OpenELEC 4.0.6, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, has been released and integrates a number of changes, mostly related to maintenance.
The OpenELEC makers usually follow the XMBC releases, but it's been a while since the last XBMC version. This doesn't mean that the devs will stay put and wait for changes to come from upstream. In fact, OpenELEC is a distro and there are other components that need to be updated and fixed, as necessary.
“This release includes some bugfixes, security fixes and improvements since& OpenELEC-4.0.5 . Besides the usual bugfixes and package updates we fixed boot issues on some AMD mainboards, added support for some more Intel, AR3k and ATH6k Bluetooth and WLAN devices, updated Kernel to 3.14.8 and updated the RaspberryPi firmware to include the last fixes and features. OpenELEC-4.0.6 is now the next stable release, which is a bugfix and securityfix release of the OpenELEC-4.0 series,” said the developers on the official website.
OpenELEC 4.0.6 doesn't bring any major updates or changes, but some of the packages have to be upgraded to newer versions.
According to the developers, Mesa has been updated to version 10.1.6, Samba is now at version 3.6.24, cloog has been updated to version 0.18.2, mpc is now at version 1.0.2, libaacs 0.7.1 has been added, ALSA is now at version 1.0.28, and the Linux kernel has been updated to version 3.14.8.
The OpenELEC makers decided to upgrade the Linux kernel to a newer build, but they only made a small step and they are still using the 3.14.x branch. It's very likely that the next version will integrate Linux kernel 3.15.
If you already have an older version of OpenELEC, you might consider upgrading the system instead of installing it from scratch. This can be done safely if the OS is at least at version 3.2. In any case, if you do decide to upgrade, make sure you create a backup first.
XBMC 13.1 “Gotham,” the distribution used as a base, comes with Android hardware decoding, various Raspberry Pi and Android speed improvements, stereoscopic 3D Rendering, better touchscreen support, improved UPnP capabilities, lots of audio engine improvements, better subtitle searches, extended Python and JSON-RPC API for developers, FFmpeg 1.2, and much more.
Check out the official announcement for a complete list of changes and improvements. You can download the latest OpenELEC 4.0.6 right now from Softpedia. The update process can also be triggered from inside the OS.