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How to install and configure Kodi in Ubuntu 16.04

Kodi is undoubtedly one of the most popular media center software on the market. For the uninitiated, a free and open source application that came to life back in 2003 as XBMC (short for Xbox Media Center) – a media center app for the first generation Xbox – but since then has been available as a native application for almost all major platforms including Android, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS and Windows.

From a functional point of view, Kodi provides an interface that allows easy access to all multimedia files, including videos, photos and music, stored on a hard disk, an optical disk, a local network and on the Internet. It uses a 10-foot user interface and a remote control as a primary input device, in line with its design philosophy: a multimedia application for your living room.

In this article, we will discuss how to download and install Kodi on the new version of Ubuntu 16.04. In addition, we will also explain in detail the basic setting of the media center.

Download and install Kodi

Assuming you've already updated your Ubuntu box to version 16.04, here are a series of commands that you need to run to install Kodi:

 sudo apt-get install software-propriet-comune sudo add-apt-repository ppa: team-xbmc / ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install kodi 

If all goes well, the latest version of the media center application will be installed on your system. For example, in my case, version 16.1 was installed – which is the latest stable version – something that I confirmed by running the following command:

 $ kodi --version 16.1 Git: c327c53 Media Center Kodi Copyright (C) 2005-2013 Team Kodi - // 

Basic setting

Once the download / installation part is complete, head to Unity Dash and start Kodi from there.

On the home screen, you will see a horizontal menu showing different options / categories including videos, music, images, programs and more.

Needless to say, once Kodi has been correctly configured, the Video section will allow you to browse and play all the videos that the application detects on your system; the same for music, and so on.

Watch local content

To make your local content visible to Kodi, click on the relevant option (for example, "Video" for video content), then click on the secondary option " File ". Complete the following set-up and you will see your content listed in the media player interface. For example, the following screenshots were taken while adding videos stored on my hard drive to Kodi:

To play a video file, just click on the list. For example, I clicked on the file " Linkin Park.mp4 "listed in the window shown above and playback started.

You can access a few settings related to playback, for example if you want subtitles or not, from the playback window itself.

So, we've just learned how to make your local videos visible in Kodi. You can follow similar procedures to make local music files and photos detectable.

Everything was about your local content, but what about content stored online (for example, your YouTube subscriptions)? Well, with Kodi, you can access all of this, and here the Kodi add-ons come on the scene.

Installation of add-ons

Let's take an example that explains how to navigate YouTube content from Kodi. The first step is to click on the secondary option " Additional components "(instead of the" File "sub-option) under the Video category on the application home page. Assuming that this is the first time you play with add-ons, no add-ons will appear, with only one option" Download more "which helps you install them.

Click on " Get more "and you will see a list of available add-ons. Scroll through this list and select" YouTube ".

When you click on " YouTube ", the add-on will be installed. However, to use it, you need to configure it, which basically implies permission to access your YouTube account:

Once the authorization phase is over, you will be able to access YouTube content from Kodi.

This allows you to install other add-ons available to access multimedia content from the Internet.

Tips and tricks

  • Kodi requires that you name your media files in a particular format as it helps the media scrapers collect the correct information. Go here to find out more.
  • Make sure your videos, music and photos are kept in separate directories. This will help you avoid unnecessary problems when you ask Kodi to scan the media files on your system.
  • While the basic settings are accessible from System-> Settings on the home screen, the configuration files are located in $ HOME / .kodi / folder on your system – we recommend that you make no changes in this folder until, of course, you do know exactly what you are doing

You can read our article on Kodi tips and tricks to learn more about Kodi.


We mainly focused on installing and setting up Kodi in this article. However, as far as functionality is concerned, we have barely scratched the surface here, as Kodi offers many features. Go to the official Kodi Wiki to find out more about the features of the media center.