XBMC

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XBMC

Postposted on Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:07 am

Ok, everyone here probably knows that XBMC 11.0 just came out and a lot of us have been toying around with it, me included. Before I go on I must say it has some of the prettiest OS desktop environments I've ever set my eyeballs on. However, I feel disappointed that it may not be the OS I was hoping it could be. I've been playing with it on my Lenovo G470 laptop which I intend to use for web browsing, watching videos, scanning potentially dangerous flash drives for viruses with instead of my Windows machine, as well as running some office programs like LibreOffice.

1. I can't seem to be able to copy files from my external hard drive. I created a / partition as well as a /home (and swap) partition as per standard practice, but I can't do any copying from the external drive to /home/movies or any other location. Am I missing something here?

2. I noticed that volume levels on movies (haven't tried music yet) are quite weak. I'm familiar how loud my movies play on my systems and no matter how much I crank up the volume slider in the movie player, it's just too weak.

3. Now, I know XBMC is designed for HTPC use, but it has a program launcher which you can add, so I expect that it can also play ball with other purposes, namely, perhaps an office suite and an antivirus such as Avast!. Any idea how I can do this? Does the .iso come with an office suite such as LibreOffice?

4. Trying to find a back door with which to copy files to my /home partition, I tried exiting XBMC and into the standard Ubuntu desktop, but the system just hangs up with a black screen every time I try to do so. Oh boy.

Any help would be much appreciated. And if XBMC is not for laptop use, any suggestion for a nice looking, graphically slick (read: 3D effects) OS would be appreciated as well. Thanks!
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Re: XBMC

Postposted on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:03 pm

ronch wrote:Ok, everyone here probably knows that XBMC 11.0 just came out and a lot of us have been toying around with it, me included.

Actually, I wasn't aware. Cool! Any link(s) you can provide us with?

ronch wrote:Before I go on I must say it has some of the prettiest OS desktop environments I've ever set my eyeballs on. However, I feel disappointed that it may not be the OS I was hoping it could be.

OS? I wasn't aware of this. I thought it was just an application which NEEDED an OS (linux/windows) to run off of, is it stand-alone now? :o

ronch wrote:Now, I know XBMC is designed for HTPC use

The only way I've utilized XMBC is with Boxee so far... I installed XMBC on my Ubuntu once and didn't like it. Boxee was far more superior in every way.
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Re: XBMC

Postposted on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:05 pm

I didn't care for boxee. The interface felt awkward and it didn't stack my tv shows properly.
I'm gonna try downloading the new xbmc tonight and give it a test drive.
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Re: XBMC

Postposted on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:39 pm

ronch wrote:Ok, everyone here probably knows that XBMC 11.0 just came out and a lot of us have been toying around with it, me included. Before I go on I must say it has some of the prettiest OS desktop environments I've ever set my eyeballs on. However, I feel disappointed that it may not be the OS I was hoping it could be. I've been playing with it on my Lenovo G470 laptop which I intend to use for web browsing, watching videos, scanning potentially dangerous flash drives for viruses with instead of my Windows machine, as well as running some office programs like LibreOffice.


I use XBMC for my HTPC. So I'll help where I can.

ronch wrote:1. I can't seem to be able to copy files from my external hard drive. I created a / partition as well as a /home (and swap) partition as per standard practice, but I can't do any copying from the external drive to /home/movies or any other location. Am I missing something here?

You are probably using the XBMC+Ubuntu Iso. It's merely meant to have a full fledged OS under XBMC but it might not be the best option for a desktop replacement. Your best bet to use Xbuntu + a ppa of XBMC. Xbuntu is thin enough where you won't have compiz sapping your GPU performance and yet it's probably more solid for using it for other purposes.

ronch wrote:2. I noticed that volume levels on movies (haven't tried music yet) are quite weak. I'm familiar how loud my movies play on my systems and no matter how much I crank up the volume slider in the movie player, it's just too weak.

Before firing up XBMC go to the volume panel app in the top right. Adjust your sound levels there before starting XBMC.

ronch wrote:3. Now, I know XBMC is designed for HTPC use, but it has a program launcher which you can add, so I expect that it can also play ball with other purposes, namely, perhaps an office suite and an antivirus such as Avast!. Any idea how I can do this? Does the .iso come with an office suite such as LibreOffice?

Use the aformentioned Xbuntu or just straight Ubuntu first. It will have all the programs you need. Try clam anitvirus.

ronch wrote:4. Trying to find a back door with which to copy files to my /home partition, I tried exiting XBMC and into the standard Ubuntu desktop, but the system just hangs up with a black screen every time I try to do so. Oh boy.

Shouldn't be a problem with full fledged Ubuntu. But if it's a problem, the OS might be mounting your external read only. You can sudo chmod 777 -R / chown user:user -R and that should take care of it. If it doesn't you can create a dir (mkdir) and force your external to mount using the newly created dir with the aforementioned access.

Personally Ubuntu's Unity is crap with compiz's perf bugs. I use GS and don't have some of the problems I've had with Unity.
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Re: XBMC

Postposted on Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:38 am

Thanks for the replies, folks. My individual (and personalized) replies below :

Thegleek : Hi, the link is http://www.xbmc.org. I made the mistake of calling it an OS desktop environment, since it's not an OS. For an application environment though, it has some really cool effects. I wish there are more OSes out there that look just as cool, if not more!

KC77 : Yeah, I realized I really can't do much with XBMCbuntu apart for HTPC use, so I scrapped the whole thing, installed Ubuntu 11.10, and just installed XBMC. XBMC has no package installer yet so you just have to follow the commands posted on http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=In ... _for_Linux. A bit of a drag, since I'm not very fond of Linux console commands. Once installed, it runs well enough on my Lenovo G470 (Core i5-2450M, 4GB, Intel HD3000 + AMD HD6370M Switchable Graphics ... although I think the HD3000 is the GPU active under Ubuntu all the time). With XBMCbuntu, I can't get into the regular Ubuntu desktop environment to adjust the main volume control. Now with XBMC installed on Ubuntu 11.10, the volume level is just fine. Haven't compared it to Ubuntu's built-in media player though, but the Windows version is similar when compared to Windows Media Player (Win7 x64) on my desktop. My desktop uses a Realtek ALC889 codec while my Lenovo laptop uses one from Conexant (not sure of the codec's model no.), so I'm not really sure what applies for my desktop also does for my laptop.

.......

My problem with antivirus apps for Ubuntu 11.10 is that I downloaded the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 11.10, and Avast!, which I've been using for a couple of years now, just wouldn't install (it's 32-bit and I can't find a 64-bit version). AVG also wouldn't install (it's apparently also 32-bit). Have to look for a 64-bit antivirus... any suggestions?

And oh yeah, this is the first time I am using the new GNOME. Before this I've been using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for the longest time. I don't know if it's just me, but I find the new style of putting the drop down menus for each and every app on top of the screen simply annoying. I kinda like the old GNOME better. Simple and straightforward. It just feels more natural and intuitive.

Sorry if I've wandered a bit off topic (XBMC --> antivirus and Gnome), but I don't think posting a new thread about something I just wanna touch on a little bit would be needed.
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Re: XBMC

Postposted on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:01 pm

ronch wrote:My problem with antivirus apps for Ubuntu 11.10 is that I downloaded the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 11.10, and Avast!, which I've been using for a couple of years now, just wouldn't install (it's 32-bit and I can't find a 64-bit version). AVG also wouldn't install (it's apparently also 32-bit). Have to look for a 64-bit antivirus... any suggestions?

Unfortunately not. We use Clam to scrub file shares, more so for the Windows Clients... not so much for Linux/Unix.

ronch wrote:And oh yeah, this is the first time I am using the new GNOME. Before this I've been using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for the longest time. I don't know if it's just me, but I find the new style of putting the drop down menus for each and every app on top of the screen simply annoying. I kinda like the old GNOME better. Simple and straightforward. It just feels more natural and intuitive.

That's Unity. Not G3 or more precisely that's Unity not Gnome Shell. Gnome Shell which I've been using for a year now is A) faster than Unity B) has plug-ins to give you alot of the functionality you expect and C) pretty darn stable (more so than KDE)... at least on Nvidia Cards. They share basic concepts but GS is executed far better than the Unity+Vala mess that I've toyed around with.
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Re: XBMC

Postposted on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:23 am

kc77: Thanks for the heads up. I just cant stand unity. Scrapped the whole idea. Back on Win7 now.
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