How to Install OpenELEC/Kodi on RPi 2/3 using macOS

By January 24, 2017General

We got bored and decided that we would get a Rasp Pi 3, the official Kodi Raspberry Pi Case and install OpenELEC on it. This is a cheap and easy way to make your own Kodi device. Granted, it’s not powerful but if you are a casual user who only uses it for one specific activity then this could be something that is of interest to you.

What you will need:

  • Raspberry Pi
  • Power Source for Pi
  • Micro SD Card (16GB+)
  • Micro SD Card Adaptor
  • Latest version of OpenELEC for RPi
  • HDMI Cable
  • USB Keyboard or remote control with wireless dongle (you can get these dirt cheap on eBay or Amazon.

  • Download the latest version of OE for whichever model your Pi is. The latest versions can be found here. Choose the version with the .img.gz file extension (this is for version 2 or 3 which most people will probably be using)
  • Double click the .img.gz file and let your Mac extract the files – Extract to Downloads
  • Place your Micro SD in the Micro SD Adaptor and place it in your Mac
  • Open Terminal
  • Type diskutil list and you should see an output similar to this
  • We now need to unmount the Micro SD. You obviously need to know which your SD card is – it will probably be /dev/disk2 but you can easily look at the output for the section marked size and take an educated guess at whether the size shown on there is approximately the same size as your SD card
  • To unmount type the following – Remember, if it isn’t disk2 then change it to the correct disk number

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2

  • You should now see the following message

Unmount of all volumes on disk2 was successful

  • Now we want to erase the card so type the following

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk2 bs=512 count=1

  • As we are using sudo you will need to enter your Mac password (please be careful and ensure the disk number is correct). You should see an output like this
  • Earlier in the guide you extracted the necessary files from the .img.gz file and if you did what I said then it will be in your downloads folder
  • Now we want to install those files on the Micro SD card so type the following

sudo dd if=/Users/mjd/Downloads/OpenELEC-RPi2.arm-6.0.3.img of=/dev/disk2 bs=1m

  • Take a look at the output closely as you will need to make changes to suit your setup. /Users/mjd/Downloads needs to be changed to your user path /Users/YourUsername/Downloads check in your downloads folder to find the name of the .img file the latest is OpenELEC-RPi2.arm-6.0.3.img if your is different then change it to that and /dev/disk2 must be changed to /dev/disk# replacing # with the number of the disk you unmounted earlier in the guide. As we are using sudo you may be asked your Mac password again, enter it if necessary. You may need to wait a couple of minutes for the files to transfer now
  • When the files are transferred you should now see an input similar to this


  • OE is now installed on your Micro SD card and can be safely ejected from your Mac
  • You now need to connect your USB keyboard or remote control with wireless dongle attached to the RPi otherwise you can’t do anything. You also need to connect your RPi to your TV or monitor with the HDMI cable
  • Now you just need to remove the Micro SD from the adaptor and place it into the Micro SD slot on your RPi and OE will install. It will then take you to the OpenELEC wizard. With the keyboard attached you can just follow the wizard and have Kodi up and running in no time.



Leave a Reply