[Linux] - General query + Getting XBMC to run in gnome environment first HTPC build
#1
Question 
Ok so I'm new to both Ubuntu and XBMC - and these forums which look pretty comprehensive.. i'm just having trouble understanding how things work!

Currently running them both on a laptop but I have all the parts ready, nearly, to build my first HTPC.

My thoughts are to install Ubuntu 11.10 desktop and then obviously XBMC as well.

My reasoning behing this is that I want to do three things:
1. Use it as a media server - probably hosting via SFTP (I'd also be able to do smart backups using this method once i've done the initial sync)
2. Have a torrent client running + a combination of dropbox and rrs feeds that can download things I want while i'm away
3. Be able to open XBMC and watch things WITHOUT stopping the above two processes.

So far the stage i've got to is when I open XBMC via applications > sound and video > XBMC what I get is a full screen app
I can then use this but as soon as I do anything it goes back to the loging screen and basically makes me choose to use the XBMC desktop environment to be able to carry on.. By doing this i'm closing everything that was running in my gnome envrioment.

What should I do?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated too re the entire setup!

Specs for the HTPC are here:
Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3Ufz

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($65.31 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling ACALP64 Pro 36.7 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus M4A88T-M Micro ATX AM3 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($21.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($167.27 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($36.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $451.52
(Generated 2012-01-22 09:10 EST-0500)
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[Linux] - General query + Getting XBMC to run in gnome environment first HTPC build00
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