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- See also: XBMCbuntu FAQ
XBMCbuntu (formerly XBMC Live) is the XBMC Media Center software bundled with an embedded operating-system, all pre-packaged for that set-top-box feeling. XBMCbuntu also lets you easily boot to the XBMC Live CD in order to demo XBMC Media Center for your friends and family on practically any relatively modern computer, (as long as it was manufactured in the last 5-years or so it should meet the XBMC's minimum requirements).
1 What is XBMCbuntu?
XBMCbuntu is both a boot-CD with XBMC Media Center pre-configued to work directly out-of-the-box without touching the users harddrive for demo purposes, as well as a fully-fledged installer that allows the installation of the XBMC Media Center onto your local hard disk, without any pre-installed operating systems. Once booted, XBMCbuntu will give the user the option to either just run it as a demo from only the CD (not touching your harddrive) or do a permanent installation of XBMC complete with embedded operating-system onto a 8GB (or larger) USB-flash-memory-stick or your internal harddrive 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.
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.
1.1 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).
- 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 How To Install XBMCbuntu
Installing XBMCbuntu to an external disk or USB flash drive can be accomplished in three simple steps.
Before installing XBMCbuntu to USB device (hard drive or flash drive) it is highly recommended that any USB drives other than the one being used for installation be unplugged to prevent the accidental overwrite of data on other drives. Installing XBMCbuntu will (optionally) format the selected drive and erase all data on the drive prior to installation.
- Download the XBMCbuntu ISO image from XBMC Downloads and burn it to a CD-R/RW.
- Disconnect all USB storage devices other than the drive intended for installation.
- Boot your computer using the XBMCbuntu disc you just created and follow the instructions on the screen. In some cases you may need to change settings in the BIOS of your computer in order to boot to a CD. For more information on booting from a CD, read the About.com article "How to Boot from CD or DVD".
- At boot, when two small icons are shown at the bottom of the screen, press any key and choose one of the two install options in the boot menu. Note that on some large displays the second install option (120DPI) may work better.
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
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 --purge remove xbmc sudo apt-get install ppa-purge sudo ppa-purge ppa:whatever-ppa-you-have-now sudo add-apt-repository ppa:whatever-ppa-here sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install xbmc
- See also: Connecting to XBMCbuntu via SSH
3.3 Upgrading NVidia drivers in Ubuntu and variants
- see also: XBMCbuntu_FAQ#Upgrading_NVidia_drivers_in_Ubuntu_and_variants Upgrading NVidia drivers in Ubuntu and variants}}
3.4 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)
3.5 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.
3.6 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 XBMC Live developers have done their best to try to prevent this from happening.
4 XBMC Media Center
XBMC Live 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.
5 Upgrading XBMC Live
To actually update "XBMC Live" for Eden, which is a full package, then you're pretty much looking at a fresh install. The OS changed from Ubuntu 10.04 to Lubuntu 11.10. It is possible to just update XBMC itself while on the "old Live" by treating it as a normal Linux install and going to: HOW-TO:Install XBMC for Linux