Video: Kodi Compendium [Part 3]: Raspberry Pi OS Selection, Comparison, Performance Test LibreELEC vs OSMC
Welcome to The Grok Shop and part three in my series: The Kodi Compendium. In this video we'll be evaluating the various OS options for Raspberry Pi as they apply to our specific use case scenario of Kodi deployment in a home theater environment. Of course, all good decisions begin with a good understanding of your requirements. For this project, we absolutely must have lightweight operating system (low memory and CPU usage), easy installation, currently maintained OS and it must be supported by Kodi. THAT simplifies things a bit. Now we can whittle the list down a little further by adding in a couple soft requirements. For example, if the operating system was purpose-built just for Kodi, that might make things a little nicer.
If we could modify the OS (add on packages and whatnot), that would also be nice. So we'll make these soft requirements because you could get by pretty good without these. And then, there were three… Now of these three, two of them are very similar. I'm talking about OpenELEC and LibreELEC. And basically Libre is a recent fork off of OpenELEC – I think 2016 – and it was a pretty effective mutiny. And as well it suffers from some some security issues, so… All right, all right, all right. The decision comes down to these two guys: OSMC and LibreELEC. Let's take a closer look and see which one's best suited for our application of Kodi well just pop the SD card into our computer using the adapter take note of the drive letter of course I'll start out by installing Libreelec I'll be doing this on Windows as you can see you can easily do it on Mac or Linux as well nice thing about LibreELEC and OSMC is they provide a tool for burning an image to USB or SD card and here with the LibreELEC tool running you just select your platform it'll be Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 for us and then just select the recommended stable version is what I would recommend unless for some reason you need a different version so you just click the download button and select a file destination and then when that finishes just select your SD card drive then it's as simple as hitting the right button and you're off to the races hats off to the libera left team for making it so easy peasy and when that finishes we could just close her out and take a look at the SD Drive folder if you like make sure you got stuff on there it's not still empty for some reason ok we call that from part 2 I'm using an ace Maxx wireless keypad and Mouse with my Raspberry Pi Kodi you can use a standard keyboard and mouse if you prefer at least for the initial configuration you're going to need something either way just pop the SD card into the pie and will be ready for boot up so yeah less than 30 seconds we have Budaj not bad at all one big difference between liberal AK and OSMC is liberal a quill boot right into Kodi and all the configs done within Kodi and that's neither really good nor bad I didn't I didn't see a huge advantage either way but it does show how with liberal X they're really just keeping you in Kodi and with OSMC there is some operating system configuration outside of Kodi now with liberal I noticed some problems on that initial boot trying to use the wireless keypad and Mouse so I ended up going back to the old standby wired mouse and keyboard just to get the initial config the first boot the second boot and being on I was able to use the wireless keypad not sure what the problem is there maybe driver related or whatnot so it's a little annoying but not a huge problem and gives you another reason yet again to keep that old keyboard and mouse handy right okay so now we can set our hostname I would definitely not keep the default in case you have multiple Kodi's or something that won't work so I'm gonna call mine htpc for home theater PC if you want to use Wi-Fi go ahead and select your Wi-Fi network and enter your passphrase for me I'll be using a wired Ethernet connection for now okay yeah so now sharing and remote access these are servers that run on the OS underneath Kodi in case you want to make changes to the file system like manually edit your playlists or copy files for another Kodi box perhaps look at logs that type thing you want to have SSH turned on if you're coming in from Linux or if you're using putty from Windows for example and Samba is for the Windows File protocol so if you want to use Windows Explorer to access the filesystem Samba needs to be running I recommend turning them both on now you don't know if you might need them later unless you know for sure you're not gonna need one or the other I would just turn them both on what you're looking at here indicates that both are on with the slider to the right and that's not very obvious I wish they would make it more obvious but there is a Kodi add-on for the liberal X settings so you can tweak these elsewhere later if you need to so yeah that's pretty much all there is to it as far as the basic config for liberal echt as you can see it just drops you right into Kodi and you can see it's the default skin here for Kodi 17 Krypton which is called estuary I believe it's not very awesome as far as skins go but it gets the job done and you can always change that later of course I'm not going to be adding media from my library in this episode I'll be doing that in a future episode but I will be getting into some analysis on the performance here okay so yeah now I'm going to SSH into this liberal at Kodi box and the user for SSH is root and the default password is liberal Eck and we'll just take a quick gander here and see what we can find out about memory and RAM usage here's the top come in which is the one five 15-minute load average at the top and then you can see CPU and memory being used by each task here and this is idling the Kodi box isn't really doing anything so we're just looking at how much resources it needs just to sit there and idle okay and then besides the top come in I have a little script which uses the top command in addition to the free command and we'll take a look at that here next and see how that looks okay so as you guys can see the script I'm running to performance test is called Maya SH and basically every five seconds it runs a calculation on memory and CPU usage and the memory calculation is based on the free command and the CPU calculation is based on the top command and we're just strictly testing I don't perform it so Kodi's not playing any movies or any music this is just what it needs to sit there an idol on the liberal ik OS on the Raspberry Pi 3 now for the CPU it reads as a percent but really what it is it's a load factor the same load factor you get at the top of the top come in so the way that works is basically per core a 1.
0 would be a fully maxed pipeline so for a 4 core it's about 4 or call it between 3 and 1/2 + 4 which is what you have with the Raspberry Pi 3 so you're looking at what point O 7 to 0.15 it's way way below 4 so it's a very very light CPU usage right here which is what you would expect which is good and the memory 30% I mean to me that's reading a little higher than I would like to see but Kodi's a pretty big program and you wouldn't necessarily expect it to need a whole lot more memory than what it needs here at idle but still it seems kind of high right but we'll be running the same tests on OSMC and we'll use this test that's sort of a comparison for idle resource usage to help as a basis for our decision on choosing between these two operating systems okay so moving on to OSMC now I'll put these links below of course the process is basically almost identical as liberally you select your operating system one difference is their little application is not as consolidated it's got multiple pages and as you can see little pull downs and you go on to the next page as you go here select your device select your language and it's just not not quite as clean as the liberal like one I felt like anyway but it's it's still pretty good pretty easy to use I just select the default latest that they make available there we're gonna use SD card of course and I'm setting up for Wired OSMC it's kind of funny they ask you for this right off the bat here but you can easily change the OSMC configuration after the install completes so this is kind of interesting to see my SD cards not showing up I just had to plug it in all the way and refresh and it popped right up I thought that was a nice measure of robustness on their part okay as before if you want you can check your removable drive folder for your SD card make sure you got stuff in there and that checks out just pop it into the Raspberry Pi and booter own up okay this initial boot up time for Au SMC I found to be slightly longer than that for liberal ekkuva 10 to 15 seconds longer but not really a big deal right also once we get to the data phase entry here I found that the keypad actually worked for osm see the wireless keypad on the very first go which was better than that experience I had with liberal Eck however I still found it kind of preferable to use the old keyboard and in standard Mouse so I ended up using those just to get through the initial config so it drops you first into a skin and then kind of backs you back out to a config which is a little awkward but it all happens without you doing anything so no big deal so we're just going to go through the config here it wants us to select language and time zone presumably the language we entered earlier was for the Installer language not for the Kodi language so go ahead and set that up here I'm in the Pacific time zone and of course will change the machine name I'll set it up just like I did before so just as liberal ik had the slider clarity problem wasn't clear whether left or right was on or off oh SNC has the white box problem so you see these white boxes next to everything and it's not clear what that means but it says ssh is enabled to start with so that's good i checked the box and that made it disabled so i'll go figure but we do want ssh so we'll make sure that's enabled here with OSMC you actually have a nice post install config area and i'll show that later on but so i'm gonna elect to do you like my network config and stuff after the install and then you can just select the skin you can select the OSMC skin or the classic which is really the default Kodi krypton skin and I choose OSMC skin here but we'll end up getting into skins in another part of the series later and this OSMC skin kind of becomes irrelevant in that case unless you'd really like it okay so yeah now just to show you guys what configuring OSMC looks like from within Kodi in this skin you go to programs and then program add-ons and then select my OSMC and the OSMC skin it's off the main settings menu but this is a nice way to configure OSMC without having to drop into a shell into the underlying OS and in here you can see they've got different mini apps that you run and the for example the network configure wired wireless Bluetooth database settings but yeah this whole settings add-on is basically a way to prevent you from having to manually twiddle around and the underlying operating system in OSMC to get new services you use the little shopping cart here which they call the App Store here you can see the different kind of services they have available like samba I've already installed it here as you see it says install and then once you have them installed you can go to the little gear which is like the services that are currently running you see I've got SSH and samba both running here ok you can also configure updates and general pack configurations you can do overclocking from within here if you want so yeah I thought they did a pretty good job with this config app there is something similar to this and liberality I didn't show it here I don't think they call there's an app store forget I think they just call it services and you can flip them on and off but it's basically a similar type add-on where you can configure the underlying system there alright it's time to get down to the net cuttin for OSMC and do some performance testing for OSMC the SSH login is user OSMC password OSMC of course this test is an idle test so Kodi's not doing anything again and it's the exact same script I used to test liberal app so one thing that stands off right off the bat is the lower memory usage I'm showing around 11% use here as compared to 30% or so for a liberalelect another interesting observation I had was that OSMC CPU usage continues to drop as time goes on I can see a second round of testing here and the CPU usage will actually go all the way to zero at least as it registers here it's got to be pretty pretty close to zero to show zero I didn't see that with liberal ik I saw a stabilization of low CPU usage and that point teen range but with OSMC you do see this grind towards zero so when you take this data of lower C few usage at idle lower memory usage at idle yes it's a limited data set but you would have to conclude that OSMC could possibly be a more lightweight operating system than liberally now of course there's other factors involved besides squeezing out that last bit of efficiency for example liberal X seems to be slightly more user-friendly with the install I would tip my hat to them for that on the other hand osm C is more modifiable to modify the underlying operating system being able to add packages with ease and whatnot or as liberal X more clampdown so depending on your use case you know if you just want super simple I would still recommend liberal Eck if you want something a little more power user and possibly more lightweight go with a lesser so let's wrap for this episode of the Kodi compendium and OS selection for kody on Raspberry Pi I hope it's been helpful to you guys definitely stay tuned as we get into the meat of the series in the next episode we'll be discussing grooming your library and preparing to get all your media import it into Kodi that's how it's done thanks for watching.