JeOS - What is it?
What is JeOS?
We won’t make a mystery out of this, JeOS pronounced "juice", stands for “Just Enough Operating System”. However, it begs the question: What’s Just Enough Operating System?
As the name suggests, JeOS a customized operating system, usually Linux-based, that enables machines to run under just enough juice to do what they’re built to do. This means that the operating system is tailored to fit a particular application, optimizing the usage of technical resources.
In conclusion: using JeOS would make your software appliance smaller, faster (booting time and execution) and potentially more stable and secure than an application running under a full general-purpose operating system.
Why going for JeOS?
Imagine a computer. A regular computer can undertake a wide variety of roles from gaming, to designing, to editing video, to creating music, and, just like in this case, writing. There are many more tasks that you can expect a computer to execute, but these are just enough to prove my point (see what I did there?).
In order to execute all the tasks stated above, you need different resources. For instance, gaming will take a whole lot of graphic processing power; video editing requires a huge amount of hard-drive space available; for design work you to better have snappy RAM memory, composing music also requires RAM and excellent sound drivers and hardware; but if you’re going to write, you just need a micro fraction of all that.
So, for a machine that does all these different tasks, you need an operating system that supports different applications with very distinct traits and needs between them, like Windows or MacOS.The problem is that, even if you’re only writing or simply watching a movie, there’s a lot of other tasks that your computer still needs to be able to potentially support, even if you don’t use nor take advantage of them. It’s dead weight, plain and simple.
The same principle applies to smartphones with iOS, Android or Windows.
JeOS - Kodi’s best friend
By default, WeTek’s devices, for instance, use their own operating system based on Android - WeOS. Just like in smartphones, it is a multi-task operating system, allowing you to explore many possibilities within a WeTek device. You can play video games, you can stream movies from the most popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime watch TV, listen to music and install pretty much any productivity app from the app store.
Machines such as streaming devices and set-top boxes like WeTek Hub, WeTek Core and WeTek Play 2, are great candidates for using a JeOS as it might be the best way to get all the juice out of a single task or a single application.
Many users prefer to focus on the possibilities specifically offered by Kodi - the hugely popular, free and open-source media player software application. It allows them to play and view most streaming media, such as videos, music, podcasts, and videos from the internet, as well as all common digital media files from local and network storage media.
Therefore, if the only purpose for a specific media device (being a streaming device or set-top box) is to run Kodi, there’s no need to have hardware resources allocated to other tasks that will never be used.
Hence the JeOS - Just Enough Operating System to run Kodi - such as:
OSMC (formerly Raspbmc)
EmbER (formerly MX Linux)
Turning your device into a Kodi JeOS (LibreELEC and OpenELEC)
The two most popular JeOS for turning a device into a Kodi machine are, beyond doubt, OpenELEC and LibreELEC. They are very popular among streaming devices and set-top boxes users who want their system to be as fast and reliable as possible.
They are very similar.
OpenELEC ( "Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center") provides a complete media center software suite with a pre-configured version of Kodi and third-party add-ons for hardware management and automatic OTA (over-the-air) updates. Over the years OpenELEC have over the years had professional partnerships with several media player manufacturers and media center system integrates as OEM firmware developers, with OpenELEC maintaining the operating systems on their hardware.
LibreELEC ("Libre Embedded Linux Entertainment Center") is a non-profit fork of OpenELEC, a small and very fast booting, open source JeOS. LibreELEC is a complete media center software suite for embedded systems and computers, as it comes with a pre-configured version of Kodi and optional third-party PVR backend software.
Even though they’re mostly identical as far as the end-user is concerned, nowadays, however, it seems that LibreELEC getting more popular as its support frequency is higher, making it an up to date and active software.
You don’t need to an IT expert to start using LibreELEC and turn your media device into a Kodi machine. The people at LibreELEC, actually made it pretty simple.
You need only a few things to install LibreELEC onto your device.
A PC to do the creation of the installer on. (Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX).
A blank USB stick or SD card.
A diskimage suited for your HTPC (Home Theatre PC) device, downloaded from the LibreELEC downloads web page.
Their downloads page gives you all the information you need, plus, they’ve come up with a very intuitive app that allows you to easily create your very own bootable USB or SD Card installation media for any LibreELEC supported platform.
As for OpenELEC, their website says that “The install is so easy, anyone can turn a blank PC into a media machine in less than 15 minutes”. Which we believe is true. It’s very well structured with each build for different systems having its own download page with files and specific instructions.
Using JeOS with WeTek devices
WeTek believes in the strength of its users. Having such a vibrant community allows us to continuously improve in many aspects, including our hardware and software. Therefore, it makes sense that WeTek supports projects that think alike. WeTek supports the initiative and open-source development - principles that are at the core of both OpenELEC and Libre ELEC.
Both OpenELEC and LibreELEC have builds specially created for WeTek machines with specific and easy to follow installation guides.
WeTek is, actually a proud sponsor of the OpenELEC initiative. A sponsorship which even lead to the creation of WeTek OpenELEC box, a special edition of WeTek Play with pre-installed OpenELEC. This JeOS currently supports WeTek Play with, OpenELEC Legacy Release (6.0.3) and OpenELEC Stable Release (7.0.1) and WeTek Core with OpenELEC Stable Release (7.0.1) on their downloads page. For instructions, simply refer to their wiki.
JeOS is definitely the way to go if you want to take the most out of your home theater device, streaming device or set-top box. Being simple to install as it is, is very attractive for any end-user. Another big plus has to do with the power of community. As JeOS are based on open-source software, usually the communities of users around it are very active, meaning, that you can have any issued solved, or any kind of question for that matter.
One final note, don’t forget it’s pronounced “juice”.