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How to install LibreELEC on Raspberry Pi3 – Kodi Media Center

When talking about Rapsberry Pi3, we can’t say that it’s a very powerful device, but it’s just enough to run Kodi flawlessly. To install Kodi on Raspberry Pi 3, we need to install a dedicated distribution for Kodi which is optimized for the Raspberry Pi. We have previously presented a list of best media center OSes for Raspberry Pi, as well a comparison of OpenELEC, OSMC, and Xbian. LibreELEC is another option that came to existence recently. Today, I will show you how you can install LibreELEC on Raspberry Pi3.

Install LibreELEC on Raspberry Pi 3

LibreELEC is described as ‘Just enough OS’ for Kodi. It is a Linux distribution built to run Kodi on popular media center hardware and is an evolution of the popular OpenELEC project we talked about in our previous posts. Continue reading and let me guide you through your Raspberry Pi LibreELEC installation. [Read: 7 Raspberry Pi accessories to build a Kodi media center]

1. Download LibreELEC Image for RPi3

In order to install LibreELEC on Raspberry Pi3, we first need to visit the download section in the LibreELEC website. Scroll down until the you reach the DIRECT DOWNLOADS section, select Raspberry Pi v2 and Raspberry Pi v3, and click on the LibreELEC-RPi2.arm-7.0.3.img.gz (latest available version) link to download the image.

install libreelec on raspberry pi
Download latest version of LibreELEC for Windows
Build a Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Media Center ~$65Price
Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi3) Model B Quad-Core 1.2 GHz 1 GB RAM Kit, including:~$49.99
Samsung 16GB EVO Class 10 Micro SDHC Card with Adapter~$6.99
SANOXY Wireless USB PC Remote Control Mouse for PC~$8.00

2. Download Etcher – For writing LibreELEC image to SD card

While the LibreELEC image is downloading, we need to download an app for writing the image to the SD Card. I am using Etcher because it also performs validation after writing the .img file and it has a really easy to use interface. In order to download it, just go on etcher.io site then click on the arrow next to the Download for Windows button, then select the portable version for Windows.

install libreelec on raspberry pi
Download Etcher portable for Windows

3. Install LibreELEC on Raspberry Pi3

After downloading both archives make sure you extract them so you have the LibreELEC .img file and the folder for Etcher like in the screenshot below and proceed with the Raspberry Pi LibreELEC installation.

Etcher and LibreELEC img
Etcher and LibreELEC img

Next, plug in the SD Card in the computer, go to the extracted Etcher folder, and double click on Etcher.exe to open it. When Etcher is open, first, select the LibreELEC image, next select the SD Card you previously inserted, and click Finish to start writing the image, as shown in the picture below.

raspberry pi librelec installation
Write LibreELEC image to card using Etcher

Wait until you get the “Flash Complete!” confirmation that the image has been flashed successfully then take your SD card out and plug it into your Raspberry Pi3.

install libreelec on raspberry pi
Etcher confirmation that the .img file has been flashed successfully

Next, connect the power cable to the Raspberrry Pi and the LibreELEC boot process will begin. Now all you need to do is wait for LibreELEC to boot and go trough the basic configuration. The first boot sequence usually takes about 5 minutes, but after the first boot, the next restarts will be faster. [Read: A simple yet awesome IR Raspberry Pi remote control for $5]

Raspberry Pi LibreELEC Setup – What Next?

Congratulations! You managed to go through all of the steps required for the Raspberry Pi LibreELEC installation. Now you can enjoy all your media on your Raspberry Pi3. From here you could customize your Raspberry Pi LibreELEC build with one of the best Kodi Skins for Raspberry Pi. There are also several kodi streaming addons or Live/Broadcast TV addons that take your LibreELEC to the next level.

About the author

Ciprian

Ciprian is an enthusiast, always up to date with the latest and greatest in the IT field. Passionate about computers, mobile devices and gadgets. In his spare time, he is a gamer.

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