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OpenELEC+KODI or Raspbian+KODI? Also what remote? And 24x7?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:05 am

Hi, I just got my raspberry pi 2 B+ 8-) 8-) . Got raspbian install through noobs installer. It is running and everything ... so all good :D :D

Now, I wanted to ask for suggestions.

1. Is the RPI2 capable enough to run KODI on a desktop environment like raspbian, or is a stripped down OpenELEC os the recommended way to go for KODI?

I want my raspberry to primarily be my media center system connected to my TV permanently, but I also want it to be a computer to copy files here and there, browse internet, playing online videos other than youtube/vimeo/dailymotion, maintain backups on the connected external harddrive, download torrents, etc.. Now should I go for a Raspbian+KODI system in which I boot it directly to KODI but when I need I can use a familiar linux desktop environment. Or does that put too much load on the RPI2, and thus I should get OpenELEC+KODI in which KODI will be smooth but I will probably struggle using my raspberry when I have to do some "computer" things on it. I want your suggestions.

2. Is a wifi dongle necessary to be controlled remotely?

My RPI2 is connected to my WIFI router through an Ethernet cable. Given that it is already on the lan, do I need to get one of those dongles for the RPI2 to be controlled by a wireless keyboard/mouse? (given that we are talking wifi keyboard/mouse and not bluetooth). What are some good such keyboard/mouse devices?

3. What software remote are you using?

In your experience, did you feel that an android remote, e.g. Unified Remote is good enough to control your RPI2? And also can you tell me which one you felt was the best such app for RPI2? My question 2 extrapolates here also, if RPI2 already on lan, will Unified Remote be able to access it through wireless without the need of one of those wifi dongles.

4. Is it Ok for raspberry to be running 24x7?

Because I want to turn on the TV and see KODI waiting for me to be operated I would want RPI2 to be running non-stop. Can the RPI2 handle being on indefinitely? Also, I am using one of those phone chargers to power my RPI2. It is a 5V 2A charger, is this good enough or too much? The manual says I should use a 5V 500mA.

My technical knowledge is not too much, so sorry if I spammed with some obvious stuff above :lol: but if you have suggestions on any one of the above, please post a reply. Thank you!!! :) :)

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Re: OpenELEC+KODI or Raspbian+KODI? Also what remote? And 24

Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:45 pm

Hey, I run Kodi (openelec distro) on 2 RPiB boards and use an RPiB+ with Kodi (Rasbmc distro) as a live TV backend. I don't have an RPi2B set up yet, but that's my project for next week. Also, it's not an RPi2B+, just to be clear. There is no such thing... yet. It's called a Raspberry Pi 2 B. The reason I mention this is because you need to be clear about which one you have. The RPiB+ is armv6 and the RPi2B (the new quad core/1GB model) is armv7, so they won't use the same build kernels for software. Make sure you get the right ones if you copy an SD card image or something like that.

I use my TV remote to control kodi via CEC. The button presses get passed to the Pi from my TV via HDMI. It mostly works out of the box as-is for basic functions, if your TV remote has standard direction buttons, play/pause, back, etc. I set up a few custom color key buttons with a config file. You may need to enable the CEC peripheral in the kodi device input menu. Alternatively, you can get a flirc usb adapter, which you can program using a PC. I tried it and returned it since it was redundant. Bear in mind that CEC can be flaky depending on TV model and firmware/library support. It works flawlessly on my Sony TV, but is temperamental on my LG TV. I have some workarounds for it, so it's not that big a deal.

I also have an XBMC remote on my smartphone that does everything. Period. It works via wifi, no dongles. Can't remember if I had to pay for it or not, but if so, it couldn't have been more than a couple of dollars and totally worth it. Mine was in the apple app store, app was written by joethefox.

If your Pi is connected via ethernet, you don't need a wifi dongle. To control it via wifi, your device sends a signal to your router, not the Pi itself. Just make sure you enable http device control in the kodi settings. They should be under the openelec system menus if you're using that flavor.

I run all 3 of my Pis (soon to be 4) 24/7, and they still draw a lot less juice than my desktop.

EDIT: In response to running Kodi and a desktop environment, yes, the Pi will work fine in that respect, but openelec won't do it for you. They lock down their filesystem and it is severely stripped down. Raspbmc/OSMC is probably a better option. Or you can just start with a Raspbian distro and install everything yourself. But then you would be missing some of the features packaged with openelec and osmc, like TV tuner drivers and plug in repositories, etc.

EDIT EDT: Your 2A charger should work fine, just be aware that plugging in USB peripherals will draw against that, too. I use a powered USB hub to run an external HDD and for the odd times I have to plug in a mouse/keyboard.

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Re: OpenELEC+KODI or Raspbian+KODI? Also what remote? And 24

Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:27 pm

kphammond9 wrote:Hey, I run Kodi ...
Thanks for your response. You got quite a setup!

Yes mine is a RPI2B only. Just dived in the RPI scene so I know very little :)

I got OpenELEC + Kodi only, as I installed Raspbian and felt I did not need a desktop environment, I could do things through ssh just fine. Besides quite a lot of addons are available so that's awesome.

For now my RPI2 webserver, or communication with Yatse, or ssh to the RPI2 from a computer etc. none is working, I think it has something to do with my wifi router settings which I will have to see. I believe I read somewhere that "port forwarding" needs to be on. All my devices including the RPI2 are connecting to internet just fine, but none is able to talk to each other. It is something I have to figure out.

Good to know RPI2 works just fine 24x7, that was my main worry. After I get my UPS, I can leave it on all the time.

Kodi is super! The interface is sleek. I still have to make up my mind if I need a wireless keyboard mouse or yatse will suffice. Will my use case involve typing (searching on youtube and other sites) or just selecting available content, it will depend on that.

I am also thinking of getting another PI :D one will stay dedicated to the TV, another I can use for experimentation.

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Re: OpenELEC+KODI or Raspbian+KODI? Also what remote? And 24

Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:38 pm

I have the same problem. I started with Openelec + Kodi (with Kore remote, on my smartphone) and it worked perfectly, I have a 1080 .mkv video (5GB) and it played perfectly. But I wanted to have a torrent server (Transmission) and a Samba server for adding and manage my files at the same time. But it was impossible to configure(I dont know if its posible). I decided to try Raspbian, the Transmission and Samba worked perfectly, then I installed Kodi, but the same video, and others with great quality worked terribly slow (skipping frames). I found out that this happens because "Memory split"(The amount of ram destined to the GPU), and with the raspi-config script, i've increased the memory from 64MB to 256MB, but didn't work as good as Openelec+ Kodi was working. Then I overclocked the rasp and I had to reistall everything because a failure...

Now I'm trying to reinstall Raspbian with everything and trying to figure out how to optimize the system to play 1080 videos properly. If I get some advance on this I will tell you.

PD. Excuse any english mistake, I'm not a native speaker.

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Re: OpenELEC+KODI or Raspbian+KODI? Also what remote? And 24

Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:06 am

arceus_12 wrote:I have the same problem. I started with Openelec + Kodi ...
I suspected this would be the problem. Because, to be completely honest, raspberry2 is no beast, too many addons and you try to do too many things together and openelec+kodi's ui starts to freeze. I have to sometimes ssh and restart kodi ui. Raspbian+kodi will be worse. :( :(

Make sure you have a class 10 micro sd card. I was using a class 4 and things were just too damn slow. After I got class 10 it felt like the RPI2 got a ram and proc upgrade.

I will suggest don't go with raspbian+kodi combination. Just do openelec+kodi and once you have it up and running, there are a lot of things you can do to make it flexible like a computer.

First things first. Enable SSH and SMB. These 2 will solve most of your problems. Default SMB share will be writable and you can manage your media through that. SSH will help you manage configuration files and backing things up or anything you wanna do computer like. SCP will also work given you have turned ssh service on.

Then get transmission service from unofficial openelec repository, get Transmission ui from regular repository and you have a torrent client too.

Then install vim (from program addons) so that when you ssh, you don't have to use that useless nano editor. Note apt-get does not work on openelec, it is just not there.

Not to mention, you can even setup emulation software if you are into those things (that's what I am going to do next).

Right now, from my desktop, I can open the kodi webserver, can open the transmission torrent client to manage torrents, can connect ssh, can browse media through SMB, can connect kodi from my phone using yatse, and hopefully will be able to play my favorite retro games with a controller.

The main things that I miss is a web browser. There is some addon to install that too but to be honest, the quick boot up, the ease of use and the plethora of program addons openelec+kodi provides, I don't feel the need of a browser on the RPI2 at all. :)

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