Archive:HOW-TO:Install XBMC on Ubuntu/HOW-TO 1

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This page or section has not been updated in a long time, no longer applies, refers to features that have been replaced/removed, and/or may not be reliable.

This page is only kept for historical reasons, or in case someone wants to try updating it.

The following is the recommended way of installing XBMC as a standalone app for Ubuntu. This is not the most stripped down approach but it is the safest and most simplistic. Please also consider XBMC Live as an easy way to try XBMC without changing your system. For a more stripped down approach, consider the more advanced guide XBMCbuntu which starts with a minimal server install.

This guide assumes that desktop based Ubuntu (Gnome, KDE, XFCE) is installed and working and that your system meets the minimum requirements for XBMC. If you're having trouble getting to this point please visit Ubuntu Forums for help.

XBMC-Repository-Overview for 8.04, 9.04, 9.10, 10.04, 10.10, 11.04, 11.10 & 12.04 with PVR (Live-TV) and without PVR-Support

1 Installing XBMC Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic or higher

Note: You find newer XBMC packages on this Repository-Overview for Ubuntu 12.04 and older.

If you are using Ubuntu 9.10 or higher, you have the option of a more streamlined install. Load the terminal window and issue the following:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc xbmc-standalone
sudo apt-get update

You do not need to add the XBMC Repo nor the PPA Keys. XBMC is already installed. To have content, go to Adding the XBMC SVN Repo Installer (not to be confused with XBMC Repo below).

If you get an error message like xbmc: Depends: xbmc-data (= 2:10.00~svn35648-lucid1) but it is not going to be installed E: Broken packages while doing this, please enable multiverse and multiverse repositores in /etc/apt/sources.list, or go to the System menu, then Administration, then Software Sources and check the "Community-maintained open Source software (universe)" and "Software restricted by copyright or legal issues (multiverse)" checkboxes and apply the changes.

For NVidia hardware acceleration (VDPAU) in Ubuntu 10.04 install the following packages:

sudo apt-get install libvdpau1 nvidia-185-libvdpau

2 Adding the XBMC Repo

Adding the XBMC Repo tells your system where to look for xbmc for installation and future updates

  • From the Desktop, click System -> Administration -> Software Sources.
  • Click the "Third Party Software" tab.
  • Click "Add" for each of the following. For the Apt line type the following, substituting "jaunty" for your version:
deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main
  • Click "Close". If you see a GPG Error upon closing the window, not to worry. That will be handled in the next step.

3 Adding PPA Keys

These packages are signed with a unique key for added security. Synaptic needs to know this key in order to verify the packages' authenticity.

  • Click here to view the PGP key
  • Select the text from the beginning of the keyblock to the end (including those lines)
  • Copy that text to the clipboard (Edit -> Copy)
  • Open your text editor from Applications -> Text Editor.
  • Paste the key contents (Edit -> Paste)
  • Save the document in your home folder as xbmc-ppa.key
  • Reopen Software Sources, this time choosing the "Authentication" tab.
  • Click "Import Key File" and choose the newly created xbmc-ppa.key and press OK.

You can also combine all these steps into a single command-line command:

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver 0x6d975c4791e7ee5e

4 Installing XBMC

Now that the repo and key have been added, install XBMC like any other program.

  • Click System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager
  • Click "Reload"
  • Search for "xbmc"
  • Mark xbmc and xbmc-standalone for installation and mark additional changes when prompted.
  • Click "Apply" and agree to the changes after reading them.

XBMC is now installed and ready for use.

5 Adding the XBMC SVN Repo Installer

In Ubuntu the SVN Repositories are not automatically added. You must add them manually.

  • First, download the SVN Repo Installer from:
  • Extract it to the ~/.xbmc/plugins/programs directory. If this directory does not exist, run XBMC one time and then exit back to Ubuntu. The directory should now exist.
  • Select XBMC Media Center: Applications -> Sound & Video -> XBMC Media Center
  • Scroll down to Programs.
  • Select program plugins.
  • Select SVN Repo Installer
  • Select xbmc-addons
  • Select plugins
  • Choose the plugins that you want to add (i.e., videos)

6 Autostart XBMC (optional)

By following these instructions, your system will boot directly into XBMC rather than your desktop from now on. It is advised that you delay this step until XBMC is setup as you'd like it.

  • From the desktop click System -> Administration -> Login Screen
  • From the "Security" tab choose "Enable Automatic Login" and select your username.
  • Click "OK" to exit.
  • Logout of your system.
  • From the Login screen choose "Select Session"
  • Choose "XBMC" and click "Change Session"

You're finished. Next time you login you should be greeted with XBMC.

7 Autostart XBMC (optional alternative)

  • From the desktop click System -> Administration -> Login Screen
  • From the "Security" tab choose "Enable Automatic Login" and select your username.
  • Click "OK" to exit.
  • From the desktop click System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications
  • Click "Add"
  • Name: XBMC
  • Command: xbmc
  • Comment: XBMC
  • Click "OK"

You're DONE, Ubuntu will now load gnome first then xbmc straight after, slightly slower but it keeps your gnome session available.

NOTE: It is important to use all lower case characters when entering the command.

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