ATV with Trusty Tahr 14.04 Kodi 15 CHD

Don’t know if anyone care about the ATV anymore, but anyways…

For curiosity I installed Kodibuntu on my ATV, hoping that the minimal overhead would be neglibable for Kodi. Kinda surprisingly Kodi does run OK (only using software decode at this point), and that led me to the conclusion that a minimal ubuntu 14.04 with Kodi install would translate well on the ATV.

The time consuming things would be configuring things, build a custom kernel (which includes installing ubuntu in Virtual Box for compiling purposes etc), patching back CrystalHD into Kodi 15 for custom build and other things.

After thinking it through a couple of days, wondering if I should waste my time on this or not, I decided to go through with it. Had I known how tedious it turned out to be, I would probably have skipped…

Anyways, as it turns out Kodi Isengard on minimal Ubuntu 14.04 works really really well. The gui is really snappy and works well even with Aeon Nox skin.

A couple of features:
Animated Kodi boot splash.
Patched Bluez package for using a PS3 remote. (With USB BT dongle)
Fixed the dreaded atvclient cpu usage, which also makes the Apple remote noticably more responsive.
custom 23.976,24,29.97,59.94,50,60hz modes which finally makes the ATV play everything smooth.
Kodi Isengard 15 final with CHD support.
Linux Kernel 4.0.9 and Nvidia 304.125 drivers.
Crystal HD drivers also built fine with Linux 4.0.9. It’s broken quite a bit on Linux 4.1 though, but I figured it would just be easier to use Kernel 4.0.x instead.

Hope this helps if anyone else wants to roll their own minimal Kodi install. (I followed mainly Fritsch’s guide on the official Kodi forum)

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Very Nice work Soli, a bunch of hard yakka has gone into this for sure. :grinning:
I concur, for low powered devices Ubuntu 14.04 works nicely indeed with Isengard.

The obvious question, do you have a DD image for download for the old timers here ?

Do you want to share the 4.0.x kernel configuration? Did you take it as a defconfig from i686?

Did you build it as mach_kernel or are you using atv-bootloader? I built a small kexecable interface to replace atv-bootloader, but have not had much luck, and with no UART to really trace things down, it’s hard to progress here.

Once I have a booting, modern kernel with legacy NVIDIA drivers I imagine that things can progress quite quickly for aTV.


‘Modern kernels’ have either one of two issues:

  • EFI memory mapping to BIOS structures does not work properly, so you only expose the first 64MB.
  • No boot at all.

It’s too old in my opinion. We should probably start fresh.

I started fresh with i386 defconfigs but have had issues getting a boot. I took a spin on the atv-bootloader:, but to no avail. This is the only thing really holding back OSMC on Apple TV. I just don’t get enough time to look at it.


If you bloat the initrd then yes, you’ll see the full amount of RAM. Otherwise there is a vmalloc() bug that prevents this.

If you look at my source reference it should be clear. I was building a /boot/cmdline.txt like method of booting and we use BusyBox to kexec in to the main OSMC system.


Soli, I don’t suppose you can Tarball up the Isengard source code that includes CHD support and Host somewhere ?
Thinking about it tho I believe it will not compile on Ubuntu 12.04 due to the C++11 code in Isengard now.
I lost patience after Isengard Alpha2.

If you check OSMC GitHub you will see all the code to re-add CHD support. That should apply on Isengard.


You will only see the issue if you build your own mach_kernel with 3.x or later kernel

Perhaps I should fall back to the old 0.6


Hi Soli , hi Sam!

Soli to answer your question on the ATV 1, yes I definitely care and am patiently waiting for osmc for it. I think there is a whole community of ATV 1 users out there still. I know there’s certainly quite a few in Ireland. Its an overall super platform, runs the best for me of all I have tried, so congrats to Sam and team .

Sam really nice feature in the vero for switching remotes, very cool.


Interested in what your are doing, have you managed to make any progress?

Yes! Yes I do! (I created an account here just to post this)

I have 3 ATVs I’d like to update - down to my last working one, as my second’s hard drive bit the dust a few weeks ago and my third I was about to install CrystalBuntu just as the old install site went bye bye :frowning:

Soli / Sam - I keep checking back every few days, still ever hopeful for my ATVs…

Same here I love that they have a built in hard drive that I can share on my network.

They also combine component video out + optical digital audio, which has been handy for me.

I have some good news coming very shortly.

Stay tuned


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I am refreshing the page on hourly basis :yum:

Thank you, Sam :slight_smile:

I have made a new thread here: Progress at last, where I will be keeping users updated as OSMC development progresses.