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How To Install The Kodi Media Center On Linux

Did you know that you can install the Kodi Media Center on Linux? Yes, as it turns out, most Linux distributions have an easy way to get Kodi working right away. If you don’t have a Raspberry Pi or other TV-connected device, but want to enjoy your local media on Kodi, you’re in luck.

SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to install Kodi on all of the popular Linux distributions. Additionally, we’ll go over how to ensure that Kodi stays up to date!

Note: in order to use Kodi on Linux you need Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora or OpenSUSE. If you do not use one of these Linux distributions, please check with your distribution’s documentation or the Kodi website for more information.


Users can install Kodi on Ubuntu quite easily, as it’s in the included software sources. In the terminal, use the following apt command to get it going.

sudo apt install kodi

Getting Kodi on Ubuntu is easy, but due to the nature of software and how it’s released on Ubuntu, it’s not as up to date as many would like. If you’re an Ubuntu user looking to get the Kodi Media Center, it may be a good idea to enable the third-party PPA. Doing this will allow you to get updates directly from Kodi developers, quicker than Ubuntu proper. To enable this PPA, enter the following commands in the terminal.

First, you’ll need to remove a few packages installed by Ubuntu, as in later versions of Kodi, Ubuntu builds the program themselves. The PPA version of Kodi doesn’t have these packages so keeping them would break things.

sudo apt remove kodi kodi-bin kodi-data

Next, choose the version of Kodi you’d like. For the unstable build, try:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/unstable

Alternatively, if you’d prefer Kodi be up to date, but stable, add this PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa

Next, update Ubuntu so that it can see the new Kodi PPA.

sudo apt update

Install any pending system updates on your Linux PC with an upgrade.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Lastly, re-install Kodi:

sudo apt install kodi


Debian carries Kodi in their software sources, though it tends to be a bit out of date. If you don’t mind what version it is, you can easily install it by entering the following command into the terminal:

sudo apt-get install kodi

Users wanting newer Kodi features on Debian will need to get Kodi via the official software sources. To add these sources, you’ll need to edit /etc/apt/sources.list. Using the echo commands, add the Backports repo to your Debian PC.

Note: using an older version of Debian? Change “stretch-backports” to your version of Debian. Otherwise, upgrade to Stretch before continuing.

su -

echo '# kodi repos' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

echo '# starting with debian jessie, debian provides kodi via its backports repository' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

echo '# remember: those packages are not supported by team kodi' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

echo 'deb https://http.debian.net/debian stretch-backports main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

With the new Backports repo added, run the update command to make Debian aware of the changes.

sudo apt update

Install any pending software updates with the upgrade tool.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Lastly, install Kodi, if you don’t have it already.

sudo apt install kodi

Arch Linux

Arch Linux is known for very up-to-date software, as soon as it’s available. This means if you’re looking to use Kodi on Arch, there shouldn’t be an issue keeping it current. To install it on your Arch Linux PC, open up a terminal window and sync it with Pacman.

sudo pacman -S kodi


Kodi isn’t available on Fedora Linux by default, for whatever reason. If you’re a Kodi fan, you’ll need to add the third-party software repositories to install it. Open up a terminal and use the dnf tool to add RPM Fusion.

Be sure to replace X in the commands below with your Fedora release number.

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-X.noarch.rpm -y

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-X.noarch.rpm -y

With RPM Fusion enabled, use the dnf package manager to get Kodi:

sudo dnf install kodi -y


OpenSUSE doesn’t have any official Kodi software repositories. If you’d like to use it on this operating system, you’ll have to stick with an unofficial software repository. To install Kodi on OpenSUSE open up a terminal and enter the following commands:

Leap 15.0

sudo zypper addrepo https://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Leap_15.0/ packman

Leap 42.3

sudo zypper addrepo https://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Leap_42.3/ packman


sudo zypper addrepo https://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ packman

Finally, after adding the Kodi repo, install the software via the Zypper package manager.

sudo zypper install kodi

Source Code

Running Kodi Media Center on Linux is a good idea, as it will give you superior performance for decoding media, and faster streaming speeds due to better network cards (as opposed to using a Raspberry Pi, or Kodi on Amazon Fire devices, etc).

If you’re using an obscure Linux distribution that doesn’t come with Kodi, don’t worry! There’s still a way to enjoy your media with this media center. The Kodi team has a stellar walkthrough on the official GitHub that outlines how to build Kodi from source. Check it out here!

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