Tag Archives: xbmcbuntu

The Best Android Remote Control App for Kodi – Kore Software & Sites 29 APR 2015

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been running a XBMC (Kodi) media server at my house for quite some time now, and in fact, I just upgraded to the relatively recently renamed Kodi version of this venerable media server a couple of days ago.

Now although a wireless keyboard and mouse works perfectly fine for controlling the Kodi media server, sometimes you don’t really want to sit will all that bulk lying about your coffee table (not that I have one mind you), which is exactly where the cleverness of remote control apps come into play.

Sadly, the first iteration of the the official XBMC remote control Android app wasn’t a particularly well written, or well supported venture, meaning that the need and thus door for good apps was there – resulting in quite a few being written by enterprising individuals. Indeed, one of the standouts is/was Tolriq’s Yatse XBMC Remote, a fine piece of app development in its own right.

However, the newly refreshed Kodi team saw the lack of love for the official Android remote app and approached developer Synced Synapse with the request for their Kore remote app to become the Kodi project’s new official remote control app – and after downloading and playing with it for a day I can see why!

xbmc foundation kodi android remote control app kore

From the official download page, the Kore team describes the app as:

“Kore is a simple, easy to use and beautiful Kodi / XBMC remote that lets you control your media center from your Android device.

With Kore you can:

...

XBMCbuntu: Recover from “Error: File Not Found. Grub Rescue” Fail Tips, Tricks and Tutorials 04 JUL 2014

The problem with running your Media Center PC on the floor next to the television is that your little three year old girl who likes to do things without any assistance at all, will press every and any button at random in the hopes of loading up My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

One such session caused the boot flag to corrupt on my shiny XBMCbuntu installation, meaning that on boot, the PC simply sat there with the disastrous fail message of “Error: File not found. Grub rescue…” blinking back at me.

Right, so the Grub boot loader is broken. How do we fix?

Well first, you will need a LiveCD, which you should have because you would have used it to setup the media server in the first place. Once you’ve selected the try (no install) option from the LiveCD boot menu (remember, you’ve changed the BIOS to boot up from either the CD or USB drive in order to launch this menu), access a terminal by pressing ALT+CTRL+F1.

You need an Internet connection on the box because the next step is to download and install the very nifty Boot Repair utility:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
sudo sed 's/trusty/saucy/g' -i /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yannubuntu-boot-repair-trusty.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && (boot-repair &)

Note that we manually tweak the apt sources.list to change our entry from trusty to saucy before attempting to grab boot-repair. If you are using an older version of XBMC you can probably skip this, but I’m using XBMCbuntu 13 which is obviously build on top of the Trusty Tahir build of Ubuntu. (The reason for this is that Boot-Repair hasn’t yet been made available for the latest version of Ubuntu)

Also, actually running boot-repair might fail for you (failed to initiated graphics), in which case you need to attempt the following:

Hit ALT+CTRL+F7 to jump back to the visual XBMC application. Select Exit from the shutdown menu, which should then drop you into a Login menu. On the top right of the screen, change the selected login target from XBMC to XBMCbuntu. Login using username = xbmc and password = ” (blank). Once in the desktop, locate and run the boot-repair utility. If you can’t spot it, open the UXTerm terminal and run boot-repair.

With Boot Repair now up and running, click on the “Recommended Repair” option. This will reinstall Grub and set the pointer to point to the correct location, and in so doing fix your boot issue. (If it doesn’t, go into the “Advanced Option” and tinker around a bit to best suit your environment).

boot-repair screenshot

Once you see a message reading “Boot successfully repaired”, you can safely remove the LiveCD or USB drive, and reboot your machine.

Crisis averted, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is back on demand! :)

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XBMCbuntu: How to Automatically Shutdown your PC Tips, Tricks and Tutorials 03 JUL 2014

Because XBMCbuntu is essentially a light-weight Ubuntu install configured to run XBMC at startup, you have access to most of the basic commands that a normal Ubuntu box would have. In other words, you have access to all the normal niceties of Ubuntu – like the crontab, the perfect way of scheduling an automatic shutdown of your XBMC media server. You know, because a) you like the idea of saving electricity, or b) your old hardware powering your media server is a little… well noisy.

Anyway, bring up a terminal by pressing ALT+CTRL+F1. Your login details will be those that you setup during install. If you don’t have those on hand, then you could try the default XMBC root user which has the details of username=’xbmc’ and password=” (blank).

Now to edit the crontab (as sudo of course) to set up our scheduled task:

sudo crontab -e

Add the shutdown rule as follows. In this case, it is set to run the shutdown command every evening at 1 o’clock in the morning – everyone should be asleep by then, movie nights done and dusted for sure! (Obviously you can set whatever times you want, play around a little if you must.)

0 1 * * * /sbin/shutdown -P now

Save the crontab and on exit of the editor, you should see the line saying “Installing new crontab”. You can obviously test the command yourself right then and there by running:

sudo /sbin/shutdown -P now

Although this will of course shutdown your machine. If you just want to jump back to XBMC, hit ALT+CTRL+F7.

A useful tip if your small child isn’t quite capable of controlling XBMC just yet! :)

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Related Link: http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=XBMCbuntu

XBMCbuntu: How to Upgrade Tips, Tricks and Tutorials 02 JUL 2014

I’m kind of fond of using XBMCbuntu on my media-serving PC hooked up to the Samsung flatscreen TV in the lounge, though I have had two epic failures thus far – which I can’t entirely blame on the operating system because I’m running some pretty ancient hardware with wonky drives. Anyway, the point is that I’ve had to reinstall from my install CD a couple of times, which then obviously puts me on a slightly out of date version at the end of the install process.

So the question is, how do I upgrade XBMCbuntu when doing a clean install is not really an acceptable option?

Well actually it is pretty easy – just use Ubuntu’s standard PPA and apt-get system.

First, you need a terminal to work in – ALT+CTRL+F1 will do the trick, though you can also select the Exit option from the XBMC power button menu, change the system selection from XBMC to XBMCbuntu, and log in with your username and password that you set when you first installed the operating system (if you can’t remember, then it is useful to note that XBMC’s root user account is ‘xbmc’ with a blank password).

Now, add the PPA using (You can probably skip this if you originally installed XBMC via an XBMCbuntu ISO):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa

Finally, you simply run the usual apt-get update command (focused of course) to actually update XBMC:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get --only-upgrade install xbmc xbmc.bin

So no surprises there and you should be all done.

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(Just a note though, if you are moving up to v13, then it is suggested that you rather to a clean install, thanks to the myriad of rather substantial changes made audio wise due to a redesigned engine. If you don’t want to do this, then try removing all user configuration files for alsa or any alsa drivers)

Related Link: http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=XBMCbuntu