I previously installed CoreELEC on another TV Box (Ugoos X3 Pro), which unfortunately died after only 9 months during the summer (due to the unit overheating, which I learned is a common problem for cheap Android TV boxes). So this time I purchased a X96 Air (4GB/32Gb) and had to do the whole thing again.
So this is a note-to-self in case I ever have to install CoreELEC again on some other device.
Installation of CoreELEC is simple enough by following this guide. Basically, it involves downloading and writing the firmware to a microSD card using usbimager. Then insert the microSD card, reset the unit and hold the reset until the logo appears. The unit will then proceed to boot into CoreELEC.
First thing is to connect to WiFi, then enable SSH. This allows me to login via ssh and execute:
from the terminal. This writes CoreELEC to the built-in eMMC storage, after which I am able to remove the microSD card and reboot the unit into CoreELEC via the built-in storage.
Now here comes the bit that was tricky enough to get me stuck for quite some time.
I am using a Mele F10 Airmouse, and CoreELEC was able to detect it automatically when the USB receiver was plugged in. However, I wanted to reconfigure the keymap such that during video playback, the left and right buttons will do forward and back stepping by 10s, and the back button will do stop the video.
This can be achieved by adding /storage/.kodi/userdata/keymaps/keymap.xml:
<keymap> <fullscreenvideo> <keyboard> <left>stepback</left> <right>stepforward</right> <browser_back>stop</browser_back> </keyboard> <mouse> <mousedrag>noop</mousedrag> <mousemove>noop</mousemove> <rightclick>stop</rightclick> </mouse> </fullscreenvideo> </keymap>
The back button on my airmouse will sometimes map to browser_back, and sometimes rightclick. I am not sure why, so I have mapped both to the command stop in the keymap file.
Also change System > Interface > Skin > Fonts to Arial based so that Unicode filenames can be displayed.
Don't forget Settings > Interface > Regional > Timezone country for the correct time.