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Raspberry Pi Media Server with Kodi and ExFAT External Drive

Written January 7th, 2023

I wrote this so I won't forget the steps to make our media server in case I have to format my SD card. A lot of the resources to do this were scattered around the internet, so I thought I would compile them into my own post.


>- Raspberry Pi 3

>- 16GB MicroSD

>- TV

>- HDMI Cable

>- Keyboard

>- 2 USB Cables

>- 1TB External Drive

Install Raspberry Pi Lite OS

  1. Get the Raspberry Pi image installer

  2. Write Raspberry PI OS Lite to the 16GB MicroSD.

  3. Plug in Raspberry Pi with the SD card, keyboard, and TV hooked up

  4. Login

raspberrypi login: pi
Password: raspberry

Setup WIFI

sudo raspi-config
  1. Localization Options

  2. WLAN Country Set...

  3. Pick country

You may also want to localize your keyboard while in this menu.

  1. Finish and Reboot

  2. Finish setup in terminal

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
# add wifi name and password

click Ctrl X, Y, Enter


Setup SSH

>- (optional but makes copy pasting commands from the web much easier)

>- With SSH enabled you can login to your raspberry pi from other computers

sudo raspi-config
  1. Go to interface options

  2. Enable SSH

Open the terminal on another computer and enter

arp -a

This should show you the pi@raspberry on your network. Mine is raspberrypi.attlocal.net.

Which means to ssh into this computer I can run this command:

ssh pi@raspberrypi.attlocal.net

Now you can run commands from another computer.

Add movies to external drive

  1. Format your external hard drive to ExFAT

  2. Add your movies from your computer to it that you have obtained legally

Install Kodi, exfat-fuse, and fsauto

  1. Install dependencies
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kodi
sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils
  1. Reboot and plug in your external hard drive to the usb port

Auto mount your external hard drive

  1. Install autofs
sudo apt-get install autofs
  1. Configure with your drive info
sudo nano /etc/auto.master

Add this to the file

/media  /etc/auto.usb  --timeout=60 --ghost

click Ctrl X, Y, Enter

  1. Find the UUID of your hard drive and add it to auto.usb
sudo blkid

Copy the UUID of your drive

sudo nano /etc/auto.usb

add this line

movies -fstype=auto,uid-pi,gid=pi,rw UUID=YOUR-UUID

click Ctrl X, Y, Enter

Restart autofs

sudo systemctl restart autofs.service

Make Kodi boot on start

sudo crontab -e

Pick nano, or whichever editor you like.

add this line:

@reboot kodi --standalone

If you are using nano, you know the drill: Ctrl X, Y, Enter


Add Movie Metadata

  1. Go to movies, Click Enter files section

  2. Click + Add videos and then Browse into folder where your movies are

  3. Set the directory contains type to movies for scraping data

  4. Click options in the lower left corner to Update library under Actions

When you go back to the movies screen you should see all of the metadata for the movies on your drive.

Setup Remote

  1. Go to Settings via the gear icon, then => Service Settings => Control

  2. Toggle Allow remote control via HTTP and Toggle remote control from applications on other systems

  3. Download the Kodi app on the Apple or Android store.

  4. Click Find Kodi on the mobile app and enter your username and password: pi and raspberry if you still haven't reset the password. You can and should change the password for your raspberry pi user via the raspi-config command.

🍿 Congrats! You are now running your own media server on a raspberry pi! 🍿