Note: Some of these tweaks are more aimed at the Pi 1 CPUs (A, B, A+, B+, Compute Module, Zero) as they only have a slow single-core CPU. Raspberry Pi 2/3 probably doesn't need some of these tweaks to run Kodi really well, but it also won't hurt anything, if you really want to push things to their limit.
- Avoid "heavy" skins and lots of "service" type add-ons that run in the background.
- Turn off RSS feeds and any scrolling text options for your skin. Depending on the skin/text, this can really boost a Pi 1, sometimes even a Pi 2/3.
- Use an SD card with good rewrite speeds. The class of the SD card doesn't always mean it will be better, as that speed classification is for sustained reading and writing, whereas for Kodi, random read/write speeds are more important.
- You can also try a combination of SD and fast USB drive for your Kodi install, but with the recent software improvements 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 antennae (internal or external) that advertises "300 Mbps". Otherwise, stick to wired ethernet, local USB drives, or ethernet-over-power devices (like Homeplug).
- Try using NFS file shares instead of SMB file shares.
- 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 to see if it's stable. If one group of overclocking settings causes crashes, try a group of lower settings.
- Note: Overclocking is pretty important for the Raspberry Pi 1 (A, B, A+, B+) and Zero, but much less so on the Pi 2/3 due to the multiple CPU cores as well as increased speed per core. You can still overclock the Pi 2 if you really want to, but for most users it makes little difference.
- By default, "Extract thumbnail and video information" (in Media Video Settings) is disabled on the Pi, improving browsing performance.
- For smoother video playback, enable "Adjust display refresh rate" in playback settings
- When using dvdplayer, "Sync playback to display" 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 additional codecs have been 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 via SSH and run this command:
/opt/vc/bin/tvservice a (on LibreELEC:
- For locally connected drives containing videos and music, the filesystem can have an impact on read and write speeds. NTFS for example tends to be much slower on any Linux-based system than the more native ext2, ext3, etc.
- If you use MySQL, you will want to make sure that 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, which makes 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.