Linux -  Build a basic XBMC Eden and Ubuntu config based on the Llano platform
I prepared this guide for anybody interested in building a basic HTPC configuration using XBMC Eden and Ubuntu, based on the Llano platform. I selected Ubuntu Oneiric with XBMC Eden as my basic media center configuration, as this seems to be a stable combination.

As I had to go through the process of configuring my system a number of times to get it correct, I thought it would be worthwhile for others to have this step by step guide.

I put in references to information sites for further reading, or background information.

I’m not an Ubuntu expert, so some of the steps might be more efficiently done in another way. But in my experience, if you follow the steps given below, you should be able to get your media center up and running without much hazzle. The whole process takes a few hours (excluding downloading the basic components).

Mobo: GigaByte GA-A75M-UD2H
Case: Antek NSK2480
CPU: A6-3500
Lite-On IHOS104 Bluray player
Seagate Barracuda 5900.3 2 TB
MCE remote (look alike) VRC-1100

Use case
media center, playing blurays and dvd's, playing any video file format, Windows file server for video files, playing around with Ubuntu (that's why I did not select an integrated package like OpenElec, or XBMCBuntu).

General Ubuntu guides referenced
Ubuntu Oneiric
Ubuntu documentation (Dutch)

Phase 1 – install Ubuntu and basic utilities

System: Ubuntu 11.10 x64 Installation CD, downloaded from here.

Step 1. Install Ubuntu

Step 2. Enable SSH from Ubuntu terminal (as you cannot TELNET into Ubuntu before having installed SSH)
Open terminal in Ubuntu: CTRL-ALT-t

sudo apt-get install openssh-server openssh-client

Further reading can be found here.

Step 3. Update Ubuntu to latest packages
Information can be found here.

Step 3a. Update Ubuntu
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 3b. Install restricted packages
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Step 3c.Install restricted library/packages for playing encrypted DVD’s
sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/

Step 3d.Install graphics drivers
I found the graphics device is not detected automatically. The Ubuntu desk does not fit the TV screen correctly.

In Ubuntu select: System Settings -> Additional Drivers
Select ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver

More information can be found here.

Note I did not install the Radeon proprietary Catalyst driver. This driver seemed to introduce problems with playing BluRays. I did not further investigate this.

To check whether the fglrx driver is working, open a terminal and type:

More information can be found here.

Set Tear Free in the AMD CCC (Ubuntu desktop), Display Options. This also sets Wait for vertical refresh to ‘always on’.

Step 3e. Install VLC Player (if you wish, as you are already going to install XBMC)
sudo apt-get install vlc

Step 3f. Install the Synaptic Package Manager
sudo apt-get install synaptic

More information can be found here.

Step 3g. Tweak to your likings
If you would like to tweak Ubuntu some more, here you can find some suggestions I liked. Specifically, I installed the XScreensaver, and added Quicklist.

Phase 2 – install and configure Samba
General info can be found here.

Step 1. Install Samba
sudo apt-get install samba samba-tools system-config-samba smbfs

Step 2. Configure Samba
Enable File Sharing Server With User Login

Step 2a. Add current user to Samba
sudo smbpasswd -a username
(replacing username with your login username)

Step 2b. Open the samba config file
sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

Step 2c. Add the directories to be shared (right at the end) in the following format. Parameters should make sure the folder is accessible from any Windows machine in your local network.
[foldername you choose]
path = ~/Public
public = yes
only guest = yes
writable = yes
printable = no

In this case the folder ~/Public will be shown as "foldername" by Samba.

Step 2d. Restart Samba
sudo service smbd restart
sudo service nmbd restart

The folder [foldername] can now be accessed through \\[ip of your media center]

It seems necessary to add sharing options in the Ubuntu graphical interface. Commands:
Select Home Folder
Right-click [foldername]
Select Sharing Options.

Phase 3 – install XBMC 11 Eden with bluray support

Step 1. Install xbmc
More information can be found here.

Make sure to have multiverse repository enabled (see this). In Software Sources/Ubuntu Software check ‘multiverse’.

You could use use the latest stable release for Ubuntu Oneiric. More information can be found here. I actually used Rennie Waldock's 'old-stable' which seems well behaved in an Ubuntu 11.x environment.
sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nathan-renniewaldock/xbmc-old-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Reboot the system

In case of problems with XBMC, check the logfile. More information can be found here.

To be able to play m4v files, I had to switch off VAAPI support in Confluence: System > VIdeo > Playback > Allow hardware accelaration (VAAPI).

Step 3. Install MakeMKV for bluray support

Step 3a. Download prerequisites and sources.
More information can be found here and here.

sudo apt-get install build-essential libc6-dev libssl-dev libexpat1-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libqt4-dev

Step 3.b Install MakeMKV
Unpack both packages and starting from source package do the following steps for each package:
tar -xvf makemkv_v1.7.6_bin.tar.gz && tar -xvf makemkv_v1.7.6_oss.tar.gz
make -f makefile.linux
sudo make -f makefile.linux install

The application will be installed as "/usr/bin/makemkv".

Step 3c. Install the Bluray plugin for XBMC
More information can be found here and here.

Download the plugin anywhere you like.

Install the ZIP file through XBMC: System > Addons > Install from zip file

More information can be found here.

You may need to create a settings.conf in /home/xbmc/.MakeMKV. This could look like:
# MakeMKV settings file, written for vx.x.x

aacs_KeyFilesDir = ""
app_DestinationDir = ""
app_Key = "actual Beta key ...... "
app_ShowDebug = "1"
bdplus_DumpDir = ""

You can find the current beta key here.

If you want to play around with skins this is probably a good place to start.

Phase 4 - configure remote
My remote seems to work right out of the box.

If yours doesn't, you might need to make modifications to the following files. More information on LIRC can be found here.

LIRCD.CONF; transformation of hex code to LIRC key code. More information can be found here.

LIRCMAP.XML; transformation of LIRC key code to button string. More information can be found here.

REMOTE.XML (for Ubuntu 11.10); transformation of button string to XBMC action. More information can be found here and here.

Hardware.conf; link of <devinput> to remote device (physical address).

Phase 5 - enable hardware accelaration
See separate post (reply).

Phase 6 - start playing around.
Enjoy your media center !
Very interesting guide, thank you
Thanks. Wanted to do 'something back'.

In the mean time I've experienced two issues, one of which is solved:
a. Samba folders became inaccessable for 'write'. Updated the HOW-TO by adding a number of parameters to SMB.CONF to make sure 'any' user can access the folder.
b. XBMC freezes on exit. Internet discussions point to issues with hardware acceleration. A quick fix was to switch off VAAPI.
c. Managed to enabel hardware acceleration now. See reply post.
After some research I managed to enable hardware accelaration.

Phase 5 - Enable hardware accelaration
Hardware video acceleration is only enabled if you are using the binaries from ATI, either install them using the Additional Driver tool or manually from the ATI site. I used the last method. Google the internet for pro's and con's. I found this and this site helpful.

Before installing any drivers you need to install some dependencies to your system, by running this command:
sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++6 dkms libqtgui4 wget execstack libelfg0 dh-modaliases

You will need to remove all the current fglrx packages from your system.
sudo sh /usr/share/ati/
sudo apt-get remove --purge fglrx fglrx_* fglrx-amdcccle* fglrx-dev*

Download the newest ATI driver (current version when I did this was 12.6) and set it to run as executable.
cd ~/; mkdir catalyst12.6; cd catalyst12.6/
chmod +x

If you have a 64 bit system only, then install this before anything. See here for more info.
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs-multiarch:i386 lib32gcc1 libc6-i386
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

On 64-bit systems, create a symlink from /usr/lib64 to /usr/lib
sudo ln -svT lib /usr/lib64

Use these steps to create and install .deb packages
sudo sh ./ --buildpkg Ubuntu/oneiric
sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb

If building .deb packages fails, there is also an Alternative Manual Installation, documented here.

Once the driver is installed you need to start up a new xorg.conf file with this command. This is a generic config which will work for most people. You can find other configs here.
sudo aticonfig --initial -f

sudo reboot

Test your installation (open a terminal on the desktop using Ctrl-Alt-T for this).

On my system the output looks like:
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 6530D
OpenGL version string: 4.2.11733 Compatibility Profile Context

Now, try

If you experience issues or a hang, you may need to disable fast TLS.
sudo amdconfig --tls=0

For more troubleshooting options see here.
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Build a basic XBMC Eden and Ubuntu config based on the Llano platform52