CoreELEC vs ARM based linux distiros like Arch Linux ARM


I see that developers prefer maintaining lightweight OSes like CoreELEC etc for our devices.
What are the difficulties running, for instance Arch Linux ARM instead of CoreELEC?


Generally it’s due to the fact that not only the OS, but any/all apps/repos must be compiled specifically for ARM. So to support X86 and ARM requires twice the resources.

Arch is unique in that the compile step is done locally on your machine, so is slightly less resource intensive for the Arch team.


It is not difficult and afaik there are ARCH Linux builds available for the Odroid C2. I’m sure there are others.


I am not sure exactly what you meant by twice the resources. Afterall, the source code remains the same.




Running a full OS liker ARCH will inevitably draw in many subsystems which are never used when running Kodi. They may not be used but they will consume system resources and so will have less resources available to run Kodi. There might be a few corner cases where running a full OS with kodi layered over the top might make sense (running a virtual file system springs to mind) but for the vast majority of users Coreelec will offer superior performance.



Would installing Kodi from ARCH repos be easier for CoreELEC developers?
Would they still have to fix Kodi to work on Amilogic devices?


Since AMLogic chips don’t have a Linux graphics driver as such, any Linux running on them that uses graphics depends on a special kernel developed by AMLogic to work - that applies equally to Arch as it does to CE.
The problem arises because the Kodi team have threatened to stop any support for this special kernel and that will break support for Kodi in all Linux systems.



Just because patched app A compiles cleanly for X86 does not mean it will for ARM and vice versa. Multiply that out to 50-60K apps in a repo and you have a full time job.


Unless you are the only single developer who maintains the distro, that’s is a really small price to pay to support multiple platforms.