Zotac ID 12 hardware spec:

  • Intel Atom CPU D525 @1.8GHz (x64, dualcore, hyperthreading, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3)
  • 4GB memory (204-pin SO-DIMM DDR3-800 x2, max 4GB)
  • Intel GMA 3150 graphics
  • HDMI and VGA output
  • SATA II storage
  • 6-in-1 card reader (MMC/SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro/xD)
  • Realtek RTL8169 Ethernet (10/100/1000Mbps)
  • Atheros AR9285 Wireless (802.11n/g/b)
  • Audio, bluetooth, CIR infrared port, USB 2.0 (6 ports), eSATA

Install Debian

Making bootable SD card: Use dd in Linux as OSX will have input file size > output size:

dd if=debian.iso of=/dev/rdisk3 bs=4M

Install barebone Debian on it. All hardware should work immediately. Extra packages to install:

  • xserver-xorg
  • kodi-standalone
  • xinit

Install kodi

The kodi packages are available from the following apt source:

deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org jessie main non-free
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org jessie-backports main

Because Debian is using systemd, the following script should be added to /etc/systemd/system/kodi.service:

Description = Kodi Open Source Home Theatre
# After = syslog.target

User = kodi
Group = kodi
PAMName = login
StandardInput = tty
Type = simple
Restart = always
RestartSec = 5
KillMode = process
ExecStart = /usr/bin/xinit /usr/bin/kodi-standalone -- :0 -nolisten tcp vt7

WantedBy = multi-user.target

which a dedicated user kodi should be added for this:

adduser --disabled-password --disabled-login --gecos "" kodi
usermod -a -G cdrom,audio,video,plugdev,users,dialout,dip,input,netdev kodi

and finally reconfigure X11 to allow anyone (i.e., kodi) to start X server

dpkg-reconfigure x11-common

Then enable and start kodi:

systemctl enable kodi
systemctl start kodi

Stretch upgrade

(update 2017-12-27) The box was installed with jessie. Upgrade to stretch is to change the apt source lists (both Debian itself and deb-multimedia). In fact, kodi (17.1) is available in stretch’s standard repository and deb-multimedia is no longer necessary.

And Debian changed /dev/tty* to owned by group tty, hence kodi should be added to that group as well