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Mediacenter with OpenELEC

note: this article was written in 2016.

First of all I will make a list with what I used for myself, but this is not something mandatory for you. If you want to see my terminal and how I did it check my asciinema video.

  • Hardware used

    • Macbook Pro
    • Raspberry 3
      • SDD Card 8GB Samsung (Class 10, 70MB/s).
      • Low-cost Keyboard. (You will need it in some situations).
    • LCD: Samsung S27C350. (You can use the TV or any other monitor which supports HDMI).
    • Router: Asus AC-3200.
    • HDD: Lacie P9220 (2TB).
    • Stick Huawei for Failover of the internet.
    • UTP Cable for Router.
  • Prepare Raspberry3 (OpenELEC), HDD and SDD (HDD - Hard Disk. SDD - Card)

    • Step 1: Open your terminal and install a few tools which will be needed by the process (if you do not have brew installed

      brew install pv wget p7zip
    • Step 2: Insert your HDD and SDD into your computer (Please backup data from them, because everything will be removed).

    • Step 3: Format HDD and SDD with MacOS. Check support for Asus Routers:

      • For MacOS: (GPT, HFS). You can do it from disk Utility or from the Terminal (I recommend it form Terminal). If you are using Linux or Windows the steps are different and the HardDisk should be formatted as EXT3 or EXT4 for Linux and NTFS for Windows.
      • Ignore the HDD part if you just want OpenELEC without a HardDisk connected to your router and configured as NFS for Raspberry.
      • Copy one be one the next line and read VERY careful everything. I'm not responsible if you lose your data!
      # ATTENTION: Check very careful the name and the size just to be sure that you don't format other disks.
      # Check all disks attached to the system and change variables DISK_HDD and DISK_SDD accordingly.
      diskutil list
      # Name of my HDD is NetDisk and the size is 2TB, so will be /dev/disk4 from the list.
      # Name of my SDD is CardDisk and the size is 8GB, so will be /dev/disk3 from the list.
      # Prepare the HDD.
      diskutil partitionDisk ${DISK_HDD} 1 GPT HFS+ NetDisk R
      # If System ask you to use the HDD for TimeMachine click on "Don't use".
      # Prepare the SDD.
      # Note: Name must be only with uppercase letters: CARD.
      diskutil partitionDisk ${DISK_SDD} 1 GPT FAT32 CARD R
    • Step 4: Put image of OpenELEC on SDD Card.

      wget -O openelec.img.gz
      gunzip openelec.img.gz
      # Unmount all partitions from SDD
      diskutil unmountDisk ${DISK_SDD}
      # We will need root access to write image to the SDD. No worries - and you can check the command.
      SIZE_IMG="$(du -sh openelec.img|cut -f1)"
      sudo bash -c "dd bs=1m if=openelec.img | pv -s ${SIZE_IMG} | dd bs=1m of=${DISK_SDD}"
    • Step 5: Safe remove the SDD from your MacBook and put it into Raspberry.

    • Step 6: Power on your Raspberry. If everything was just fine now you should have a interface with OpenELEC. I will list my configuration below so you can have a good Mediacenter without too much knowledge. Please follow the list step by step exactly after your OpenELEC works.

      • Interface

        • Next, Next.

        • Select a Network (you should have a wireless in your house).

        • Connect, Done, Next.

        • Sharing and Remote Access: Only SSH. The credentials are root:openelec (We will change them later).

          • TODO: Setup wireless directly from image to not use a keyboard or a UTP cable. (ignore this line, it's something for me to investigate it if I will have time in the future).
        • SYSTEM:

          • Settings:
            • Add-ons:
              • Install from repository:
              • OpenELEC Add-ons (official).
            • Kodi Add-on repository
              • Look and feel
                • Skin
                  • Screensaver: WeatherScreesaver
                  • Skin (DO NOT change yet the Skin):
                    • Aeon Nox: Futuristic.
                    • Amber: Simple and cool.
                    • Rapier: Okish
                  • Subtitles
                    • BSPlayer
                  • Video add-ons (you can install others as well, but this is what I can recommend): 9GAG.TV, CCC-TV (,, Earth Touch, Infowars, Khan Academy, Nasa, Pluralsight, PopcornTv,, Revision3, Travel Channel, Udacity, VEVO, Vimeo, Vine, Youtube.
                  • Weather: Yahoo Weather
                  • Web interface: Arch
                  • Appearance:
                    • Skin:
                      • Show RSS news feeds: Off.
                    • International:
                      • Region: Central Europe.
                      • Timezone country: Romania
                    • Screensaver:
                      • Screensaver mode: Weather Screensaver
                  • Video:
                    • Playback:
                      • Play next video automatically: On.
                    • Subtitles:
                      • Preferred subtitle language: Romanian
                      • Languages to download subtitles for: English, Romanian
                  • Weather:
                    • General:
                      • Service for weather information: Yahoo Weather
                      • Settings:
                        • Location 1: ?
                        • Location 2: ?
                  • Services:
                    • Web server:
                      • Port: 55000
                      • Username: adminRandom22
                      • Password: SomeR1nd03mPass3
                      • Web interface: Arch
                    • Remote control:
                      • Allow remote control by programs on this system: Off.
                    • AirPlay (this should be configured before Zeroconf)
                      • Enable AirPlay support: Off. (This doesn't work anyway)
                    • Zeroconf
                      • Announce services to other systems: Off.
                  • System:
                    • Audio output: (if you have a bluetooth speaker here you can configure it).
                    • Input devies:
                      • Enable mouse and touch screen support: Off.
                    • Logging:
                      • Enable event logging:
                      • Enable notificaton event logging: On.
                • OpenELEC:
                  • Network:
                    • Wired Networks:
                      • Active: Off (this should be off only if you have your Raspberry on Wireless).
                    • Services:
                      • Avahi:
                        • Enable Avahi (Zeroconf): Off
                    • File manager
                      • Add source: | Done
                      • Name: fusion | Ok
                      • System-> Settings-> Add-ons
                        • Install from zip file
                          • fusion -> xbmc-repos -> select what do you want.
                        • Install from repository -> your selected repo -> Video add-ons -> selected repo.
                      • Change Appearance -> Skin: Amber
                        • GUI Sounds: Amber UI Sounds
                        • Colours: Blue
        • Prepare Router (Original Firmware)

        • Step 7: Torrent: Transmission Web ( This is useful because you can just add the torrent file in your router and this will download the files on the hard disk. After that you can access all files with NFS directly from Raspberry/OpenELEC.

# On MacBook
brew install Caskroom/cask/transmission
# On Router (after you access the router on ssh)
ipkg update
ipkg upgrade
ipkg remove nano transmission wget-ssl libiconv gettext
ipkg install nano transmission wget-ssl libiconv gettext
ipkg -force-depends install uclibc-opt
killall transmission-daemon
nano /tmp/home/root/.config/transmission-daemon/settings.json
# I saw a interface for this torrent daemon as application on Macbook, but ask me for root password and I can't trust it.
brew cask install transmission-remote-gui