OpenELEC 2.0 now available – Now with PVR Support

Posted By: Nathan Betzen on Oct 18, 2012 in Site News

For those of you interested in using XBMC purely as an appliance, which is to say, for those of you who don’t want to deal with a full operating system like Windows or OSX, and would rather boot directly into a super fast, super efficient version of XBMC, we are happy to congratulate our friends over at OpenELEC for releasing version 2.0.

OpenELEC 2.0 is a speedy Linux-based version of XBMC 11.0 Eden designed to be installed on most Intel and AMD 32-bit and 64-bit hardware with support for Intel, NVIDIA ION, and AMD Fusion-based systems. OpenELEC supports most wireless and wired network cards along with extensive support for legacy and bleeding edge GPUs.

Because OpenELEC is hyper-efficient without an underlying base like Ubuntu, all system configurations are performed from within the XBMC interface.

In addition to advancing to XBMC 11 Eden, version 2.0 includes PVR support within the XBMC GUI and includes DVB firmware and drivers, TVHeadend, VDR, Njoy N7, MythTV, Mediaportal, HDHomerun and VU+ support in the OS.

VDPAU support has been available in OpenELEC since v1.0 for users of NVIDIA GPUs, but now OpenELEC 2.0 is the first stable distribution of XBMC to include XVBA support designed to replace VAAPI and improve stability and performance on AMD devices. The advantages of XVBA support are enormous. Now modern AMD systems are capable of performing GPU decoding of h.264 and VC-1 content directly, greatly reducing CPU usage and enabling the use of lightweight and inexpensive AMD CPUs.

OpenELEC 2.0 also now comes with CEC Adapter support built in, as well as Airtunes and Airplay support.

To learn more and download your own copy, you can visit the OpenELEC website and read the full announcement here.

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Discussion - 35 Comments

  • Arnd Brugman Oct 18, 2012 

    If i can fit it on a USB memory key, I will give it a try. I don’t want to break my current flawless working setup ;-)

  • Stephan Raue Oct 18, 2012 

    Arnd Brugman :
    If i can fit it on a USB memory key, I will give it a try. I don’t want to break my current flawless working setup ;-)

    you should be able to install on a (at least 1GB) USB key, simply select the key as the target device in our installer and install to this USB key

  • Hugo Oct 18, 2012 

    @Arnd Brugman
    it will! My setup is running from a 1GB sd card. bute 512mb would also be enaugh ^^

  • Matthew Miller Oct 18, 2012 

    @Arnd Brugman
    Oh, it will definitely fit on a thumb drive. The general install is sub-200mb. I have a 1st gen ION system running like a champ with Release Candidate 2, booting off an old 1gb micro-SD card I had laying around. Give it shot, if only for kicks.

  • Arnd Brugman Oct 18, 2012 

    Wow, Nice. It takes around 10 minutes to install and 5 minutes to configure. Installed installer to 1st USB drive and with that OpenELEC to the 2nd destination drive of 2GB :) . Works like a charm on the ASRock Ion 330. Even my MCE Remote works Immidiately!!! Great work! (I use to have a lot of trouble setting up nVidia Drivers and audio config under Ubuntu).

  • Richard Kershenbaum Oct 18, 2012 

    The MythTV plugin for PVR is still under development. You can monitor progress here:

    http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=110694

    In the meantime, the MythBox add-on works great, at least for 0.24 and earlier MythTV backends. (I’m not sure if OE 2.0 supports MythTV 0.25. Perhaps someone can try it.)

  • Adam Jeremiah Oct 18, 2012 

    @Arnd Brugman
    Arnd Brugman, it will easily fit on a USB stick, that is what I boot off. If you are worried about “breaking” your setup, you do not have to install onto a hard drive. I boot from USB, and have done for nearly a year, it works flawlessly!

    Love OpenElec:D

  • craig Oct 18, 2012 

    Ive been using openelec for about a year. Its fantastic.

  • longinous Oct 19, 2012 

    I use a centralized mysql database form all my xbmc installations, and all of them are 10.0

    Is it possible to set this out-of-the-box release to use it?

    XBMC 11 may brick my db populated by the 10th version?

  • RoyK Oct 19, 2012 

    I’ve tried the usb installation method, wouldn’t “mount” on the first try. Tried a different build, which got into a setup loop. I’m sure I can figure it out with patience, but having a working XBMC setup I kind of lack that. Seems to me like that if the setup is so flaky, the product still has ways to go.

    Oh, and one funny installation question: Enable ssh: On by default. Not recommended if you know don’t know what you’re doing. Ok/Cancel. Ok is default selected. So… Ok means no since it’s not recommended, or yes since the title is “enable ssh”?

  • Klojum Oct 19, 2012 

    longinous :
    I use a centralized mysql database form all my xbmc installations, and all of them are 10.0
    Is it possible to set this out-of-the-box release to use it?
    XBMC 11 may brick my db populated by the 10th version?

    I’m using OpenELEC 2.0 final on all htpc’s here, using a centralized database without issues. Upgrading the database should be done invisibly, Perhaps the initial opening of OE 2.0 will take up some time, copying the old database into the new database (version 60). If unsure, first perform a full export, after that, importing will be fast, since no internet access required.

  • jamest Oct 19, 2012 

    I’m running openelec 2 on a zotac ad10 (fusion) and two self built htpcs (i3-intel gfx and an amd cpu/nvidia 520) around my house.
    They’re all dedicated xbmc machines, and I could not be happier with the performance and stability that I’m getting.

    I’ve tried pretty much everything, and openelec is far and away my favourite method of running xbmc (far and away my favourite htpc…)
    Everyone involved… thank you!!

  • Arnd Brugman Oct 19, 2012 

    @Adam Jeremiah
    Its amazing how easy this is to setup! I love it. I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want a whole hassle to setup and configure Linux and loves a free (donation ware) speedy os with this amazing XBMC player! Thx all for the replies!

  • BORIStheBLADE Oct 19, 2012 

    After XBMC went to XBMCbuntu I have been using OpenELEC and love it. Easy install and starts up fast. Thanks a lot OpenELEC devs!!!

  • jarwha Oct 19, 2012 

    I prefer using the small distro Geexbox (http://www.geexbox.org)

  • Lonet Oct 19, 2012 

    does OpenELEC support HD Audio ???,

  • seba Oct 19, 2012 

    Great work!

  • Chris Oct 19, 2012 

    Can all userdata be pulled from a Windows install of XBMC to an OpenELEC setup?

  • Tophicles Oct 19, 2012 

    Every single HTPC box in my house runs OpenELEC. These guys do a fantastic job and I’m hooked for life on this fast, easy setup :)
    It’s literally, 40-50 seconds from unboxing to watching TV.

  • hts Oct 20, 2012 

    Already using it… and loving!!!

    Thanks.

  • nedscott Oct 20, 2012 

    Chris :

    Can all userdata be pulled from a Windows install of XBMC to an OpenELEC setup?

    userdata for the most part is cross-platform friendly, so you should be able to just copy it over. You might want to double check display settings after to make sure they’re correctly set, but most often there shouldn’t be any issues.

  • Martijn Oct 21, 2012 

    @Lonet
    OpenELEC 2.0 is based on XBMC11.0 Eden so no HD-audio.

    This will be in OpenELEC which will have XBMC12.0 Frodo

  • Jelly Oct 21, 2012 

    It looks like SSH sudo commands are locked out? I was trying to install git so I can adds skins and other addons directly. Not well versed on linux commands. Any input appreciated.

  • amiga4ever Oct 22, 2012 

    additional information: the VU+ Plugin will work with every enigma2 based receiver like dreambox, gigablue, vu and others.

  • stephanie G Oct 23, 2012 

    Can you use Skins on OPENELEC 2.0 ?

  • Lennis Oct 23, 2012 

    @Jelly
    When you use SSH in openelec you login as root.

    Make your commands without sudo.

  • longinous Oct 23, 2012 

    Klojum :

    longinous :
    I use a centralized mysql database form all my xbmc installations, and all of them are 10.0
    Is it possible to set this out-of-the-box release to use it?
    XBMC 11 may brick my db populated by the 10th version?

    I’m using OpenELEC 2.0 final on all htpc’s here, using a centralized database without issues. Upgrading the database should be done invisibly, Perhaps the initial opening of OE 2.0 will take up some time, copying the old database into the new database (version 60). If unsure, first perform a full export, after that, importing will be fast, since no internet access required.

    Uhm, ok, then I will have to upgrade all the other installations, no problem, but I also use centralized thumbnails, is it possible to ssh access OpenELEC?

  • rkl Oct 23, 2012 

    I tried one of the earlier OpenELEC releases and was disappointed with it. Whlist it had an impressive boot time, the OpenELEC team forgot that some people only have one PC and might want to run the front-end and back-end on the same machine. For example, a Revo+tuner stick would be a nice combo to run OpenELEC+XBMC+Live TV/PVR+tvheadend, but perl is needed for EPG grabbing and incredibly the OpenELEC I tried didn’t come with it and you can’t get it from their standard repos either!

    Also, they’ve taken an age to go to XBMC 11 (6 months?) when you could get that running pretty soon after Ubuntu 12.04 came out (I ended up settling on 12.04+XBMC 11+Live TV/PVR (from pulse-eight.net). I might still have a look at it at some time (assuming they have perl and tvheadend support now!) just because of its boot speed if nothing else.

  • Klojum Oct 24, 2012 

    longinous :
    Uhm, ok, then I will have to upgrade all the other installations, no problem, but I also use centralized thumbnails, is it possible to ssh access OpenELEC?

    A new installation of OpenELEC will ask if you want SSH enabled and will install the access along the way. Otherwise, use SMB connection to put a blank fle named ‘ssh_enable’ (without the quotes) into the .config folder, AKA ‘Configfiles’ in a Samba connect. SSH connections for OpenELEC have only 1 fixed login and password, ‘root::openelec’.

    Centralized thumbnails are possible too. This is my way of centralizing thumbnails:
    Create a file ‘autostart.sh’ in the .config folder, and put in the link to the centralized location (In my case, it’s a Synology NAS).

    [code]
    mkdir -p "/storage/thumbnails"
    mount -t nfs 192.168.1.148:/volume1/xbmc/thumbnails /storage/thumbnails -o timeo=600,nolock
    [/code]

    Then, put in the pathsubstitution rule in the advancedsettings.xml file in the Userdata folder:

    [code]

    special://masterprofile/Thumbnails/
    nfs://192.168.1.1/volume1/xbmc/thumbnails/

    [/code]

    Reboot and things should work. Since thumbnail hashes are created from full directory names in XBMC Eden, you may have to rescrape your library once more, to have the correctly hashed thumbnails created.

  • zag Oct 24, 2012 

    Been using this on the raspberry pi. Awesome!

  • Lonet Oct 25, 2012 

    Thanks Martijn then that is a no go for me, im running it from win 7 64 as an appliance on a zotac giga ad70 and is been awesome so far, but always love the linux option better, i will wait until fordo then …

  • vicbitter Oct 25, 2012 

    If you want to test HD Audio on OpenELEC you could try one of the new nightly builds (http://sources.openelec.tv/tmp/image/) which is based on XBMC Frodo.

  • DaveM Oct 25, 2012 

    I’ve tried this on 2 openSuSE 12.2 Linux systems (Intel 64 Bit CPU, Integrated Intel graphics, 4 – 8 GB RAM) with great results.

    On one system, I repartitioned the single disk drive and added the two recommended partitions (OE_SYSTEM, OE_DATA) and did the openELEC install from a bootable USB stick that I created by following the openELEC instructions. With this system, I can dual boot to the openSuSE Linux partition or the openELEC partition.

    On a second system (also a single disk drive), I did not repartition the drive. I boot openELEC from the openSUSE root partition by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst (I’m using GRUB, not GRUB2) to indicate where the kernel files are and where the additional disk (“disk=/dev/sdb1″) is.
    NOTE: the two system files (KERNEL and SYSTEM) MUST be put in “/” in this configuration. They will not work if placed anywhere else even if you indicate another location in menu.lst. Then you MUST also have another partition or separate disk that matches “disk=”. In my case, I just put in a USB stick and openELKEC writes the files it needs there.

    The two system files are <100MB and the files on "disk=" location are tiny to begin with but they will grow. Right now, I'm using an 8 GB USB stick.

    I had to experiment some to figure all this out. The installation instructions were helpful but not always clear enough.

  • Mårten Oct 28, 2012 

    rkl :
    I tried one of the earlier OpenELEC releases and was disappointed with it. Whlist it had an impressive boot time, the OpenELEC team forgot that some people only have one PC and might want to run the front-end and back-end on the same machine. For example, a Revo+tuner stick would be a nice combo to run OpenELEC+XBMC+Live TV/PVR+tvheadend, but perl is needed for EPG grabbing and incredibly the OpenELEC I tried didn’t come with it and you can’t get it from their standard repos either!
    Also, they’ve taken an age to go to XBMC 11 (6 months?) when you could get that running pretty soon after Ubuntu 12.04 came out (I ended up settling on 12.04+XBMC 11+Live TV/PVR (from pulse-eight.net). I might still have a look at it at some time (assuming they have perl and tvheadend support now!) just because of its boot speed if nothing else.

    I’d say you are not the target audience for OpenELEC if you don’t have a separate system. I run mine from an EEE Box that is always on. Works great.

  • Aubrey Kloppers Oct 30, 2012 

    I have been running OpenElec ever since the first time I dropped into the shell on XBMC11. XBMC used to be such a stable, robust system, but from the time everything got included, I felt it just too big. I always had this firm believe that if I wanted to run Ubuntu, I would have downloaded it and ran XBMC on top of it…

    OpenEelec is stable, fast, easy to install and robust. The support (Like XBMC’s) is helpful and one can always look at XBMC’s wiki for added support. I was so glad when I found a pure front-end for all my systems.

    All I can say is OpenElec works and it works well.

About XBMC

XBMC is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. XBMC is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.