Kodi and openELEC: the best solution for your multimedia station… but is it legal?

Published by TheJoe on

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes


This article was published more than a year ago, there may have been developments.
Please take this into account.

Let's start by talking about Kodi.


Kodi is a simple and complete software to transform a traditional TV on a smartTV with bows. It is a software open source and is more or less compatible with any device you already own. From the official website you can download the builds for Linux, Windows, iOS, OSX, Android and Raspberry Pi (and other). This means that whatever your operating system is, you will be able to transform your computer (or your Raspberry Pi box) on a smartTV. If you then connect the computer to the TV, you're done.

For those who want to test the operation of Kodi on Ubuntu and maybe use it together with their TV, installation is very simple. Below are the instructions for the stable version.

Let's install the program “software-properties-common” and the repository “team-xbmc/ppa“. Then we install Kodi:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kodi

Did you expected some other steps? Sorry to disappoint you.

Changing the subject, one of the important aspects is how legal Kodi is. The development team he wondered in a recent post on the legality of their software.

Short answer: Kodi is legal.

Less short answer: It is not Kodi that is illegal, but it can be the use that some users make of it.

Declaring it illegal would be a bit’ mean that car manufacturers are responsible for car accidents.

This software is open source, therefore very flexible. It is easy to add add-ons not always “verify“. This, as well as exposing the user to a risk for his safety, but could also be (depending on the add-on) an illegal behavior. On the web it is easy to come across some sites or youtubers that explain how to use Kodi by breaking the copyright law. In this case the responsibility it is all of the user. It couldn't be otherwise.

OpenELEC / LibreELEC

More or less of the same pair of sleeves, but with some substantial differences, we can talk about OpenELEC (I will talk about OpenELEC throughout the article, but the same instructions apply to LibreELEC indistinctly). This is a minimal distribution based on Linux designed to be installed on classic devices to turn them into HTPC (Home Theater PC).

Look here:  Enable WebDAV on Linux

Also in this case it is an open source software, for this reason, the destination of the installation will be the user's preference:

  • only system your PC
  • dual boot with an operating system “classic”
  • live
  • single system on single board computer (Raspberry Pi)

One of the great advantages of this system is system compatibility x86, x64 and ARM. This, as already written, makes the distribution available more or less for any common device.

But let's see how to install OpenELEC on our USB memory.

From the official site, to the page “Download we download the generic build in version “stable“. This will be the installable version on most PCs “common”.

The downloaded file will have the extension .takes. You will need to unzip it.

gunzip -d OpenELEC-Generic.x86_64-6.0.0.img.gz

We insert our USB memory and make sure it doesn't contain important data that we want to save. After the installation of OpenELEC all the data present will be overwritten. As soon as inserted we will have to launch the command “dmesg | tail” to understand which one “/dev/device” be. It should have a name similar to “/dev/sdX“.

Let's make sure the USB memory is “dismounted“.

umount /dev/sdX1

Now we have write the image just downloaded to the USB memory. To do this we will use “dd“.

sudo dd if=OpenELEC-Generic.x86_64-6.0.0.img of=/dev/sdX bs=4M

Caution: you need to change the destination of the image (/dev/sdX) based on what your computer will call it (this is. sda,/ sdb,/ sdc, etc..).

Lastly let's make sure that the changes are synchronized with the USB memory before removing it. Run the command “sync“. If everything went well we can remove the USB memory.

We restart the computer, we insert the USB memory before of starting GRUB (let's make sure you have set the boot priority to USB in the BIOS) and start OpenELEC. After booting it will be possible to try it out and if you are happy with it, you can install it as a common Linux distribution.

Let's enjoy our new one HTPC


I keep this blog as a hobby by 2009. I am passionate about graphic, technology, software Open Source. Among my articles will be easy to find music, and some personal thoughts, but I prefer the direct line of the blog mainly to technology. For more information contact me.


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