Installing Kodi on a Raspberry Pi 3 is an easy enough task with the right tools. It is also one of the more fun and useful projects for the Pi 3.
The Pi 3 is something many can do for a cheap Kodi setup. If you have setup a Pi 2 with Kodi the installation is the same.
There are two main install packages to install Kodi to a RasPi 3, OSMC and OpenELEC.
Which one is used is a preference, OSMC has an installer that make it easier while OpenELEC needs image writing software. There is free image writing software so both are free to download and install.
Below are the steps to install Kodi to a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 using OSMC or OpenELEC.
Raspberry Pi 3
A controller such as a USB mouse or keyboard.
Compatible Micro SD Card 8GB or Bigger. (32GB Max)
If you already have all the extra components such as a HDMI cable, SD-Card, and power supply, only the RasPi 3 board will be needed.
If you don’t have all the extras a whole kit can be bought.
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit – 32 GB Edition
An SD-Card writer will also be needed to write the Kodi package to the SD-card.
If your computers are like mine and don’t have a Micro-SD Card Writer there are many cheap USB to Micro-SD card writers.
I bought this SD-Card Writer from Amazon which is very low-cost and works good.
IOGEAR SD/MicroSD/MMC Card Reader/Writer, GFR204SD
How To Install KODI On a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 Using OSMC
- Download the OSMC Installer program.
- Insert an SD-Card that Kodi will be written to in the SD-card Writer, and run the OSMC Installer
- Select the language to be used and Raspberry Pi 2/3 from the drop down boxes.
- Select the Build version. Choosing the newest Build is best.
- Select the media to write the package to. Here an SD-card is being used but a USB flash drive can also be used.
- There is an option to setup the wireless or use an Ethernet Connection.
- Check the drive the package will be written to is correct and click it.
- Accept the License Agreement
- It will download the package to install
- The OSMC Kodi package will be written to the SD-Card.
- When its done writing the package it will say Congratulations, and the SD-Card is ready to be installed into the Raspberry Pi.
- Insert the SD-Card into the Raspberry Pi
- Plug in the all the cables. The HDMI goes to a TV or Monitor. In this picture an Ethernet cable is plugged in from the router for internet, WiFi can also be used. A way to control it is needed such as an old USB keyboard and mouse.
- It will start the setup and finish the install
- It will ask some basic setup questions such as language and skin. The OSMC Skin can be used or the default Kodi Estuary Skin for a standard Kodi interface.
Using the Installer program is quick and easy, simply download the right installer for the operating system you are using.
For example if your writing the files with a Windows PC download the Windows Installer.
Download the latest OSMC Raspberry Pi Installer and build here https://osmc.tv/download/
Kodi will now be installed to your Raspberry Pi, the next step is to setup add-ons which give it functionality.
Read Here for How To Install Add-ons and Stream Movie and TV Shows.
How To Install KODI On a Raspberry Pi 3 Using OpenELEC
A Pre-built Kodi Image file is needed to be written to the SD-Card.
Download OpenELEC Image file here. http://openelec.tv/get-openelec
They keep changing the layout of the download page, simply look for Raspberry Pi2 and Raspberry Pi3 Image files. RasPi 2 Builds work fine on the RasPi 3.
After downloading the Image file it needs to be extracted. The file will be in a .GZ file format.
A Window based computer does not come with a built-in way to extract a.GZ file.
WinRAR or similar is needed to extract the file.
WinRAR can be downloaded here. http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm
Once the file is unzipped than it is ready to be written to the SD-Card.
I use Win32 Disk Imager to write files if you already have Image writing software then use it.
Here is the download to Win32 Disk Imager. https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/
Insert your SD-Card into a SD-Card writer slot and open Win32 Disk Imager.
Click the folder icon and point it to were the OpenELEC Image file was extracted.
Be sure the correct drive is selected to write as Win32 Disk Imager will write to what ever it is set to!!
Once everything is set correctly click the write button and Win32 Disk Imager will write the Image file to the SD-Card.
Once the Image is written than the SD-card can be inserted into the Pi 3.
Plug in all the connections to a TV with a mouse, keyboard or other controller.
The first time it boots the WiFi or Ethernet need to be setup. I used the built-in WiFi with good results. Using a Ethernet connection maybe necessary for those in a crowded wireless environment or far from the router.
The Raspberry Pi 3 works very well with Kodi. The built in WiFi while not the best works well enough and streamed movies fine.
The Pi 3 is a big improvement over the Pi 2. The Pi 2 also will run Kodi but does freeze at times.
To get the most out of Kodi a repository needs to be added which will contain all the popular add-ons.
The install for repository and add-ons will be the same across all hardware platforms including the Raspberry Pi 3.