HOW-TO:Install XBMC on Raspberry Pi with USB drive

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Raspberry Pi ▶ HOW-TO:Install XBMC on Raspberry Pi with USB drive

The aim here is to use a SD card for the system files and a USB DRIVE as the storage device. This instruction-set work on Windows7. Some knowledge needed using Linux and "vi".

The gain is speed, cheap storage and ability to upgrade without loosing configuration data.

1 Hardware Needed:

  • HW: A Raspberry PI 1 or 2 (obviously) and a well-suited power supply. The Raspberry Pi 2 requires a 2 Amps power adapter for proper workings.
  • HW: A (micro) SD card of 2GB or larger in size. Class 10 SDHC cards are preferred. (You will be using this to store your OS onto.)
  • HW: A Memory Stick.
  • HW: A working Network Cable.
  • HW: SD card reader.
  • SW: MiniTool Partition Wizard. ( )

2 Detailed Instructions:

2.1 Using Minitool:

  • Create a 150MB, FAT32, PRIMARY, ACTIVE, partition on your SD card. (label: System) - NOTE: You could use the entire SD size.
  • Create a partition (I used the full size) , EXT4, PRIMARY partition on your Memory Stick. (label :Storage)

2.2 Extracting the Archive:

  • Extract the archive using either 7zip or winrar.
  • Open a DOS BOX and cd to the directory where you extracted the archive.
  • Run the following commands to copy the files to the SD card. (Mine was mounted on G:\ - Change this to your need):
copy target\KERNEL g:\kernel.img
copy target\SYSTEM g:\
copy 3rdparty\bootloader\*.* g:\
copy openelec.ico g:\
copy g:\

2.3 Create your startup files:

  • "edit g:\cmdline.txt" (Remember to change g:\ for your own drive.)
  • Add the following content to the file:
boot=/dev/mmcblk0p1 disk=/dev/sda1 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 ssh

3 Explanation: What you have just done:

  • You have used MiniTool to create 2 filesystems. One a FAT32 and one a EXT4 filesystem
  • You extracted the archive and dumped all the files to your SD card.
  • You then created a startup cmdline.txt file
3.1 NOTES:
  1. Changing the OS to a newer OS is easy, just do Points 2.2 and 2.3
  2. By just doing Points 2.2 and 2.3 you will not loose any data stored or customization on your USB Device.
  3. You can replace the USB device with a HDD for more storage.

4 Setting the time correctly:

Raspberry PI does not come with a real clock. What that means is that you will have to set the time every-time you boot by hand. But, there is an easy way to rectify this:

  • ssh to OpenElec. (u:root/p:openelec)
  • "vi /storage/.config/"
  • Add the following content:
(sleep 30; \
/usr/sbin/ntpdate; \
  • "chmod +x /storage/.config/"

When your PI comes up, it will take 30 seconds and the time will be in sync.