How to Setup Raspberry Pi Kodi Media Center

In this tutorial, we take you through the steps of setting up Raspberry Pi Kodi using OSMC.

Raspberry Pi Kodi Thumbnail

OSMC is one of the best ways to turn your Raspberry Pi into a fully-fledged media center.

Not only is OSMC a feature-packed media center it has also been optimized heavily to work on the Raspberry Pi’s hardware.

In this Raspberry Pi project, we will show you how to install the OSMC distribution of Kodi. We chose OSMC as it bundles Kodi alongside a full operating system and is updated relatively often.

Being built on top of a full operating system allows OSMC to be very easily extended beyond its built-in Kodi functionality.

Kodi is one of the most complete media centers that you can set up on the Raspberry Pi. I highly recommend that you use it if playing media is the only thing you require.


Below is all the equipment that you will need for setting up Kodi on your Raspberry Pi.


Raspberry Pi

Micro SD Card (8GB+) if you’re using a Raspberry Pi 2, 3 or B+

Ethernet Cord or Wifi dongle


External Hard drive

Raspberry Pi Case

USB Keyboard

USB Mouse

Note: The USB ports on the Raspberry Pi might not be enough to power an external drive so you might need to invest in a powered USB hub.

Installing Kodi to your Raspberry Pi from image

1. Before we get started with installing Kodi to the Raspberry Pi, we will need first to download the OSMC image.

While there are a couple of different Kodi distributions, we found OSMC to be one of the most polished images available. On top of this OSMC sports a full operating system meaning you can easily install additional packages if need be.

You can obtain the latest version of OSMC by going to the OSMC download page.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Disk images” button then download the image for your version of the Raspberry Pi.

2. Now that we have our Kodi distribution downloaded, we will need to go ahead and install a tool to write the image to an SD card.

For this we will use a tool called Etcher, you can download it from their website.

3. Once you have downloaded and installed Etcher go ahead and press the “Select Image” button.

Browse to the OSMC image that you downloaded in Step 1 of this tutorial and select it.

Etcher Select Kodi Image

4. Next, click the “Select Drive” button. With the correct drive selected, press “Continue“.

Double check to ensure it is the SD Card otherwise you might accidentally wipe a hard drive.

Etcher Select Drive

5. Finally, to write the Kodi distribution to the Pi’s SD Card click the “Flash!” button to begin the flashing process. The flashing process can take some time to complete.

Once complete, remove your SD Card and put it into the Raspberry Pi.
Etcher Flash Image

Initial Setup of Kodi on the Raspberry Pi

1. On the initial startup of the OSMC image, you will be greeted by the following screen.

Wait until the setup process has completed before proceeding on with our Raspberry Pi Kodi guide.

OSMC Setup Initial Startup

2. Now you will be first asked to select a language for the Kodi installation to use.

Select one from the numerous options to proceed.
OSMC Setup Selecting a Language

3. With a language selected for Kodi, you will be asked to confirm it.

Select “Yes” to continue with the OSMC setup.
OSMC Setup Confirm Language

4. Next, you will be asked to select the time zone that you want to utilize for your Raspberry Pi Kodi installation.

Make sure you select the relevant time zone for where you live.

Kodi OSMC Setup Select Timezone

5. In the step below, you will be asked if you want to give your device a name. The name given to your device by default is “osmc“.

If you are happy with the default setting, you can select the “Accept” option to continue.

OSMC Set Device Name

6. This section will allow you to disable or enable the SSH service. By default, SSH is enabled by OSMC’s setup tool.

Select “Accept” to proceed on with OSMC’s installation process.

Raspberry Pi Kodi OSMC Setup Enable SSH

7. You will now be asked to agree to OSMC’s and the Kodi team’s terms and conditions.

Once you have read through the licensing and are happy to agree with it, select the “Continue” option on the left of the screen.

Terms and Conditions for OMSC and Kodi

8. You will now be asked if you want to set up networking.

If you are not ready to setup the network yet, you can still set it up later within the “My OSMC” submenu of OSMC’s Kodi installation.

As we intend on going through the process later on in the guide, we will be selecting the “I’ll set up networking later” option.

OSMC Networking Setup

9. Next, you will be asked what theme you want to use. For this guide, we will be sticking with the default “OSMC” option.

If you prefer the default look of Kodi, you can select the “Classic” option. If you choose the classic theme, you should still be able to go through the rest of the guide smoothly.

OSMC Set Theme

10. Now you will be asked if you want to sign up to OSMC’s newsletter.

For this guide, we are just going to go with the “No thanks” option to proceed.

OSMC Newsletter Prompt

11. At this point, you will now have finally finished the initial configuration process of OSMC on your Raspberry Pi.

You can select the “Exit” option to bring yourself to the main Kodi screen.

Kodi OSMC Setup Complete

Configuring Network Settings in Kodi

1. As we are using the OSMC distribution for this guide, the process of configuring your Raspberry Pi’s network settings is greatly simplified.

To access the network configuration tool, you must first go to the “My OSMC” menu.

 OSMC Config Main Screen

2. Now within the “My OSMC” menu, you need to select the icon at the bottom of the wheel. This item is the “Network configuration” menu.

You will notice there are several other items on this menu. It is well worth exploring the different options within this menu as they will help you configure your Raspberry Pi’s Kodi installation.

My OSMC Screen

3. Within the network configuration tool, you can control settings for “Wired“, “Wireless” and “Bluetooth” adapters.

You can configure your connection to your WiFi network within this menu.
OSMC Network Settings

Adding Videos for Kodi to Scrape

1. As we are using the OSMC distribution for this guide, the process of configuring your Raspberry Pi’s network settings is greatly simplified.

Firstly, we need to go to the videos menu.

Raspberry Pi Kodi Add Videos

2. Secondly, we need to select the “Files” submenu.

This submenu will allow you to browse already imported folders or add additional ones.

OSMC Add Files

3. Next, select the “Add videos…” option.

This option is where we will be able to add folders for the Kodi software to scan into its library.

OSMC Add Videos

4. Within this menu, you will need to select either the “Browse” or “Add” options (1.).

The “Browse” option will allow you to locate the folders through Kodi’s file browser. The “Add” option will have you to enter the path to your directory manually.

Whichever route you go, select the folder where your TV shows or movies are located then select “Ok” (2.) to proceed.

One thing to note is that you should make sure both your movies and TV shows are split into separate folders.

The reason for this is that Kodi’s scrapers will not be able to differentiate between them if they are contained within the same folder.

OSMC Add Videos Screenshot

5. On this screen, you need to start by selecting the “This directory contains” option.

This option will allow us to choose what type of videos are in this directory.

OSMC Set Content

6. You will now be asked to select what sort of videos reside in this folder. Kodi separates videos into three separate categories, “Movies“, “Music videos” and “TV shows“.

Select the option that is most relevant for your videos. The option you select will affect how Kodi scrapes the videos for information.

Raspberry Pi Kodi Content Types

7. Once you have selected the type of media the directory contains, you can now select “Ok“. Kodi automatically selects a known good “Information provider” that it will use to scrape your library.

Kodi scans your videos and searches their name within databases on the internet. This scan allows it to retrieve things like posters, actors, information, and other interesting information about your videos.

Once you select Ok, the scraping process should automatically start. You should start seeing your movies or tv shows added to the Kodi interface.

OSMC Save new content

Raspberry Pi Kodi Remote

There are various ways to control your Raspberry Pi Kodi based media center. This control includes setting up an IR receiver, or using a tablet or phone, or having a TV that supports HDMI CEC.

Most of the distributions of Kodi such as LibreElec and OSMC offer support for a large variety of different IR remotes controls.

You can also obtain some Android-based tablets and phones relatively cheap these days. So a simple, low-cost phone or tablet can make a cost-effective remote control.


HDMI CEC is the easiest way to control your Raspberry Pi media center. Kodi supports HDMI CEC right out of the box, what this means is that the remote control you use to control your TV will work automatically with Kodi.

These features work thanks to HDMI CEC’s capabilities. It sends the keypress commands that the TV receives over to the Raspberry Pi using the HDMI cable.

The only real downside is that a lot of TV’s sadly don’t implement HDMI CEC.

IR Remote

Setting up an IR remote is probably the most complicated out of the three options. Perhaps the easiest way to set up an IR remote is to use the FLIRC software.

The FLIRC software allows you to configure it on the computer and then plug it into your Raspberry Pi.

There is also an add-on available that allows you to setup FLIRC within Kodi itself as well.

If you are interested in the FLIRC software, you can purchase it directly from the company who develops the device.

Android/iOS Remote Control

Another alternative to using an IR remote, or HDMI CEC’s capabilities is to make use of your Android or iOS device.

They can both easily be set up for communication with the Raspberry Pi. This setup will allow you to control Kodi from your phone or tablet.

For Android, we highly recommend you use the app called “Yatse“. You can download the Yatse app for Kodi from the Google Play Store.

The Raspberry Pi Kodi Remote

For iOS devices, your best choice is the official Kodi remote control app. You can obtain the official Kodi remote control app directly from the Apple app store.

I hope this Raspberry Pi Kodi tutorial has shown you everything for setting up your own media center. If you have any feedback, suggestions, or anything else, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.


  1. Avatar for Robin
    Robin on


    This is not working on my Raspberry Pi 4b, correct? I have followed the steps until I had to put the SD card with the image file into my Raspberry Pi. All I get is a colored RGB-like screen. Nothing happens.

    Kind regards,


    1. Avatar for Emmet
      Emmet on Editor

      Hi Robin,

      Sadly OSMC does not currently support the Raspberry Pi 4, you will have to use an alternative such as LibreElec


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