I love Raspberry Pi. It’s a versatile mini computer that can be made to work as almost anything you can imagine. I use it as my Kodi TV box and Samba client (a network share, if you will).

Getting those up and running along each other is simple, quick, and most of the stuff is done for you already in LibreELEC, a lightweight operating system for Raspberry Pi, which only contains components needed to run Kodi.

1. Install LibreELEC to create your Kodi box

To install LibreELEC, either use NOOBS operating system installer or create your own OS image. Once you’re done, reboot. Kodi will start up automatically.

2. Enable the network share feature

After the setup, when Kodi starts up for the first time, you’ll be taken through a few steps that will help you configure your hostname, location, time zone, and connect to your WiFi network (on WiFi enabled Raspberry Pi only).

You’ll also be presented with this screen:

This is the important part, which makes creating the network share possible. Select the Samba option (it should light up blue). You don’t need the SSH option, unless you plan accessing your Kodi box via command line/terminal.

3. Secure your network share

If you’re not concerned someone else could access your data on your Kodi box, or if you have your local network well protected from outside world, you can skip this part. Otherwise, here’s what you need to do in order to secure your network share:

  1. Go to Settings –> LibreELEC Settings on your Kodi box
  2. Switch to Services
  3. Tick the ‘Use Samba Password Authentication’ checkbox
  4. Set your ‘Username’ and ‘Passphrase’

All done. Moving on…

Map the new network share to your computer

Now that the Kodi box is ready, and Samba sharing is configured, it’s time to connect to that shared drive on your computer.

I use a Mac computer and on my screen it looks like so:

My Kodi box shows up at the very bottom of the sidebar, in the Shared section. To the right, there’s a list of all user accessible folders on the Raspberry Pi, along with the NAS folder, which basically points to my external drive I named NAS. In your case, this folder’s name will most likely be different, based on how you named your drive that’s connected to your Kodi box’s USB socket.

By double-clicking the NAS folder a network share connection window opens. Once I add in the user name and password, it maps the folder as a network drive.

Conclusion

And that’s it. Very simple, very handy. You can watch your favourite TV shows or movies stored on the shared drive hooked to your Kodi box. And –at the same time– you can use the shared drive to store other files of yours (photos, documents, you name it). I also use it to wirelessly backup my MacBook Pro but more on this some other time…