We will not cover the entire build architecture for the OSMC core distribution, as this would be overly verbose and not necessarily beneficial. Instead, we will provide an outline of the constituent components to an OSMC system and explain how and when they are built.


An OSMC package is a Debian based Deb package. They are built to be installed via APT (Advanced Packaging Tool). This makes them easily updatable and manageable on an OSMC system.

OSMC is based on Debian and includes numerous packages to create the OSMC experience.

Packages are located in the package directory under the OSMC source directory.

More details on packaging for OSMC are available in ‘Creating an OSMC Package’


A filesystem is built by pulling official Debian packages and adding the downstream OSMC packages. This generates a tarball which serves as an initial root filesystem.

Filesystems are located in the filesystem directory under the OSMC source directory.

More details on filesystems are available in ‘Building filesystems’


There are two types of OSMC installer.

Host installers allow the imaging of an OSMC disk image on to a medium from a PC running Windows or Linux, or a Mac OS X based system.

Target installers build OSMC disk images from root filesystems and include the OSMC target installer, which configures the device to run OSMC.

More details on installers are available in ‘Building installers’

Putting it all together

Information on completely building OSMC from source is covered in the article Building OSMC completely from source