Need some pointers on CrystalBuntu on ATV1
I've been running XBMC on a patched ATV 1 for at least 3 years now (integrated into the Apple Interface) as well as a few Acer Revo's. Recently have stumbled on some threads about replacing the Apple OS with Linux - and specifically CrystalBuntu - but I'm completely new to Linux and want to do some reading and ensure I understand what I'm doing - and that I choose the correct flavor etc. I've comfortable connecting to my ATV via a terminal connection.

Can someone point me towards some links that will help me with the following:
- benefits of replacing the Apple OS on the ATV 1 and/or the pros/cons of doing this
- I found this thread Replace Apple OS on ATV 1 and it notes I can test CyrstalBuntu by booting from the USB - but if I DO replace the Apple OS - can it be restored later? Fairly certain I could do a factory restore (can I?) but sounds like I'd have to do the patchstick route again to get back to whre I am now?
- With CrystalBuntu: assuming it has the drivers/support built on for my Broadcomm CrystalHD card (hence the name CrystalBuntu)?
- saw a post about a new CyrstalBuntu coming with PVR support - not sure I understand what version of XBMC that is - not Eden correct?
- anything else that would help me understand this process...(yeah, I know, vague question).Big Grin

Thanks for any and all assistance and tips.
Unless you actually use the stuff built into the ATV 1 default Apple interface you will only gain XBMC features by switching to Crystalbuntu. I have a Revo, ATV1 (with CrystalHD card and Crystalbuntu), and an ATV2 that is in regular use at my house. The ATV1 with CrystalHD card and Crystalbuntu pretty much holds its own against the Revo in every regard.

I used to run my own ubuntu install on the ATV1 and switched to Crystalbuntu 6 months or so ago. It's a great setup. Sam does an amazing job with it. To be honest it's so automated you really don't need to know much about linux to get it setup and working. Chances are the default setup will work just fine for you, and if not you simply ssh in and run a script which walks you through some settings to change it.

Crystalbuntu is currently running the released build of Eden. He used to ship with pre-eden + PVR support, but has changed Eden to the default. Apparently he's going to add support for nightlies and an eden+pvr build for those who want it via a configuration script.

I'm sure you can replace the default ATV install later on (although not via the built in factory restore since that's all removed). I highly doubt you'll want to.

Yes it supports the CrystalHD card Smile. With full 1080p output unlike when using the default ATV1 OSX install.

Another option is openelec, although I haven't tried it. Crystalbuntu works so well I really have had no reason to try another option.

The crystalbuntu installer will build a USB stick that runs by itself so you can try his build without mucking with the hard disk. It'll be slower, but it should give you an idea of what to expect. After you realize it's amazing just pop the USB stick back into your computer and set it up for a hard disk install and run it on the ATV1 again.
Wow, this sounds great. I didn't realize that 1080p could be achieved if I ditch the AppleOS. Seems ot be a no brainer. I've got an HDHomeRun Prime here also - so the PVR aspect is intriguing. Have not had any time to "play" with my setup so haven't tried out a PVR branch of XBMC - was looking forward to when it is part of the standard release. But if Sam has a version I can use - awesome. I'm assuming one of the prior PVR releases is still kicking about and can be installed? I'm not sure where to look/how to find the release(s).

Also watching the Raspberry Pi progress also...

Thanks for the feedback...need to fnd some time to "play" now :-)
PVR is included again.

Visit Raspbmc website to check my progress on that
I created the USB Patchstick and tested it out this am. Posted something on the STMLabs forum a bit earlier. CPU is running at 100% pretty much all the time - can't play back anything 1080p, 720p coughs and stutters from time to time, menus lag and movies take quite a while to start. None of these issues when running on the ATV OS. The CrystalHD option is enabled in the Video settings but sure seems like the CPU is doing all the heavy lifting. How do I determine if the CrystalHD card is working? I'm going to reboot - not sure what that does since I'm running off the USB drive (for now).

Very hesitant to do the full install as I can't afford to have the ATV out of service...

Here's the XBMC.log file (after a second boot - and in two pieces)
Part 1: XBMC.log part 1
Part 2: XBMC.log part 2

let me know what else to post...

Thanks for any assistance.

I also have questions on how to get started with the PVR functionality...reading everything I can in the meantime but lost when it comes to "front end" "back end" and what I need to do as far as add-ons for the CrystalBuntu PVR version of XBMC. Found some links to an HDHomeRun add-on for XBMC for Linux - but it refers to installing the latest libhdhomerun library but not sure if that is required for the CrystalBuntu install?

Is there a step-by-step out there for getting CrystalBuntu/XBMC and HDHomerun setup?

But I still need to get this CPU utilization issue resolved....Help?
Still hoping somebody can shed some words of wisdom? I've reverted back to the old hacked ATV setup for now...
Like you I've had an ATV1 running XBMC for several years (with CrystalHD) and was fairly confident Id be ok using terminal when required.
I presumed I'd be able to get back to my old setup if things didnt go to plan ...

Unfortunately Ive found myself somewhat stuck.
Things started going wrong when I didnt have the right USB hub and when I couldnt see the whole message on screen due to overscan.
By some miracle the installer just kept resuming and downloading bits and pieces it needed by itself - I was truly astonished when it loaded XBMC !
Its now running from the hard drive, but Im unable to upload anything via SSH (although I did eventually get read access after chaging my usual client {Transmit} to Cyberduck). Ive no idea (my fault) how to go about getting back to the original OS (and the ATVflash state), and Im left thinking that perhaps the install did not finish the way it was meant to. (As when I exit xbmc I dont get any desktop).

Ive just posted about my issues and hopefully someone understands where Im at - but right now Im unable to use my ATV (which was used every night). I assumed that all would be ok and I'd be able to get myself out of trouble. Ouch.

My posting on the forum went missing...well so did my membership info - so just signed back up and re-posted it.

I feel for ya...not sure what all went wrong in your install, mine seems to have gone through with no issues like that. Given it's Linux running as the base OS, there wouldn't be any "desktop" if you exit...probably just a command prompt. When I was running CrystalBuntu off of the USB Drive - I wasn't able to copy anything to the Linux folders either...but I figured that was due to it being on the USB drive ad/or no extra space on the drive? Perhaps it was the same issue as what you had? Haven't looked into that though.

I was reading and the same USB drive creator that made the CrystalBuntu USB drive installer - is supposed to make the ATV OS installer also - so sounds like you can get back to the ATV OS that way -given your state, you may want to try that and I'd be interested to hear how that works.

Good luck...
Thanks for your reply - I think the reason I cant see the command prompt is because my TV overscans ....

Im now able to upload via ssh (sftp) but files only (not folders with files in, or folders with sub folders). Thats annoying but at least I can watch movies. Cant go old fashioned FTP be enabled on crystalbuntu I wonder Huh ANd it would be nice to be able to put the ATV into a low power mode.

I wont go back to the old OS just yet - its only fair to give this (Crystalbuntu) a chance as most people seem to be bowled over by it - but thansk for the tip about USB drive creator etc ...

I guess I should try again to join the forum over at STM labs - it was down just when I started using their software ...

You noted now being able to watch movies again in the same sentence as being able to copy files - are you copying media to the ATV Itself vs. setting up a source to acces media elsewhere on your home network? I don't copy anything to the ATV (or need to) so curious...
Ive not been able to access my local network shares through XBMC for ages - someone recommended actually entering the IP addresses of the shares rather than trying to browse to the locations but Ive not tried that yet ... Ive just been SFTP'ing files onto the internal 160GB drive (another reason being that the ATV is in a room with no network access so I have to take the ATV into another room just to do this). Im considering either extending my wifi with an airport express or using two of those powerline adaptor things that use your electrical sockets. Such a shame the ATV has no more wifi due to the crustal HD card!
I used to stream the files over the network but one of the XBMC updates (or perhaps OSX lion updates) seemed to have broken the link ??
have discovered that SMB filesharing is indeed broken between Lion and XBMC

Im now looking into giving this a go : AtvCloner XBMC Linux Image 26 (see Dynaflash Tech)

looks like it resolves a few issues Ive had ....
(2012-04-11, 11:51)mullum Wrote: have discovered that SMB filesharing is indeed broken between Lion and XBMC

That shouldn't affect the ATV running CyrstalBuntu - no more MAC OS there anymore - I wasn't having any SMB issues running it off the flash drive. Actually shouldn't affect the ATV running the native Mac OS since it's older I believe. I have had the occasional issue connecting to an SMB share but I just ended up adding a new "video source" (once) with my Home Server's static IP address - and have never looked back.

Just wish I could get CrystalBuntu working properly on the ATV - makes no sense to me that others have had no issues but my CPU utilization is maxed?
puulima, have you tried using another USB stick for the Crystalbuntu install ?
I am personally using a Lexar 8GB USB with no problems.

I initially ran out of space on the USB because the Crystalbuntu install only partitioned it as a 4GB drive.
I then burnt a Linux live CD via OSX's disk utlity using this image distribution:

Booted that Linux CD up using the Alt key when booting on the Mac (default run from RAM settings).
Plugged in the USB, ran the Partition Editor Utility in Linux and repartitioned /dev/sdb3 (the largest one) to the maximum it allowed on the USB.
I now have 6.9GB space available for XBMC and its data.
No data was lost from the USB stick either during repartitioning :-)


mullum, Download an App called SMBUp on you MAC to restore Lion SMB sharing functionality. Use default settings when installing, and disable SMB sharing in OSX System Preferences.

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