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- See also: XBMCbuntu FAQ
XBMCbuntu is a boot-USB drive/LiveCD image with XBMC Media Center pre-configured to work directly out-of-the-box. Users can either demo XBMC without touching the users hard-drive, or use it to install XBMC Media Center onto your local hard disk, without any pre-installed operating systems. Installation can happen on a 8GB (or larger) USB-flash-memory-stick or your internal hard-drive for a dedicated set-top-box style installation of XBMC, currently with Microsoft's Windows MCE (Media Center Edition) Remote with USB IR-receiver receiver dongle as the default supported controller which is supported directly out-of-the-box. XBMCbuntu is based on a light weight version of Ubuntu.
When installed onto a USB flash drive or hard disk drive XBMCbuntu has the ability to save settings and make updates to XBMC Media Center and the operating-system back onto the USB flash drive or hard disk drive that it is installed onto, this is not possible when running XBMCbuntu from a Live CD booting from a CD-ROM disc as they are read-only and any changes settings are only temporarily saved until the system is rebooted.
1 Connect to XBMCbuntu via SFTP/SSH
2 XBMCbuntu minimum and recommended hardware requirements
- x86 (Intel/AMD-based) processor computer capable of booting to CD-ROM.
- ATI/AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA (recommended) graphic controller which supports OpenGL 1.4 or later (2.0 recommended).
- ATI Radeon R700 (HD 5000) or newer supported and recommended
- Optional is to install to a 8GB (or larger) USB-flash-drive or internal harddrive.
- If you like to install XBMCbuntu to USB then note that it can not still have U3 software on it (so uninstall that first).
- Larger than 8GB is if you have a lot of media as covers are cached on it.
3 Get and Install XBMCbuntu
For instructions on how to acquire, create a bootable usb flash drive, boot or install to/from
3.1 Resolving problematic installs
- Boot your system with the installer thumbdrive and select the "Try Ubuntu" option. This should boot into XBMC.
- Click the Shutdown menu in XBMC (lower-left corner) and select "Exit"
- You should be presented with a log-in screen. Click "Other..." and enter xbmc as the login and select XBMCbuntu from the dropdown menu (below the Login field).
- Click "Login" and you will be prompted for the Password; just leave it blank.
- Click "Login" again and the XBMCbuntu desktop should be displayed.
- On the top-left corner of the desktop should be an icon to install Ubuntu. Double-click the icon and, hopefully, you'll get the installation wizard this time.
3.2 Upgrading XBMC via ppa in XBMCbuntu
- see also: What might break when upgrading to v12
You dont have to necessarily wipe your current install to try a new Version of XBMC, like a nightly version or beta for example, you can just fire up Putty or a shell in Linux/OS X.
sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:whatever-ppa-you-have-now sudo add-apt-repository ppa:whatever-ppa-here sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade sudo apt-get install xbmc xbmc.bin
- See also: Connecting to XBMCbuntu via SSH
4 XBMCbuntu no audio devices
For some reason there is a problem with lightdm that affects audio devices detection. A workaround was posted here. Modify the /etc/init/lightdm.conf
sudo nano /etc/init/lightdm.conf
- Input use this configuration
start on ((filesystem and runlevel [!06] and started dbus and started udev-finish and stopped udevtrigger and (drm-device-added card0 PRIMARY_DEVICE_FOR_DISPLAY=1 or stopped udev-fallback-graphics)) or runlevel PREVLEVEL=S)
4.1 Upgrading NVidia drivers in Ubuntu and variants
4.2 Username and password to the underlying live OS environment
Username and password to the underlying OS environment are not needed by average users of XBMCbuntu, but here they are just in case you want to dig into the (very) advanced possibilities that are available. The default username and password on the live CD are listed below, but during installation, you will be able to change these to your own username and password. We recommend that you write down the username and password you have chosen, and store it away in a safe place;
Username: xbmc Password: (none)
4.3 XBMCbuntu running as Live CD
- Since a live CD is booted from read-only media, it requires either installation to rewriteable media (i.e. a USB flash drive or hard disk drive) or complete remastering to install additional software or modify the existing files.
4.4 XBMCbuntu installed on USB or HDD
- Some computers, particularly older ones, may not have a BIOS that supports USB booting. Many which do support USB booting may still be unable to boot the device in question. In these cases a computer can often be "redirected" to boot from a USB device through use of an initial bootable CD or floppy disk for live USB installs.
- In contrast to the live CD, the data contained on the booting device can be changed and additional data stored on the same device. This allows for XBMCbuntu USB/HDD to be used as personal storage, as it allows a user to carry their preferred operating system, applications, and configuration as well as personal files with them, making it easy to share a single system between multiple users.
- The absence of moving parts in USB flash devices allows for faster seek time than is possible with hard drives or optical media, meaning all programs will start faster from a USB flash drive than from a local hard disk or XBMCbuntu CD.
- Due to the additional write cycles that occur on a full-blown installation to a USB flash drive, the life of the USB flash drive may be slightly reduced. This usually does not apply to systems particularly designed for live systems which keep all changes in RAM until the user logs off, and XBMCbuntu developers have done their best to try to prevent this from happening.
5 XBMC Media Center
XBMCbuntu contains XBMC for Linux compiled with the 'standalone' mode, this enabled certain functions that are not available in normal XBMC installations (Windows, Mac Linux), these functions include Power Management, and Network Management.
6 Upgrading XBMCbuntu
To actually update "XBMCbuntu" for Frodo, which is a full package, then you're pretty much looking at a fresh install if you wish to upgrade the underlying Linux. The OS changed from Lubuntu 11.10 to Lubuntu 12.04. It is possible (in order to preserve systems tweaks) to just update XBMC itself by treating it as a normal Linux install and going to: Upgrading XBMC via ppa in XBMCbuntu