We’ve taken some time to answer some of the most common Raspberry Pi questions you may have.

I see less available memory than my Pi has, why?

The Raspberry Pi has either 256MB, 512MB or 1GB of RAM. Some of this memory is allocated to the GPU and thus running commands such as free or top will show less available memory than you may expect. OSMC has optimised the GPU memory allocation depending on your model of Raspberry Pi, and it is advised that you leave this as is.

How big does the SD card need to be? Does the ‘Class’ matter?

We recommend that you use no smaller than an 8GB card for OSMC. While OSMC on Raspberry Pi only takes around 1GB, the actual formatted capacity of the SD card will be less. Further, library artwork and the installation of apps and add-ons will soon mean that space gets used fast.

We recommend a Class 10 SD card. For the best performance, consider picking up the official OSMC 16GB SD Card which has been manufactured to run OSMC at optimal performance.

Can I boot off a USB disk or NFS share?

Yes! Using the official OSMC installer, you can configure OSMC to boot from a USB drive or an NFS share. The installer will allow you to prepare an SD card, which when inserted in to your Raspberry Pi, will install OSMC on your desired media.

It should be noted that at the time of writing, you still need a small SD card for the boot files to remain on. If you are attempting an NFS installation, please note that Windows NFS servers will not work properly due to permissions problems.

Is it safe to power my Raspberry Pi from my TV’s USB port?

Unfortunately not. By powering the Raspberry Pi from your TV, you will not provide it with enough power which will cause poor system performance and freezing. Further, the device will be subjected to unexpected shutdowns and will be improperly powered down whenever your TV is turned off. This can cause filesystem corruption which can result in data loss or improper system function.

I see an icon in the right corner of my screen. What does it mean?

Prior to OSMC’s September 2016 update, a user would receive a rainbow coloured icon or a red/yellow coloured icon if their device was underpowered or overheating. This has now been changed to some more easily recognisable iconography.

This icon means that the ARM (CPU) is being throttled due to the temperature being 80-85C

This icon means that the ARM (CPU) and GPU are being throttled due to the temperature being in excess of 85C

This icon means that your Raspberry Pi is not receiving enough power

How do I get rid of these warning signs? Will it damage my system?

If you use your Raspberry Pi with an insufficient power supply, you may experience the following problems:

  • Random freezes or glitches
  • Unexpected network dropouts
  • Randomly seeing external drives unmount and remount (caused by dips in power)
  • Repeat remote presses

If you use your Raspberry Pi when it is operating above its recommended temperature, you may also experience freezes. You will also reduce the operating life of the device, although this can be hard to quantify.

Unfortunately, some power supplies advertise that they can output a good amount of current but fail to do so. Most power supplies used are simply mobile phone chargers and are thus never really tested to see if they can perform to their advertised specification as they merely trickle charge phones.

For best results, you should ensure:

  • You do not power your Raspberry Pi from a USB port on a computer or TV. These can only output 500mA at the most.
  • You do not use a mobile phone charger
  • You use at least a 2A 5V power supply

OSMC has developed and manufactured their own power supply with the Raspberry Pi and OSMC in mind. Our power supply is a great way to ensure your device runs with complete reliability and ships worldwide from our store

You may experience high temperatures depending on the enclosure you use for your Raspberry Pi. Playing back HEVC content on the Raspberry Pi 3 will also cause high temperatures. A passive cooling solution such as a high quality heatsink should suffice.

I’m having an issue playing LiveTV / MPEG2 / VC1. What can I do about it?

You can buy the codecs here from the Raspberry Pi foundation.

It is still recommended that you purchase the codec packs from Raspberry Pi. These allow the device to decode MPEG2 and VC1 in hardware. If the codec packs are not present, then the device will attempt to play them in software using the CPU. This will work for SD material, however more demanding content may be problematic for the device. If you are planning to watch HD MPEG2 or VC1 content, we recommend you purchase the codec packs from the Raspberry Pi foundation.

These codecs can be configured via My OSMC → Pi Config.

Which overclock profile should I use?

A variety of profiles are available under My OSMCPi Config. We recommend that you stick with the Normal profile which is a good blend of performance and stability. It is possible to overclock your Pi to run faster, but you may experience crashes or instability if you do so. You will need a good, well regulated power supply to overclock your device successfully.

Is there an easy way to edit my Pi configuration settings?

A wide variety of Raspberry Pi settings can be configured via My OSMC → Pi Config. This menu will allow you to configure additional hardware, overclock settings, codec licenses and much more.