Install instructions for OpenELEC on a Raspberry Pi

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A couple days ago OpenELEC posted how to get started using OpenELEC on a Raspberry Pi and today they have posted details on how to get it installed with a bootable SD card image. It’s not quite as simple to get it running as OpenELEC is on a PC but a good way to get into hacking around with Linux.

More details on openelec.tv

Preparing and Formatting the SD Card

OpenELEC is designed to keep the OS separate from the user-writeable storage area. This requires two partitions on the SD card:

  • Partition #1 mounts as /flash and is 128MB in size, is labelled as “System” and will be FAT32 formatted. It holds the SYSTEM and kernel.img files that the OpenELEC OS is uncompressed from at boot-time (approx. 80-90MB), and essential boot files including the bootloader.
  • Partition #2 mounts as /storage and uses the remaining space on the SD card. It will be labelled as “Storage” and is EXT4 formatted. It should be a minimum of 512MB to store XBMC settings, database files, image caches, SSH keys and the swapfile (256MB), but in practice a larger 4GB or 8GB card is a more sensible size.

To prepare a bootable SD card your Linux build-system will need the “parted”, “e2fsprogs” and “dosfstools” packages installed and an SD-card reader device.

The following commands assume /dev/sdb is the SD card device. Partitioning will permanently erase the SD card so please double-check that a) you select the right /dev/device and do not accidentally erase your OS, and b) the card does not contain irreplaceable family pictures!

About the author Ian Dixon:
Founder of The Digital Lifestyle.com and host of The Digital Lifestyle Show. Started podcasting in 2005, Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP. Lover of gadgets from the Raspberry Pi to the iPad, Android to Windows 8. Also a massive motor racing fan