How to Run Kodi from a USB Flash Drive on Mac or Windows PC


Kodi has a versatile system to the point where it can be played in most devices. Fire TV Stick and Android Box are only a few examples of devices compatible with Kodi. Unfortunately, most of them cost money. Android TV Box costs around $50 to $100, while Fire TV Stick is at least $35. The cost might not be a lot for some people, but what if you can run Kodi on a PC or Mac without spending a single cent? Spending money or knowing how to run Kodi from a USB on a PC or Mac for free – which one is better?

NOTE: It is important to use a VPN while using Kodi, as Kodi’s third-party add-ons or plug-ins can be bypassed by hackers. Some of the add-ons also contain illegal media such as pirated movies or TV shows, which is breaking the law.

Run Kodi From USB Flash Drive

Kodi-Based Operating System vs. Portable Kodi

There are two options to run Kodi from a USB on a PC or Mac. They are the Kodi-based operating system and portable Kodi.

Kodi-Based Operating System

You can normally install Kodi on your Mac or Windows. However, it should be noted that it will take some resources from the system. The performance of Kodi will for each user, depending on the user’s system. It might run normally for some, or it might be slow for some. It might even crash and burn!

If you want a hassle-free fast performance for your Kodi, it is best to create a bootable USB drive for it.

Portable Kodi

Portable Kodi is best for those who have access to Windows and want to stream media without hassle. Unfortunately, it is not available for Mac users.

Bootable USB Stick for Kodi

Speed is the main factor for creating a bootable USB stick for Kodi. It does not give extra load for your system’s hard drive. Moreover, you can carry your Kodi everywhere if you put it into your USB. What can be more awesome than streaming without limit?

Keep in mind that your computer must have a USB 3.0 port and a USB 3.0 thumb drive, or else the performance will slow down.

KodiBuntu or OpenElec?

The two Kodi-based operating systems that can be used are KodiBuntu and OpenElec. Both of them are free and can be used for both Windows and Mac.

KodiBuntu might be easier and faster for some people though, as it was designed to use little resource. For those who want more freedom to tweak the system, OpenElec is a better option for it.

Creating KodiBuntu and OpenElec USB Sticks

Creating the USB sticks are easy. You only need some applications, USB sticks, and image files/ISO files for KodiBuntu and OpenElec. You can download the ISO files here (KodiBuntu) and here (OpenElec).

When the process is finished, don’t forget to change your PC’s or Mac’s boot order so that it will boot from the USB hard drive first. You can do this by restarting the PC and go to BIOS settings when the USB is plugged.

1. KodiBuntu

a) Creating a KodiBuntu USB Stick from Windows

You will need at least a 2 GB USB stick. Below are the steps on how to install KodiBuntu on the USB stick using Windows:

  1. Download a USB creator software. In this case, Linux Live USB Creator will suffice.
  2. Run the USB creator, and then pick the drive.
  3. Choose KodiBuntu’s image file (ISO file) as the source.
  4. Set the persistence to 2000 MB, mirroring the USB’s size.
  5. If you have some data on your USB, don’t forget to tick Format the key in FAT32. This option will erase everything on your USB.
  6. Click on the lightning to start the process

b) Creating a KodiBuntu USB Stick from Mac

You will also need a 2 GB USB stick and a USB creator for Mac. In this case, we can use Mac Linux USB Loader. The steps are:

  1. Run Disk Utility, and select Erase on the USB you want to use for the process.
  2. Don’t forget the MD-DOS (FAT) in the Format section and Master Boot Record in the Scheme section. After that, click Erase.
  3. Open Mac Linux USB Loader and hit Setup USB Device.
  4. Pick your drive, and then click Next.
  5. In the Distribution Family, pick Other.
  6. Press on Begin Installation, and wait until the process is finished.

2. OpenElec

a) Creating an OpenElec USB Stick from Windows

For OpenElec, you can use Win32 Disk Imager to open the image file. The process is literally done in three steps:

  1. Run Win32 Disk Imager, and choose the USB drive for the installation.
  2. Press the Open icon next to the Drive, and click on OpenElec’s image file.
  3. Click Write.

b) Creating an OpenElec USB Stick from Mac

You can use Mac Linux USB Loader for installing OpenElec on the USB, so the steps are the same with the process above.

Installing Portable Kodi on a USB Stick

The steps to install portable Kodi on a USB stick are pretty simple:

  1. Download the installation file.
  2. Set the USB as the installation path.
  3. Tick do not create shortcuts.
  4. Select Install and wait for the installation to finish.
  5. Go to Kodi’s folder location on the installation path and create a shortcut of kodi.exe. Move the shortcut to the USB’s root directory.
  6. Right-click the shortcut and press Properties. Add –p in Target. This step will notify the system to use the Kodi folder in the USB stick to store Kodi-related data.

And you’re done! As it can be seen, there are plenty of ways to install One thing is for sure: the ways will give you the benefit of enjoying Kodi!



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