I'm not one to usually post stuff like this, but I finally tried LibreELEC yesterday after being a long time Plex user and holy cow, I am so impressed! So much so in fact that I simply had to come here and congratulate the LibreELEC team on a job incredibly well done.
Couple of things sort of unique to my setup:
- 40TB media collection entirely hosted in the cloud (outside of my local network)
- Nothing is plugged into the Raspberry PI except a power cord and HDMI cable (no external physical storage used of any kind!)
- My cloud host doesn't officially support Raspberry PI's, but does offer an x86 linux client (GUI and CLI options actually)
- Does not use a Plex server running on a local NAS anymore (this was required as I recently bricked my QNAP NAS for good)
End result after about 2 hours of setup (1.5 hours of which was just dicking around in Raspbian to compile my cloud host's CLI binary):
- FULLY functional HTPC with my entire 40TB media collection fully scanned by Kodi and already streaming like an absolute champ with no dependency on any external Plex servers at all
- Scrobbling synchronization already configured with Trakt.tv add-on so that I can keep multiple LibreELEC devices in sync regarding playback stats, watched/unwatched status, etc.
- I replaced a NAS costing thousands of dollars with a $100 Raspberry PI and no longer require an external Plex server, effectively making my player setup fully decentralized. HUGE WIN!!
Magical LibreELEC / Kodi things:
- Chorus: my god, where has this been all my life???? This is awesome!!!!
- The binary for my cloud host that I compiled on Raspbian (I dual-boot on the same RPI as LibreELEC) simply just WORKED when I copied it over from Raspbian. My jaw literally dropped.
- Works with the RPI4's slower built-in wifi for everything except 4K files (very impressive since the wifi runs on the same bus as the USB 2.0 ports, which limits wifi performance a lot)
Finishing touches TBD today:
- Need to configure the cloud host CLI app to auto-init on boot and re-launch if disconnected for any reason and also setup a few symlinks for it's logs to go into /storage and not /tmp
- Need to read up on properly securing LibreELEC as I have no idea what it offers OOTB beyond the options presented in the GUI like the firewall and such
Some experiments I'm trying later today:
- Running LibreELEC from an external SSD plugged into one of the RPI4's USB 3.0 ports (it will still use the SD card for boot-up, but after that switch the root drive to run off the SSD)
- Using an external SSD as the temporary transcoding file location and the cloud host app's cache location - I want to see how much that helps performance for bigger files (4K files mainly)
- Setting up real-time sync of all LibreELEC/Kodi config files to the cloud storage drive so that I can keep multiple Raspberry PI's synchronized more easily
- Test impact on performance of moving Kodi entirely from the RPI4's SD card to the cloud storage provider post-boot and running it from there instead
- Test performance using ethernet instead of the RPI's built-in wifi (again, the RPI4's wifi runs on the same internal bus as the USB 2.0 ports, which limits the overall speed quite a bit)
- Test wifi performance using an external wifi dongle plugged into one of the RPI's USB 3.0 ports
If you had asked me last week if all of the above was possible without using either some kind of faster external storage plugged directly into the Raspberry PI like an SSD or at least a local Plex server running on a more powerful machine like a NAS, I would have sworn up and down there was no chance in hell. I stand both humbly corrected and incredibly impressed. Of course, it can't transcode like a Plex server does for multiple clients, but who cares when I can simply buy another cheap Raspberry PI for each TV and go fully decentralized?
I'm going to make a donation to support LibreELEC later this week as this kind of work deserves to be rewarded.
Grats on the job incredibly well done LibreELEC team!!