How to download/install xbmc?


8 posts
by jasperthedog » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:59 am
I am planning on using my Rpi as a sort of media center (preferably for streaming football, or youtube videos) and while browsing the forum heard of something called xbmc, which (if I understood correctly) would maybe allow me to do this. I just have a few questions (being a complete newcomer):
1) What is it (no need for a complicated answer!)?
2) How can I install it on my Pi
3) How would i "use" it?

I would be extremely grateful for answers to these questions, and I am sure someone will help me out since everyone here seems so helpful :)
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by felix123 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:14 pm
1. In your own words, it's software for making the Raspberry into a sort of media center. :D
2. There's two variants of XBMC: OpenELEC and Raspbmc. Search the forums. You just install it like any other distro.
3. http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=XB ... tart_Guide
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by abishur » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:51 pm
I prefer using the basic debian image and then following the instructions here (that's a link, go ahead and click it ;-)) to get xbmc running on the pi.

If you mean "what can it do?" when you ask "How can I "use" it" then the basic answer is it's a photo/music/video viewing software that also allows for lots of fun add-ons to expand your media center experience
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by Templar » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:25 pm
I've got a Pi with two SD cards (Well, about 4 actually, but the other two are for messing around with) with Debian on one and Raspbmc on the other. I was utterly blown away by how good Raspbmc was when I started it up - it looks as slick as hell - and after a little tweaking on it I had it running iPlayer and playing the radio (my girlfriend is from Latvia and was so surprised to come home from work to hear her local radio station the other day!). I was even more entertained when the guy who helped me set it up went out and spent £400 on a Smart TV, only to find out that it can't play iPlayer - score 1 to the Pi!

It really is a lot easier than you think it is, honestly. Once you have the installer on the SD card it does the rest for you. Sure, at this stage it is a little buggy (though I hear there is a more stable version out now), but I think Sam has done a great job on it, and having it on a separate SD card means I can mess with it as much as I like and it won't cause a problem with the "main" Pi card.
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by abishur » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:26 pm
A note about the link I posted, it's won't work now. The firmware that comes with it isn't compatible with the xbmc and it's become evident that the latest firmware had an update that makes the binaries incompatible, so until someone recompiles and shares the binaries the method I listed won't work.
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by Choagy » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:08 pm
jasperthedog wrote:I am planning on using my Rpi as a sort of media center (preferably for streaming football, or youtube videos) and while browsing the forum heard of something called xbmc, which (if I understood correctly) would maybe allow me to do this. I just have a few questions (being a complete newcomer):
1) What is it (no need for a complicated answer!)?
2) How can I install it on my Pi
3) How would i "use" it?

I would be extremely grateful for answers to these questions, and I am sure someone will help me out since everyone here seems so helpful :)


I formatted an 8GB SD card and then used Win 32 imager to install DEbian 6. I then downloaded OpenELEC from a forum link then used Win 32 imager to install it on to the same sd card.After plugging it in/starting up the system took about twenty seconds (Holding breathe mode :D ) then sprung in to action flawlessly playing media files. Works a treat. disconnected the keyboard and plugged in a 16GB memory stick full of files and it played my Modern Family shows (Legitimate) perfectly. Newie I know but if I can think of any thing I have missed I will edit my post. Great wee media center that I hope my grandson/duaghters will help me with in my dotage :D :D
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by AndrewS » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:19 am
Glad you're having fun :) Just a very quick comment to point out...
Choagy wrote:I formatted an 8GB SD card and then used Win 32 imager to install DEbian 6. I then downloaded OpenELEC from a forum link then used Win 32 imager to install it on to the same sd card.

The first step isn't necessary - you've not "installed OpenELEC to the same card", you've actually overwritten the Debian6 install with the OpenELEC install. Minor point, but I just wanted to avoid any confusion.
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by Endie » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:44 am
I use xbmc on a pair of machines right now, with the following process:

A Windows desktop runs sickbeard and couchmonkey; my QNAP NAS then runs sabnzbd, listening on a given port then grabbing the content sickbeard and couchmonkey specify; then when those are downloaded the NAS box saves the finished content to a share and updates XBMC on the original machine which is, again, listening on an open port for such notifications.

The sabnzbd element has to be always-on, but is running on a low-power NAS machine; the sickbeard and xbmc elements would be far better running on a pi than a power-hungry, slightly old windows machine: does the current Pi implementation of xbmc listen for remote notifications of library updates? Has anyone got the linux build of sickbeard running on a pi? This would save me hundreds a year on electricity!
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