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OpenELEC 4.0 released into the wild

After extensive testing, we at htpcBeginner are big fans on OpenELEC. So it is with great enthusiasm that we are celebrating the release of OpenELEC 4.0 for several platforms including Raspberry Pi. OpenELEC 4 is based on XBMC 13 Gotham, which brought in huge improvements to the already awesome media center. In addition, OpenELEC 4.0 brings host of new improvements, including optimizations for low-end hardware such as Raspberry Pi. As per the developers, the underlying system and the build system has been completely reworked.

OpenELEC 4.0 Released
OpenELEC 4.0 Released

What’s New in OpenELEC 4.0

  • Completely reword buildsystem, the core “working tool” of OpenELEC
  • Support for installation and boot on UEFI hardware. Syslinux updated (for new installs) with latest bootloader and firmware for Raspberry Pi
  • Linux kernel updated to 3.14 with bug fixes and updates to core OS functions and drivers for modern HTPCs
  • All OpenELEC packages updated to current version
  • The init system responsible for startup, shutdown, power management and hardware detection/configuration has been replaced with “systemd” to give greater flexibility and control
  • More wireless drivers added and improved Bluetooth support
  • Samba and NFS packages update to current versions
  • Xorg-1.15 and Mesa-10.1 udpated. Improved AMD support. New open-source driver based on VDPAU. The OSS driver improves performance on AMD systems. Initial support for 4k UHD-TV.
  • Enhanced remote control support. Initial support for TTS (text-to-speech)
  • Last but not the least, XBMC updated to XBMC 13 Gotham

The release announcement is available here.

Note: Many have reported problems after installing/upgrading to OpenELEC 4.0. I strongly suggest that you try it out using your spare SD card before making it your mainstream media center.

Installation and Configuration Instructions

OpenELEC Installation Instructions
Install OpenELEC using NOOBS

Build a Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Media Center ~$65 Price
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

Upgrade Instructions

If you are updating from older releases, it is advised that you make a back of your XBMC data folder and then update manually. There have been some reports of database issues and plugin incompatibilities. These issues, although not major, will be ironed out in the coming days.

If you were using the OpenELEC settings addon in OpenELEC 3.2, then you can use that to backup your data and the restore it on OpenELEC 4.0. You may also do this manually:

mv /storage/.xbmc /storage/.xbmc-backup

For more details, visit http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=Updating_OpenELEC. If everything goes smoothly then enjoy OpenELEC 4.0.

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About the author

Anand

Anand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, a part-time blogger, and a Food Scientist by career. He has been blogging since 2010 on Linux, Ubuntu, Home/Media/File Servers, Smart Home Automation, and related HOW-TOs on htpcbeginner.com and smarthomebeginner.com.

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