OpenELEC vs OSMC vs LibreELEC – What’s Best

Written by Kelly Houstan


Generally speaking, there are three operating systems that you can use to run Kodi on hardware-limited devices. Such as Raspberry Pi: LibreELEC, OpenELEC, and OSMC. If you guys are not sure which is right for your needs, then this article is a really great place to start. We compare their advantages and disadvantages and help you get started. By the end of this guide, you guys will be well on your way to enjoy hours of streaming content on Kodi. Read OpenELEC vs OSMC vs LibreELEC – What’s Best.

Do you guys want to run Kodi on a hardware-limited platform for example, a Raspberry Pi? Whenever it comes to operating systems, you guys have three major options: LibreELEC, OpenELEC or OSMC. All of these operating systems were basically created specifically in order to run on limited hardware. Most will only run on a handful of platforms and all include some form of Kodi as a built-in feature actually.

In this article, we’ll start via briefly discussing the history of these three operating systems. As you’ll see, they are all related to a specific extent. We’ll use the Raspberry Pi as our comparison platform as all the three operating systems are compatible along with it. In case you guys are not familiar with this device, we’ll introduce the Raspberry Pi and briefly discuss its main features as well, advantages, and limitations. After that, we’ll present each and every operating system, discuss their installation and their use. And we’ll finish via trying to provide you our honest and unbiased opinion. When to which of the three is the best one to select. As you guys will see, there might be more than one answer…

Protect Yourself when Using Kodi: Use a VPN

Your Internet Service provider could be monitoring your activity to make sure you’re not violating their terms and conditions. If they suspect you are, they might react through sending you infringement notices, throttling down your speed, or also even interrupting your service. A VPN will avoid your ISP from seeing what you’re doing through encrypting your data. As an additional benefit, with a VPN can give you access to geo-blocked content through masquerading your location.

With so many VPN suppliers, selecting the best can be a daunting task. Here are a few important factors to consider. A fast connection speed will avoid buffering, a no-logging policy will further secure your privacy, no usage restrictions will also let you access any content at full speed, and software that is available for multiple platforms will also let you use any device that you want.

NordVPN | OpenELEC vs OSMC


  •  Optimized servers for unblocking Netflix as well
  •  GooglePlay users rating: 4.3/5.0 as well
  •  Also, no IP/DNS leaks found
  •  Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
  •  Money-back guarantee policy actually.

  •  Not much
  •  Most of the time slow in processing refunds (however, always do).

If you’re using Kodi, you need a VPN, full stop as well. And the best VPN on the market is undoubtedly NordVPN for a range of necessary reasons. First of all, it features unbreakable security in the form of 256-bit AES encryption. That completely blocks all third-party attempts in order to gain access to your data. Even your ISP won’t be able to detect your Kodi traffic. That means they’ll have no way of throttling it back. That is something you can count on them to do.

Plus, NordVPN features one of the most robust networks in the industry, with more than 5,800 servers in 59 countries available. This permits you to “spoof” your IP address to digitally relocated into any corner of the world to unblock local content. And while you guys are bypassing geo-blocks. You are making yourself really difficult to target through cyber-attacks that depend on knowing your true IP address.

NordVPN is thus an exceptional choice for media-focused apps such as Kodi. Because it opens up the whole world of geo-blocked content, improves performance, and fends off threats to your privacy online. It is also available on all the most famous Kodi-friendly platforms. For example Fire TV, Android TV boxes, iOS tablets, and many more. NordVPN never limits your bandwidth, server switches, speed, traffic type–and also never keeps logs of your activity on their network as well.

OpenELEC vs OSMC vs LibreELEC – What’s Best

In order to better understand what sets them apart–and how they are also the same–it helps to have an idea where LibreELEC, OpenELEC or OSMC are actually coming from. The oldest of the trio is OpenELEC as well. It started back in 2009 as nothing more than yet another flavor of Linux as well, the open-source operating system. This distribution was unique because it was primarily focused on running XMBC. The ancestor of Kodi. It didn’t include the extra packages that permit most Linux distributions. In order to turn a raw computer into a usable machine. OpenELEC was actually fast and efficient and included XMBC.

Whenever the Raspberry Pi was launch back in 2012 (more about this a bit later) it quickly surface just like a suitable inexpensive platform. In order to build a multimedia computer. It was not, therefore, really long before we saw OpenELEC ported to that platform that had all the required features. Its built-in media player software and its ability in order to run on limited hardware made it the ideal choice.

Next came OSMC. OSMC actually starts as RaspBMC, one of the two operating systems. That were offered on the Raspberry Pi whenever it came out. It was kind of a scaled-down Raspbian–the other original Raspberry Pi OS option as well. And itself a scaled-down version of Debian Linux along with built-in XMBC software.

The youngest of the three is by far LibreELEC that only came out in March 2016. It was released through a group of former OpenELEC developers who left the project because of “creative difference”. With OpenELEC open source, they forked the code into their own OS as well. Rumor has it that today, most of the former OpenELECdeveloperss are actually with the LibreELEC team.

what about the Raspberry Pi? | OpenELEC vs OSMC

Because we’ll use the Raspberry Pi as the unified platform in order to compare all three operating systems. Let’s see what this beast is all about as well. The Raspberry Pi is actually a cross between a home computer such as the one you’re probably using right now. And a microcontroller board like you would find in so many smart devices actually.

It was developed in the UK through a non-profit organization called Raspberry Pi Foundation as a tool. In order to teach basic computer science in schools and in developing countries as well. Its feature set, adaptability, size, and affordability (at about 35 dollars) have made it immensely famous outside of its intended audience actually. Many folks saw it as an ideal platform for all sorts of applications. That includes media players. It has sold up to 11 million units worldwide as its original release in 2012.

The latest and most common model today, and the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. That offers great features and interfacing capabilities. It actually has a 1.2 GHz, 64-bit, quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, a high-performance Broadcom VideoCore IV graphic processor as well. 1 GB of RAM, video, audio, Ethernet, WiFi, and also USB interfaces. it is quite a powerful and versatile device actually. It also has all that’s needed in a TV-attached media player.


A small Linux based Just Enough Operating System (JeOS) that is built from scratch as a platform in order to turn your computer into a Kodi media center“. This is really what actually best describes what the operating system is. Some would argue that there is basically a contradiction between “built from scratch” and “Linux-based”. However, this is beyond the point of this article. OpenELEC is also available for a handful of platforms. That includes standard Intel-based computers, Raspberry Pi as well as We Tek, Cubox, and Hummingboard devices too.

If you guys are familiar along with Kodi, via OpenELEC will be an easy task. It boots right into Kodi so you won’t even know it’s there as well. Using OpenELEC is via Kodi. And almost everything that can do in Kodi, can do in OpenELEC. You’ll be able to add file source in the File Manageras well, install repositories and install any add-on via any method available on Kodi. Assume that you’re already familiar with Kodi, via OpenELEC will be a very pleasant experience. And considering that the operating system is cleaned up of any extra software actually. All the available hardware resources will be dedicated to make your media experience even greater.

LibreELEC, OpenELEC’s cousin | OpenELEC vs OSMC

LibreELEC was basically built from the OpenELEC source code so it is quite similar. Its major difference is in the frequency of its updates as well. Since its opening a year and a half ago, it has enjoyed ever-growing popularity both along with users and developers. The update schedule of LibreELEC closely follows Kodi’s so whenever a new feature appears in Kodi, LibreELEC is instantly updated along with the new Kodi version. Other than that, there are not that much differences between the two. Some will argue that LibreELEC’s performance is betteractually. If it is, it’s only through a small margin.

Via LibreELEC

Just like its cousin, LibreELEC boots right into Kodi as well. If you guys know how to use Kodi, then you’ll know how to use LibreELEC. Everything from Kodi is there and it works exactly the same way. As compared to OpenELEC, it is a really similar, if not identical, user experience.

OSMC, a Different Approach

OSMC, although built on a Linux base just like the other two operating systems discussed here, is really different. Like the others, it was created to turn a computer into a media center, however, it wasn’t originally meant to run on limited hardware. And for that reason, it is a less limited operating system too. Whereas OpenELEC and LibreELEC won’t really let you run anything besides Kodi actually, OSMC is a full operating system. You guys will be able to run other software alongside Kodi. Folks have used it to run web servers or Plex media servers, for example. OSMC even has an app store such as Android or iOS–where you’ll be able to find interesting and useful software.


Things have changed, though and today, OSMC will actually run the Raspberry Pi, the Apple TV, or the Vero. In case you’re thinking, the Vero is OSMC’s own hardware platform. It is basically a TV box that sells for about 120 Euros and permits to play 4K video on compatible TVs. It connects to an HDMI port and actually has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.


Although Kodi is an integral part of OSMC, its presence is not as obvious as along with the other two options. The first thing that you’ll notice is how its main menu is pretty different. You’re still in Kodi, just like with the previous options. However, the OSMC team created a different looking theme to provide their system a unique look.

The Kodi functionality is still there and almost everything you can do on Kodi can be done here as well although it could be a little different as well. If you’re used to doing things on Kodi, then you might feel a bit lost navigating OSMC. The basic functionality is really easy to figure but more “advanced” tasks. Such as installing repositories and add-ons–will certainly need a bit of digging on your part.

LibreELEC, OpenELEC, or OSMC–What is the best for you?

Although we’ve only briefly introduced each of LibreELEC, OpenELEC, or OSMC, selecting the best option seems like an easy task. But is it really? If you’re familiar along with Kodi and want to run it efficiently on a Raspberry Pi or many other supported single-board platforms, then LibreELEC seems the be the best option. Its USB-SD Card Creator makes installing it a breeze aswell.

As for OpenELEC, it is almost identical to LibreELEC as well. It is updated less frequently and is also way harder to install. Given all that, it’s really hard to find a reason to recommend it. It’s still a really good operating system, just not the best anymore.


Well, That all from my side. If you want to know more about this “OpenELEC vs OSMC” article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

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Kelly Houstan

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