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OpenELEC Mediacenter - OpenELEC 5.0 released

The OpenELEC team is proud to announceOpenELEC 5.0.

OpenELEC-5.0 is the next stable release, which is a feature release and the successor of OpenELEC-4.2.

The headline change is the update from XBMC 13 (Gotham) to Kodi 14 (Helix) and the big switch from XBMC to Kodi branding. Both project teams have conducted a major find/replace but if you spot residual mentions of XBMC anywhere please let us know. The name change affects more than the GUI; all references in code have been changed and in the OpenELEC filesystem /storage/.xbmc will be recreated as a symlink to /storage/.kodi to ensure hardcoded paths in addons or scripts continue to work. For information on Kodi 14 you can find on

Due to the potential for typo-bugs and breakage from Kodi renaming YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO MAKE A FULL BACKUP before performing a manual update and perform a Reset System Settings to defaults (Soft Reset) after the update.

Please note many addons and skins remain to be ported by their developers. This is out with our control an until this happens they will either not work or be marked as broken by Kodi. If an addon or skin is essential to you please confirm with its developer prior to upgrade if it is compatible with Kodi (Helix).

Other notable under the hood changes include a version bump from v3.16 to v3.17 Linux kernel, and a switch from OpenSSL to LibreSSL following the heartbleed disclosure. The LibreSSL package includes better licensing and allows OpenELEC to be simplified by removing support for other cryptographic libraries such as GnuTLS.

Supported Platform Changes

We are adding Freescale imx6 support for a limited number of boxes, starting with the CuBox-i and CuboxTV mini devices. Also, after many years, support for the mk1 (silver) AppleTV build has been discontinued, and there will be no official v5.0 (Kodi) release for Apple devices. This decision was partly driven by the Kodi development team removing CrystalHD acceleration support in Kodi v14.0 and the unrelated removal of the CrystalHD driver from the v3.17 Linux kernel. In both cases CrystalHD code has not been maintained for several years, and as surrounding codebases moved forwards over time the level of compatibility and optimisation has gone distinctly backwards. At the same time, XBMCs gradual increase in size breached the limits of the 256MB RAM available in the box to cause a cascade of playback problems for an increasing number of users. Our AppleTV user base has grown sizeable over time, and to the users upset by this announcement we apologise. However, the project staff felt that it was time and that v4.2 should be the final AppleTV release.

Users thinking about upgrading an ageing AppleTV might like to consider the ultra-compact CuBox-i devices from our partner Solid-Run. Second generation Cubox-i devices are based on the Freescale i.MX6 system-on-chip (SoC) platform with multiple Cortex-A9 CPUs, hardware 2D/3D GPU decoding, and a broad range of peripheral ports including 1080p HDMI and S/PDIF.Solid-Run are running a special promotion for OpenELEC users that gives a 10% discount on the recommended CuBox-i2ex and CuBox-i4pro models, including a larger 8GB micro SD (up from 4GB) that comes preinstalled with OpenELEC instead of Android.

We don't earn a single cent with those special offers but we want to achieve two things here:

  1. Support a great piece of hardware and their developers.
  2. Give our users some cost effecient options to have a nice OpenELEC and therefore kodi experience.

Solid-Run webstoreCuBox-i2ex on Solid-Run's webstoreCuBox-i4pro on Solid-Run's webstore

You have to use the discount code openelec-4-cubox (without quotes) while ordering.

EU users can use the OpenELEC Special offer from http://www.ecservices.deto get a CuBox-i2ex or CuBox-i4pro installed with OpenELEC on a 8GB SD Card for EUR 99,99 or EUR 129,99 without the need to pay customs via

ECServices OpenELEC Special offerCuBox-i2ex ECServices OpenELEC Special offerCuBox-i4proECServices OpenELEC Special offer

There are also many cost-effective and compact-size HTPC options from Zotac, Gigabyte, Intel (NUC) and the staggeringly popular Raspberry Pi device; and Pi derivatives like slice that will ship with a customised version of OpenELEC. For users with higher-performance requirements, our Generic build continues to support the majority of current-generation ITX and mini-ITX motherboards that use Intel Celeron/Core CPUs and GPU hardware from Intel, AMD and nVidia.

Help Supporting OpenELEC

If you would like to contribute to the OpenELEC project, there are lots of ways you can help. We are always looking for people to help with documentation, testing and reporting bugs. If you enjoy using OpenELEC and would like to make a donation to support the project, you can do this using PayPal. Donating is easy and takes only a few minutes, and you do not need a PayPal account to make a donation. We can also accept donations by other means (bitcoin, flattr, etc). You can find out more about donating here.

Note: You do not need a PayPal account to make a PayPal donation.

How To Upgrade To OpenELEC 5.0 Release

If you are going to update from one of our older releases, we STRONGLY advise that you make a backup of your XBMC data and do a manual update . You can use our OpenELEC Settings addon if you are using OpenELEC-3.2 or later to backup your data. For more details, please visit is hosted and sponsored by

Testing and Reporting

There has been many months of development and testing in the run-up to this releases, but like any major update there are a lot of changes. Unfortunately, we are unable to test every scenario on all hardware, so its possible you might pick up on an issue we may have missed (this is why we do beta tests). We would like anyone brave enough to test this release and report issues that they find either with OpenELEC or Kodi.

Different Intel platforms currently can be bugged with GPU hangs. Those are kernel, mesa, vaapi issues in the respective libraries which cannot be solved by us. If you are hit by such a bug (see for reference) you need to provide the proper logfiles and submit this bug on this bugtracker. We are currently working directly with upstream on deinterlacing on CuBox hardware (CuBox-i 4pro, CuBox-i 2ex). We ship this code in OpenELEC but have it disabled by default as we still miss some 10 to 15% for Deinterlacing of 1080i50 content. You can manually set Deinterlace to "Auto" (don't choose On) for the relevant stream (tv channels) to see the current state. Work is going on concerning that matter and we will continue to ship this code within future.

Thank You!

We would like to thank our users, team members and partners for testing, reporting and fixing issues, creating how-to documents, developing new features, and their donations of hardware and funds to the project. We appreciate your continued support, without it we would not be able to continue.

Questions & Feedback

If you have any questions about OpenELEC, sponsoring the project, or think you might be able to offer another service that will be useful to us, then please drop me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There is always someone that is able to answer your questions in the #openelec irc on freenode.

You can find the new release of OpenELEC 5.0.0 on thedownloads page

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