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Hello All,

I am working on making a VM on my ESXi server that can handle XBMC. My goal is set it up on a VM and have it simply act as a media server to my XBOX 360. I have already tested it and have it working on a desktop of mine, but I wish to move it to a VM to keep it running 24/7 and get it off my desktop as I don't need to see it everyday.

Trouble is it seems the hardware acceleration on the VM is not working properly. I have tested installing XBMC on Windows 7 & Ubuntu versions 10.04 & 11.04, none work efficiently, as the mouse on screen becomes nearly impossible to operate. I have searched the forums and google and it seems to be a case of the hardware acceleration. I have installed the VMWare tools on all 3 VMs as I thought this would help. I have also installed a variety of nvidia drivers on the ubuntu VMs to test that theory, no such luck and instead it errors telling me I have incorrect drivers installed. The Win 7 machine gave a cryptic error that according to most threads seems to be related to viewing the machine via a remote desktop client. As a VM, this is the only way to view it.

I would like to know if anyone has attempted this and successfully gotten it to work. Thank you for viewing my thread and thank you if you have any advice.
its probably impossible to get it running smoothly in a VM. The reason for this is the hardware abstraction that does not allow direct hardware access to the GFX card.

If all you want is a media server you will be way better off using a real media server like tversity, ps3mediaserver, mediatomb, twonky etc.
All those run as daemon without need for a (full screen) gui and also do transcoding, which is really important, specially for clients like xbox360 or PS3.
Is there anyway to just remove that sweet GUI on XBMC. I really like how XBMC organizes my videos and I believe I would have a hard time giving it up.
The trick I've found to running XBMC in a VM under ESXi is to always keep it minimized. If it's rendering the screen it will suck up 100% of whatever vCPU capacity you allow it. I'm running under Ubuntu 11.04 using KDocker to minimize XBMC to the tray. Mouse performance is still poor, but there's really no reason to interact with it directly once it's set up, and that you can do with the keyboard, which is slightly more responsive. Set up XWMM for library management and trigger your library updates via the webserver or the Auto update plugin, or just have Sickbeard/Couchpotato do so.
I have noticed I could navigate the GUI for awhile, but Holy WOW its sooo slow. I have a few, perhaps, newbie ?s for you, what is KDocker & XWMM. And where can I get a plug-in to do the auto-updating. Clearly if I could get these to work, I would be golden and do just as you said and never deal with this VM every again...
i presume your installing the vmware tools and or virtual-box additions... It will run slow but as xbmc only needs opengl for GUI should be sufficient

if your using mouse try the settings on the VM.

idk I changed to virual box and though I had some issues at first now seems to be working fairly well for pissing about with.

I do believe the best advice and simplest is what wsnipex said, as it makes most sense and its doesn't require any great video resources.

Please dont ignore good advice like that.
I personally would just use a VM and have it running as a file server and share via SMB.

However could you run XBMC as a service using srvany explanation here

If so then no GUI will show but you would have to configure everything up front and get the library to auto update unless you can script it command line.

Just an idea...
The possibilities for using XBMC inside a VM change with Gotham (13.0) because with "Play Using" you can use a device such as a TV or BluRay or AVR player to render the audio or video and thus XBMC just becomes something with which to browse content with (and a mighty fine browser it is at that!) With XBMC just working as a streamer and not as a renderer, there is no requirement for access to hardware.

So if you've got a late model TV set that can act as a DLNA renderer, grab the latest edition of Gotham and offload the rendering of your multimedia assets to something else and give your DLNA host a holiday Smile
You can also use a video card in passthrough to the VM in ESXi to handle the GUI.
I really have no idea what issue is, running xbmc inside a vm is totally possible, however video playback acceleration may not be possible, I have quite a few vm's and the few that have xbmc in windows/linux all run ok as long as guest additions or VMware Tools or whatever the equivalent in the VM software used is, are installed and configured properly.
(2014-02-25, 16:27)iharobike Wrote: [ -> ]You can also use a video card in passthrough to the VM in ESXi to handle the GUI.

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This. The proper way to get hardware accelerated anything in a VM is to pass through the device. Works fine for me.