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Starting Kodi automatically on Raspbian Jessie and Stretch
So you were able to install Kodi via "sudo apt-get install kodi" but have no idea how to force it to autostart on boot?
You have tried all those googled solutions such as adding kodi-standalone to .bashrc, creating init.d script but nothing worked?
This is the right place to get the answer.
For some reason, the current version of Kodi doesnt provide 2 important files:
/etc/init.d/kodi
/etc/default/kodi
They are required to start kodi on boot. Also, for some unknown reason, I haven't found a single place in the whole internet, where those files would be available.
To fix the problem you need to create /etc/init.d/kodi first:
$ sudo touch /etc/init.d/kodi
The content for this file is provided in etc_init.d_kodi file attached to this gist. Use your favourite editor to paste the code into the file.
The second file to create is /etc/default/kodi.
$ sudo touch /etc/default/kodi
Use the content from etc_default_kodi file attached to this gist:
We are almost done. The last thing is to is to make /etc/default/kodi executable:
$ sudo chmod a+x /etc/init.d/kodi
and add the init.d script to the startup scripts:
sudo update-rc.d kodi defaults
and thats it :)
# Set this to 1 to enable startup
ENABLED=1
# The user to run Kodi as
USER=pi
# Adjust niceness of Kodi (decrease for higher priority)
NICE=-5
#! /bin/sh
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: kodi
# Required-Start: $remote_fs $syslog
# Required-Stop: $remote_fs $syslog
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: XBMC media centre
# Description: Starts the XBMC media centre in standalone mode
### END INIT INFO
# Author: Michael Gorven <michael@gorven.za.net>
# PATH should only include /usr/* if it runs after the mountnfs.sh script
PATH=/sbin:/usr/sbin:/bin:/usr/bin
DESC="media centre"
NAME=kodi
STARTAS=/usr/bin/kodi-standalone
DAEMON=/bin/sh
DAEMON_ARGS=""
PIDFILE=/var/run/$NAME.pid
SCRIPTNAME=/etc/init.d/$NAME
GEOMETRY=/var/run/kodi.fbset
# Defaults
ENABLED=0
USER=kodi
NICE=0
# Exit if the package is not installed
[ -x "$STARTAS" ] || exit 0
# Read configuration variable file if it is present
[ -r /etc/default/$NAME ] && . /etc/default/$NAME
# Backwards compatibility with previous package name
[ -r /etc/default/xbmc ] && . /etc/default/xbmc
# Exit if service is not enabled
[ "$ENABLED" = "1" ] || exit 0
# Load the VERBOSE setting and other rcS variables
. /lib/init/vars.sh
# Define LSB log_* functions.
# Depend on lsb-base (>= 3.2-14) to ensure that this file is present
# and status_of_proc is working.
. /lib/lsb/init-functions
#
# Function that starts the daemon/service
#
do_start()
{
fbset --show | grep geometry | cut -d' ' -f 6- > $GEOMETRY
# Return
# 0 if daemon has been started
# 1 if daemon was already running
# 2 if daemon could not be started
start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --user $USER --exec $DAEMON --startas $STARTAS --test > /dev/null \
|| return 1
start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --nicelevel $NICE --chuid $USER --background --make-pidfile --exec $DAEMON --startas $STARTAS -- \
$DAEMON_ARGS \
|| return 2
# Add code here, if necessary, that waits for the process to be ready
# to handle requests from services started subsequently which depend
# on this one. As a last resort, sleep for some time.
sleep 10
start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --user $USER --exec $DAEMON --startas $STARTAS --test > /dev/null \
|| return 2
}
#
# Function that stops the daemon/service
#
do_stop()
{
# Return
# 0 if daemon has been stopped
# 1 if daemon was already stopped
# 2 if daemon could not be stopped
# other if a failure occurred
start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --retry=TERM/30/KILL/5 --pidfile $PIDFILE --user $USER --exec $DAEMON --startas $STARTAS
# Kodi doesn't actually handle signals, so we have to send an RPC request to ask it to exit
if [ -x /usr/bin/wget ]; then
wget --post-data '{"jsonrpc": "2.0", "method": "Application.Quit", "params": [], "id": 0}' --header 'Content-Type: application/json' -O /dev/null --quiet http://localhost:8080/jsonrpc
fi
# Wait for children to finish too if this is a daemon that forks
# and if the daemon is only ever run from this initscript.
# If the above conditions are not satisfied then add some other code
# that waits for the process to drop all resources that could be
# needed by services started subsequently. A last resort is to
# sleep for some time.
start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --retry=0/30/KILL/5 --user $USER --name $NAME.bin
RETVAL="$?"
[ "$RETVAL" = 2 ] && return 2
# Many daemons don't delete their pidfiles when they exit.
rm -f $PIDFILE
# Try to fix the display
VT="$(fgconsole)"
if [ "$VT" ]; then
chvt 7
chvt "$VT"
fi
if [ -e $GEOMETRY ]; then
fbset --geometry $(cat $GEOMETRY)
fi
return "$RETVAL"
}
case "$1" in
start)
[ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_daemon_msg "Starting $DESC" "$NAME"
do_start
case "$?" in
0|1) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 0 ;;
2) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 1 ;;
esac
;;
stop)
[ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_daemon_msg "Stopping $DESC" "$NAME"
do_stop
case "$?" in
0|1) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 0 ;;
2) [ "$VERBOSE" != no ] && log_end_msg 1 ;;
esac
;;
status)
status_of_proc "$DAEMON" "$NAME" && exit 0 || exit $?
;;
restart|force-reload)
#
# If the "reload" option is implemented then remove the
# 'force-reload' alias
#
log_daemon_msg "Restarting $DESC" "$NAME"
do_stop
case "$?" in
0|1)
do_start
case "$?" in
0) log_end_msg 0 ;;
1) log_end_msg 1 ;; # Old process is still running
*) log_end_msg 1 ;; # Failed to start
esac
;;
*)
# Failed to stop
log_end_msg 1
;;
esac
;;
*)
echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME {start|stop|status|restart|force-reload}" >&2
exit 3
;;
esac
:
@derikjoubert

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commented Oct 11, 2017

Hi, thanks for this! Just had two issues following the Readme.txt

Dunno if it's something that's changed in latest Raspbian build? (2017-09-07-raspbian-stretch)

Line 6 - /etc/default/kodi (Not defaults)
Line 15 - sudo update-rc.d kodi defaults (This one is actually defaults)

Also had to run sudo chmod a+x /etc/init.d/kodi

@lfps29

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commented Oct 29, 2017

Thank you both!

I had follow the readme, and had the same issues with line 6 and 15. Thanks for the help!

I had to run the "sudo chmod a+x /etc/init.d/kod" before the "sudo update-rc.d kodi defaults"

Now, kodi starts smoothly. My setup is a Raspberry Pi B(2011) overclocked to 950mhz...

@CsabiDuke

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commented Dec 11, 2017

Hello,

It is working on Debian 9.0? It is not working for me. Maybe I am wrong, but maybe it is not working on Debian. (I think it should be...)

Thanking in advance,
CsabiDuke

@rohrigme

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commented Dec 12, 2017

Hi,

It didn't worked for me on Raspbian Stretch.

Just start and asks for login. No Kodi

@ecourreges

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commented Dec 16, 2017

You probably need to add command line or desktop auto login as well: https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/48241/auto-login-in-jessie-how

@acidhax

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commented Dec 24, 2017

Thanks, dude

@RigacciOrg

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commented Dec 25, 2017

Hi,
As far as I can understand, Debian Jessie and Debian Stretch (and the derivated Raspbian ones) use the new init system systemd, not the old one sysvInit. So the use of the start/stop script /etc/init.d/kodi and relative /etc/default/kodi configuration file, should be discouraged.
We should instead create a systemd unit file. I ended with this functional solution, running on 2017-11-29-raspbian-stretch-lite. I did not install the xerver.xorg system, the kodi-standalone program is run by the kodi user, which I created.
This is the /etc/systemd/system/kodi.service unit file:

[Unit]
Description = Kodi Media Center

# if you don't need the MySQL DB backend, this should be sufficient
After = systemd-user-sessions.service network.target sound.target

# if you need the MySQL DB backend, use this block instead of the previous
# After = systemd-user-sessions.service network.target sound.target mysql.service
# Wants = mysql.service

[Service]
User = kodi
Group = kodi
Type = simple
ExecStart = /usr/bin/kodi-standalone
Restart = always
RestartSec = 15

[Install]
WantedBy = multi-user.target

To install, enable and run the service:

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl enable kodi.service
systemctl start kodi.service

The kodi user was created witht the following commands:

adduser --disabled-password --gecos "User to run Kodi Media Center" kodi
adduser kodi audio
adduser kodi video
adduser kodi plugdev
adduser kodi input
@th2245

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commented Dec 30, 2017

Thank you Riggacciorg, less than 1 min to make it work :)

@RigacciOrg

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commented Jan 2, 2018

A partially unrelated note: remember to add the "start_x=1" option in /boot/config.txt, so that the Raspberry Pi will load the /boot/start_x.elf additional firmware. That firmware will help in decoding videos using the GPU, e.g. the VP8 encoded webm files.

@philsheard

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commented Feb 15, 2018

Thanks also @RigacciOrg - the move over to systemd explains the missing files. Your approach worked perfectly for my Pi Zero running Raspbian Stretch (full version, not minimal) and Kodi 17.5.

@philpugh51

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commented Apr 5, 2018

While Cyberek's (and corrections by derikjoubert) will work on Raspbian Stretch and the latest KODI it is certainly MUCH better to use the method outlined by RigacciOrg. Starts up very well on my Pi Zero / Raspbian Stretch with IQAudio DAC+. I use it for music playback - no issues so far.

@johnjoumaa

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commented Apr 17, 2018

@RigacciOrg 's method worked great for me! As a user who has little to no experience, any tips on getting me out of the 15 second restart loop? I'd like to have it boot on startup, but also have the option to close Kodi and do other stuff or at least have more than 15 seconds to do so. Is that possible? Cheers!

@ghost

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commented Apr 19, 2018

@johnjoumaa simply delete (or change) these two lines in /etc/systemd/system/kodi.service

Restart = always
RestartSec = 15

Then reboot. Once you exit out of kodi you will have access to terminal

@tdietrich67

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commented Apr 28, 2018

I just tried @RigacciOrg 's method and I could not get it to work. I received no errors but when I reboot it does not go into Kodi. I'm a noob so I'm sure there is something I'm missing.

@tdietrich67

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commented Apr 29, 2018

Ok... I finally figured it out and am able to autostart into kodi on RPi 3 B running raspbian. However, like @johnjoumaa I would like to exit out and go back to the desktop. So I did what @erikfromdk suggested and took out the Restart lines. And that works however the desktop GUI does not reload properly. Any suggestions?

@chokelive

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commented Jun 9, 2018

As recomment from https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=192499

Option 2:
If you want autostart Kodi at boot but also keep the Desktop Environment on the background, just edit the file ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart and add a line in the end with:
@kodi
This option is a bit more resource intensive because the DE is loaded on the background.

@ghost

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commented Dec 7, 2018

When I enter the systemctl commands and then enter my root password for the raspi, I get this error:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ systemctl daemon-reload
==== AUTHENTICATING FOR org.freedesktop.systemd1.reload-daemon ===
Authentication is required to reload the systemd state.
Authenticating as: root
Password: Failed to reload daemon: Method call timed out
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ polkit-agent-helper-1: pam_authenticate failed: Authentication failure

What am I doing wrong?

@StarPicard

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commented Dec 8, 2018

When I enter the systemctl commands and then enter my root password for the raspi, I get this error:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ systemctl daemon-reload
==== AUTHENTICATING FOR org.freedesktop.systemd1.reload-daemon ===
Authentication is required to reload the systemd state.
Authenticating as: root
Password: Failed to reload daemon: Method call timed out
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ polkit-agent-helper-1: pam_authenticate failed: Authentication failure

What am I doing wrong?

Are you entering this commands over ssh? I ran into this "error" while doing another project. As far as I understand, Raspbian has problems on handling systemctl commands for other users than pi and root. Didn't found a solution till today...

@Damianjsp

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commented Dec 9, 2018

When I enter the systemctl commands and then enter my root password for the raspi, I get this error:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ systemctl daemon-reload
==== AUTHENTICATING FOR org.freedesktop.systemd1.reload-daemon ===
Authentication is required to reload the systemd state.
Authenticating as: root
Password: Failed to reload daemon: Method call timed out
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ polkit-agent-helper-1: pam_authenticate failed: Authentication failure

What am I doing wrong?

You need to add 'sudo' at the start of your command, pi is a sudo enabled user so you need to use every single time you're doing something related with services

@Delphae

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commented Jan 24, 2019

Works great !!
After putting these two files at the right place, I also did:

  • chmod +x /etc/init.d/kodi
  • in my case it is /etc/default (not /etc/defaults)
  • one time: sudo /etc/init.d/kodi start (this will start kodi from the command line)
  • one time: sudo systemctl enable kodi
    reboot the raspberry and it will start Kodi automatically :-)
    Great job !!
@AdrianGarside

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commented Jan 28, 2019

I followed @RigacciOrg's steps without errors but kodi still doesn't start at boot. I've no idea what I'm missing.
@tdietrich67 - what did you finally figure out to get it working?

@mlueckl

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commented Apr 15, 2019

Thank you @RigacciOrg!! Followed exactly those steps, executed commands with sudo, and it worked immediately :)
Note: before I did this I cleaned up what was done in the original explanation

@webdawg

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commented May 22, 2019

Everyone here needs to understand the difference between systemd, and init.d before they do any of this.

@Cyberek

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Owner Author

commented Jul 10, 2019

Thank you all for the comments, I have corrected the mistakes.
After updating to Raspbian Buster and Pi4 I will also check if this solution still works. For now Raspbian Buster has older version of Kodi, which doesn't even run in standalone version. So if you don't have a proper Raspbian backup, don't even try to upgrade if having working Kodi is one of your top priorities.

@naty6458

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commented Sep 8, 2019

in raspberry pi 4 put this command :

sudo nano ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

add the line:

@kodi

done !

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