Making Business Profits With XBMC

I’ve posted many times about XBMC; about how to add it to your Ubuntu repository list and how to fix a installation error and more; And some of you might be wondering why post about free things, simple: because there are ways to profit from (free) open source software like XBMC.

Linux is open source and free as we all know, though did you know that corporations are making huge profits from it? You might have heard of Red Hat, or even Kubuntu and you surely know about Firefox; all of these are open source (which means you can see the source code which runs them), they are all given away from free (as in beer) and yet they still make a profit! How? Well, that’s not really a mystery though it does require you to think outside the box.

One of the things you can do is offer service! You cannot directly sell open source software, because of the license, though you can profit by offering technical support and other services like Red Hat does! There are plenty of places to read about profiting from open source software in general out on the internet or in print, but here I’ll focus in on how you can profit from XBMC.

I’ll cover some of the possibilities and a few of the big no-no’s (legally and ethically).

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XBMC 9.11: Camelot Finally Out!

XBMC has finally hit it’s latest milestone release: 9.11 Camelot. This release marks a great step forward in the media world. Why? Because this release offers plenty of space to create plugins, skins and plenty more.

If you are using Ubuntu or any variant of it, you will already have the update ready in your repository. Simply update the source list and upgrade. In Kubuntu, KpackageIt should handle it nicely. If you don’t have it installed yet, head over to XBMC’s download page to get it.

Here are some of the highlighted updates in this milestone release:

  • Improved skin framework
  • Better support for multi-monitor displays
  • Updated FFmpeg libraries
  • Added Flash support
  • UPnP support
  • Updated and added a lot of scrapers for music and movie information

There are more changes of course, you can read all about this release at their blog here. Also, don’t forget to head to the skinning page to download our choice of great skins here.  Plugins are also essential so grab some good ones here.

Automatically Add XBMC To Your Ubuntu Repository List

A few people been wondering how to easily enable or install XBMC on Ubuntu. It’s rather easy and I have said how to do it before. BUT Ubuntu Karmic makes life a bit easier if the repository used the PPA system.

The old way to add a repository to your source list was to go through the command line or through your favorite gui tool. Through there you had to add the full path to the repository and then add the security key. Now things are simpler:

From the command line you only have to enter this one command and it will take care of everything for you:

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

And … that’s it. It will add the correct repository for you and add the security key. Fun! After you add the repo, don’t forget to update:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get -u dist-upgrade

With this you’ll get all the latest and greatest XBMC updates to your front door and no more security issues! Hurray.

edit: You can access information about the team-xbmc ppa here.

edit2: Also more info about PPA’s and XBMC in the PPA’s here at the XBMC forum.

XBMC Beta 2 Now In Kubuntu Karmic Repos!

Rejoice! The newest latest and greatest version of XBMC is almost out. Their latest release, which hit the repo’s early today morning (for you us in the EU) or late last night for ya’ll back West, is the Beta 2 release.

What is in this glorious Beta 2 release? Well, just like in the Beta 1, it uses (or at least has) their newest theme called “Confluence”. They report that they have fixed around 200 new bugs, a few of which are just some translation fixed and very minor things. But non-the-less 200 in such a short time is great.

Should you upgrade? Oh yes. Why? Because since they started on Beta 1 the XBMC crew as been working tirelessly on bug fixes. Since the release of Beta 2 they have stopped (“frozen” as they call it) any development of new features. So they are no focusing on ironing out the wrinkles.

Update: XBMC 9.11 Camelot FINAL is now out. Read all about it here.

Directly from their page:

As always, head on over to the download page for the latest and greatest. The Ubuntu PPAs will be updated soon. Give it a go, and be sure to submit quality bug reports if you have any issues. Also, please keep great the translations coming!

Be sure to test it out and let them know if anything goes wrong. IF you are using it be aware that it IS beta software (testing stage software) so it can randomly die on you. Though, from my experience so far with Beta 1 and now Beta 2 it is rather darn stable.

So, if you have Ubuntu or any *buntu for that matter, you can get it from the PPA’s. For me, the updated are ‘blocked’ through KPackageIt, so if you have a similar situation just update from the command line by doing:

sudo apt-get -u dist-upgrade

If you don’t have the PPA’s added, you can read about how to add them here: XMBC 9.11 In Ubuntu Karmic Repositories.

One thing I recommend you check out / do … is go get yourself some plugings and extentions installed in XBMC. There are some pretty cool toys to be had. Though, that is also one thing the XBMC people have to fix. The plugin installer ‘thing’ isn’t ready yet. It has a few issues, nothing major. Mostly cosmetic and information issues, but everything will install just fine as long as it’s marked compatible (or the like).

XBMC 9.11 Alpha 2 in Kubuntu/Ubuntu Karmic 9.10

Great news everyone: As fast as the XBMC creaters can push it, the Ubuntu people toss the latests builds into Kubuntu Karmic 9.10.

Currently we are up to XBMC 9.11 Alpha 2.

This news is a little bit late getting out, I this this update come into my repo’s a few days ago. Sorry for the delay.

This new Alpha 2 release sports mostly bug fixes and they state that Alpha 2 is generally ready for “consumption by the general public”. Since Alpha 1 they have ironed out the major bugs (as listed in the Alpha 1 press release) and an assortment of over 100 bug tickets! That’s rather amazing in such a short time.

Edit: Update: XBMC Beta 2 is now out in the Karmic PPA’s. You can read about it here.

There is also a wonderful Live! version available for testing. What is a Live version? It’s a version which you can boot up from a CD (or whatever else you can stick it on properly, generally it comes in a cd ISO) and test it out without ANY need to install it on your computer.

So, if you have the Karmic repositories correctly setup, all you have to do update and upgrade. Via command line it can be done by:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get -u dist-upgrade

Happy movie watching :)

XBMC 9.11 Alpha in Kubuntu And Ubuntu Karmic Repositories! Hurray.

xbmc 9.11 alpha in karmic title Previously I posted about how to get XBMC installed in Kubuntu Karmic 9.10 using the Jaunty repositories and a small work around (here). Today I noticed a update to XBMC in the Jaunty repositories for XBMC 9.11  Alpha (xbmc_9.11~alpha1-jaunty1_amd64.deb to be exact). So I thought, hey … on XBMC’s blog they said a new release won’t be out for Karmic until 9.11 comes, well … 9.11 alpha is out so I thought: what the heck. Might as well try.

Update 2: XBMC 9.11 Camelot FINAL is out now. Download information and news is here.

Update: New XBMC PPA install instructions here.

Edit: Update: XBMC Beta 2 is now out in the Karmic PPA’s. You can read about it here.

So I changed the repository to:

deb karmic main

The only change was “jaunty” to “karmic”. The updated my repo list:

sudo apt-get update

And for kicks did a dist-upgrade to see if anything changed. To my pleasant surprise it did!

$ sudo apt-get -u dist-upgrade
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Calculating upgrade… Done
The following packages will be upgraded:
xbmc xbmc-common xbmc-scripts-example xbmc-skin-pm3 xbmc-skin-pm3-hd xbmc-standalone xbmc-web-pm3
7 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 46.3MB of archives.
After this operation, 53.2kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y

The updated packages are as follows: karmic/main xbmc-scripts-example 9.11~alpha1-karmic1 [410kB] karmic/main xbmc 9.11~alpha1-karmic1 [15.3kB] karmic/main xbmc-standalone 9.11~alpha1-karmic1 [2,734B] karmic/main xbmc-skin-pm3-hd 9.11~alpha1-karmic1 [9,960kB] karmic/main xbmc-web-pm3 9.11~alpha1-karmic1 [1,524kB] karmic/main xbmc-skin-pm3 9.11~alpha1-karmic1 [14.0MB] karmic/main xbmc-common 9.11~alpha1-karmic1 [20.3MB]

So there you have it, the XMBC Alpha release for Karmic. Not a final stable version yet, it still have a few issues with it:

  • Windows: DirectX runtime and Visual C++ 2008 runtime(x86/x64) are required. The installer will be updated to check for these.
  • Windows: ‘Windowed’ shortcut opens in full screen
  • Windows: Non-functional brightness/contrast
  • Windows: Discs inserted before XBMC is launched may not appear correctly
  • Windows: Some videos may not play back as smoothly as on other platforms
  • Linux: VDPAU de-interlacing is known to be broken

A few small issues and “Many of these problems have already been fixed since the alpha1 tag and should be resolved in the next testing release” states the blog.

Hope to see a nice new XBMC soon! Can barely wait; now if we could only get vdpau working 100% correctly and get more videos which required it, I’d be happy :)

No Stable Offical XBMC on Karmic Until A New Version Of XBMC Comes Out

no_xbmc_in_karmic_title XBMC is a beloved application by many. It is cross-platform, running on a multitude of systems ranging from the original Xbox to computers with graphic card processing enhancements. The application is a huge success, going toe to toe with the best that the commercial applications have to offer! One of the great reasons is due to it’s open source nature and mentality. Any and everyone can contribute. With this people are free to design for it, code for it and make it their own. And for a home entertainment center it is extremely important how your entrainment center looks when we bring over guests. It must have the right mood for you and your party.

Edit: Update: XBMC Beta 2 is now out in the Karmic PPA’s. You can read about it here.

One of the best things to do with XBMC is to run it as application ontop of Linux, particularly Kubuntu (or Ubuntu if you’re one of those ‘weird’ Gnome lovers :) ). Up until Kubuntu Jaunty we’ve been able to enjoy XBMC with ease, with Karmic 9.10 it’s a bit more difficult. It’s do-able but takes a little extra work. You can read by post here on how to install XBMC on Karmic.

Now why do I post something everyone knows already? Because not everyone knows this information from the XBMC blog:

Rather than wasting the time and effort required to update the current stable release of XBMC (Babylon) to work with Karmic, we’ve decided to focus on getting a new version out the door.  This means that until the next XBMC release, it is recommended that most users stick with Jaunty.  But there’s no need to panic; despite the fact that it’s taking a bit longer than we had hoped, development is shaping up nicely and the first 9.11 alphas should be rolling out very soon.

Reads: No XBMC in Karmic until new version is out. Darn … So we’ll have to wait a bit. How long? Dunno. We’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully their new version which they claim will have a plethora of new toys and joys will be out soon in Karmic for us to party to very soon.

Happy Partying!

No XBMC in Karmic Yet via the XBMC blog

Install XBMC in K/Ubuntu Karmic With Ease! liblzo1 Library Solved.

xbmc_in_Karmic_title Love XBMC? Need it and want it in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic? But can’t get it installed because of a missing package that won’t install? Search no further, I have your solution here.

First things first, head to the XBMC wiki site and follow the instructions to add the XBMC repository here:

Update 2: XBMC 9.11 Camelot FINAL is out now. Read about it here.

Update: New XBMC PPA’s are up. It’s the new better way to get your XBMC installed (much easier and simpler too). You can read the post about it here.

Edit 2: Update (yey): XBMC 9.11 Beta 2 is now out in the Karmic PPA. Read about the new stuff in it (most bug fixes) and some stuff about it in my post here :).

Edit : Update :: XBMC 9.11 ALPHA is in the Ubuntu Karmic Repositories now. Well … not ‘the’ Ubuntu repos, but in it’s own repos. You can read about how to add the Karmic XBMC Repos in my post here.

Simplified instructions: add the following repo to your apt.sources file (and yes, we are adding the jaunty repo since a Karmic repo does not have XBMC have built yet):

deb jaunty main

Then do:

sudo apt-get update

After that get the PPA keyring to ‘fix’ the authorization message:

sudo apt-get install xbmc-ppa-keyring

Now you’re almost ready to install xmbc, try it with:

sudo apt-get install xbmc xbmc-standalone

If you get this message:

$ sudo apt-get install xbmc-standalone xbmc liblzo1
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Package liblzo1 is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package liblzo1 has no installation candidate

And then you probably tried to install liblzo1 … but couldn’t. Yeah … it’s annoying. You need to install the library and here how.

You need liblzo1 which isn’t available in K/Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic, so you can get it from the jaunty repos here (for the x64 version):

and here for the i386 version:

Install that package first:

sudo dpkg -i liblzo1_1.08-3_amd64.deb


sudo dpkg -i liblzo1_1.08-3_i386.deb

then do:

> sudo apt-get install xbmc xbmc-standalone

This will now finally install XBMC in Kubuntu Karmic 9.10 without issue at all. Enjoy XBMC goodness!

update-edit: added liblzo1 install instructions.