OSMC arrives for original Apple TV

Originally published at: OSMC arrives for original Apple TV - OSMC
Hi, Seven years ago, I began working with XBMC (now known as Kodi), getting it to work on the Apple TV under Linux. An XBMC developer, Scott Davilla had done some work with 1080p playback, and made it possible on OS X and Apple TV’s original OS using a Broadcom Crystal HD card. My distribution…


I don’t have an AppleTV, but congratulations Sam and team.


Where are the installation instructions? It’s a bit frustrating to receive an email announcement for this release, providing little detail on where to go for more information. The download links are confusing, and unclear where to go and what to download. Once you do download software, there’s no instructions or quick start…


  • Go to Download - OSMC
  • Download the Windows or Linux installer (Mac OS X won’t be ready until tomorrow at the earliest)
  • Select Apple TV
  • Insert a USB stick
  • Follow the on-screen instructions

There is no ‘quick start’ or instructions yet because this release is 3 hours old. We do need to improve the documentation; if you (or anyone else wishes to step up), then it would be good to get some work done on the Wiki



I can assist in putting together a quickstart/install guide for Mac OS X. My main machine which has dual-boot OSX/Windows 10 is currently awaiting a logic board replacement, so I don’t currently have access to a windows machine.

The Mac OS X installer is not ready yet. I don’t have a Mac, so I need to wait for someone on our team to get theirs running so I can build the installer (of course you can compile it in the interim, but for most it makes sense to just wait).

When the Mac OS X build is available, it would be good if you could try the instructions at Download - OSMC and let us know where it’s lacking



I just learn about OSMC, so I don’t know much, but I have a Mac and an ATV1 and decided to give it a try - so far so good!

  1. Downloaded the img file
  2. Created a bootable USB by following basically the same type of commands here:
    Create a bootable USB stick on macOS | Ubuntu
  3. Put the USB into my ATV1 and watched OSMC boot in all its glory

I know that’s pretty bare-boned instructions, but worked for me

Good luck

May I ask where you heard about OSMC?



I am so very happy for this moment! Been following your adventures on the ATV1 platform for quite some time and have been consistently impressed with your efforts. I’m currently imaging my USB stick now and am looking forward to installing onto the new SSD I just installed, purchased specifically for your amazing work in providing the latest and greatest for the ATV1.

I’m very interested in using the work you’ve done on crystalhd drivers and Isengard on a 2006 Mac mini. I’m familiar with compiling from source, but am not familiar with how to use patches etc. as part of the build process. I’ve got a 2006 Mac mini with a crystalhd card installed and would love to be able to use it with the latest Kodi on a roll-my-own install. Would it be possible for you to link me to any material that would help me understand how to incorporate the patches/work you’ve done with the crystalhd driver and kodi so that I can compile a version for my Mac mini? Definitely not looking for hand-holding, I just need a little jumpstart to point me in the right direction.

Thanks so much for everything you’ve done! Sam, you’re a hero to many of us, myself included.


Just FYI -
I’ve downloaded the Linux binary and also installed from repo and I’m not seeing any options for AppleTV. Whenever I open the OSMC installer it tells me there’s an update. So I apt-get update, apt-get upgrade, and nothing is available, but the app always tells me there’s any update available when I open it. I apt-get autoremove --purge and reinstall from the downloaded .deb and still don’t get an AppleTV option. So I just downloaded the image and am prepping a stick with that now. Is that what I’m supposed to be doing?



You are free to check out Commits · osmc/crystalhd · GitHub. Most work was just getting it to build as an out of tree module against an in-progress kernel source and fixing some deprecated functionality in Linux 4.x. I only touched th Linux side of the driver however, and I’d imagine there’d be work to do for it to work on a modern OS X setup. I believe Kodi Isengard now only works on OS X, ‘Lion’, or later – @DBMandrake will know that.

You will benefit from this patch:


which can be applied to an Isengard tree by running the following command:

patch -p1 < atv-000-add-broadcom-crystalhd-support.patch

This will re-enable CrystalHD support (you will still need to build the library and driver from the previously mentioned Git repository however) for Kodi Isengard and there are a few fixes, such as not trying to decode MPEG2 or VC1 content with CrystalHD (which saves some users having to flip back and forth between the options).

That should be all you need to do. Make sure you’re using a supported OS (we drop OS’ when official support stops, i.e. Ubuntu 14.10 is deprecated). Which distro are you using? If you let me know, I’ll take a look.


Hi Sam,

First of all thank you very much for developing this OSMC version for atv. I’m currently using my atv with crystalbuntu 2 and a cristal HD 70015 with kody 14.2 beta and it works very fast. But after seeing how this new OS works on a raspberry 2 first I decided to try it on my raspberry 1. But the menus goes very slowly on my raspberry 1.

So I was willing to try OSMC on my apple tv. I only have one question is this version bootable from USB or is or install on the internal hard drive of my atv?

I also have a mac and a pc computer, so if you need some help to develop the instalation documentation or anything please tell me.

Besides reading the posts you have on the atv thread I think this OSMC is not optimized for Cristal hd 70015, could you please tell me what do I have to change to overclock it properly?

Thank you very much!

It will run off a USB stick just fine.

OSMC will run fine on the CrystalHD 70015 cards.


It’s currently a USB only install so you can test it without harming your CB2 HDD installation.

Currently Linux and Windows installers work, OSX installer doesn’t. (It may be available tomorrow)
(For those OSX users who don’t want to wait, you can use dd or some other software to image the USB device manually)

Just a heads up to anyone that’s already installed before 17th November, 8.30AM. You may wish to re-install again to use the OSMC App Store. Alternatively, you can edit /boot/com.apple.Boot.plist, and add the following string at the end after vga16fb.modeset=0,


This will allow OSMC to correctly identify the device as an Apple TV and show Apple TV compatible apps.



Thanks for the release Sam! I will get my spare Apple TV and give it a try. Still very happy with CrystalBuntu, actually don’t know what to wish more but always have an open mind.

thanks, crystalbuntu 1.0 user here.
great news for us!
Sam, thanks again :wink:

Yes, Kodi Helix worked on Snow Leopard (10.6) or later, Isengard requires Lion (10.7) or later. I am just updating my 2007 Mac Mini to Lion so I can finally switch it to Isengard…

Sam, thank you so much! This is great info and I’m looking forward to digging deeper. I’ll actually be using Linux on the Mac mini as well. Its funny, the only machines I own that run OS X are PC hardware, and my real Macs run Linux. Go figure.

For the OSMC Installer issue, I’m using a fresh 15.10 server install that I put a stripped-down customized Xfce4 GUI on top of. I’ll try again to purge and reinstall and see what happens.

My AppleTV is currently booting to an Lubuntu LiveCD, I’m going to image the 11-16 image download to the internal SSD and see what happens …

Thanks again!

Just purged and installed v. 111 from the .deb file, OSMC Installer still tells me that an update is available and there’s no AppleTV option in the interface. I’ll boot up Windows later on and see if I can get it working there.

Using 64-bit Ubuntu Server + minimal XFCE4 + some other stuff