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How to install LibreELEC on the Raspberry Pi 4

The Raspberry Pi 4 is the most robust piece of hardware to come out of the Pi foundation. It’s got USB 3.0, way more RAM, and a faster CPU. For this reason, Pi 4 is perfect for a Linux-powered media player OS like LibreELEC.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to get LibreELEC installed on your Pi 4. Additionally, we’ll show you how to set up the OS once it is up and running!

Downloading LibreELEC for Pi 4

You must download LibreELEC as an image from the developer’s website. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to get your hands on it.

Step 1: To start the download process, open up LibreElec.tv. Once you’ve made it to the website, look for the “Downloads” button at the top of the page. Click on it with the mouse to make it to the downloads page.

Step 2: On the downloads page, you will see download options for the LibreELEC image tool, as well as download options for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Ignore them, as this guide will not be covering the imager tool.

Instead, scroll to the bottom of the page and locate “Direct Downloads.”

Step 3: In the “Direct Downloads” area, you will see images of many different devices available. Locate the “Raspberry Pi” button, and click on it with the mouse to hide all devices but Raspberry Pi ones.

Step 4: Look through the different Pi options for the “Raspberry Pi 4” image, and click on it to access LibreELEC downloads for the Pi 4.

Step 5: On the Raspberry Pi 4 downloads page for LibreELEC, download LibreELEC-RPi4.arm-9.2.1.img.gz to your computer.

Alternatively, if you use Linux and love the command-line, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard and run the wget download command below to grab it.

wget http://releases.libreelec.tv/LibreELEC-RPi4.arm-9.2.1.img.gz -O ~/Downloads/LibreELEC-RPi4.arm-9.2.1.img.gz

When the LibreELEC file is done downloading to your PC, move on to the next section of the guide.

Imaging LibreELEC to SD card

Now that the LibreELEC is downloaded to your computer, it is time to image it to the SD card so that the Pi 4 can read it and use it. Imaging LibreELEC to an SD card can be done with many different imaging programs. However, in this guide, we will use Etcher, as it works on Mac, Linux, and Windows and has the same UI.

To start the imaging process, download Etcher from the official website, install it on your PC, and launch it. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: In the Etcher app, locate the “Select image” button, and click on it with the mouse. After clicking on “Select image,” an open-file dialog window will appear on the screen. Use the open-file dialog to browse for LibreELEC-RPi4.arm-9.2.1.img.gz, which you downloaded to your computer earlier.

Step 2: Find the “Select drive” button and click on it. Once “Select drive” is clicked, Etcher will show a UI on the screen. In this UI, you will see all removable drives plugged into the system (USB flash drive and SD cards).

Select the device that you used to mount the SD card to your computer.

Step 3: Locate the “Flash!” button, and click on it. Selecting “Flash!” will start the imaging process for LibreELEC. Be patient! It could take some time, depending on how fast your computer is.

When the imaging process is complete, unplug the SD card from your computer, put it into the Pi 4, and connect your Pi 4 to a TV. Be sure also to plug in a USB keyboard and mouse, or USB-based remote control to the Pi 4, as you will need them to complete the last section of this tutorial.

Setting up LibreELEC

To set up your new LibreELEC system, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Power the Pi 4 on and wait. Don’t turn it off if you see a blank screen! The first boot for LibreELEC takes some time!

Step 2: Once LibreELEC powers on, you will see a “Welcome to LibreELEC” screen. On this welcome screen, you’ll be prompted to choose your language. Do so by clicking on the menu below “Language.”

Press “Next” to move on after selecting a language.

Step 3: Once you’ve chosen a language, LibreELEC will ask you to set a hostname for your device. Click on the menu below “Hostname” to give a name to your Raspberry Pi 4 media device.

Click “Next” once you’ve set your hostname to continue.

Step 4: With the language and hostname taken care of, it is time to connect the Raspberry Pi 4 to the internet. Look through the list of networks on the screen to connect to your home WiFi connection.

When you’ve successfully connected to WiFi with the Raspberry Pi 4, click “Next” to continue.

Step 5: Following “WiFi,” LibreELEC will ask you to set up remote access for your new Pi 4 media device. For most users, these settings are best left as they are. However, if you’re an advanced user, go ahead and enable “SSH.”

When done setting up remote access, click the “Next” button to move on to the next page.

Step 6: After setting up remote access on your Raspberry Pi 4 in LibreELEC, you’ll see the “Thank you” screen. This screen is the last step in the setup process. Click “Next” to finish.

With the LibreELEC setup wizard finished, you’re ready to start adding your favorite media to the Raspberry Pi 4! Enjoy!

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