We’re happy to announce that OSMC Release Candidate Three is now here. This issue squashes a few bugs and refines OSMC to a state that we would now consider stable. We’ve seen that some of you are eager for OSMC to become ‘final’ and even think it’s holding us back. We understand that there is an element of caution users associate with pre-release software. We have taken time and meticulous care in ensuring that our releases are stable and complete and as such, our stable release date has indeed drifted. We take great pleasure in announcing that this will be the last Release Candiate before OSMC goes final.
OSMC is now bigger than Raspbmc
When working on OSMC, we were worried we’d lose users because Raspbmc had become immensely popular and users would not like the change. We’re happy to see that this is simply not the case. Since Raspbmc’s website changed we’ve seen Raspbmc users switch over almost instantly. Today, I’m happy to now announce 450,000 regular users of OSMC. These are calculated by unique IPv4 addresses synchronising with our update server at least once per week.
We’re happy to see that OSMC continues to be the media center distribution of choice and remain the largest Kodi distribution for Raspberry Pi. We’re thankful to our users who help make OSMC great by using it every day! Please keep spreading the word!
As promised before, OSMC will bring a web browser to all supported devices. This will be hardware accelerated and should perform well on all devices (whether it’s the single core Pi 1 or our later planned for x64 release). We’re naming it Ocelot and it should arrive in September. There’s a lot more to follow on this. We’ve been working hard on the App Store and the reason we’ve been building such extensive infrastructure for this will become clear soon.
Networking has been made easier
We’ve been working hard to improve networking on OSMC. We’ve fixed a bug preventing connection to the network after changing from static to DHCP and now made it possible to connect to hidden wireless networks. On top of this, we’re happy to announce tethering capabilities are now included in OSMC. This allows Wired network connections to be shared over WiFi and WiFi connections to be shared over Wired networks. There’s now also support for connecting to multiple adapters and improved Bluetooth connection capabilities.
Backup and restore is simpler
We’re trying to make OSMC migration easy — whether it’s to a new device or to a fresh install. We’ve added a Backup and Restore feature to My OSMC to make this simpler. You’ll no longer need to rely on third party addons and wonder whether backups are complete or not. Instead, simply use My OSMC’s backup feature and be safe in the knowledge that backups are complete.
We’re working hard on adding more applications to our App Store. For June we’re scheduling the following applications to be included:
- Transmission torrent client
- A VNC server
There are a lot more planned, but these seem to be the most popular at this time. If you’ve an idea for what would be a good fit, do let us know!
We’ve also added Cron to the App Store, which lets you schedule tasks to run periodically.
Kodi 15 (Isengard) is near
Kodi 15, codename “Isengard” is warming up for a stable release, and you can be assured OSMC will be quick to follow suit. We’re currently updating OSMC to handle the new release and preparing for the final version. When it’s released, it should reach OSMC users quickly and without a hitch. Once we’re confident Isengard is well received, we’ll also look at preparing regular nightly builds in the same way we did with Raspbmc.
Apple TV 1st generation
Development for the 1st generation Apple TV is still ongoing and the installers are now being worked on. Currently, we are evaluating whether to use a modern 4.x kernel with Nouveau graphics stack or a 3.x kernel with the legacy NVIDIA driver. Please watch our forums for test builds which should land in due course.
We understand that many users have been holding out for dual boot capabilities on the Raspberry Pi. We’re now happy to announce that OSMC is in NOOBS for all Raspberry Pi models. This is great for those that want to run OSMC alongside a Raspbian installation.
Improving the user experience
We’re always listening to how we can improve OSMC, and the user experience is no exception. We’ve made sure that the OSMC version number is always visible in My OSMC now. We’ve also made sure that language selection is confirmed during initial setup. We’re working hard on the OSMC skin to improve that further, and we’ll have more soon.
We know a lot of you like to use external hard drives with OSMC. We’ve improved IO performance and made sure that if you’re using the Samba server from the App Store to access your shares from Windows, any attached disks will automatically appear as network shares.
It’s come to our attention that users are sometimes downloading and installing add-ons that can be detrimental to OSMC. We’ll now warn you when you install an add-on that’s known to cause issues with OSMC. You can still install it, but unfortunately we won’t be able to help you if anything goes wrong other than recommend a new installation of OSMC.
If you ever have any problems, you can hold Shift during boot to get to a recovery shell. This is a great way to drop down to a shell when you can’t necessarily login via SSH.
Lastly, we’ve also made updates faster and made App Store installations faster too.
We’ve fixed a few bugs:
- Fixed an issue causing slow write speeds on external hard drives
- Fixed an issue preventing the Remotes section from being opened under certain circumstances
- Fixed an issue causing distortion on monitors with uncommon resolutions (1366×768)
- Fix the Avahi broadcast port for Samba shares
- Allow the guest user to browse the Samba share list
- Fix an issue causing SD card corruption on Raspberry Pi 2. Many thanks to popcornix, Phil Elwell and Gordon Hollingworth for identifying and fixing this problem.
- Fix some issues with the Raspberry Pi LAN driver.
- Fix an issue where the GUI can stutter after an HDMI cable has been unplugged or the TV has been powered off when using a Vero
- Fix an issue causing some users to see a 4.3 aspect ratio on a 16.9 TV when using a Vero
- Fix an issue degrading Vero playback performance
- Handle SIGTERM better in Kodi (reduces likelihood of slow shutdown)
- Add missing ‘rpi-dac-overlay’ device tree overlay for Raspberry Pi
- Fix a bug where time was not correctly set on bootup
- Fix bugs causing issues resolving DNS queries
We’ve made a few other changes:
- Enable AirPlay by default in Kodi
- Make the OSMC RSS feed available in Kodi
- Make SPI interface available to the OSMC user. This allows programs such as Hyperion to run as non-root
- Added GUI confirmation of remote change to prevent configuring your system in a way that prevents input
- Add support for /etc/ifup.d and /etc/ifdown.d scripts to run
The RC3 build is available in the Windows, OS X and Linux installers now so get testing! As our update system has now matured, you can also upgrade directly to this build from any Release Candidate. To do this, go to My OSMC -> Updates and trigger a manual update or wait until you receive an update notification. This may take a longer than usual, as Debian has now announced its stable Jessie release which means there is a lot of packages that need upgrading.
If you enjoy OSMC and this update and would like to support continued development, you can make a donation here.