How to install Kodi on the Raspberry Pi

How to install Kodi on the Raspberry Pi

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a media center!
Jeremy Jeremy (12)
Total time: 30 minutes 

What's better than media center software that's fully-featured with a beautifully designed user interface? Free and open-source media center software that's fully-featured with a beautifully designed user interface. Kodi is all that, plus you can set it up to run on your Raspberry Pi in 30 minutes or less. This guide will walk you through the installation and setup process, step by step.

What is Kodi?

Formerly known as XBMC, Kodi is a free and open-source media center that runs on a variety of platforms, including the Raspberry Pi. Simply connect your Pi to your TV or monitor and enjoy your full library of movies, TV shows, music, and more!

Which Raspberry Pi versions can run Kodi?

Kodi will run on any version of the Raspberry Pi (Pi 1, 2, 3, Zero, or Zero W), though for performance reasons I recommend running it on a Raspberry PI 3. This guide covers installation on any Pi version.

Here's everything you'll need to complete this guide:

HDMI cable×1
MicroSD card, 64GBMicroSD card, 64GB×1
Raspberry Pi power supply×1
Raspberry Pi 3Raspberry Pi 3×1
Download the OSMC (Open Source Media Center) installer

OSMC is a free and open-source media center based on Debian Linux! OSMC features Kodi as its main frontend software package and is designed to run on a Raspberry Pi. OSMC adds a layer of simplicity to Kodi by managing system resources and hardware (remotes, keyboards, etc.), as well as keeping everything up to date.

That being said, the first thing we’ll do is download the OSMC installer from the downloads page. Be sure to download the correct installer for your operating system.

Run the OSMC installer

While the installer is downloading, insert your SD card into your computer and ensure it is recognized. An SD card of at least 8GB is required, but I recommend using a larger one, such as this 64GB one, if you plan on storing media files on the system (which you probably will!)

After the download completes, go ahead and run the installer. This will run you through all of the steps required to configure OSMC and install the image on your SD card. If you plan on using a wireless connection, you’ll need to have your Wi-Fi network name and password available.

Note for Mac users:

You may see a message stating “” can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer. This is because OSMC is not registered as a developer with Apple.

If you get this message, close it and then navigate to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General and click the "Open Anyway" button.

Boot OSMC on your Raspberry Pi

Insert the SD card into your Raspberry Pi, connect the HDMI cable to your TV, and power on the Raspberry Pi to boot OSMC!

If you're interested in seeing how OSMC works under the hood, check out the OSMC Github repository.

If you're interested in participating in the active development of OSMC, check out the OSMC Development Overview section in the official OSMC Wiki.

Remote control using your smart phone

Fortunately, if you’re using iOS or Android, you can control Kodi from your phone. While many Jodi remotes are available for your iPhone or Android device, the free apps below are the official Kodi apps maintained by the Kodi development community. Thus, they will work best.

iOS Kodi Remote

For iOS, download to app Official Kodi Remote.

Android Kodi Remote

For Android, download the app Kore, Official Remote for Kodi.

Alternatively, you can use a USB keyboard to control Kodi. For this option, you’ll need to refer to the wiki on Kodi keyboard shortcuts.