XBMCbuntu FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions for XBMCbuntu

Contents


1 General FAQ

See also: XBMC all platforms FAQ for FAQs that apply to all versions of XBMC.
See also: XBMC v13 (Gotham) FAQ for FAQs related to the (Gotham) v13 release.

1.1 What is 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.

1.2 What is the XBMCbuntu.iso?

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The XBMCbuntu .iso is a Lubuntu based Linux distro, customised to provide point releases of XBMC like v13 Gotham. can also be used to create a bootable USB disk.
Because of the nature of Live facilities of Linux distros available in XBMCbuntu, you can also try-it-out without installing, thus not requiring any modifications to the host harddrive.

1.3 What version of Lubuntu is used by the current XBMCbuntu?

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For Gotham v13, the XBMCbuntu is based on Lubuntu 14.04LTS (Trusty Tahr)

1.4 What are XBMCbuntu's minimum and recommended requirements?

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Minimum requirements are the minimum to operate Linux and XBMC, though for better results the recommended or better is suggested.

XBMCbuntu starting with v13 is only available as a 64bit base.
■ x86_64 (Intel/AMD) processor computer capable of booting from CD-ROM/USB drive.

CPU
++
SSE
x86 or x86_64 processor such as: Intel Pentium 4, Intel Pentium M, AMD Athlon XP/64, AMD Opteron, or newer CPU. (Anything made in the last few years does.)

■ If your GPU/VPU does not support hardware video decoding, 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

RAM ⊖ Minimum: 256MB
⊕ Recommended: 1GB or more
Graphics
XBMC will run on most graphics cards made in the last few years. This includes most cards from ATI/AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA which support OpenGL 2.0 or later.


Minimum:

Recommended:
ATI Intel Nvidia
ATI Radeon RV710/M92 (HD 4300/4500) Intel GMA 950 (945G) Nvidia GeForce 6-Series
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 various low-performance CPUs to playback 1080p content, your GPU or VPU must support either VAAPI, VDPAU, or CrystalHD.
Note:VDPAU platforms - performance of hardware decoding, for best results set 512MB dedicated VRAM in BIOS.
Note: ★★ ATI Radeon cards lower than UVD2.2, are not supported for 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 ~ 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.
Note: If you like to install XBMCbuntu to USB and it still has U3 software on it (uninstall that first).
Optical
Drive
Optional
DVD - Bluray
Ethernet
port
Optional

⊖ Minimum: 100BASE-TX

Note: A wired connection is preferred over slow wifi network, some 5gHz environments may affect wifi signal quality/strength and reduce bandwidth or cause signal fluctuations that affect streaming

★ - While not a XBMC requirement, some cards e.g Nvidia/AMD have been reported to perform better with 512MB or greater set as dedicated/reserved VRAM in Bios.

★★ - Legacy cards that support the minimum OpenGL requirements still can be installed with a Ubuntu or variant, and you wont get any hardware acceleration in XBMC with fglrx.
The version of fglrx must remain at a specific 12.9? version as its the last known working version with these cards on Linux/Ubuntu

2 Installation

2.1 How do I get and install XBMCbuntu?

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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

2.2 How do I resolve any install wizard's problems?

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In the event, the XBMCbuntu install wizard isn't working for you, when selecting install from the grub menu options, do the following:

  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.


2.3 When running XBMCbuntu as a Live CD my changes are lost. Why?

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  • 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.

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

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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 Upgrading

3.1 How do I upgrade XBMC from PPA in XBMCBuntu?

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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

See below

3.2 What official ppa's does Team XBMC have?

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See also: Connecting to Linux/XBMCbuntu via SSH

There are currently, 3 official repositories providing XBMC.


Note: For XBMC Beta or Release Candidate use unstable ppa, xbmc-nightly ppa will yield alpha builds (from master), remainder ppa (main ppa) yields point release final versions.


3.3 What repositories are in my sources list?

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

sudo apt-cache policy

3.4 What Version of XBMC do I currently have installed?

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

sudo apt-cache policy xbmc

3.5 Are any dependencies required?

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

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

3.6 How do I add or remove ppas?

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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

3.7 How do I upgrade xbmc?

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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

4 Drivers

4.1 How can I Upgrade NVidia drivers in Ubuntu/XBMCbuntu and variants?

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Nvidia as well as drivers suppliers for Ubuntu and variants, recommended user to install these packages via repositories provided! The maintainers ensure the drivers are correct and compatible to the distro being targeted.

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings

Attention talk.png Nvidia Drivers updates XBMCBuntu.Ubuntu and variants forum discussion thread

5 Handling files & Backups

5.1 How can I transfer files to/from XBMCbuntu?

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Use SFTP with a client such as Cyberduck or FileZilla or scp via SSH within Linux/OS X shell. username and password is xbmc blank or the xbmc password selected during install.

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

5.2 How can I backup all my settings to restore them if something goes wrong?

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You can use the Add-on:XBMC Backup Backup and restore your XBMC database and configuration files in the event of a crash or file corruption.

Alternatively if you do not wish to use a addon, you can navigate to your userdata folder and copy/archive all its contents to a external drive. This can be achieved various ways, depending on your OS.

6 Connectivity

6.1 How can I connect a bluetooth keyboard/mouse/remote??

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A good way to decipher this is to:

See this video:http://lubuntu.net/blog/lubuntu-screencast-bluetooth

7 Troubleshooting

7.1 What if I have audio issues with XBMCbuntu?

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You can look at the audio troubleshooting page below, if your problems persist, you can always try to search for answers to your problem in forums and if none are found open your own thread. Remember to have Debug log handy in pastebin, in such cases.

See: Audio Troubleshooting

7.2 Can't install, because the install window is too big?

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In the event you come across this issue, you can look at adapting the solutions proposed in the forum post below.

See Can't install because the install window is too big?

7.3 Can't install because the text is too small?

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In the event you come across this issue, you can look at adapting the solutions proposed in the forum post below.

See Can't install because the text is too small?

7.4 I'm here because I've got a problem, so what do I do if I'm still stuck afterwards?

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If you run into issues it is helpful to gather all of the basic information, especially when you're thinking about starting an XBMC forum thread or opening a report on the XBMC bug tracker. Below is a list of information that should be included in a forum post as a minimum. As a rule, you should include anything that's relevant, such as recent changes, detailed media information, etc.

  • Compulsory xbmc.log with debugging enabled, which contains the problem or issue you're experiencing.
  • Video driver problems: Include a copy of your /var/log/Xorg.0.log in addition to your debug log.
  • Use a pastesite for logs: do not post logs in-line on forums. On trac, you should attach/upload the logs with your report.
  • System specs: (CPU, GPU, etc.)
  • Playback Problems: include video codec (e.g. MPEG-2, H.264) and container (e.g. .mkv, .mp4, .avi) or audio codec (e.g. FLAC, MP3) and container. If possible, include samples.
  • Details of steps you took to attempt to fix it, if any. Describe what it is you tried when posting.
  • Steps to duplicate your problem in detail.
  • Screenshots that may help illustrate your problem or show your current settings. Use sites like snag.gy or postimage.


For help/support visit XBMC Community Forums or IRC #xbmc-linux


8 Upgrading XBMCbuntu

8.1 How do I upgrade the XBMCbuntu base OS?

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To actually upgrade the underlying Linux which "XBMCbuntu" is based on, it is possible to do so via release upgrade.

There are advantages and disadvantages to doing so. It's not a method recommended lightly to inexperienced users, doing so means you understand and accept responsibility for breaking your system.

BACKUP! Never attempt any upgrades without having proper backups of the files you consider important or value or have a full system image/backup of working system you can restore.
RECOMMENDED! It is possible (in order to preserve systems tweaks) to just upgrade XBMC itself by treating it as a normal Linux package and update/install via: Upgrading XBMC via ppa in XBMCbuntu

9 Known issues

See: XBMC v12 (Frodo) issues

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