Home > Linux, Raspberry Pi > DarkElec Release 2

DarkElec Release 2

August 4th, 2012

NEW VERSION! http://darkimmortal.com/2012/11/darkelec-release-3/

Finally got DarkELEC to compile successfully with the latest upstream changes from OpenELEC along with a few tweaks that I’ve since forgotten :P

Observations for this build:

  • Fairly high idle CPU usage (70%+) sadly
  • libCEC works on LG and Sony TVs now, however all input stops working once you begin playing a video (a complete deal-breaker for me personally :( )
  • Built in streaming services still work
  • Overall smoother UI
  • More reliable Wifi
  • Thumbnails aren’t missing/oddly coloured

Download: http://shit.weeaboo.com/darkelec2.zip
Sauce: https://github.com/darkimmortal/DarkELEC
More details: http://darkimmortal.com/2012/05/darkelec-raspberry-pi-optimised-openelec-fork/

Categories: Linux, Raspberry Pi Tags:
  1. Thomas
    August 4th, 2012 at 21:49 | #1

    The best release i’ve used since 2 month. Actually my 720p content plays without stuttering. Tried before 30 various openelec releases and raspmc.

    Thanx alot for your work and tweaks.

  2. Mark
    August 5th, 2012 at 09:07 | #2

    Is this compiled with hard float support?

    (If not then you should start using it, improves performance a lot)

  3. August 6th, 2012 at 05:21 | #3

    I am 99% sure OpenELEC has used hard float on the Pi right from the start

  4. Davide
    August 7th, 2012 at 16:11 | #4

    Thanks a lot for your work!
    I couldn’t get openELEC connect with my WiFi dongle (a Sitecom N150) in any way, and I finally managed with your image.
    I still have severe stability problems, though. Network is up for minutes, sometimes seconds, then down again. Any clue what is the cause? You mention WiFi stability: what can one change to try to improve it?

    Thanks again

  5. August 7th, 2012 at 16:19 | #5


    Not a lot you can do if it drops – I’m referring more to the fact that wifi works on every boot for me now rather than about 50% of the time

  6. Matthew
    August 9th, 2012 at 13:12 | #6

    Thanks for this optimised version. Only having 2 probs at the moment. Some. The MP4 films will not play, might be a error in the conversion, although plays on PC and PS3 fine. Final problem is how to I get my Edimax 7811 wifi dongle working with it.

  7. aunone
    August 9th, 2012 at 14:54 | #7

    Hi, i like DarkELEC … but i’m not a developer ;-(
    Are there any chances to bring this xbmc branch to DarkELEC ???


    I use vdr and the xvdr addon and like to see Live TV on my RPi.

  8. Joe
    August 10th, 2012 at 11:24 | #8

    Can’t wait to give this a try.

    Thanks Dark :), still a loyal user :D

  9. Yasen6275
    August 10th, 2012 at 21:42 | #9

    Hi. Very nice work. Is it possible to think of some kind of script that will dualboot between DarkELEC and general purpose distros wike raspbian fedora raspberry Pi remix or arch.

  10. Tomi Pieviläinen
    August 12th, 2012 at 09:50 | #10

    The CEC problem is a known bug. It stems from the changing video output (for example on my raspi the gui is 1080p@50Hz, but video playback is @6oHz). The workaround is to change the settings so that output is always kept the same, no matter what kind of video you are playing. After that CEC keeps working very well indeed.

  11. Joe
    August 13th, 2012 at 23:39 | #11

    Davide, are you using wireless?

  12. Joe
    August 15th, 2012 at 11:47 | #12

    Hey dark,
    Quick review for you. as you know I’ve used darkelec since day 1. In fact, I might have used it longer than anyone except yourself ;o anyway this is a massive improvement to v1 and lets be honest v1 was the best xbmc for pi. Stability is getting there for sure and everything is much smoother. Watching Iplayer is a dream :)
    epic work. Keep going, we’re all behind you :D

  13. Andries
    August 15th, 2012 at 12:04 | #13

    Hi, im currently using an old version of openelec and would love to use this smoother version. But i dont have a tv with HDMI output. I still use the rca video output on the pi. When i use the newer bug fixed versions it just give me a black screen. Because the output is not supported. Can anyone please help. Thanks!

  14. Garethds
    August 16th, 2012 at 23:52 | #14

    This is by far the most stable way to run xbmc on the RPi, awesome work! The libCEC bug is a bit frustrating but the CPU usage is a lot better than the normal Openelec. Is there a plan to merge your changes back into the main Openelec git at some point?

  15. Joe
    August 17th, 2012 at 15:46 | #15

    What’s the libCEC bug?

  16. Chunky Kev
    August 18th, 2012 at 16:17 | #16

    this is great, so smooth and clean. I have tried different XBMC on my Pi and this one certainly seems to be nicest to run. I have one problem though that i cannot get my Wireless adapter to work. I have had it running with RaspBMC so know it is not my setup. I have tried changing settings as described elsewhere, but to no avail. Any ideas? I am using Edimax EW 7811UN which runs on Realtek chipset.

  17. raaste
    August 23rd, 2012 at 08:32 | #17


    This release is awesome. But one thing is driving me nuts, i cannot use it with composite video output. On openelec the composite out just worked but on darkelec when i boot connected to my old tv it fails. When xbmc starts the output from composite stops. (Startup screens etc. shows fine) Tryed lowering resolution before hooking up on tv but it does not help. Anyone having same problems? Anyone got sollution? :)

  18. Andries
    August 27th, 2012 at 08:46 | #18

    Yes, there is a solution.. Change to Xbian..
    Check out http://www.xbian.org
    Or you can just google it..

  19. Joe
    August 28th, 2012 at 14:50 | #19

    go away Andries

  20. sjfaustino
    September 2nd, 2012 at 12:28 | #20

    I’m trying out darkelec2 but can’t find how to install WLAN.
    As soon as I plugin the wifi on USB, I get this on dmesg:

    [ 509.897461] usb 1-1.3: new high-speed USB device number 4 using dwc_otg
    [ 509.999434] usb 1-1.3: New USB device found, idVendor=050d, idProduct=1102
    [ 509.999489] usb 1-1.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
    [ 509.999510] usb 1-1.3: Product: 802.11n WLAN Adapter
    [ 509.999523] usb 1-1.3: Manufacturer: Realtek
    [ 509.999541] usb 1-1.3: SerialNumber: 00e04c000001
    [ 510.152948] vmalloc: allocation failure: 0 bytes
    [ 510.152989] systemd-udevd: page allocation failure: order:0, mode:0xd0
    [ 510.153003] Backtrace:
    [ 510.153019] Function entered at [] from []
    [ 510.153047] r6:c789c000 r5:00000000 r4:000000d0 r3:00000000
    [ 510.153070] Function entered at [] from []
    [ 510.153084] Function entered at [] from []
    [ 510.153096] r3:00000000 r2:c053d994
    [ 510.153110] r7:ffffffff r6:00000000 r5:00000348 r4:c004fa8c
    [ 510.153133] Function entered at [] from []
    [ 510.153145] r8:c89f8b50 r7:c789c000 r6:00000000 r5:00000348 r4:bf013000
    [ 510.153178] Function entered at [] from []
    [ 510.153191] Function entered at [] from []
    [ 510.153203] r6:00000015 r5:00000348 r4:bf013000 r3:00000000
    [ 510.153227] Function entered at [] from []
    [ 510.153239] Mem-info:
    [ 510.153248] Normal per-cpu:
    [ 510.153262] CPU 0: hi: 42, btch: 7 usd: 21
    [ 510.153290] active_anon:5840 inactive_anon:31 isolated_anon:0
    [ 510.153298] active_file:7339 inactive_file:12569 isolated_file:0
    [ 510.153307] unevictable:120 dirty:0 writeback:0 unstable:0
    [ 510.153314] free:2372 slab_reclaimable:883 slab_unreclaimable:803
    [ 510.153323] mapped:4499 shmem:31 pagetables:192 bounce:0
    [ 510.153377] Normal free:9488kB min:8192kB low:10240kB high:12288kB active_anon:23360kB inactive_anon:124kB active_file:29356kB inactive_file:50276kB unevictable:480kB isolated(anon):0kB isolated(file):0kB present:130048kB mlocked:0kB dirty:0kB writeback:0kB mapped:17996kB shmem:124kB slab_reclaimable:3532kB slab_unreclaimable:3212kB kernel_stack:624kB pagetables:768kB unstable:0kB bounce:0kB writeback_tmp:0kB pages_scanned:0 all_unreclaimable? no
    [ 510.153428] lowmem_reserve[]: 0 0
    [ 510.153442] Normal: 60*4kB 70*8kB 29*16kB 43*32kB 11*64kB 2*128kB 1*256kB 1*512kB 1*1024kB 0*2048kB 1*4096kB = 9488kB
    [ 510.153493] 20062 total pagecache pages
    [ 510.188912] 32768 pages of RAM
    [ 510.188950] 2583 free pages
    [ 510.188959] 1888 reserved pages
    [ 510.188967] 1686 slab pages
    [ 510.188976] 16222 pages shared
    [ 510.188985] 0 pages swap cached

  21. sjfaustino
    September 2nd, 2012 at 14:11 | #21

    root ~ # lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0424:9512 Standard Microsystems Corp.
    Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0424:ec00 Standard Microsystems Corp.
    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 04d9:1603 Holtek Semiconductor, Inc. Keyboard
    Bus 001 Device 005: ID 050d:1102 Belkin Components F7D1102 N150/Surf Micro Wireless Adapter v1000 [Realtek RTL8188CUS]
    root ~ #

  22. raspen
    September 8th, 2012 at 21:00 | #22

    Very responsive, nice.
    Remote on Samsung 8000 serie work perfect with CIC.
    Looking for mythbox 0.25 support, only 0.24 HOWTO??

  23. FoxForceFive
    September 9th, 2012 at 12:19 | #23

    This build is fantastic, it’s the ONLY build that allows me to watch iplayer, tvcatchup & anything else I try that doesnt work on other builds.

    HOWEVER, I really need mpeg2 firmware installed cos I stream from my dreambox (using tuxbox) so I’ve had to revert to OpenElec latest & lose everything else.

    Any chance you could update this image to include that latest firmware that enables mpeg2, or provide noobish instructions on how to do it?

    Cheers, thanks again for a great image.

  24. September 16th, 2012 at 20:15 | #24

    I’ll throw together a new build when I get a chance :)

  25. Andries
    September 18th, 2012 at 07:34 | #25

    That would be awesome!
    “xbian” is not so great and have a lot of bugs. DarkELEC is still the best, if only the composite video port problem can be fixed.. I will be the biggest fan!!

    Can’t wait for the new build..!


  26. pyro225
    September 26th, 2012 at 16:50 | #26

    Hi love this but as mentioned is there a new build on the way that will support mpeg2 and more importantly turbo modes? :) if so can you chuck in the tvheadend support too? i believe this needed a kernel update? i have a pctv 73e tuner…. sorry for all the questions and love your work!

  27. bendolph
    September 26th, 2012 at 23:00 | #27

    First ever xbmc variant I’ve tried, but very impressed with performance on my pi. WDTV has gone back in its box!
    Just one question: is it possible to use with USB audio devices? (Cambridge Audio DACMagic).
    The device appears under `a play -l` but I can’t find a way to select it from the xbmc interface.

  28. Ro
    September 28th, 2012 at 00:10 | #28

    Hey! I’ve not tried this yet, but from reading the comments, it sounds great.

    Is there any chance you could enable live TV using the tvheadend server on the backend with the tvheadend frontend running too? Of course, that would also require the DVB-T/T2 drivers etc! Good work though :)

  29. Chunky Kev
    September 30th, 2012 at 10:05 | #29

    Hi sjfaustino,

    I posted just in front of you about wireless, seems the same issue, is this the answer? I am a noob, so do I SSH onto system and enter these command lines

  30. Rich G
    October 2nd, 2012 at 21:58 | #30

    Hey, I’ve just discovered Darkelec and must say very impressed, eventually seem to be able to get things working, ie itv player!!!!

    Just been faced with an issue though with TVCatchup, just before it launches a ‘addon.py’ script error appears in the bottom right hand corner…..??? then obviously doesnt load!!

    Im runinng the latest version of TVC and DarkELEC v2

    Thaks in advance

  31. qwertylesh
    October 25th, 2012 at 01:35 | #31

    Have this running on my B rev raspberry pi, it is great but I would love to know if i can allocate more ram to the build. my hardware has 512mb but the system info shows 130mb allocated/addressing.

  32. abacus
    October 28th, 2012 at 16:22 | #32


    openelec is the best xbmc for raspberry pi. I got only one problem – sound, the sound quality is terrible to listen to music. It would be great to connect a USB sound card or a USB DAC – it’s sad that the “normal” Openelec port doesn’t support USB Audio for the Raspi. Is it possible to get USB Audio work on Rasp with DarkELEC – maybe just start with stereo sound?

    I was reading this article – maybe someone can include this into Openelec?

    The Raspi seems to have problems with the Alpha driver – I hope someone can find a way to get it work.


  33. October 28th, 2012 at 16:59 | #33

    Will definitely look into adding that capability! Got a Fiio E17 here which will be perfect for testing :)

  34. abacus
    October 29th, 2012 at 18:34 | #34

    Would be great :D

    I will try it with the ODAC (Objective DAC) – it’s the same size like the Fiio E17;)

    There is another link which maybe can help you

    I also tried some Blu Ray testing and found another “mistake” – I think it’s a software bug.

    Maybe you have an idea what I’m doing wrong.

    Thank you for supporting Openelec ;)

  35. spqr
    December 2nd, 2012 at 15:36 | #35


    I am using darkelec 2. On trying simple things like going to video menu settings the mouse disappears and the sytem halts.

    Playing iplayer either video or radio again system freezes and the mouse disappears. Any ideas

    I’m using a 16 card, I’ve tried a 4 gb card as well.

    How do I use gparted on this setup?


  36. Nicodem
    January 21st, 2013 at 12:39 | #36

    I tried new version, installed but got huge problem with playing any file through SMB. I can add resorce with videos from my NAS but when press Play – it just hangs. Does not start playback. Working, working, working and no video.
    So its useless as player for me. Any ideas?
    Standard OpenElec works great.

  37. orinoco
    March 2nd, 2013 at 09:42 | #37

    Tried downloading RC3 and RC2 on different computers and the images are corrupt? Unable to find the files hosted anywhere else?

  38. sendling
    March 25th, 2013 at 12:32 | #38

    Was a good project in the beginning, sadly it is dead now :(

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