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Trevor Jackson
Trevor Jackson

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How to make a Raspberry Pi Media Center

I looked into making a Pi media center using Kodi but I didn't like any of the available options, so I made one using a Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspbian Lite.

The first thing to do is download Raspbian Lite here. Then write that image to a micro SD card for the Pi using software like Rufus.

Once you boot into the Pi, attach a keyboard, then type

sudo raspi-config

In this menu go to Network Options then Wi-fi. After that you'll need to select your Wifi type, secured or unsecured, then type your SSID then password.

Then, go to Localisation Options then select Change Keyboard Layout and press enter on the current keyboard model selected. Then, if your layout isn't listed, go to other and select your language. Then select your language again. then just press the defaults for the rest of the prompts (the default for this keyboard and no compose key).

You might want to go to Interfacing Options and enable SSH aswell.

Once that is complete exit by using your keyboard to press Finish.

Now type sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade. This will update your Pi's software.

Next, type sudo apt install kodi. Once that is done just type kodi into the command line to run it.

Now we are going to setup Kodi for remote control using an Android app called Yatse. If you are on an iPhone you'll need to find a replacement app. Now, in Kodi go to the settings at the top. After that go to Services, then Control. In that section switch on "Allow remote control via HTTP." If you want to change the username and add a password for security. Then close Kodi by going back to the main menu then pressing the power button then Exit.

Now type ifconfig, then find your IP and write it down, if you are using wireless it'll be under wlan0 or for ethernet eth0 then re-open Kodi.

Now open Yatse on your device and make sure you are connected to the same network as on your Pi. If your Pi shows up in the detected hosts, great! If not press Skip, then Kodi, then type in the IP you saved earlier and the port, default is 8080. Once you press Add Host it'll test the connection, then you are in the app. Once you press the Remote section you will have a working Kodi remote.

Now exit Kodi again so we can set it up to start when the Pi starts. In the terminal type crontab -e then select "1" for nano editor. After all of the comments add @reboot kodi then press CTRL + C then Y then Enter. Test that out by typing reboot.

There you have it Kodi running on your Raspberry Pi. I'll leave it up to you to customize and add plugins.

Note: If you are having screen tearing issues, go to Kodi's settings, then Player then in Video enable "Sync playback to display."

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