not supported and are strongly discouraged.

1.2 Supported hardware

For x86 hardware:

1.3 How to install or update XBMC for Linux

For an easy to use fresh installation of both XBMC and OS you can use XBMCbuntu. XBMCbuntu can be installed from a DVD or USB thumb drive.


The Kodi repositories are as follows:

Note: Although the URL still has "Team XBMC" in the title, these are the current URLs for Kodi. ppa:team-xbmc/ppa Final release builds ppa:team-xbmc/unstable Betas and release candidates ppa:team-xbmc/xbmc-nightly Nightly builds

For other supported distros, see HOW-TO:Install XBMC for Linux

1.4 How to update XBMCbuntu

See: XBMCbuntu FAQ

1.5 XBMC for Linux version

The current stable version of XBMC for Linux is Kodi v14.2 Helix. This is the same code that all of the other platforms (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, etc) are using.

1.6 What version/nightly build/beta of XBMC am I running?

XBMC main menu > System > Lower submenu > System info. Note the build date.

1.7 Programs and tools to help with XBMC

For a list of programs and tools to help with XBMC, such as renaming files, managing media, file sharing, and more, see Supplemental tools/Linux

1.8 How to autostart XBMC in desktop mode

Editor note: this needs filling out

1.9 What are the differences between Ubuntu + XBMC, XBMCbuntu, and OpenELEC?

Editor note: this needs filling out
  • Ubuntu + XBMC: This setup will give you the full Unity desktop environment that has enough software installed to be a general computing solution.
  • XBMCbuntu: Comes ready to boot straight into an XBMC session, but still gives you full access to Ubuntu's vast software repositories. The default desk top is LXDE and not much software is installed.
  • OpenELEC: An appliance distribution. Getting software other than what is provided in the basic distribution will be a little difficult, but not impossible.

2 Troubleshooting

2.1 Getting more help with XBMC for Linux

2.2 Userdata folder and logs

Editor note: this needs filling out

2.3 Audio issues

For most audio issues, including configuration examples, see Audio and Audio troubleshooting.

2.4 Video tearing on Nvidia GPUs

When XBMC is used with Nvidia hardware, tearing will occur when the X composite extension is used.
  • Solution 1: Enable "Unredirect Fullscreen Window" in Compiz Config Settings Manager. [1]
    1. Install CCSM (Compiz Config Settings Manager): sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
    2. Open Compiz Config Settings Manager
    3. Check the option "Unredirect Fullscreen Window", which should be under the "Composite" section.

  • Solution 2: Disable the composite extension.
1. Add this to the end of /etc/X11/xorg.conf: (make a new file if xorg.conf doesn't exist)
Section "Extensions"
  Option "Composite" "Disable"
2. Then log in with a gnome classic session (without the composite extension compiz doesn't work).
3. Also make sure to set Vertical blank sync to Always enabled in XBMC.

2.5 Why can't I update XBMC on Ubuntu 13.04, 13.10, or other release?

The precompiled binaries from the Team XBMC PPA only work with Ubuntu releases that are still getting support. When Ubuntu drops support for a version then our PPA stops making a binary for it. Simply update Ubuntu itself and then XBMC updates should work again. If you don't want to update Ubuntu that often then we recommend using a long term support (LTS) version of Ubuntu, such as 14.04, which will be supported until 2019.
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