XBMC Live is the XBMC media center software bundled with a embedded operating-system, for that set-top-box felling. XBMC Live also lets you easily boot to the XBMC Live CD in order to demo XBMC for your friends and family on practically any relatively modern computer, (as long as it was manufactured in the last 5-years or so it should meet the XBMC's minimum requirements).
1 What is XBMC Live?
XBMC Live is a boot-CD with XBMC working out-of-the-box without touching the users harddrive for demo purposes. Once booted, XBMC Live will also let the user install XBMC complete with embedded operating-system onto a 2GB (or larger) USB-flash-memory-stick for a permanent and dedicated set-top-box style installation of XBMC, currently with Microsoft's Windows Media Center Remote with USB reciever as the default supported controller.
2 XBMC Live minimum and recommended hardware requirements
- x86 (Intel/AMD-based) processor computer capable of booting to CD-ROM.
- ATI/AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA (recommended) graphic controller which supports OpenGL 1.4 or later (2.0 recommended).
- Optional is to install to a 2GB (or larger) USB-flash-drive.
- If you like to install XBMC Live to USB then note that it can not still have U3 software on it (so uninstall that first).
- Larger than 2GB is if you have a lot of media as covers are cached on it.
3 HOW-TO use XBMC Live
It is as simple as 1, 2, 3, and if you only plan on using is as a Live CD (not installing to USB) then you can skip step 2.
NOTE! Just to be safe, if you plan on installing to USB then make sure that you first unplug any other USB drives just in case, (as you do not want to risk the chance the patchstick utility to overwrite the data on any other USB drive you might have connected).
- Download the ISO image, burn it just like any ISO image to a CD-R/RW.
- If you going to install to USB then first disconnect all USB storage devices that you do not want to install to.
- Boot your computer on the CD-R/RW and follow the instructions on the screen.
- If you choose to install to USB then make sure that you do not set the permanent storage area to "None" as it will then not save any settings or changes you make after a reboot.
3.1 Username and password to the underlying OS environment
Username and password to the underlying OS environment is not need by average users of XBMC Live but here they are just in case you want to digg into the (very) advanced possibilities that are avilable:
Username: xbmc Password: xbmc
4 XBMC Live Development
Great, so you think that you would like to help with the development or XBMC Live?
The idea is to package XBMC for Linux with a stripped version of an existing Linux distribution as a bootable LiveDistro (a.k.a. Live CD), (the alternative would be our very own custom Linux distribution which is not exactly realistic). By doing this XBMC should be able to be installed onto any USB flash drive or harddisk drive using this LiveDistro (a.k.a. Live CD) on the target device. Note that even though a custom version of the Linux distribution, (meaning stripped for XBMC use only), the currently plan is still to try to use a vanilla kernel, (as long as that is possible).
XBMC Live 'Atlantis' is currently based on Ubuntu Mobile (MID Edition), that is, it is Linux based. The operating-system has completely been hidden away on purpose, the point is to create set-top-box feeling with as close to instant-on boot as possible, (similar to that of a stand-alone DVD-player or video game-console). The end-user should not need to know which operating-system it is running on, or even that it is running on an operating-system at for that matter.
4.2.1 Optimizing the (perceived) boot time of the XBMC Live distro
Based on the XBMC Community Forum discussion here (link) we have started a article here in the XBMC Online Manual wiki on how to HOW-TO improve the (perceived) boot time on a general Linux distribution. Please refer to that wiki article and the XBMC Community Forum thread for ideas and discussion about how to improve the (perceived) startup time of XBMC Live from a cold boot (whether from Live CD, Live USB, or from a harddrive installation of XBMC Live, or any other Linux distro for that matter).
XBMC Live contains XBMC for Linux compiled with the 'standalone' mode, this enabled certain functions that are not available in normal XBMC for Linux, (or XBMC for Mac, or for Windows), these functions include Power Management, and Network Management.