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▶ Devices
▶ XBMCbuntu
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XBMCbuntu is a boot-USB drive/LiveCD image with XBMC pre-configured to work directly out-of-the-box for a dedicated set-top-box style installation of XBMC. Users can either demo XBMC without touching the internal HDD, or use it to install XBMCbuntu on the HDD, without any pre-installed operating systems. XBMCbuntu is based on a light weight version of Ubuntu.

XBMCbuntu currently supports MCE (Media Center Edition) Remotes with USB IR-receiver receivers directly out-of-the-box. Installation only requires 8GB (or larger) USB drive or internal HDD.

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 General FAQ

1.1 How do I connect to XBMCbuntu via SFTP/SSH?


You can either use a SFTP client for secure transfer and editing of files, or connect via SSH, which in addition allows you to also execute commands to the underlying Linux.

See also: Connecting to XBMCbuntu via SFTP and Connecting to XBMCbuntu via SSH

2 XBMCbuntu minimum and recommended hardware requirements

XBMCbuntu should work with the general hardware requirements for Linux:

CPU x86 processor such as: Intel Pentium 4, Intel Pentium M, AMD Athlon XP/64, AMD Opteron, or newer CPU (that support SSE. Anything made in the last few years does.).
  • If your GPU/VPU does not support hardware video decoding then you will require a fast modern processor is required to decode some videos (H.264, VC-1, etc) in 1080p. Editor note: Hard to quantify this, but maybe we can get a rough benchmark score in here?
  • There is very limited Power PC (PPC) support: [Linux] How to install on Linux-ppc
  • Minimum: 256MB
  • Recommended: 1 to 2 GB or more

XBMC will run on most graphics cards made in the last few years, including hardware video decoding support. This includes most cards from ATI/AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA which support OpenGL 2.0 or later.

ATI Intel Nvidia
Minimum without HW decoding: ATI Radeon RV710/M92 (HD 4300/4500) Note: These are uvd2.2 cards Intel GMA 950 (945G) Nvidia GeForce 6-Series
Minimum for HW decoding: ATI Radeon Cedar (Radeоn HD 5400 Series or newer Intel GMA X4500HD (G45) or newer Nvidia GeForce 8-Series or newer
Video decoding For hardware video decoding, which may be necessary on low-performance CPUs to playback 1080p content, make sure your GPU or VPU supports either VAAPI, VDPAU, OpenMAX, or CrystalHD.
Note: Ubuntu 12.10 (or newer) users of ATI graphics cards are recommended to use a UVD 2.2 or higher graphics card for proper hardware video decoding support.
Drive space The XBMC binary generally takes up between 100 to 200 MB of space, depending on how it's compiled. Technically speaking, if your hardware supports netbooting, you don't even require a hard drive for either the OS or XBMC.
  • Minimum: 4 to 8GB
  • Recommended: 16GB or more
Depending on how big your video library is. Most of the space required for XBMC comes from the images/artwork cache, which can be adjusted: HOW-TO:Reduce XBMC disk space.

3 Get and Install XBMCbuntu

Download from http://xbmc.org/download/
Note: XBMCbuntu v13 will not have flavours its a generic 64bit ISO

XBMCbuntu comes in an ISO form that can be burned to an optical disc. It can also be formatted to a USB drive, as mentioned in the next section.

For instructions on how to acquire, create a bootable usb flash drive, boot or install to/from

See: Create and install from/to a bootable USB flash drive

3.1 Resolving potential install wizard issues

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  1. Boot your system with the installer thumbdrive and select the "Try Ubuntu" option. This should boot into XBMC.
  2. Click the Shutdown menu in XBMC (lower-left corner) and select "Exit"
  3. 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).
  4. Click "Login" and you will be prompted for the Password; just leave it blank.
  5. Click "Login" again and the XBMCbuntu desktop should be displayed.
  6. 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 When running XBMCbuntu as a Live CD my changes are lost. Why?

  • 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.

3.3 What is the username and password to the underlying live OS environment?


The username and password to the underlying OS environment are not needed by the 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) 

3.4 Upgrading XBMC via ppa in XBMCbuntu

The XBMC repositories are as follows:

https://launchpad.net/~team-xbmc/+archive/ppa ppa:team-xbmc/ppa  Final release builds
https://launchpad.net/~team-xbmc/+archive/unstable ppa:team-xbmc/unstable Betas and release candidates
https://launchpad.net/~team-xbmc/+archive/xbmc-nightly ppa:team-xbmc/xbmc-nightly Nightly builds

For the users looking for compile with the PPA build depends in addition to the nightly PPA:

https://launchpad.net/~team-xbmc/+archive/xbmc-ppa-build-depends ppa:team-xbmc/xbmc-ppa-build-depends  Build Depends

3.5 What repositories are in my sources list?


You can get a complete listing of what repositories are part of your sources list by typing:

sudo apt-cache policy

3.6 What Version of XBMC do I currently have installed?


You can detremine the current version of XBMC you have installed, by typing:

sudo apt-cache policy xbmc

3.7 Are any dependencies required?


Some dependencies are required to add ppas into your distro via terminal, by typing:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config

3.8 How do I add or remove ppas?


After you determined which ppa you would like to add or remove follow the instructions below.

You can remove a ppa from your distro's sources list via terminal, by typing
sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:current_XBMC_providing_ppa
You can add a ppa to your distro's sources list via terminal, by typing
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:the_ppa_you_wish_to_use

3.9 How do I install XBMC?


After adding or removing any ppa you need to refresh your sources list and finally install XBMC, by typing:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc xbmc-bin

3.10 How do I upgrade XBMC?


After adding or removing any ppa you need to refresh your sources list and finally upgrade xbmc, by typing:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get --only-upgrade install xbmc xbmc-bin

3.11 Why wont XBMC upgrade?


After following the above instructions, XBMC is still not upgraded, the main reason why this happens is because the distribution you are using, is no longer supported and has reached an end of life status.

See Current Ubuntu releases if your current distro is listed under End of life table, you will need to upgrade your OS to a supported release.

LTS releases are better for long term install and forget, installing obviously the very latest LTS release available.

3.12 How do I uninstall XBMC?


If you need to remove and purge an application and finally remove/purge XBMC, by typing:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get remove xbmc*
sudo apt-get purge xbmc*

3.13 How to install a specific versions?


In the event you need to install either by upgrade or downgrade a specific XBMC version (a reason may be a bug or to test a specific version), the PPA providing said version active must be in your sources.list.d along with a updated list of the packages. If the packages you intend to install are on a different PPA, you should probably remove that PPA to avoid confusion. apt-get install packagename=version is one way to achieve this.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc=2:13.1~git20140606.0917-gotham-0trusty xbmc-bin=2:13.1~git20140606.0917-gotham-0trusty

Hint: For e.g. You can use result of apt-cache policy xbmc to see the candidates <packagename><version> available to you.

Note: Removing/purging any previous versions if they are greater version of the package you are looking to install is necessary.

3.14 What are PPA build dependencies?


These build dependencies are versions of a library pre-packaged by Team XBMC, because the distro provided versions are behind the current requirements of XBMC. Both REAME.linux and/or README.ubuntu documents using XBMC ppa build dependencies refer to these dependencies in the Team XBMC PPA's used in conjunction, when compiling on Ubuntu or derivatives distros.

Note: Given the substantial changes that v13 has audio wise, due to redesigned engine, you are recommended to do a fresh install of XBMCbuntu or remove any user configuration files for alsa and or alsa drivers

4 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.

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