OpenELEC for Raspberry Pi

The guys at OpenELEC, an embedded OS built specifically to run XBMC, have announced their first ARM port and with it, support for Raspberry Pi. (Please note that although their website says that they can only support the Model B, the post was written just before we announced the upgrade doubling the Model A’s RAM.) I’m a week or so late to the party on this – apologies to Gimli and Stephan for the delay in posting this while we wrestled with launch stuff here.

When a download is available (which should be pretty soon, and I should point out that we have been the limiting factor here; we need to get one of the boards with a replaced magjack out to the guys so they can test it on a production board – that’s Gimli’s alpha board you can see in the video), we’ll be hosting it on our downloads page.

A quick word from Stephan:

What is OpenELEC?
OpenELEC is an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub. The idea behind OpenELEC is to allow people to use their Home Theatre PC (HTPC) like any other device you might have attached to your TV, like a DVD player or Sky box. Instead of having to manage a full operating system, configure it and install the packages required to turn it into a hybrid media center, OpenELEC is designed to be simple to install, manage and use, making it more like running a set-top box than a full-blown computer.

OpenELEC is tiny, at 85-115MB, and for RaspberryPi it comes in at only 70MB, which comprises the whole OS including XBMC, Python, and all services/tools needed to run XBMC. This means that at the moment, it’s the smallest distro for Raspberry Pi that we’ve seen.