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Embedded Linux OS LibreELEC 9.0 Released with Kodi 18 “Leia,” Here’s What’s New

by in startup 27/02/2018

The development team behind the LibreELEC Linux operating system for embedded devices released this past weekend a new major version that introduces the latest Kodi media center software.

LibreELEC 9.0 (Leia) is now available featuring the recently released Kodi 18.0 “Leia” open-source and cross-platform media center software, which brings numerous new features and enhancements like retro gaming support, DRM support to stream Netflix and Amazon Prime content, and RDS (Radio Data System) support.

Also improved in Kodi 18 “Leia” is the Blu-ray support to allow you to watch 4K, 8K, and HDR content, Mir/Wayland support on Linux, Bluetooth support, Music Library, VDADecoder support, as well as the default “Estuary” skin. All these and much more are now available for LibreELEC users too.

Updated Settings add-on, DVB drivers

Apart from the new features and improvements brought by the Kodi 18.0 “Leia” media center, LibreELEC 9.0 updates the Settings add-on to allow users to change SSH passwords, implements a default firewall for Home/Public networks, adds a Safe Mode boot for those cases were Kodi won’t start up, and moves the updates to their own menu.

Other than that, LibreELEC 9.0 comes with support for a wide range of DVB drivers. Users can choose from numerous DVB drivers, depending on their device, from a new “DVB drivers from the latest kernel” option. With this, LibreELEC users will also have access to the majority of Hauppage drivers that have been recently included in the Linux kernel.

Newly supported devices

If Kodi 18 isn’t enough for you to upgrade your media player to LibreELEC 9.0, you should know that the team also brought support for a bunch of new devices powered by Amlogic and Rockchip ARM SoCs. LibreELEC 9.0 ships with the latest Linux 4.20 kernel to provide support for these devices.

“Our work on Rockchip support has refocussed onto the Linux 4.20 kernel to use the modern kernel frameworks needed for the next-generation Kodi video pipeline. This work is progressing nicely, but it means the 4.4 codebase “is what it is” until a future kernel bump,” said the developers in the release notes.

Newly supported Rockchip devices include 96rocks ROCK960, ASUS Tinker Board, Firefly ROC-RK3328-CC, Khadas Edge, PINE64 ROCK64, PINE64 RockPro64, Popcorn Hour RockBox, Popcorn Hour Transformer, Radxa ROCK Pi 4. Rockchip Sapphire Board, and Mqmaker MiQi.

On the other hand, LibreELEC 9.0 supports the Khadas VIM and Libre Computer LePotato Amlogic-powered devices. You can download LibreELEC 9.0 for your favorite embedded devices right now from the official website. It’s a major update, so we recommend installing it as soon as possible to enjoy all the new features and improvements.

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