I have just spent DAYS configuring my RPi. Next step = XBMC. I was gutted to find that the preferred options appear to Raspbmc or OpenELEC which both are a 'from scratch' build
I have a hard drive for media in a USB connected enclosure so the ability to install XBMC to a partition on that would be fantastic.
As a NooB to *nux I would truly appreciate ANY pointers on how to achieve this.
It's very simple on openelec, if you have a spare sd card:
1. Create the openelec image on the sd card using the standard technique for your platform (linux & the create_sd script is quick and simple, and could be done from raspbian if you unmount the /boot partition and swap out the sd card - don't know about windows or mac).
2. Format an ext4 partition on your USB drive and give it a label of Storage. gparted is the most user friendly way to do this from a linux system and can be run from the raspbian desktop (once you've installed it using sudo apt-get install gparted).
3. edit cmdline.txt in the fat partition of the openelec sd card to change disk=/dev/mmcblk0p2 to disk=/dev/sda1 (or whatever the new partition shows up as - might be sda% or sdb% if you have multiple usb drives attached, where % is the partition number).
4. Boot with sd card inserted into the pi and usb drives inserted exactly as they were when you identified the usb partition name in raspbian.
I don't use raspbmc but seem to recall reading that the most recent release allows you to install the ext4 partition to usb but don't quote me on that.
There is also a tool named berryboot that allows you to install multiple distros on the same sd card and choose to install the rootfs to a usb drive - I haven't used it so can't comment but I'm sure someone will be along soon to sing its praises.