HOW-TO:Install Ubuntu and XBMC on Apple TV 1
Installing Linux on the AppleTV is already quite well documented and easy thanks to atv-bootloader. If you plan on installing Linux on your AppleTV, you should definitively start there.
With Broadcom Crystal HD now out, the AppleTV can handle 1080p and this makes it a very nice media center alternative. XBMC works fine under the AppleTV OS, but there are a few pro's for having Linux and some might just prefer it.
That said, setting up Linux can be a bit tricky. If you want sound over HDMI, you have to use at least alsa-driver-1.0.18a and NVIDIA 100.14.19 drivers that compile only on Ubuntu 8.04. This guide explains how to achieve that. Linux will be installed on the AppleTV internal disk without removing the AppleTV OS
I would not recommend this guide if you are not familiar with Linux and the CLI.
If you are not a fan of vi, just use nano instead.
- A USB Hub
- A USB keyboard
- A USB flash drive of 256MB or greater (64MB should even be enough)
- A network with a DHCP server
- A wired network connection to the AppleTV
- A Mac or Linux computer on the same network (Windows should probably work as well)
3 Create the bootable USB flash drive
If you have a Mac, just download and run the OS X version of atvusb-creator. Choose "ATV-Bootloader" for the installation and create your bootable flash drive. When done, if you unplug/plug the USB disk, you should see an empty PATCHSTICK partition.
Download Hardy netboot image and copy the needed files to the empty PATCHSTICK partition created by ATV USB creator.
# If you don't have wget installed, just use your browser to download the file wget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/hardy/main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot/netboot.tar.gz tar xfz netboot.tar.gz cp ubuntu-installer/i386/linux /Volumes/PATCHSTICK cp ubuntu-installer/i386/initrd.gz /Volumes/PATCHSTICK rm -rf netboot.tar.gz ubuntu-installer
If you only have a Linux machine, just follow those instructions: LinuxUSBPenBoot. Make another partition to copy linux and initrd.gz from the netboot image.
4 Linux installation
Connect the USB keyboard and flash drive previously created to your AppleTV using a USB Hub. Reboot the AppleTV and telnet in from your computer (username/password: root). You should see the IP address on your TV screen.
telnet <IP address>
Before touching the disk partition, you should do a backup! We gonna follow the ATVBackup procedure but do a tar instead of a copy. This ensures that permissions won't be changed, no matter the file system on your USB flash drive partition.
mkdir src dst # Mount the patchstick partition # If you created the flash drive manually, it might be sdb2 mount /dev/sdb3 dst # Mount the source fsck.hfsplus -f /dev/sda2 mount -t hfsplus /dev/sda2 src # Make a tar of all files on the "Recovery" partition cd src tar cf ../dst/backup.tar * cd .. # force a disk buffer flush sync umount src dst rmdir src dst
Run "parted" and make a copy of the original partitioning for the internal PATA disk. The disk can then be re-partitioned back to the original later using this file as a guide. Copy this to the first partition of the USB flash drive for safe keeping.
mkdir tmp # If you created the flash drive manually, it might be sdb1 here fsck.hfsplus /dev/sdb2 mount /dev/sdb2 tmp parted -s /dev/sda unit s print > tmp/org_gtp.txt
Check the file. This is how my 40GB disk looked like:
cat tmp/org_gtp.txt Model: ATA FUJITSU MHW2040A (scsi) Disk /dev/sda: 78140160s Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B Partition Table: gpt Number Start End Size File system Name Flags 1 40s 69671s 69632s fat32 EFI System Partition boot 2 69672s 888871s 819200s hfs+ Apple_HFS_Untitled_1 atvrecv 3 888872s 2732071s 1843200s hfs+ Apple_HFS_Untitled_2 4 2732072s 78140119s 75408048s hfs+ Customer umount tmp
If you need to restore the disk to its original state, just follow the Restore procedure (watch the sdb partition number), but instead of doing:
cp -arp src/* dst/
cd dst tar xf ../src/backup.tar cd ..
4.2 Make space for Linux
I didn't exactly follow the procedure described here (btw, it seems Apple doesn't always follow the same naming convention).
I just did a resize on my "Customer" partition and it worked fine. I didn't have to perform a "Factory Restore" and didn't loose anything.
But from my Linux experience, when doing a resize on a disk, you should be ready in case it doesn't work. That means, if you have data on that partition you don't want to loose, backup first!
Note that we did NOT backup that partition previously (only the Recovery partition was). This partition is where you might have synced, pictures, movies... If the resize doesn't work, you'll have to remove the partition and do a "Factory Restore". Read this page for more explanations.
You can adjust the partitions sizes to your needs.
# Resize partition 4 and create the main partition for Linux + swap parted -s /dev/sda resize 4 2732072s 54525951s parted -s /dev/sda mkpart primary ext3 54525952s 77091549s parted -s /dev/sda mkpart primary linux-swap 77091550s 78140126s # Sync the partition tables partprobe /dev/sda # Format the new partition mkfs.ext3 -b 4096 -L Linux /dev/sda5
Here is how the disk should now look like:
parted /dev/sda unit s print Model: ATA FUJITSU MHW2040A (scsi) Disk /dev/sda: 78140160s Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B Partition Table: gpt Number Start End Size File system Name Flags 1 40s 69671s 69632s fat32 EFI System Partition boot 2 69672s 888871s 819200s hfs+ Apple_HFS_Untitled_1 atvrecv 3 888872s 2732071s 1843200s hfs+ Apple_HFS_Untitled_2 4 2732072s 54525951s 51793880s hfs+ Customer 5 54525952s 77091549s 22565598s ext3 Linux 6 77091550s 78140126s 1048577s linux-swap primary
4.3 Start Linux installation
Bootstrap into netboot installer
# Mount the patchstick partition with the netboot files # If you created the flash drive manually, it might be sdb2 mount /dev/sdb3 tmp kexec --load tmp/linux --initrd=tmp/initrd.gz --command-line="nosplash vesa video=vesafb" kexec -e
You should now see the Ubuntu install screen on your TV. Proceed with the keyboard you connected earlier.
Follow the steps of the installer.
When asked for partitioning Method, choose manual
Select the ext3 partition you created previously: sdb5 (the USB stick shows up as sda, so the internal disk is sdb)
Use as : Ext3
Mount point: /
sb6 should already be selected as swap
Write the changes to disk
When asked for username, do NOT use “xbmc”, create an admin user
When you come to the “Software selection” window, choose only "OpenSSH server"
When the install is done, reboot.
4.4 Post installation fix
Telnet again to your AppleTV.
telnet <IP address>
Change the USB flash drive, so that it will boot automatically to Linux next time
mkdir tmp mount /dev/sdb2 tmp vi tmp/com.apple.Boot.plist
-> change patchstick to auto
Edit your menu.lst
mount /dev/sda5 tmp vi tmp/boot/grub/menu.lst
Change it to something like this (check your kernel version):
default 0 timeout 3 title Linux root (hd0,4) kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-27-generic root=/dev/sda5 ro vesa video=vesafb initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-27-generic boot
Bootstrap to this new kernel (or just reboot)
kexec --load tmp/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-27-generic --initrd=tmp/boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-27-generic --command-line="root=/dev/sda5 ro vesa video=vesafb" kexec -e
4.5 Linux setup
You can now ssh to your AppleTV. Use the user you created during installation.
4.5.1 Install alsa-driver 1.0.19
At least 1.0.18a is needed but it failed to compile on my system. 1.0.19 worked fine.
sudo apt-get install linux-sound-base alsa-utils build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r` wget ftp://ftp.alsa-project.org/pub/driver/alsa-driver-1.0.19.tar.bz2 tar xfj alsa-driver-1.0.19.tar.bz2 cd alsa-driver-1.0.19 # alsa-driver package installs in /lib/modules/'uname -r'/kernel/sound by default # but ubuntu has the alsa drivers in /lib/modules/'uname -r'/ubuntu/sound/alsa-driver # so give the ubuntu directory ./configure -with-moddir=/lib/modules/2.6.24-27-generic/ubuntu/sound/alsa-driver make sudo make install cd
4.5.2 Install Xserver and NVIDIA 100.14.19 drivers
sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia* sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-core xserver-xorg-dev xinit xfonts-base x11-xserver-utils xauth wget http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86/100.14.19/NVIDIA-Linux-x86-100.14.19-pkg1.run sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-100.14.19-pkg1.run sudo nvidia-xconfig --no-composite --no-logo
Take the opportunity to edit your xorg.conf
sudo vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Turn off the use of TurboCache by the nvidia binary driver by adding (see ATV blog):
Option "RegistryDwords" "RMDisableRenderToSysmem=1"
Some people experienced problem with refresh rate due to NVIDIA’s DynamicTwinView feature, so disable it by adding:
Option "DynamicTwinView" "false"
Your nvidia driver section should look like:
Section "Device" Identifier "Device0" Driver "nvidia" VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation" Option "RegistryDwords" "RMDisableRenderToSysmem=1" Option "DynamicTwinView" "false" EndSection
4.5.3 Install atvclient
To get the front LED stop flashing and get the Apple Remote to work, just install atvclient See http://wiki.github.com/Evinyatar/atvclient/installation-on-ubuntu-804
sudo apt-get install git-core libusb-dev pkg-config git clone git://github.com/Evinyatar/atvclient.git cd atvclient ./configure && make sudo make install cd .. sudo cp atvclient /etc/init.d/atvclient sudo update-rc.d atvclient defaults sudo /etc/init.d/atvclient start
4.5.4 Install crystal HD driver and library
git clone git://git.wilsonet.com/crystalhd.git cd crystalhd/linux_lib/libcrystalhd make sudo make install cd ../../driver/linux sudo apt-get install autoconf autoconf ./configure make sudo make install sudo modprobe crystalhd cd
4.6 Time to install XBMC
To get SVN PPA, update your system's software sources:
sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-svn/ppa/ubuntu hardy main deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-svn/ppa/ubuntu hardy main
Add the key and update your list of software:
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 64234534 sudo apt-get update Install xbmc sudo apt-get install xbmc
Create xbmc user:
sudo adduser xbmc --gecos XBMC sudo usermod --group audio,video,fuse,plugdev xbmc
Here is one way to have XBMC started automatically at boot. You could as well choose to just install xbmc-live.
Change tty1 for automatic login:
sudo vi /etc/event.d/tty1
Change this line:
exec /sbin/getty 38400 tty1
exec /bin/login -f xbmc </dev/tty1 > /dev/tty1 2>&1 #exec /sbin/getty 38400 tty1
Update your Xwrapper.config
sudo vi /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config
Replace console by anybody
Login as xbmc and create a .bash_profile
su - xbmc vi .bash_profile
Set it to:
if [[ "`tty`" == "/dev/tty1" ]] then clear && startx -- -br & >/dev/null fi
Create a .xsession:
echo "exec xbmc --standalone" > .xsession # Logout exit
4.7 Set up the HDMI audio output
After reboot, XBMC should start up automatically. You might have some strange colors. Just unmute the HDMI audio output by running alsamixer.
ssh to your appletv
-> unmute IEC958 1 (that's the HDMI audio output)
Save the driver setup:
sudo alsactl store 0
You can check the device by running:
You should see:
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 3: ATI HDMI [ATI HDMI]
Go to XBMC Audio output settings and choose custom for the Audio output device.
Set it to: plughw:0,3
That's it, you should have sound over HDMI!
4.8 What next?
If you don't want to have to plug/unplug the USB stick to boot into Linux/AppleTV OS, check: http://wiki.github.com/Evinyatar/atvclient/appletvlinux-bootmenu
I don't really like to put a password in clear text in a script... I removed the password from the script, and added the script to the sudoers file instead:
xbmc ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/local/bin/bootAppleTV.sh
Same can be done on the AppleTV OS side
5 External Links
This guide is based on differents sources. Thanks to the original author (sorry if I forgot some):