Progress at last


I have spent the last couple of nights (and mornings – it’s 8AM now), working on the AppleTV support, as it has definitely dragged a bit. I don’t seem to go a day without an old Crystalbuntu user asking when OSMC support will be available, so I set aside some time to sit down and work on this.

It’s important to make sure that OSMC for AppleTV is done right. I’ve got Linux 4.2.3 building for Apple TV and I have optimised the NVIDIA and CrystalHD drivers. The Linux 4.2.3 kernel is a nice step up from Linux 3.2 which Crystalbuntu 2 used. This will bring better performance and better hardware support. I’ve backported all of our WiFi drivers and enabled as much hardware support as possible: including various remotes.

From a technical perspective:

We build the CrystalHD drivers and NVIDIA drivers as out of tree modules, but package them with the kernel. This means that DKMS is not used at all: faster updates are the result of this, as well as a smaller filesystem, because you don’t need a toolchain on your system anymore. OSMC is based on Debian 8, codename Jessie.

I have added CrystalHD decoding support to Kodi 15 Isengard, and this is the version that will ship with OSMC for AppleTV. I have removed some decoding pathways (MPEG2, and VC1), which never worked. As a result, these will be software decoded (and should be fine), without you needing to flip between enabling and disabling hardware acceleration to make non H264 video work.

I have tweaked the IO and CPU schedulers, so the AppleTV should be more responsive. I need to be careful here, as the AppleTV gets hot as it is, and I am sure that this is the cause of some people experiencing GPU failure, but these settings should be a good blend of performance and power (and temperature) conservation.

The boot may be a bit slower than Crystalbuntu 2. I am (if possible) going to go back to the old dual-boot mechanism, where mach_kernel loads the kernel, rather than embed the kernel in to mach_kernel. We could handle the mach_kernel generation in a kernel postinst rule, but again, this would require a toolchain, and not just build-essential, but also the Darwin cross compiler tools, which is quite large and best avoided.

Wrap up

If you are interested, you can follow progress on GitHub here. Over the next few days, it will be very AppleTV oriented. Once the AppleTV is supported in the OSMC codebase, maintaining it will be very easy, and it will get monthly updates like Raspberry Pi and Vero do.

I will update this post when I have some test builds for you to try. After these are good, I will look at adding them to the OSMC installers (Windows, Mac, Linux), which may take a little while, as we have to upgrade them for better Windows 10 and OS X compatibility (and my access to a Mac is somewhat limited).



Thank you - we really appreciate this!

Great job @sam_nazarko - every day we get more and more evidences that nothing can stop talented people :smile:

Thank you Sam!
Seems a lot of hard work has been done by you recently!
Checking this forum every day two times pays off for me :wink: with this fantastic news about the progress!

Looking forward to use OSMC on the ATV1… a device which has earned a ‘cult status’ with Crystalbuntu, and in my humble opinion, is still the best mediaplayer around these days.

Thanks again Sam!
Greetings from the Netherlands

Thank you, Sam! Greetings from Ukraine!

Thanks Sam, For All your hard work!! :grinning:

Hi Sam,

Can this patch please be considered for OSMC on the ATV as it greatly improves centre channel voice dialogue when 5.1 Audio is downmixed to a 2.0 output.


I think @popcornmix added a similar patch to Pi. I’ll check with him to see if his is more favourable.

I don’t see a reason this shouldn’t be merged



Hi Sam,
great news, looking forward to the first beta, as I’ve stated before I have three ATV1s and I am prepared to work one of them to destruction for the cause, so if there is any help needed in that department I’m ready, willing and able.

I already have Kodi on a Android box, on my Laptop and on my main computer, but, they don’t touch the ATV1 from the Crystalbuntu days, so a big thanks for your big contribution in the past and for your comittment to the OSMC future.

Big thanks.


So glad to hear Sam! Been hoping for this to happen for a while can’t hardly wait!

Much appreciate the work Sam!

woot! gr8 news, sam…i think we should all chip in to buy u a new mac!-) how 'bout starting a razoo fundraiser, sam…i’ll chip in $20:-)

Amazing, so happy to hear that us folks still holding onto their Crystalbuntu boxes haven’t been abandoned!

I hope that the OSMC release will have more USB WiFi drivers - actually, just more kernel device drivers in general - built and available out of the box. Having killed by WiFi bridge with heat by putting it on top of my ATV1, I had to switch to a USB WiFi dongle and got to build some kernel modules at the shell. Nothing I haven’t done before but still…

Looking forward to hearing more! From Canada, thank you Sam! :tada:


I have no use for a Mac beyond building the OSMC OS X installer! It seems like a lot of users are afflicted by the recent El Capitan issue however: OSX Installer - Device Not Found - #5 by BetterBurnOut.

You can donate to the project’s costs at OSMC. I really appreciate this.

I have matched dongle compatibility with Pi and Vero and have added all of our optimised OSMC drivers. If you have a WiFi dongle that isn’t supported, then let me know and I will add support for it. OSMC has a unified codebase, meaning that it will be easy to maintain compatibility across the various hardware targets.

Currently fixing CrystalHD and ffmpeg not being friendly with each other, then I hope to test some images in the late AM


1 Like

Sam this is amazing news!! Cant wit to give it a go!! Thank you so much for keeping up with this atv!!

I hadn’t donated in a long time… but I’ve used my crystalbuntu/ATV setup for so many hours/days/weeks/YEARS that I just did it again – because I can’t wait !! My ATV is still up and running, Really impatient to get osmc on it :smile:

Thanks Sam !

This is fantastic news! I’m looking forward to trying out some new builds.

This thread is wonderful news! Thank you!!! :grinning: :grinning::grinning: :grinning::grinning: :grinning::grinning: :grinning:

You can donate to the project’s costs at OSMC. I really appreciate this.


Hey @sam_nazarko

If you need anything compiled on OS X just let me know :wink: My current setup is Yosemite and El Capitan.



Thanks. We have got El Capitan builds working now. So I will be able to update the installer with AppleTV support as soon as builds are ready.

Some progress this weekend:

  • Kodi is now building with the latest Isengard with full CrystalHD support and some improvements. This was a bit tricky: a binary addon was broken for i386 so some adjustments had to be made.
  • AppleTV now has the same Kodi and kernel code as the Raspberry Pi and Vero, so it’s easy to maintain.

I’m currently now building a new filesystem for the AppleTV and will then build an installer after that. I’ll then test it on my AppleTV and see what needs work (there will be something. There’s always something)



Great news! WIll be throwing another donation at the project :slight_smile: