Nicolas Jeannerod

Install LibreELEC on a Computer

LibreELEC is an OS whose purpose is to run Kodi, an open-source app to turn any computer into a media center. It works great on all kinds of Raspberry Pi. However, it was a pain to install on a regular computer. Here is how I finally got it to work.

The Straightforward Way

You should try that before going for the other way.

Go to https://libreelec.tv/downloads/ and create your bootable USB stick manually or using the provided tool. Boot from it on the target computer, select install and you should be fine.

If your computer refuses to boot on your USB stick, check that it works with an other one that is known to work (for instance, the Live CD of a big Linux distribution).

If it works with other USB sticks but not with the one from LibreELEC, you are in the same situation as I was. Luckily, there is an other way!

The Other Way

  1. Go to https://libreelec.tv/downloads/, in the Direct Downloads section and use the drop-down list to select Generic AMD/Intel/nVidia GPU HTPC. Download the file LibreELEC-Generic.x86_64-*.img.gz.
  2. Extract the .img file for the archive: gunzip LibreELEC-Generic.x86_64-*.img.gz. Put it on a USB stick (the standard way, by copying it). In the following, I will just call it the USB stick.
  3. Get yourself a Live CD or Live USB stick that gives you access to at least a terminal and the basic tools. I personnally used the ISO of Archlinux. In the following, I will just call it the Live CD.
  4. Boot on the Live CD. Plug also the USB stick containing the .img file into the computer.
  5. From the Live CD, you should see (at least; using fdisk -l for instance) three devices: the Live CD itself, the USB stick and the target HDD on which we want to install LibreELEC. Find the device number of the HDD (and of the USB stick if you need to mount it).
  6. Get access to the .img file. You may have to mount the USB stick by hand (I assume that it is /dev/sdX and has only one partition):

    mkdir /mnt/usb
    mount /dev/sdX1 /mnt/usb
  7. Warning: If there are data on the HDD, they are about to be lost.
  8. Write the .img on the HDD (I assume that it is /dev/sdY):

    dd if=/path/to/LibreELEC-Generic.x86_64-*.img of=/dev/sdY bs=4M && sync

    Once this is done, you have LibreELEC on your disk! We will still change a few things to make it nicer.

  9. Mount the boot partition of the HDD:

    mkdir -p /mnt/hdd/boot
    mount /dev/sdY1 /mnt/hdd/boot

(the next points should be re-written)

  1. Edit the files /mnt/hdd/boot/syslinux.cfg and /mnt/hdd/boot/EFI/BOOT/syslinux.cfg. Set PROMPT to 0 and TIME to 5.
  2. Remove the Live CD and the USB stick and boot into LibreELEC.