OpenELEC uses XBMC
IMPORTANT: I just want to let you know that this project was a mission failure. Not because of the software, but for other reasons that are unrelated. If you want to read about what happened, and laugh at my frustration, keep reading. I warned you.
Hello friends! This week on Project Weekend, I thought we could visit a distribution that a friend of mine recommended to me the other day via email. His name is Matt and he is an IT guy at a local food distributor who has a penchant for nifty technology, and when he saw the word Linux, he thought of me! How awesome!
The software we will be using today is called OpenELEC. I saw the release after a bit of googling, thanks to Matt’s tip, on the Distrowatch.com page that tracks releases of new Linux distros. The release notes say that we can get this system up and running with ZERO Linux skills, and runs the highly-praised XBMC media center.
OpenELEC – Distrowatch.com
See the release announcement for a detailed list of features and some screenshots. Download (MD5):OpenELEC-Generic.i386-2.0.0.tar.bz2 (162MB).
OK. Let’s put it to the test! First, I am downloading, over my ever-so-slow AT&T DSL connection, a copy of the i386 file which weighs in at a light 162MB.
Like 10 hours later…
Ok great! It has finally downloaded, and I have a box ready to go to get this puppy up and running! Let’s check out the install and then if everything works out, I may just move this to a more permanent fixture in my entertainment center!
For those of you who shun optical media and only use USB, check out this tool! It is called UNetBootin, and it has a simple, step-by-step interface to burn the ISO file to the USB stick for you.
Whooooops! Looks like once you extract all of the files, you have a nifty little batch-file installer to get your USB ready! Awesome!
Quite a pleasant surprise! The stick-installer is right there in the file!
I’m grabbing a 4GB USB I keep laying around, and I’m going to format it so that we have a nice clean USB stick to use for the installer. The download may have only been a few megabytes, but it should expand, so I’d recommend at least a 1GB USB for this. (now that I think of it, I don’t put it past em to be needing a 2GB drive just in case..)
I ran the EXE and motherfucker, wouldn’t you know it, I’m going to need broadband to install this shit I’m betting. Fuck my life. Hang on… Let me grab some internets..
3:24 PM central time.. This is a live post, stay tuned while I get my shit in order.
Ok here is where I am so far.. I have a spare laptop next to me, and it doesn’t boot from USB. The systems that I have that DO boot from USB, are production systems that are already perfectly happy with Debian Linux..
Quite the situation…
Here is my solution.. I found this nifty little Windows command-line hack that will allow me to boot from a USB drive in Virtual Box. I know it is a bitch-move using a VM, but I’m the guy writing, and you’re the guy with a spare box that boots from USB, so calm down. You will need to install the VirtualBox expansion pack before attempting this (if it even works at all).
VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename C:\Users\user\VirtualBox VMs\OpenELEC\OpenELEC.vmdk -rawdisk d:\
The command worked, but I’m getting some lip from Windows or VBoxManage… I’m so close to just abandoning this project.. I’m fucking tired and I JUST needed something simple to write about.
Let me Google this and see what I find. Otherwise, you guys can check out someone else’s blog post who has more luck and money than me. I refuse to update my hardware to allow USB booting for this project.
30 minutes later, a moment of clarity:
Yeah, I’m done. I’m just not that interested in getting this angry over a media center, no matter how zero config it is.
In the end, this is a great product, but my hardware was just not willing to allow me to complete this article. No problem with OpenELEC itself, I’ve just had a shit week and I’m just trying to cruise at the bare minimum posts right now to maintain my SEO rankings and my sanity.
If you want to know more about OpenELEC, let me find some videos for you to check out from bloggers who aren’t complete failures