Install Live XBMCbuntu Eden to disk
whew... to start I am new to XBMC so, if this is already known info just ignore me :-)

I spent nearly all weekend trying to get XBMC going on my new mini-itx setup. I ended up going with an E350 AMD, 4gb of memory, booting from an 8gb micro sd card and a slick set top box that supports a full 5.25 drive (those slim drives are just too expensive).

Anyway, at first I was just going to use the Live cd which is 10.1 right now and install to my usb drive. But, I was having tons of issues with video drivers and extremely sluggish menu and play back. Audio was also not working properly... basically, i was in driver hell. I spent a great deal of my weekend researching for fixes, installing packages, etc.. (found out that AMD/ATI is probably not the best idea for the linux variant of XBMC since the driver packages install is hacky at best). I then tried to do my own minimal install of ubuntu as I found a good wiki that described how to do this and ways to troubleshoot ( Unfortunately, this was also a failure... i got the video working properly but the audio was still not working. I spent some time hacking around with drivers and was about to give up as its sunday and my time for fun weekend projects was coming to an end. Then, I remembered the XBMCbuntu 11.1 eden beta 3 Live ISO on the downloads page and figured i would give that a whirl... I downloaded the ISO, burned it to a CD and sure enough it booted straight into XBMC (didnt prompt me at all) and everything was working flawlessly. Excited at this result I wanted to install it and get everything setup to sit back, relax and watch a movie... as you can imagine with the suspense I am building here this was not the end of my journey.

When booting the XBMC 10.1 Live CD it prompts asking you to install to disk which worked very well and took minimal time and effort as its all installed for you. But, for some reason the new XBMXbuntu 11.1 eden beta 3 Live CD does not prompt you.. it just goes right into loading XBMC which doesnt really work well since the Live setup will not save your settings and it takes longer to boot from CD.

At this point I found myself determined as a shook my fist and shouted out a list of obscenities. I then went back to doing some more research and I found mention of using UNetbootin to install ISOs from USB instead of CD. So, i figured i would give this a shot and maybe it would offer a faster load time and maybe if im lucky the ability to save my settings since it would be loading from a writable source. (I never did try this to see if booting straight from USB ISO would work, but I noticed an interesting option while "burning" the ISO with UNetbootin. There is a setting right above the drive selection in UNetbootin that will allow you to partition an extra volume to the thumb drive... in the program it says its only supported by Ubuntu and will allow you to save files and settings, so that option might work)

So, i downloaded UNetbootin (, inserted a flash drive and "burned" the ISO to the drive. This next bit was the game changer... on booting with the UNetbootin USB drive a boot loader prompts you (like grub or any other boot loader) and you have a few options... "Boot without Installing XBMC" and the second more interesting option "Install XBMC" (those arent the exact titles listed, I cant remember as I am writing this out). Selecting this option then launches the installer process, you answer some questions and it does its thing. (note you will have to use a regular computer monitor for this... at first i had it hooked up with HDMI to my TV and the text in the XBMC installer was super tiny and unreadable).

The installer took a long time, but i think this is from my use of a flash drive as the install media... I dont like the heat and noise of spinning drives and im to cheap for SSD when I have other things sitting around the house that I can use.

Anyway, after the install was done, rebooted and everything is working properly. So, im not sure if i was missing something on the boot CD or the Live CD is missing a boot loader that will prompt to ask you to do a full install. I figured this might be helpful for others running into similar problems, until Eden is final the beta has been the answer for me... the driver support is WAY better (at least for AMD/ATI), everything was built in and I didnt have to touch a thing other than install and importing my media.

Now I am sitting back listening to some music from XBMC, *sigh* so happy everything is working. Now, to import all my movies from the NAS and sit back with a beer :-)
i had the same issue trying to find the install prompt. However, at booting up screen i was getting the ubuntu wireless keyboard screen (purple background with a little keyboard and i think a little person) at this screen i pressed enter on the keyboard, it prompts you for a language and then gives you the option to test xbmc or install. So that is how you access the install options menu.

Unfortunately for me once installed i am getting an error message saying xbmc need openGL hardware acceleration. So i am now in driver hell. maybe i'll try the unetbootin approach and boot from a flash drive since everything worked fine when i was booting from the cd.

Unless someone has a suggestion as to how to fix my video drive problems.
The_Ross_ Wrote:... So i am now in driver hell. maybe i'll try the unetbootin approach and boot from a flash drive since everything worked fine when i was booting from the cd.

Unless someone has a suggestion as to how to fix my video drive problems.

I had some issues myself regarding malfunctioning video drivers....

I managed to get my issues solved so maybe you can get some pointers from that tread:

The issues I had referred to an Intel chipset/graphics platform, and may not at all be similar to your hardware. But some of the suggested methods of enabling the video drivers are pretty similar, regardless of manufacturer or computer-brand...

In the end I solved my issues by updating my video drivers from the "edgers" repository (find instructions at last post in the thread above), I upgraded my entire system with drivers from that repo (which may NOT be a generally good idea), but that along with some other stuff at last sorted my problems...
A word of warning though...

Cut and paste off of Xorg-edgers launchpad site: (
Quote:"Packages for those who think development versions, experimental and unstable are for old ladies. We want our crack straight from upstream git! Well, straight, we want it built and packaged so we don't need to know what we're doing, except that we will break our X and put our computers on fire."
I updated my drivers from the edgers ppa and things seem to working now. Thanks for the tip!
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