Network Setup for a Raspberry Pi Running Raspbmc

Note: the developer of RASPBMC stopped developing it and have moved on to the development of OSMC. RASPBMC doesn't run in a Raspberry Pi 2.

You can only go through this tutorial if you have a Raspberry Pi Model A, A+, B or B+ and don't mind installing a distribution that will not be upgraded in the future.

There is a version of OSMC for the Raspberry Pi 2 but it is still in alpha mode. I have personally tried it and even though it looks promising, you can't even set up wireless adapters with it!

This tutorial WILL NOT work in OSMC!

At this time XBian seems to be a good alternative, as it seems to be stable and runs Debian underneath, allowing changes that would be too difficult in OpenElec.

You can do the tutorial for Setting up the Network in a Raspberry Pi Running XBian.


The Raspberry Pi can be used as a stand alone device, but most of the times you will want to connect it to your home router via an Ethernet cable or a USB WiFi adapter so it gets access to the Internet.

By going though this tutorial, you will learn:

  • How to connect your Raspberry Pi to a router using an Ethernet cable
  • How to install and configure a WiFi adapter
  • Find out the IP address of your Raspberry Pi

Connecting to a router using an Ethernet Cable

The fastest way to get your Pi connected to your home network is by using an Ethernet cable like this one:

Network Cable RJ45 Cat 5E 2m - Black
  • Network Cable CAT 5E, 2m Black
  • Connector Type A: RJ45 Plug
  • Connector Type B: RJ45 Plug
  • Cable Length: 2m
  • Conductor Size: 24AWG
$5.00 In stock.

Just connect one end of the cable to the Pi and the other end to the router, like on this image:

Connecting a Raspberry Pi to a Router

If your router is configured with DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) your Pi should be able to connect to the Internet with no problems as the router will automatically assign an IP address to your Pi.

If DHCP is turned off, you have to options: you either enable it back in your router or you will have to enter an IP address and netmask that are part of your network.

Getting a USB WiFi Adapter

To avoid headaches just get an adapter that is compatible with the Raspberry Pi.

The following adapters are compatible:

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WiFi adapters can use as much power as the Raspberry Pi. Just make sure you use a power adapter that can deliver more than 2A if you're going to be using WiFi, a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse. These power adapters will work just fine:

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Setting up Wifi in Raspbmc

Before starting this setup please make sure you boot your Pi with the WiFi adapter connected in one of the serial ports.

Setting up WiFi requires that your router is broadcasting the SSID. Make sure you have "Broadcast SSID" set up on your router! This will not work with "private" SSID setups.

In XBMX/Kodi go to Programs->Raspbmc Settings.

Raspbmc Settings has several tabs, select the network tab.


Make sure Network Mode is in Wireless (WiFi) Network.

Step 2.

Set Use DHCP and Unique DHCP Client Name to on.

Step 3.

Scroll down and click on Scan networks.

Step 4.

Select your WiFi network from the list.

Step 5.

In WIFI Security, select the security type of your WiFi network. Most networks these days are WPA/WPA2.

Step 6.

In WIFI KEY enter the password of your WiFi network.

Step 7.

Click on Ok at the bottom of the screen to save your settings.

The following images illustrate this process:

XBMC/Kodi Programs
Raspbmc Settings
Raspbmc Settings Network
Raspbmc Settings Network Scrolled Down

Finding Your Pi's IP Address in Raspbmc

If you want to check your IP address in Raspbmc, in XBMC/Kodi you have to go to System->System Info->Network.

The following images illustrate the process:

XBMC/Kodi System
XBMC/Kodi System -> System Info
XBMC/Kodi System -> System Info -> Network

Remember! If your IP address starts with 192.168 or 10.0 then its an internal address - that means you can get OUT to the Internet but you cannot have someone outside your home or network reach your Pi via the IP address. This is important if you want to have a webserver running on a Pi that outside people can reach. In general, its much safer to keep your Pi on an internal network so it can't be hacked as easily!


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