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XBMC, which one?!

Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:13 pm

Greetings from Sweden.
I ordered my RPi yesterday, so it should be arriving some time next week.

I've decided to use it as a media player with XBMC installed (duh!)

Now I'm wondering whitch way to go? I'm using a Class 10 SD-card.

Raspbmc? Xbian? OpenELEC? Or running XBMC on Raspbian?

Which is the best? Which is the fastest? And so on.

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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:40 am
Location: Adelaide

Re: XBMC, which one?!

Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:27 am

I'm running XBMC on Raspbian and there are no problems with it. The only drawback was the lengthy compiling process and installing required packages. If you follow the instructions on this link:


You'll be fine.

Don't be scared by all the code and steps, if you do them right then you'll be on easy street.

If you want to explore the other options out there, have a read on this:


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Location: ::1

Re: XBMC, which one?!

Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:06 am

I would suggest you try them all and see which works best for your PI each distro has their good points and bad points.
For speed I would go with OpenELEC it's also small enough to fit on a 1GB memory card.
Unfortunately the system file system is virtualised (squashfs) and read-only this makes it almost impossible to add stuff like unsupported wifi dongles.

As for Raspbmc and Xbian both distros have no restrictions to the file system you can "apt-get install" applications and add unsupported wifi dongles like a Netgear WNDA3200.
As for speed I found Xbian slightly faster and more responsive than Raspbmc some people may beg to differ but I'm sure you'll find that out for yourself.

Richard S.

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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:57 pm

Re: XBMC, which one?!

Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:11 pm

I have used the openELEC XBMC on a few personal projects. 12v battery driven - caravan TV and
5v USB from cigarette-adaptors.

Has worked fine so far.
In the office the guys have tied it up to their phones, got the online weather, used it (with addons)
to do wee bits of video, etc etc.

The main job was to play some rolling mpegs for a display in a tent. We got a 20" monitor, and a pi easily running for over 20 hours on a leisure battery.

XBMC can have most of the things it needs downloaded using their interface (with a mouse). Little knowledge of unix was needed.

The ONLY hassle I had was writing the SD.

The first images were "dd'ed" into the device. They did not work. I cant remember which open ELEC I went for, but it does an mkfs on the SD to make two partitions. That method worked 1st time.

I can look up what I used if you need it.

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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:19 pm

Re: XBMC, which one?!

Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:56 pm

small question, how much space does raspbianxbmc require?

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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:29 am

Re: XBMC, which one?!

Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:21 am

I'm a real newbie having received my Raspberry Pi model B today (512MB).
I clearly need to purchase a few extras but what confuses me is what OS I need. It seems that Raspbian Wheezy Linux or OpenELEC XBMC are the top guys but I need to know what the various details are of the alternatives and which OS is recommended according to one's requirements.

I would be obliged if a lister could point me to a document where these are discussed. I am a linux user on my PC (Ubuntu) and I'm comfortable with that.

Many thanks


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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:39 pm

Re: XBMC, which one?!

Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:57 pm

I don't think you'll have a problem, I managed to install a couple and also mount a wifi dongle on a 1gb card. I think it was raspbmc but it could of been xbian. I'm away from the rapi and can't confirm.

The only niggle I had was there was no milkdrop support and no way to add other visualisations for audio playback that I find.

If anyone knows a xbmc with milkdrop or a winamp for the rapi let me know.

Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:29 pm

Re: XBMC, which one?!

Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:15 pm

For me OpenELEC provided smooth video playback, which Raspbmc couldn't.
I stream 1080p x264 video over wired ethernet via CIFS.

If you're after an Ubuntu experience, then go for Raspbian. You get the same package manager.

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