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Odroid N2: How to Setup and Install Kodi

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HomerJAU

Moderator: MCH Media Players
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INTRODUCTION:
The Odroid N2 Amlogic S922X based device is a low cost (USD100) powerful media player when CoreElec/Kodi is installed. Its manufactured in South Korea by Hardkernel.

CoreElec is a ‘Just enough Operating System’ (tiny) Linux distribution for Kodi for popular Amlogic hardware (incl. Odroid N2). Once installed a user never sees any Linux screens, it starts very fast directly to the Kodi media player menu.

In fact you can run the N2/Kodi from a smart phone app or tablet without needing a screen and play music. Navigate your music from the smart phone or tablet.

The Odroid can read/play media from your USB drives and/or servers, NAS and PCs via an ethernet network (wifi too but that can have problems with 4K/1080p video and 192/24 MCH audio etc).

The Odroid N2 is a DIY device. You buy a few parts and do a tool-less assembly (very easy). Install CoreElec and you have a Media Player that plays 4K/1080p video and lossless high resolution multichannel audio (FLAC, PCM, DTS-HDMA, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, Atmos etc) via HDMI pass-through to your AVR.

Here's photos of the Odroid N2 being assembled. The N2 has RAM pre-installed. You only have to load Linux onto an SD-CARD, boot then transfer the SD-CARD image onto the internal eMMC (SSD) drive. Full install instructions later in this post.

Picture 1: All the parts as shipped including plastic case. (There's also metal case available in US):


Picture 2: The Odroid N2 upside down showing the large metal heat sink, 4 x USB 3.0, HDMI and Ethernet ports.


Picture 3: Shows the 16GB eMMC card plugged in (red dot) and Toshiba SD-CARD too (on right) - Stereo DAC output on left.


Once the SD card image is transferred to the eMMC its no longer required. Linux/Kodi runs off the eMMC drive (much faster than SD card).

One of the USB ports will be used for the Minix A2 wireless remote adapter.

The Minix A2 Lite Remote: (Keyboard on back) - This is an RF remote and doesn't require a direct line of sight like an IR remote



PURCHASING:
You can by all the parts here:
USA: ODROID-N2

Europe: Odroid Operating System - 128GB eMMC Module C2 Android

Hardkerel direct: ODROID-N2 with 2GByte RAM – ODROID

Rest of World: Distributors – ODROID

EDIT: I added a link above to a French company selling the N2. ALSO: Odroid is now selling a ‘CoreElec’ kit which includes CoreElec (Linux with Kodi) pre-installed. I recommend getting the 16GB eMMC version (not SD card version), emmc is faster and more reliable long term.

Recommended Components (screen grab from Ameridroid US website cart):



You can lower the cost by buying a 16GB eMMC drive card (its a bit slower than the 32GB), or you can run CoreElec/Kodi on an SD card (16GB) even cheaper.

You also need a small SD card (8GB or 16GB) to install CoreElec/Kodi on an eMMC drive

You will also need a USB keyboard or Remote control to operate the N2:

The Minix A2 Lite is a Radio Frequency remote with keyboard (highly recommended) - Get it fro Amazon:


HOW TO INSTALL COREELEC ON YOUR N2:

Requirements:

SD Card (8MB or larger)
A USB to SD-Card adapter (or a SD card reader on your PC)
An Odroid N2 with an eMMC drive (16MB, 32MB recommended as its faster than the 16MB)
A USB Keyboard/Mouse or suitable remote control (Minix A2 remote highly recommended)

Rufus program (Windows only) - This creates bootable USB drives from file images
Download from: Rufus - Official Website (Download, New Releases, Support)

CoreElec - This is a ‘Just enough OS’ (tiny) Linux distribution for Kodi for popular Amlogic hardware
Download from: CoreELEC - Select the 'Download' command on toolbar

You will see this screen:



NOTE: At the time of writing this the current stable build is 9.2.0 - You should install the current Stable 9.2.1 or higher, go ahead and click that button and follow the prompts to select Amlogic Odroid N2.

Edit: The following is no longer applicable, no need to install the nightly build discussed immediately below:
If 9.2.0 showing as the current stable build Do Not download. Instead select 'Nightly’. You will see this screen:



Then download the file containing the word: 'Odroid_N2' as shown (the date may be different to the one shown above)

STEP 1:
From your PC. Put your SD Card in the USB SD card adapter and insert in a USB socket (or insert your SD card directly in an SD card socket if your PC has one

Run Rufus

You will see your SD card in the Device list (ensure it is showing)



Use the 'SELECT' button to browse to and select your CoreElec image file you downloaded


Click: 'START' button (this writes the CoreElec image to your SC card

When completed your SD card is now ready to use in your N2 media player

STEP 2:
Before powering on your N2, ensure you have not yet installed the eMMC drive.

Insert your SD Card (from STEP 1) into the SD Card slot (front right side, crd goes in connector side down)

Insert HDMI cable (N2) and into a PC monitor or TV screen (switch on screen or TV)

Insert ethernet cable connected to your network router

Insert the power plug plug into N2, plug in mains power adapter and swith on mains)

The N2 boots and processes the SD card image, extracting Linux, Kodi and driver files.

When completed the N2 auto-reboots into CoreElec and Kodi comes up. (CoreElec always boots directly to Kodi).



STEP 3:
Insert your remote control USB adapter or keyboard/mouse USB adapter into an N2 USB socket. Wait a few seconds for it to be recognized.

HINT: The Minix A2 USB adapter is inside one of the battery compartments

You should now be able to use the remote or mouse to navigate the Kodi menus.

Please go through the initial setup wizard. Ensure you turn on SSH and note down the N2 IP Address on this screen.



And please enable SSH on this screen:



Leave the default login info: root/coreelec

You can now start using Kodi off the SD card, but everything will run faster/smoother if you install CoreElec/Kodi onto your eMMC card

STEP 4:
The CoreElec developers have added a nice command to auto transfer the CoreElec image from your SD card to the eMMC.

To do this you need to download a program called Putty to allow you to connect to your N2 from your PC and run commands
Download Putty from: Download PuTTY: latest release (0.73)

Ensure your N2 is on and connected to your network without the eMMC drive

Go ahead and install, then run Putty:

This is the Putty dialog, now enter the IP Adress of your N2 you wrote down in an earlier step: (mine is 192.168.1.118 in this screen)


Click: Open, Putty will then pop-up a command-line interface and ask you to login:

Enter this:

User name: root
Password: coreelec

NOTE: All lower case. Linux is case sensitive!

Once logged in you will see this:


Enter this command: installtoemmc

when the N2 reboots you will have 30 seconds to attach the eMMC to the N2's motherboard (carefully align the socket and pins and press gently)

then when it finally comes back online, run Putty again, login and run installtoemmc one final time and it will install CoreELEC to the eMMC.

There are reports you may have o do this a 3rd time (but I didn't need to)

Now unplug the N2, remove the SD card, power it up again (without SD card) and you are now running CoreElec/Kodi from the eMMC drive

OK. That's it for installation.


Next Step: Setting up Kodi for multi-channel audio and HDR video
 
Last edited:

TheJokerLaughs

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Next Step: Setting up Kodi for multi-channel audio and HDR video
Any chance of some further update to this thread @HomerJAU? Have been helping my friend set up his home theater and he has an N2 arriving soon. Any further advice in the MCH audio & HDR video setup would be much appreciated. Do you know if the newly released CoreELEC build of 9.2.1 is preferable to running a Nightly at this point?
 

HomerJAU

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The latest official CoreElec 9.2.1 is the one to use at the moment.

I’ll see if I can do a set up Kodi for MCH t over the weekend, if not early next week.
 

HomerJAU

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Apologies for the delay, it’s been hectic here.

I just realised you can follow this post to setup Kodi for MCH Audio:


Let me know if you need more info, that was based on an older version of Kodi but the screens will be very similar
 

HomerJAU

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Once that’s done I highly recommend installing the Aeon Nox Silvo skin as it’s wonderful for music and supports the Artist Slideshow add-on program to display an automated fanart slideshow with album art, disc art and displays codec info for each song/album:

 

HomerJAU

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After that’s setup you can use my Aeon Nox Silvo skin mod to display codec logos:

 

Ninecats

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It appears that Aeon Nox Silvo doesn’t support the newest slideshow update, I get a big message on my home screen saying that - hopefully it will be fixed.
 

HomerJAU

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It’s an easy fix so expect an update very soon.

I‘m going to fix my logo mod to Aeon Nox Silvo I posted here on QQ today
 

HomerJAU

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There’s an Aeon Nox Silvo fix done on its Github, just needs testing and we’ll see an official update.

I have by daughters uni graduation today so can’t test myself today. My daughter has just completed her BSc (Hons) Construction Management. Not too many females in that industry!
 

Ninecats

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I am on the other hand not too familiar with technical stuff, also some other stuff to do, so not likely any testing here as of right now.

Congrats on your daughter!
 

HomerJAU

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I tested the AN Silvo skin fix this morning. Good news is the ArtistSlideshow 3.0 is now working. Bad news is the Warning/Alert home screen remains, so not quite ready to Aeon Nox Silvo release.

Edit: Now fixed
 
Last edited:

HomerJAU

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I just updated the first post with info for purchasing for EU members for around 100Euro.

Also: Odroid is now selling a ‘CoreElec’ kit with CoreElec/Kodi media player software pre-installed on an eMMC drive card, so it’s ready to go

For any QQer looking for a fantastic and affordable media player to playback multichannel lossless bit perfect Audio and HD video, this is the one to get.
 

haikubass

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Well, I took precisely this path just before Christmas and there's no turning back since. Odroid's got it all for me and more. A lot of work adapting fully to this new environment still ahead, but this thread (plus all the other Kodi-related ones) was super helpful. Thank you, HomerJAU, this experience has turned out to be a real game-changer for me!
 

HomerJAU

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That’s great to hear!

Any questions, please ask!

I love to hear others really enjoy the experience. Best thing in audio I’ve never discovered!
 

perfectlife

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INTRODUCTION:
The Odroid N2 Amlogic S922X based device is a low cost (USD100) powerful media player when CoreElec/Kodi is installed. Its manufactured in South Korea by Hardkernel.

CoreElec is a ‘Just enough Operating System’ (tiny) Linux distribution for Kodi for popular Amlogic hardware (incl. Odroid N2). Once installed a user never sees any Linux screens, it starts very fast directly to the Kodi media player menu.

In fact you can run the N2/Kodi from a smart phone app or tablet without needing a screen and play music. Navigate your music from the smart phone or tablet.

The Odroid can read/play media from your USB drives and/or servers, NAS and PCs via an ethernet network (wifi too but that can have problems with 4K/1080p video and 192/24 MCH audio etc).

The Odroid N2 is a DIY device. You buy a few parts and do a tool-less assembly (very easy). Install CoreElec and you have a Media Player that plays 4K/1080p video and lossless high resolution multichannel audio (FLAC, PCM, DTS-HDMA, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, Atmos etc) via HDMI pass-through to your AVR.

Here's photos of the Odroid N2 being assembled. The N2 has RAM pre-installed. You only have to load Linux onto an SD-CARD, boot then transfer the SD-CARD image onto the internal eMMC (SSD) drive. Full install instructions later in this post.

Picture 1: All the parts as shipped including plastic case. (There's also metal case available in US):


Picture 2: The Odroid N2 upside down showing the large metal heat sink, 4 x USB 3.0, HDMI and Ethernet ports.


Picture 3: Shows the 16GB eMMC card plugged in (red dot) and Toshiba SD-CARD too (on right) - Stereo DAC output on left.


Once the SD card image is transferred to the eMMC its no longer required. Linux/Kodi runs off the eMMC drive (much faster than SD card).

One of the USB ports will be used for the Minix A2 wireless remote adapter.

The Minix A2 Lite Remote: (Keyboard on back) - This is an RF remote and doesn't require a direct line of sight like an IR remote



PURCHASING:
You can by all the parts here:
USA: https://ameridroid.com/products/odroid-n2?_pos=7&_sid=97f249980&_ss=r

Europe: https://odroid.fr/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=874

Hardkerel direct: https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-n2-with-2gbyte-ram/

Rest of World: https://www.hardkernel.com/distributors/


Recommended Components (screen grab from Ameridroid US website cart):



You can lower the cost by buying a 16GB eMMC drive card (its a bit slower than the 32GB), or you can run CoreElec/Kodi on an SD card (16GB) even cheaper.

You also need a small SD card (8GB or 16GB) to install CoreElec/Kodi on an eMMC drive

You will also need a USB keyboard or Remote control to operate the N2:

The Minix A2 Lite is a Radio Frequency remote with keyboard (highly recommended) - Get it fro Amazon:


HOW TO INSTALL COREELEC ON YOUR N2:

Requirements:

SD Card (8MB or larger)
A USB to SD-Card adapter (or a SD card reader on your PC)
An Ondroid N2 with an eMMC drive (16MB, 32MB recommended as its faster than the 16MB)
A USB Keyboard/Mouse or suitable remote control (Minix A2 remote highly recommended)

Rufus program (Windows only) - This creates bootable USB drives from file images
Download from: https://rufus.ie/

CoreElec - This is a ‘Just enough OS’ (tiny) Linux distribution for Kodi for popular Amlogic hardware
Download from: https://coreelec.org - Select the 'Download' command on toolbar

You will see this screen:



NOTE: At the time of writing this the current stable build is 9.2.0 - NOTE: This version does not contain a fix to support mutichannel FLAC playback. If the Stable version is higher than 9.2.0 go ahead and click that button and follow the prompts to select Amlogic Odroid N2. If 9.2.0 showing as the current stable build Do Not download. Instead select 'Nightly'. You will see this screen:



Then download the file containing the word: 'Odroid_N2' as shown (the date may be different to the one shown above)

EDIT: I added a link above to a French company selling the N2. ALSO: Odroid is now selling a ‘CoreElec’ kit which includes CoreElec (Linux with Kodi) pre-installed. I recommend getting the 16GB eMMC version (not SD card version), emmc is faster and more reliable long term.

STEP 1:
From your PC. Put your SD Card in the USB SD card adapter and insert in a USB socket (or insert your SD card directly in an SD card socket if your PC has one

Run Rufus

You will see your SD card in the Device list (ensure it is showing)



Use the 'SELECT' button to browse to and select your CoreElec image file you downloaded


Click: 'START' button (this writes the CoreElec image to your SC card

When completed your SD card is now ready to use in your N2 media player

STEP 2:
Before powering on your N2, ensure you have not yet installed the eMMC drive.

Insert your SD Card (from STEP 1) into the SD Card slot (front right side, crd goes in connector side down)

Insert HDMI cable (N2) and into a PC monitor or TV screen (switch on screen or TV)

Insert ethernet cable connected to your network router

Insert the power plug plug into N2, plug in mains power adapter and swith on mains)

The N2 boots and processes the SD card image, extracting Linux, Kodi and driver files.

When completed the N2 auto-reboots into CoreElec and Kodi comes up. (CoreElec always boots directly to Kodi).



STEP 3:
Insert your remote control USB adapter or keyboard/mouse USB adapter into an N2 USB socket. Wait a few seconds for it to be recognized.

HINT: The Minix A2 USB adapter is inside one of the battery compartments

You should now be able to use the remote or mouse to navigate the Kodi menus.

Please go through the initial setup wizard. Ensure you turn on SSH and note down the N2 IP Address on this screen.



And please enable SSH on this screen:



Leave the default login info: root/coreelec

You can now start using Kodi off the SD card, but everything will run faster/smoother if you install CoreElec/Kodi onto your eMMC card

STEP 4:
The CoreElec developers have added a nice command to auto transfer the CoreElec image from your SD card to the eMMC.

To do this you need to download a program called Putty to allow you to connect to your N2 from your PC and run commands
Download Putty from: https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/latest.html

Ensure your N2 is on and connected to your network without the eMMC drive

Go ahead and install, then run Putty:

This is the Putty dialog, now enter the IP Adress of your N2 you wrote down in an earlier step: (mine is 192.168.1.118 in this screen)


Click: Open, Putty will then pop-up a command-line interface and ask you to login:

Enter this:

User name: root
Password: coreelec

NOTE: All lower case. Linux is case sensitive!

Once logged in you will see this:


Enter this command: installtoemmc

when the N2 reboots you will have 30 seconds to attach the eMMC to the N2's motherboard (carefully align the socket and pins and press gently)

then when it finally comes back online, run Putty again, login and run installtoemmc one final time and it will install CoreELEC to the eMMC.

There are reports you may have o do this a 3rd time (but I didn't need to)

Now unplug the N2, remove the SD card, power it up again (without SD card) and you are now running CoreElec/Kodi from the eMMC drive

OK. That's it for installation.


Next Step: Setting up Kodi for multi-channel audio and HDR video
HomerJAU

This is the best Odroid+CoreELEC instruction ever. Heck, even where to download Putty and how to use Rufus. There are tons of insturcions out there for CoreElec, for Odroid but your write up is the only one for both of them I can find with details of installtoemmc part, which I was very confused about.

I am waiting for the eMMC to arrive now. So far it runs from SD card ok but passthrough doesn't work and without passthrough audio sounds really funny.

Thank you so much!
 

HomerJAU

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This is the best Odroid+CoreELEC instruction ever
Thanks!

Another QQ member has just setup an Odroid N2 using the ‘CoreElec Edition’ and discovered the software version is pre 9.2.1, so MCH PCM via HDMI wasn’t working.

So please ensure you update CoreElec to latest official version (9.2.1 at the time I write this, which includes Kodi 18.5) when you first run CoreElec/Kodi. There’s an option in Kodi Settings, CoreElec screen to check for updates.
 

HomerJAU

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This is worth reading if you are running a Linux based media player like the N2:

 

HomerJAU

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Kodi has some 'Advanced Settings' which can be set manually by creating a file named: advancedsettings.xml and placing that file in the Kodi userdata folder on your player.

In the previous post on How to access Storage folders you will see this folder or you can refer to the Kodi wiki for its location:

NOTE: You must re-start Kodi after making any changes or adding a new advancedsettings.xml file for any changes to take affect

My recommended advancedsettings.xml file contents for the Odroid N2 for multichannel music:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<advancedsettings>
<gui>
<algorithmdirtyregions>0</algorithmdirtyregions>
</gui>
<imageres>9999</imageres>
<fanartres>9999</fanartres>
<audio>
<minimumsamplerate>48000</minimumsamplerate>
<excludefromscan>
<regexp>\@eaDir</regexp>
<regexp>\#recycle</regexp>
</excludefromscan>
<excludefromlisting>
<regexp>\@eaDir</regexp>
<regexp>\#recycle</regexp>
</excludefromlisting>
</audio>
<video>
<excludefromscan>
<regexp>\@eaDir</regexp>
<regexp>\#recycle</regexp>
</excludefromscan>
<excludefromlisting>
<regexp>\@eaDir</regexp>
<regexp>\#recycle</regexp>
</excludefromlisting>
<excludetvshowsfromscan>
<regexp>\@eaDir</regexp>
<regexp>\#recycle</regexp>
</excludetvshowsfromscan>
</video>
<cache>
<buffermode>1</buffermode>
<memorysize>209715200</memorysize>
<readfactor>20</readfactor>
</cache>
<videolibrary>
<recentlyaddeditems>150</recentlyaddeditems>
</videolibrary>
<musiclibrary>
<recentlyaddeditems>150</recentlyaddeditems>
<dateadded>2</dateadded>
<artistseparators>
<separator> / </separator>
<separator> feat. </separator>
<separator> Feat. </separator>
<separator> with </separator>
<separator> ft. </separator>
<separator> Ft. </separator>
</artistseparators>
<artistextraart>
<arttype>banner</arttype>
<arttype>clearart</arttype>
<arttype>clearlogo</arttype>
<arttype>landscape</arttype>
</artistextraart>
<albumextraart>
<arttype>back</arttype>
<arttype>discart</arttype>
<arttype>spine</arttype>
</albumextraart>
</musiclibrary>
<songinfoduration>7200</songinfoduration>
</advancedsettings>


You just need to copy the xml text above into the advancedsettings.xml (or create a new xml file) in the Kodi userdata folder.
 
Last edited:

winopener

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Another QQ member has just setup an Odroid N2 using the ‘CoreElec Edition’ and discovered the software version is pre 9.2.1, so MCH PCM via HDMI wasn’t working.
That's me... worth remember that the Odroid/Kodi can be controlled not only with screen and remote, but also on cell phone with specific app or web interface on any pc/browser, no need for VNC.
Using it only for audio is a bit overkill, there are 2 cores always at 0%, but it works and well enough.

Have to thank HomerJau for some support on the setup days. Very kind.
 
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