I had OpenELEC installed on my livingroom PC for quite a long time, because it was the easiest way of having a complete Kodi (ex. XBMC) installation available. Now that KODI is in Debian, I decided to give it a try - and it works quite well.

One long standing issue I had with OpenELEC was, that the user is not able to install any tools. It would be great to have a version with the Debian sources enabled.

The system is now based on Debian Stretch and incoperates Sid and Experimental sources, as well as Debian Multimedia (for libdvdcss).

You can start KODI as a standalone service, using systemd: Starting KODI in Standalone mode. One important thing (which is not in the Wiki), is to allow the kodi user to shutdown the machine. Otherwise you can not do that over the supplied menu:

Create a file /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/custom-actions.pkla:

[Actions for kodi user]


One big issue still is DVD and BR playback... I do not know why it is so hard but as a customer who actually buys Bluerays you get ripped of right away... Half of the DVD's i could not play with OpenELEC and all my Bluerays did not work. For that reason i actually own a copy of MakeMKV - which is really great and allows playback of both DVD and BR. But the major drawback is: you can not fully integrate it into KODI, thus you need an extra addon for playback.

It is really better to rip the DVDs and Bluerays and put the MKVs on a network share than fiddling around with this crap when you really want to see a movie...