Here I will talk you through how I went about setting up my Kodi media center on a Pine64. Until a more optimised version of the Kodi software becomes available, the easiest (and fully working) method is to just install it on top of Android.
For this you will need:
- Pine64 (I have the 2GB version)
- Internet access (either via Ethernet or a WiFi card)
- An 8GB or more microSD card (high speed HC1 etc recommended)
- A display with HDMI cable to connect to your Pine64
- Kodi/Pine64 Input devices (Either a USB keyboard and mouse, or emulated keyboard/mouse IR remote)
- A good quality 2 amp 5 volt adapter and a lower resistance microUSB cable (Either a short cable or one with heavy duty wire cores, such as the 20AWG cables that are now readily available, don't be fooled by gold connectors!).
Step 1: Backup Your Existing MicroSD Card
If you already have a working installation on your SD card, it's a good idea to make a backup image now, in case things don't work out as planned! If you have a blank SD card, SKIP THIS STEP.
- Insert your SD card to your Windows PC (via any means to your disposal). Don't worry if Windows File Explorer doesn't recognise your card and list it as a Drive, the Win32DiskImager app will still be able to find it.
- Download the Win32 Disk imager app sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager
- Once installed, right click on the Windows start menu icon (Win32DiskImager) and click "run as administrator"
- Navigate to your chosen backup Folder by clicking the blue Icon in Win32DiskImager, then typing a file name for your backup before pressing "ok" to select the location.
- To begin the backup just press "read" (Win32DiskImager will automatically pre-select a removable drive, so make sure there are no other removable drives connected to the computer).
The waiting begins (for larger microSD cards this could take some time)
While the backup is being created, skip to step 2 and begin your Android OS download.
Step 2: Download the Latest Android Build for Pine64
The Pine64 Wiki page has all the latest builds wiki.pine64.org/index.php/Pine_A64_Software_Release
- Navigate down to the Android Image Release section and download your chosen version (Currently Android 5.1.1)
You can select the most appropriate image for your microSD card size, choosing a smaller image will leave you with unusable space on the finished Android installation (If you have an 8GB card, download the 'for 8GB' image file).
- Once the Zip file has downloaded, extract the *.img image file (and remember where it is saved)
For the file extraction you can use the built in Windows "Extract All.." feature by right clicking on the downloaded Zip file.
Step 3: Writing the Android Image to MicroSD Card
Again using the Win32DiskImager tool, we are going to write the Android *.img file to the SD card.
- In Win32DiskImager, use the blue folder icon to navigate to your extracted Android disk image file (*.img)
Select the file and click "ok"
- To write the Android image to your SD card, click "Write"
The writing process will take a while, so now is a good time to make a Brew.
NB: Some have reported needing to use the Allwinner PhoenixCard Bootable SD-Card Creator, but I found Win32DiskImager never fails me with Pine64 or Raspberry Pi
Step 4: Booting Android on Pine64
Once Win32DiskImager has done its job, go ahead and insert the microSD card into the Pine64
- Connect your Pine64 to your desired accessories (connect the WiFi card if you have one)
- Connect a microUSB lead and power on your device, Android will begin to boot
Step 5: Install Kodi on Pine64 Android
- Once in the Android interface, open the Google Play store (login with your google account) and download the Kodi app
- If you prefer Android to boot directly to Kodi on startup, then I recommend using a free app like "Startup Manager (free)" to launch Kodi at boot
Make sure your using a fast microSD card, and also avoid long length cheap USB cables, the internal resistance at 5V causes system instabilities, either use short cables, or ones with certified high thickness cores! (I have a 3 meter 20 AWG micro USB cable that works great, cost me less than £4)