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Home icon grey.png   ▶ OpenELEC FAQ


Is OpenELEC free?

Shortcut: #Price

Yes, it really is.

OpenELEC vs. XBMCbuntu. What is the difference to me?

Shortcut: #OpenELEC vs. XBMCbuntu

OpenELEC is built from the ground up to explicitly include only the bare minimum of what is required. XBMC Live starts from a full Linux distribution and pars down from there, meaning your install contains large amounts of content you don't actually need. Also, OpenELEC is an appliance - meaning trivial system wide updates including XBMC. Live requires Linux knowledge and time to maintain. OpenELEC maintains itself automatically.

I'm confused, which build do I need for my system?

Shortcut: #Builds

There are many different OpenELEC builds and the most appropriate one for your system will depend on what hardware you're running. These are the builds available at this time:

NOTE: OpenELEC will no longer support this builds. Since OpenELEC 4.0 (gotham) all of them had been governed into one, the Generic builds. If you are using one of these builds, you will need to migrate to the Generic builds. If you need to migrate from an older unsupported build, please follow these instructions:


The Generic image is a "catch-all" build containing more drivers than any other image. If you have a home-built HTPC that is not based on ION, ION2, Intel or Fusion GPU chipsets, or you are going to install OpenELEC onto a laptop or desktop computer with a Nvidia videocard, this is probably the best image to use. The Generic images may require a moderate level of post-installation tweaking to get items like sound configuration correct.

What are unofficial builds and should I use them?

Shortcut: #Unofficial Builds

Unofficial builds are built by users. They may contain their own development code or some other tweak. In general, unless you have an absolute requirement that's only fulfilled by an unofficial build, always run official build. Unofficial builds are only supported by the user that creates them, not the OpenELEC team.

How do i use SSH?

Shortcut: #SSH

One of the well-known SSH tools is from, which is available in many flavors including Windows and Ubuntu Linux. Linux and OSX can use ssh by simply opening a terminal window and using the ssh command.

What is the SSH login?

Shortcut: #SSH Login

Currently the login into OpenELEC has fixed settings.

 Login: root
 Password: openelec

Note that these values are case-sensitive.

Common linux commands

Shortcut: #Common Commands

Directory listing

 ls -al  (-al will include all hidden folders and/or files)
 Make Directory
 mkdir <foldername>
 Change Directory
 cd <foldername>
 Copy File(s)
 cp <source_foldername>/<sourcefile.ext> <target_foldername>/targetfile.ext  (single file)
 cp <source_foldername>/* <target_foldername>/                               (several files) 

I run OpenELEC 3.0.6, and ssh doesn't work anymore. Why?

Shortcut: #SSH Disabled

SSH is now disabled by default. This is due to security reasons. We disabled it by default as ssh normally would not be needed. With OpenELEC 3.1.x and higher, this has been implemented in the OE-settings add-on.

However, if you do need it for getting debug logs or other work. Here is how to enable it:


Access the sambashare:

Ssh step1.png

Create a new text document like this. (Right click -> New -> Text document.

Ssh step2.png

Rename it to ssh_enable and reboot. Note: by default Windows hides file extensions (".txt" in this case). You need to change windows explorer settings to show the extensions to be able to rename the file correctly.

Ssh complete.png

Now ssh works again, and if you want to disable it again, just delete the empty file.

How do I change the SSH password?

Shortcut: #SSH Password change

At the moment it's not possible to change the root password as it's held in a read-only filesystem. However, for the really security conscious advanced user, you can change the password if you build OpenELEC from source. Also you can consider logging in with ssh keys and disabling password logins.

Where is the roadmap?

Shortcut: #Roadmap

In the short term there will not be a roadmap. In these early days plans are changing as the OpenELEC team evolves. This may change in the future.

What is the relationship between OpenELEC and XBMC?

Shortcut: #OpenELEC and XBMC

OpenELEC and XBMC are two different open source projects. Whilst there is some staff overlap and a good relationship between the projects they are discrete.

Can I sell hardware with OpenELEC pre installed?

Shortcut: #OEM Support

Yes, but please contact us to discuss first since it will increase our support workload.

How can I help?

Shortcut: #Help

In any way you see fit. Open source projects run on contributed code, donations, support in the forums and documentation. We welcome all assistance.

Why does my DNS value show

Shortcut: #DNS

Our connection manager uses a DNS proxy, which why the DNS is set to (basically a local DNS server) all the DNS stuff will be managed by connman.

Can I enable a SWAP partition?

Shortcut: #Swap

There is no swap partition by default in OE. It really isn't needed anyway as most systems have over 1GB of ram which is more then enough.


Is my hardware supported?

Shortcuts: , #Hardware

We strive to support as many hardware devices as possible. We do have a list of supported hardware, although it's not complete so if your hardware isn't listed that doesn't mean it won't work. Since OpenELEC can be installed to a USB key, you can try it on your system without affecting the OS you're already running to see if your hardware is compatible or not. Either way, create a post in our Supported Hardware forum so we know. If it doesn't work, we'll do our best to add it in our next build. List of supported hardware

Can I request specific hardware support?

Shortcuts: , #Additional Hardware

Definitely, however you need to be prepared to assist us. Post in the forum and wait for specific questions. Respond promptly, developer time is precious.

Is there a Raspberry Pi specific FAQ?

Shortcuts: , #RPI FAQ

Yes there is! Raspberry_Pi_FAQ


Can I dual boot OpenELEC with another OS?

Shortcut: , #Dualboot

Yes, it is possible. Dual boot systems with OpenELEC and another OS but we do not support it. Even triple boot systems are possible (Windows / Linux / OpenELEC).

OpenELEC is meant to own the whole hardware and if you want to dual boot you accept the risk in doing so. Help is available in the forums.

Can I request a feature?

Shortcut: , #Feature Request

Sure. If it is useful to the majority of OpenELEC users and it and all it's dependencies can be added without compromising the project's goals then it would be viable for addition as a core feature. If it is large or of less overall interest it should be requested as an XBMC addon.

Can I request an XBMC addon?

Shortcut: , #XBMC Addon

Certainly, but there is a stumbling block right now; in the short term we don't have the documentation or staff in house to support this. If you feel you can help us create and support add-ons for OpenELEC then please get in contact.


Where can I get support?

Shortcut: , #Support

Via the OpenELEC forum or IRC/chat channels. Remember support is free and fuelled by volunteers. Be courteous, patient and above all prepared to do your part. Remember to search the site guides and forum thouroughly BEFORE requesting help.

How do I generate support logs?

Shortcut: , #Support Logs

Simply accessing the Logfiles Samba share and a ZIP file full of support logs will be created for you. Upload this file to your favorite cloud drive and provide the link for others to help you out. :-)

Guide to Accessing Samba Shares

Why aren't my NAS shares mounting after an upgrade?

Shortcut: , #Netmount.conf

If you've upgraded from one of the 1.x stable builds to a PVR or Pre-Eden build, you'll notice that all of your shares that are mounted with netmount.conf don't work anymore. NFS and SMB are now fully supported inside XBMC, so the netmount script isn't required anymore.

To add sources in XBMC from NAS shares, use one of the following when adding a new source:


Live TV

How can I start using Live TV?

Shortcut: , #Tvheadend

TVheadend is an easy to configure Live TV backend that is included with OpenELEC. Have a look at Configuring Tvheadend page for detailed instructions.

Tuner driver is loaded correctly, but in Tvheadend the list of tuners is empty?

Shortcut: , #Tvheadend_starts_too_quickly

Sometimes it can happen that Tvheadend starts before the tuner drivers have started up. For Tvheadend to work correctly, the tuner should be usable already when Tvheadend starts. There is an option that delays the startup of Tvheadend until the drivers are loaded. In the Tvheadend settings (Settings -> Addons -> Installed -> Services -> Tvheadend -> Configure) you have an option to wait for frontend initialization. Start by setting the amount of frontends to wait for to 1. If you have more than one tuner, you can increase the value if needed. Just keep in mind that if you configure OpenELEC to wait for a number of tuners and then suddenly you have not plugged in the amount of tuners configured here Tvheadend will not start!