FTMC

Running Kodi on the Asus Tinker Board

UPDATE: Installing the official Kodi via Google Play Store is now my recommended solution, and you’ll get the latest stable version, 17.1. Read how to install Google Play Store.

Kodi Walk-through on the Asus Tinker Board

In case you’re not aware, Kodi is an awesome open source home theater software. The releases of TinkerOS have, to date, offered patchy performance for Kodi. There’s now a real alternative with Asus’s recent release of an Android image.

This walk-through explains how to install FTMC, a fork of Kodi, on the Tinker Board under Android. FTMC is notable for providing hardware acceleration and supporting more features on Rockchip mainstream chips, including the RK3288 System on Chip found on the Tinker Board. There’s quite a few steps to get FTMC up and running here, but it’s worth it!

  • The first step is to install the Android system image to a microSD card. More detail is available here.
  • Next, determine the local IP address of your Tinker Board. Go to the Application folder, select Settings, then select About tablet (in the System section), and choose Status. As you can see from the graphic below, the IP address on my local network is 192.168.1.106. Your IP address will be different.

Status

  • Next, download this library file: librkffplayer.so from github.com/JamesLinEngineer/RKMC/tree/Jarvis/RKMC-Patches/rk322x/Android6.0 to a Linux machine.
  • At a shell on the Linux machine, go to the directory where you saved the file. By default my web browser saves files to ~/Downloads. So at a shell, I type:
    cd ~/Downloads
  • Next, we’ll use the adb command line tool as it enables us to communicate with an Android device. adb stands for Android Debug Bridge. Check you have adb installed on your Linux box. If not, install it via your distribution’s package manager, or from the command-line (e.g. for Debian based distributions):
    sudo apt install adb
  • Copy librkffplayer.so from your Linux machine to the Tinker Board using adb. For my local IP address, I type:
    adb connect 192.168.1.106
    adb root
    adb remount
    adb push librkffplayer.so /system/lib/librkmcplayer.so
  • On the Tinker Board, start the web browser and download FTMC Rockchip Build 26 from freaktab.org
  • Install FTMC.
  • Reboot the Tinker Board.

After the reboot, if everything went well, you’ll have the FTMC icon in the applications folder.

FTMC

  • Start FTMC.
  • Configure FTMC. It has an Accelerate RKCodec option. To use this feature, access the System menu in FTMC, select Video, then RKCodec.  Click the “Accelerate RKCodec” radio button. (Kodi has 4 tiered settings: Basic, Standard, Advanced, and Expert. The RKCodec menu doesn’t display at the Basic settings level; only relevant if you changed the settings level to Basic).

RKCodec
Now you’re ready to install all of your favourite Kodi Add-ons.

Video performance on FTMC is particularly good. Video tearing is notably absence even from fast moving footage.

FTMCNot everything is plain sailing. I initially ran into issues using the RKCodec acceleration. But that’s fixed now. FTMC is a bit flaky using Bluetooth for the audio. But overall, a good solution (for now).


For more information about Kodi, read our Top Software Feature. Not heard of the Asus Tinker Board? Read our review of this exciting Single Board computer.

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