Notes on a fresh install of XBMC for Linux on Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10

Here are some notes I took when re-installing Ubuntu on my ABIT AN-M2HD machine today. I mount remote drives into the local filesystem rather than using XMBC to do so, but either works.

Install Ubuntu Feisty

  • Apply updates
  • I have a 42” Panasonic plasma and it needs a specialorg.conf. Copy over previous xorg.conf.plasma (see attached below)
  • set for automatic login to my user
  • remove CD from /etc/apt/sources.list
  • add xbmc sources to /etc/apt/sources.list:
    • deb gutsy main
    • deb-src gutsy main


  • set static ip information
    • ip:
    • mask:
    • gateway:


  • add terminal button to top bar
  • Add system monitor & cpu scaling
  • Add sound volume to top bar
    • aptitude install sensors-applet lm-sensors
  • turn off tracker
    • edit ~/.config/tracker/tracker.cfg
    • set EnableWatching to false
  • Turn off screensaver
  • Turn off DVD auto-run


  • System->Preferences->Sound
    • Set all to ALC883 Digital
  • run alsamixer
    • Scroll to right
    • Highlight IEC958
    • Press “m” to unmute it

External communication

  • ssh
    • sudo aptitude install openssh-server
    • copy ssh credentials
    • copy /etc/hosts
  • System->Preferences->Remote Desktop (turn on)
  • nfs mappings
    • copy /etc/fstab
    • sudo aptitude install nfs-common
    • make directories
    • mount -a

install emacs

  • sudo aptitude install emacs
  • copy .emacs
  • copy emacs scripts

home dir

  • remove Music, Documents, Pictures, Public, Templates, Videos
  • copy .bash*

new nvidia driver

  • Download envy from
  • sudo dpkg -i envy_0.9.9-0ubuntu6_all.deb
  • sudo aptitude install build-essential xserver-xorg-dev module-assistant
  • fakeroot dh-make debhelper libstdc++5 dpkg-dev dpatch
  • (alternatively, sudo apt-get install -f)
  • Applications->System Tools->Envy
  • Install, then reboot

install xbmc

  • sudo aptitude update (note that xbmc sources already added, above)
  • sudo aptitude install xbmc xbmc-web xbmc-skin-xtv xbmc-t3ch-addons

xbmc configuration

  • disable rss and animations
  • enable vsync
  • add xbmc launcher to desktop (add -fs to run full screen)
  • In XBMC, change Audio to use “iec958” instead of “default” (Should not be necessary, but I had intermittent problems with audio defaulting to analog out 3/26/2008)

ffmpeg (optional)


install extra multimedia (optional)

  • Consider

nuv-export (optional)

  • also: aptitude install mplayer transcode

Remote control

  • Run irexec in daemon mode
    • System->Preferences->Sessions add one to run “irexec -d”
  • Use my .lircrc (note you need to add the dot at beginning)
  • Use restart-xbmc script
  • Map “clear” key to run restart-xbmc via irexec
  • Revise Lircmap.xml to remap some keys

EDITED 3/30/2008: Now possible to get XBMC via Debian packages; attached more of my config files; sound set to iec958. I’m currently pretty happy with the quality of it. I have one significant bug which is pressing “ok” during video playback is supposed to resize the video resolution but crashes instead. My friend Stephen is more bothered by the bug where 720p and 1080 playback have an audio lag, but since I’m not watching anything in 720p yet it’s not a big deal for me.

EDITED 11/13/2008: Linked to attached files because you need to be logged in to see the attachments.


How is XBMC for Linux

How is XBMC for Linux working now? Is it worth installing? How often does it crash? —Stephen

Working well

As of yesterday, the XBMC folks decided to package up their efforts as a standard Debian package. See: xmbc thread

My only current complaint is that if you track the SVN builds then some days you get more stability than others. I bet with the decision to choose stable builds and call them Alpha 1… that 1) no more SVN builds for me and 2) few stability problems.