OSMC on RPi 2 - First Thoughts and Impressions

I’ve just recently moved from Raspbmc on a RPi Model B to OSMC RC on a RPi 2 Model B. My impressions and thoughts on the experience so far are below. My goal is to re-create my current Raspbmc setup on my new RPi 2 as closely and as quickly as possible.

Firstly, Sam and the team have done a fantastic job in creating this OS from scratch, and in general I think it is working really well. The notes below are intended as constructive suggestions only; I recognise that a) this is not my project, b) it’s being done for free, and c) the software is not yet at a 1.0 release level of maturity.

Overall the installer experience was good (Windows 7). A couple of minor comments:

  • The use of a ‘hand’ mouse pointer icon is a little bit strange. In Windows, I would expect to see an arrow pointer rather than a hand, as a hand indicates movement, not selection.
  • Before writing to the target, a popup appears asking ‘are you sure you want to write to the
    target you selected previously?’ (or similar). This popup should ideally remind the user which target they selected, as if you get nervous at this point then you have to go back to the target selection page to confirm what you chose!

Initial Boot
Again, a very good experience overall. Great to see a full resolution screen displayed while everything is loading up, it looks really nice.

It is also really helpful that ‘allow remote devices to control Kodi’ is enabled by default. I had CEC issues on first boot, so it was great that I could fire up the XBMC iOS remote and use this straight away without having to dig out an old keyboard or mouse.

I’m not a huge fan of the skin. I recognise that this is largely due to a) development still being ongoing, and b) I’m used to Confluence, so this is not a criticism, rather a personal preference. I’ll check back every now and then and see how it develops. For the time being I’ve switched to Confluence.


Visuals and UI
This is the one part of the OSMC experience that doesn’t really work for me:

  • The visual style is confusing. Presenting menu options in a circle when the most common input devices only have U/D/L/R makes is awkward to know which button you need to press to move where you want to move.
  • It’s not clear that in order to exit the app, you need to select the icon in the centre of the circle.
  • If I am using a different skin (I use Confluence), the visual style is completely different and inconsistent. I understand that the app is designed for use with the OSMC skin, so I guess this is by design. Is it possible to at least make the elements display in a consistent fashion for those with other skins installed? If not that’s fine, I understand the intention, it’s just a bit jarring to see a screen look so different. Some items are consistent with Confluence (like popup lists) and look fine, it’s just the main ‘circle of icons’ screen.

App Store and Updates
I think the app store is a great idea and it has real potential (particularly for novice users). I had issues installing the Samba server (it failed the first time), but a reinstall helped. I look forward to more ‘apps’ being added to the store over time.

I also had issues trying to run a manual update (I got a ‘failed’ message), but trying again seemed to work.

Log Uploader
This is a fantastic idea executed really well. Creating and uploading a log was completely painless and much easier than what I’ve been used to on Raspbmc.

Overall I’m really impressed with how everything has come together, and I’m looking forward to being able to keep things updated from this point forward through the auto update feature. Thanks again to everyone for the hard work to date!

Regarding the rotary selector, think of it as a 9 box grid instead. This was created well before the skin so only the background has been brought over. It will probably get a face-lift at some point, but it isnt the highest on the priority list.

There was a font and UI issue on the early RC version that caused the pages to be malformed. That has been resolved in the version I am working on now. Not sure if the changes have been pushed out yet. Try updating again and see if the issue persists.

There is zero difference in MyOSMC viewed on Confluence or OSMC skin for me. Some of the sub-pages open Kodi addon settings windows. But I dont think that is what you are referring to.

9 box grid thinking makes it easier to navigate. I totally understand that the visuals are not top priority at the moment. Functionality seems fine which is the main thing.

This is actually trickier to do, but I’ll see if we can revisit it.

A log of that would be quite helpful


I got the error again last night when running a manual update. I’ll try again when I get a chance. Do you need a debug log or just a regular log?

A regular log is fine if that is all you have, but a debug log would be better.

Use the log uploader to send everything to paste.osmc.io.

Tried manual update again tonight and no error messages. If it happens again I’ll post a log.

I think if it’s a 9 box grid, the icons should be in more of a square shape. In the circle shape i was expecting to be able to move from the centre to the left or right and then up or down would move the circle with the cursor remaining still. Maybe that kind of animation is more difficult and probably not important right now.


The problem with a circular movement pattern is that not all items are shown on all systems. The Pi config and overclock modules, for instance, wont show up on a Vero. So the path from one control to the next in the ring would have to be dynamic and complicated.