December 20, 2011
How to build a HTPC with XBMC and Ubuntu - part 3

Finally, we can setup XBMC, which is actually a trivial thing to do.

As we said, we will install the XBMC standalone, aka XBMC live. This is because we want to run just on top of X and the standalone version is just spot on.

Before we setup XBMC, a couple of final tweaks.

First, let’s create the xbmc user:

sudo adduser xbmc —gecos XBMC

and add it to a few groups:

sudo usermod —group adm,sudo,cdrom,floppy,audio,video,plugdev

Now, it turns out that there is no actual ppa for Ubuntu 11.10 from the XBMC team. We need to get it from another source. The XBMC team is kindly pointing us to this german page where we understand we need to run the following:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:nathan-renniewaldock/xbmc-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc-live

Now you want XBMC to autostart when you log on.

So, log off and log on again as the xbmc user we just created.


xinit xbmc-standalone

And you should be done!

My DELL pc now boots and in like 20 secondsĀ I am greeted by the XBMC interface. This is really cool!


The final touch is to send audio over the HDMI cable. This is what I did for my NVIDIA card.

First, install alsa and pulse audio:

sudo apt-get install alsa-utils pulseaudio

Then, you need to run alsamixer and make sure channels are not muted:

sudo alsamixer

Press F6 to select the NVIDIA card:

Select the NVIDIA card and then make sure the SPDIF channel is not muted - “MM”. If it is, just press “M” and check it goes to “00”:

You should now be OK.


  1. spassig posted this