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5 Best XBMC skins for Raspberry Pi

The default XBMC skin, Confluence, is great but let us take a look at a few good XBMC skins for Raspberry Pi. It is critical that you choose the right skin for Raspberry Pi or risk taking a performance hit on Pi’s modest hardware. This is even more important if you are not planning to overclock your Raspberry Pi. Most people are generally happy with the well-tested Confluence skin for some eye candy is very important along with options and features. If you are one of those, you are in luck. The skin development for XBMC on Raspberry Pi is catching on. In fact, SuperRepo has a repository of XBMC skins for Raspberry Pi. So let us take a look at some of the skins that can add some cool looks and features to your Raspberry Pi HTPC without hogging its power. [Read: A simple and awesome XBMC Raspberry Pi remote control for just $5

XBMC Skins for Raspberry Pi

The following skins were tested on a Raspberry Pi Model B Rev B running OpenELEC overclocked to 800 Mhz (arm_freq) and 300 MHz (core_freq). Choosing the right skin is a matter of personal preference. So even though we have a few suggestions for you below, test them out and find the skin that is best for you.

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1. Amber

Amber is a skin that has caused quite some noise in the Raspberry Pi XBMC community. Many users have tested it and vouch that it is not only fast but adds many features along with great looks (from Mediastream and Aeon skins). In fact, I found it to be the skin that has the most features and best looks while not hogging Raspberry Pi’s resources. Of course, overclocking your Raspberry Pi can only make it run better. [Read: What you need to know about overclocking Raspberry Pi]

XBMC Skins for Raspberry Pi
Amber Skin for XBMC on Raspberry Pi

You may install Amber skin using this zip file from its GitHub page or from the SuperRepo.

2. Quartz

Quartz is my second favorite of all XBMC skins for Raspberry Pi not named Confluence (especially on a tablet interface or a mobile screen). It is inspired by the Apple TV interface and in my tests it performed well on the Pi. It is just simple, Pi resource friendly, fast, and most importantly in my opinion “spouse-friendly”. [Read: 5 Must have Android apps for HTPC or Home Server control]

Quartz Skin for XBMC on Raspberry Pi
Quartz Skin for XBMC on Raspberry Pi

Quartz skin is available for install from the official XBMC repo or from the SuperRepo.

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About the author


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.