Hard disk installations now possible (Sorry, Coming Soon)

ATTENTION: A bug has been found that prevents the HDD install from working correctly.
It is being investigated. Stay tuned for updates.

Although the HDD appears to work correctly if you leave the USB stick inserted, one of the partitions will be read only, and will not work correctly.


I have now added support for hard disk installations. When running the OSMC installer (which runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X), you will see hard disk and USB versions of OSMC available for AppleTV.

When installing to hard drive, it will say that it is installing to a USB stick. Ignore this – it should be changed to ‘internal storage’ in the future to avoid confusion.




I just have six words for you: thank you thank you thank you :smile:

will give it a whirl tonight.

ATTENTION: A bug has been found that prevents the HDD install from working correctly.
It is being investigated. Stay tuned for updates.

Although the HDD appears to work correctly if you leave the USB stick inserted, one of the partitions will be read only, and will not work correctly.

Was just about to post about this!

I installed and got to the home screen - rebooted with the stick removed, and got the “60 seconds to install” and then “installing” screens - as if the USB was still connected and installing for the first time.

Will patiently wait :slight_smile:

In the install options (osx installer) it is not possible to choose where to install OSMC.
Default is SD card but everything is grayed out.
Is it ok?
I had chosen 2015.10.2-USB, will this install OSMC on USB stick regardless the install option?

Thank you

But why would one want this?
Fast microSD cards are really cheap and the random read/write speed is higher than your HDD. Why go for HDD installation?

just curious, since the ATV does not have an SDCard connector… are you saying that an SDCard in a usb adapter is faster than a regular usb stick ?

The installation option you are referring to is intentionally disabled since it only applies to Non ATV devices like the Raspberry Pi, Pi2 and Vero.

It is the version choice that is important.

I have both an HDD install and a USB install running off a Class 10 Lexar MicroSD in a Lexar reader
I store my media on a network shared drive.

The HDD install is faster that my current SDCard+reader.
The HDD is already there so it’s free
It doesn’t have the same limitations on how many times you can write to it, as flash card or stick does.
Using internal storage also frees up the USB slot. In my case I don’t need a USB Hub and use it for BT adapter, as long as I can boot off an internal device.

FWIW: As you say, seek times are slow on mechanical drives.

UPDATE: On further investigation the ATV interface is capable of ATA100/ATAPI 6 which has a Max transfer of 100MB/sec. I really should have remembered this since I vaguely remember getting max transfers in the high 50’s with Crystalbuntu.

SDcards have Minimum Speed ratings. 10M Byte/sec minimum for Class 10 cards. 30MB/sec minimum for UHS 3 cards. That’s a big benefit, since the speed of chips used in USB Flash Drives can vary.
USB flash drives don’t have that MINIMUM rating.

Theroretical speeds…
Many new SDcards can far exceed the speed of a USB 2.0 bus, but since we would be Using a USB 2.0 Card reader in the ATV, even at best, with a fast reader, and a UHS3 card, you are still limited to the average USB 2.0 speed of around 35MB/sec

Installed to Msata SSD internal drive, stuck my nose out and took out the USB Flash drive after installing, shut power off and switched back on, of course it refused to install, started over again, this time using a USB Hub with the flash drive remaining in with a bluetooth adapter for the mouse and keyboard, everything now OKI DOKI. First class bit of work off Sam and the other guys who worked on this project, all that remains to be done now is to flush out the bug thats stopping us taking out the flash drive, I bet its done by the morning knowing Sam etc, thanks guys.

Many thanks Sam!

Other than the USB issue, works like a dream using the internal msata in my ATV.
Buffering via the network takes 34-5 seconds, and the first 5-6 seconds of the 1080p stream is a little jerky as it finishes buffering, however after that it works perfectly!

Yes that is the problem I’m running into. It was working great until I remove the usb drive. I thought it might have been a bad drive but I see other people are having the same issue. And by the way THANKS SAM, you said that the ATV1 would live a again and it is.

Thank you Spinner

Interesting… so when considering a SSD vs. USB stick/SD install, there is no (or negligible) difference in speed (as the SSD will be limited by PATA, and the USB stick/SD card will be limited by USB 2)?

I suppose in that case the only advantage to installing internally is having the free USB port for something else (e.g. a wifi stick, etc.).

N.B. Given seek times with a HDD, I assume SSD still beats HDD despite the PATA limitation. I am curious about thoughts on the SSD via PATA and SD/USB via USB 2 question though.

Internal pata has a limit of about 66MB/s. Put in a ssd and it will smoke any usb stick in all kinds of way.

except in terms of cost :confused:

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I’m slightly confused by this - default situation:

osmc@osmc$ df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/root       147G  1.3G  138G   1% /
devtmpfs        120M     0  120M   0% /dev
tmpfs           120M     0  120M   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs           120M  4.6M  116M   4% /run
tmpfs           5.0M  4.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
tmpfs           120M     0  120M   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sda1       245M  208M   38M  85% /boot
/dev/sdb1       245M   18M  227M   8% /media/untitled
tmpfs            24M     0   24M   0% /run/user/1000

So I can see that the internal hdd is mounted, but I don’t have read/write access, is that correct?
I assume that the bug you mentioned is related/ is impacting this?

Thanks for your patience

Yes, Read Only partitions That’s the problem with the HD install.

When booting the HDD install, it’s actually running off both USB stick and HDD.

On installation, /dev/sda1 which is the HFS+ boot partition becomes readonly and prevents changing it’s contents. This is because the HFS+ partition is marked as “dirty” and needs fsck to fix it.
Unfortunately the required HFS support files are not available during installation.
Sam has almost given up on getting it working with the installer. We’ve both been up till all hours of the night, for a week, testing different options to get around the limitation.

Worse case I may end up writing an unofficial tutorial on how to do an HDD install manually.

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Seriously guys!

I’d suggest you guys write a manual procedure, and consider it ‘delivered’ and move on. I’m sure it will be enough for the majority of the people here (me included!).

I think I reached the same results with CB: got it installed on the HDD, but everything was read-only. I managed to get that far googling every command and reading around, I’m sure with your indications it will be enough!

Let me know if and how I can help.

That’s likely how it will go. I have an idea for possible solution for the official installer.
I’m not a dev so I have to run it past Sam. Sam also has some ideas.

If they don’t work I’ll do a manual HDD install and document the steps similar to my old CB2 tutorials.
That way it should be easy to follow. I won’t say foolproof since some less tech savy users will likely have problems.

I have to hand it to him. Even though supporting the ATV1 isn’t really logical, he’s loyal to us users.