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How to upgrade XBMC to Kodi Media Center?

written by Anand December 11, 2014

It is almost time to upgrade XBMC to Kodi Media Center and this post will show you how to do that on Windows, Linux, Android, and OS X. Kodi entertainment center is already in Release Candidate stage, and the final release may be out anytime now. Kodi introduces several changes in this release, including name change from the famous XBMC to Kodi. As a matter of fact, the new official logo was just released. Sometimes upgrading from one release to another can be challenging. In this post, let us see how to upgrade XBMC to Kodi or technically 13.2 Gotham to 14.0 Helix on Windows, Linux, Android, and OS X. [Read: 10 of the Best XBMC Addons in 2015]

Upgrade XBMC to Kodi

XBMC to Kodi Upgrade on Windows

Upgrading XBMC Kodi on Windows is extremely easy. As always, first backup your XBMC settings and library so you can go back to it in case something breaks. To do this, navigate to C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming and copy the folder named XBMC and paste it to a backup location of your choice. To restore, copy this back back to the original location replacing any existing XBMC folder. [Read: 15 XBMC keyboard shortcuts you should know]

Download Kodi Entertainment Center

Download Kodi Entertainment Center

  1. Head over to the Kodi downloads page and download the latest binaries for your Windows architecture (x86 vs x64 bit).
  2. Once Kodi download is complete, run the installer as if you would install any other software. Your settings and libraries should be automatically imported from XBMC to Kodi.
  3. Finally, run Kodi to ensure that everything works as it should. Note that for Kodi all settings and libraries are stored in C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Kodi, instead of C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\XBMC.
  4. Then uninstall XBMC (and you may delete the XBMC settings folder). That is all there is to migrating from XBMC to Kodi media center on Windows.

Upgrade XBMC to Kodi on Ubuntu Linux

Updating XBMC to Kodi on Linux works pretty much the same way as Windows. Once again backup your settings before upgrading, using the following command. [Read: 5 Best XBMC skins for Raspberry Pi]

cd ~
cp -a .xbmc .xbmc_backup

Next, you will need the Kodi repositories installed on Ubuntu and related Linux distros. To do that, run the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa

Then refresh the packages cache and install Kodi using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kodi

Your XBMC libraries and settings from /home/user/.xbmc should be automatically migrated to Kodi media center /home/user/.kodi. Open Kodi to ensure that everything works as expected. Then proceed to uninstall XBMC using the following command:

sudo apt-get remove xbmc

You may also choose to delete the settings folder /home/user/.xbmc. That’s it you are done upgrading Gotham to Helix.

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Install Kodi on Android

Install Kodi on Android

Upgrade to Kodi from XBMC on Android

On android the installation is a bit different in that when the XBMC app is removed the settings are removed as well. Therefore, it is key to install Kodi first and then uninstall XBMC app.

  1. Once again head over to XBMC Kodi download page and download the latest APK for android.
  2. Fire up the file explorer, navigate to where the Kodi APK is stored, open it, and complete the installation. Kodi will be installed as a new app and the installer will automatically upgrade XBMC to Kodi settings.
  3. Open Kodi app to ensure that everything works as expected.
  4. Finally after you upgrade XBMC to Kodi, uninstall the XBMC app.

In addition, you may also delete the XBMC settings folder located in a location similar to /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/ files/.xbmc/userdata/. Note that the actual location may vary a little bit from one device to another. [Read: 5 Must have Android apps for HTPC or Home Server control]

Update XBMC to Kodi on OS X

To upgrade XBMC to Kodi on OS X, backup the XBMC settings folder. Note that the settings folder on OSX is hidden. Read the Wiki page to locate it. Copy and paste it under a different name. [Read: Low-power budget HTPC build 2014 for a HTPC NAS Combo]

  1. To upgrade XBMC to Kodi on Mac, head over to the Kodi download page and download the latest Kodi .dmg.
  2. Install it as you would install any other Mac application.
  3. After installation, open Kodi to ensure all settings and libraries have been imported correctly.
  4. And finally, remove the XBMC application. Kodi will create its own settings folder and so you may delete the XBMC settings and libraries folder.

That’s it. Kodi brings several key improvements including library improvements, adds more user control, improved support for android boxes, and support for ATSC sub-channels in the US. In my tests, Kodi 14.0 Helix RC already looked very stable. But I suggest that you wait until the final release is out to upgrade XBMC to Kodi.

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Studioeng January 5, 2015 - 11:20 am

Should it not be ‘cp -a .xbmc .xbmc_backup’ to take a backup??

Anand January 6, 2015 - 10:17 am

Yes. Thanks. I corrected it.

Kotori January 16, 2015 - 10:52 pm

When I upgraded xbmcbuntu on 14.04 to kodi on reboot LightDM failed to load the session.

[+0.48s] DEBUG: Seat: Can't find session 'XBMC'
[+0.48s] DEBUG: Seat: Creating greeter session
[+0.50s] DEBUG: Seat: Failed to find session configuration
[+0.50s] DEBUG: Seat: Failed to create greeter session

This fixed it right up:

sudo ln -s /usr/share/xsessions/kodi.desktop /usr/share/xsessions/XBMC.desktop

Nhan May 11, 2015 - 5:56 am

I have a linux box. I currently have Frodo 12.4. How do I update that to Kodi?

TJ July 17, 2015 - 7:56 pm

When Kodi finished installing on Windows (or at least Windows 8 and 10) it actually moved the folders over and removed the old icons so you don’t actually have to uninstall XBMC or delete anything. Once it is done that is all there is

Harry March 1, 2016 - 12:41 pm

I have an amozon fire box, how can I upgrade from xbmc to kodi

Alejandro March 2, 2016 - 9:44 pm

Hello, have you tried our tutorial on How to install Kodi on Fire TV without adb and computer?? It might be useful. Thanks for commenting!

tim mather April 18, 2016 - 1:09 pm

will kodi replace xbmc on an ibox 4 cloud

Alejandro April 21, 2016 - 8:41 pm

Hello, you can indeed upgrade XBMC to Kodi, though I don’t know the specifics for your device. If you want, post this question in our htpcBeginner support forums, and perhaps some users of the box can tell you about their experience with Kodi. Hope it helps!


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