Configuring LibreELEC

Migrating from OpenELEC to LibreELEC kodi

I’ve been using OpenELEC for a few years now, having it installed on an older Apple TV 1 (ATV1) and more recently on my Raspberry Pi 2 for use as a media centre. OpenELEC drastically simplified a kodi installation on any supported hardware & by aiming OpenELEC at being an appliance they managed to make a lightweight & rock solid kodi OS.

It would seem over the past 6 months or so, development of OpenELEC and support for OpenELEC has wound down. Maybe the developers have other projects to focus on, but I found that it wasn’t being updated as often as I would like. I then spotted LibreELEC which is operated by a small board of developers focused on creating a system with just enough OS for Kodi. This is excellent news for anyone running Kodi on a Raspberry Pi as the filesystem requirements are small & only enough processes & services run in order to support Kodi, meaning precious resources are freed up on slower hardware.

It would appear LibreELEC is based on OpenELEC and the filesystem appears to be very similar. The update procedure also appears to be identical. To upgrade to LibreELEC, I downloaded the latest release from the Libreelec website and selected the “Manual Update from OpenELEC” .tar file. Once downloaded, open up your OpenELEC shared folder on the network and place the .tar in the update directory. Once you have done that, reboot the Pi and LibreELEC will install in place of OpenELEC.

And with that my Raspberry Pi 2 which is a dedicated media centre was upgraded to LibreELEC. I’ve actually found that the libreELEC install is very stable, and my uptime has been constant since the update. I’m currently running Kodi 16.1 Jarvis and this media centre experiences very heavy usage in our household.

LibreELEC is going through constant development, so if you still use OpenELEC I would recommend updating. Also, it’s nice to get the latest versions of kodi Stable when they are available.

I’ve not had any issues with LibreELEC and it works very well with my raspberry Pi 2. I’ve also found that HEVC x.265 hi def content actually plays on the latest version of Kodi running on LibreELEC. I struggled to get those high resolution/compression files playing on OpenELEC without dropping a lot of frames and jerky playback. LibreELEC and Kodi 16.1 Jarvis seem to handle them perfectly now on my Raspbery pi 2 media centre.

LibreELEC has an almost identical extra configuration menu to that offered in OpenELEC, allowing you to manage wifi connections and stop/start services. It also has a handy little event viewer which allows you to view basic system logs. May come in handy when debugging issues int he future, but so far it has been rock solid so I’ve not needed to use it.

LibreELEC now powers our living Room media centre. This is the only TV we have in the house, as we tend to use Computers in other rooms or Laptops with kodi installed. But as our main media centre it is excellent. I’ve yet to find a format that libreELEC and the Raspbery pi 2 can’t handle, and even streaming over wi-fi on our internal network, we haven’t experienced any issues.

Have you upgraded to LibreELEC? if so let me know how you are getting on with it in the comments below.

LibreELEC kodi home screen
LibreELEC kodi home screen
libreELEC config menu
libreELEC config menu
Configuring LibreELEC
Configuring LibreELEC
Raspberry Pi 2 System Use on LibreELEC Kodi
Raspberry Pi 2 System Use on LibreELEC Kodi

John Large

My name is John Large. I am a Web Developer, E-commerce site owner & all round geek. My areas of interest include hardware hacking, digital privacy & security, social media & computer hardware. I’m also a minimalist in the making, interested in the Tiny House movement & the experience economy along with a strong interest in sustainability & renewable energy. When I’m not tapping on a keyboard or swiping a smart phone I can be found sampling great coffee, travelling the world with my wife Vicki (who writes over at Let’s Talk Beauty) & generally trying to live my life as unconventionally as possible.

6 thoughts to “Migrating from OpenELEC to LibreELEC kodi”

  1. Hey John, switched to libreelec but my wireless keyboard letters won’t work. It recognises enter and arrow keys but that’s it. Any ideas on how I could fix this issue at all please?

  2. Hi David.

    You may have a messed up config file in your user data folder. You may also find a localisation setting is screwed. Rule out the wireless keyboard if you can by trying with another keyboard, preferably a wired USB keyboard. If that works you can rule out the keyboard itself and look at config files.

  3. Does the migration also updates kodi? I still use kodi isengard 15.2 in openelec … And I´ll much enjoy start using a newer version of kodi ( Jarvis )…

  4. I was using LibreELEC for a bit after OpenELEC stopped working on my Pi and stopped updating itself

    I had big problems with updates and found the forums to be quite rude. Tried OSMC and have been using it since. Don’t know why people bother with LibreELEC when OSMC seems to be a much better system everything just works people help you and it’s not locked down.

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