Solved Intel NUC htpc setup, IR, harmony remote
Tags: Intel NUC d54250wyk, integrated IR receiver, Ubuntu 13.10 (a Linux OS), (Logitech) Harmony (550) remote, xbmc

After about a week of tinkering (mostly trial and error), I finally got my NUC set-up the way I wanted! I had to scour all corners of the internet to find my answers, so I figured I’d try to consolidate my problems/solutions in hopes that someone doesn’t have to spend as much time as I did searching.

System: Intel NUC d54250wyk, Logitech k400 (combined keyboard/touchpad – works right out of the box btw), Ubuntu 13.10, (Logitech) Harmony remote

What I wanted my NUC system to do:
1) boot directly to XBMC
2) use a Linux OS that is user-friendly for a mostly Windows user (don’t judge me Wink – blame it on convenience/ubiquity) that allows an easy-to-access web-browser (I use Chrome) for when I need it
3) use my Logitech Harmony remote to control it when running XBMC.

Problem 1: What do I need besides my NUC (I bought it from TigerDirect btw)?
1) an MSATA SSD (your hard-drive)
2) SODIMM 1.35v ram (I bought a single 4GB – the NUC has slots for two, but the single 4GB was enough for my purposes)
3) a mini HDMI – to full HDMI cable (the mini HDMI transmits video/sound just like a full size, but the NUC has the mini port to save space) (there’s also another display port if you don’t want HDMI, but I can’t remember what it is)
4) Compatible Wireless Card (google it; start here - OR a standard Ethernet Cable (you don’t need both, but can get both if you want – IMO Ethernet is better if you have the option)
5) Keyboard/mouse – wireless is fine (I bought the Logitech k400 and it worked out-of-the-box)

*You DON’T need a power cord (at least in the US, it ships with one; I wasted $7)

Problem 2: How do I install Linux (in my case Ubuntu 13.10) on my NUC (Why a Linux OS? Because Windows boots WAY too slow for my liking – too much extra stuff)
1) Download your preferred Linux OS to a USB stick from PenDriveLinux (google it) (obviously, you’ll have to do this from a different computer)
2) If you have an Ethernet cable, make sure it’s plugged in to your NUC and router/modem
3) Plug the USB stick into your NUC
4) Turn your NUC on – should boot right up (if not, you’ll have to do a hard shut-down by pressing the power button, then press again to turn back on - and enter BIOS via F2 or F12 on start-up and set the computer to boot from USB, then do a hard shut-down/restart again)
5) Follow the on-screen prompts to install

Problem 3: How do I install XBMC on my NUC via Ubuntu?
1) Go to Ubuntu Software Center – search for XBMC – click install
2) Install your preferred add-ons

Problem 4: How do I set up my NUC (running Ubuntu 13.10) to boot directly into XBMC?
1) open a terminal (ctrl + alt + t)
2) copy/paste: sudo gedit ~/.config/autostart/xbmc.desktop
3) enter sudo password (you set it up when you installed Ubuntu)
4) copy/paste in gedit:
[Desktop Entry] Type=Application
Exec=xbmc -d 5 --standalone -fs
5) click “save” and then close gedit
6) restart system (you can just type “reboot” in the terminal you have open)

* Should autostart into XBMC (*Many thanks to “borek-sadlak” via !)

Problem 5: How do I make my NUC integrated IR receiver work while in Ubuntu OS? (The IR receiver on your NUC works, it’s just that Ubuntu isn’t set up to recognize it/turn it on automatically – that’s why it’ll turn your NUC on out of the box, but not work out of the box once Ubuntu boots up. It’s not Intel’s fault/it’s not Ubuntu’s fault- just a quirk when combining the two)
1) open a terminal (ctrl + alt + t)
2) copy/paste: sudo gedit ~/.config/
3) enter sudo password (you set it up when you installed Ubuntu)
4) copy/paste in gedit:
modprobe -r nuvoton-cir
echo "auto" > “/sys/bus/acpi/devices/NTN0530:00/physical_node/resources”
modprobe nuvoton-cir
5) click “save” and then close gedit
6) restart system (you can just type “reboot” in the terminal you have open)

* Should start your NUC integrated IR receiver when Ubuntu loads up (*Many thanks to “aesalazar” via

Problem 6: How do I set up my Harmony Remote to work with XBMC on my newly set-up Intel NUC htpc that auto-boots into XBMC? (the final piece of the puzzle!)
1) Determine what you want (I wanted my Harmony to turn on my NUC and control XBMC with both standard buttons and a simulated mouse)
2) Open your Harmony software - I highly suggest using your computer that you already use to set up your Harmony Remote to set it up via the Harmony software/website
3) Add a device – Computer > Media Center PC > Intel > d54250wyk (change your power settings to leave on – you don’t want it to do accidently do a “hard shut-down” on exit – you can turn your computer off via XBMC)
4) Add a device – Computer > Media Center PC > Microsoft > Windows Media Center SE
5) Add a device – Computer > Media Center PC > Microsoft > XBMC
6) Add an activity – include your TV and all three of the above
7) Customize your buttons:

Standard Buttons:
Channel Down/Up – Windows MCE
Up/Down/Left/Right - Windows MCE
OK – XBMC – Enter
Exit – XBMC – Esc
Stop/Fast Forward/Play/Rewind – Windows MCE
* Pause – Windows MCE – Play (NOT PAUSE – won’t work)
Number buttons: simulate a mouse (awesome!):
1 – Windows MCE – Mouse LUp
2 - Windows MCE – MouseUp
3 - Windows MCE – MouseRUp
4 - Windows MCE - MouseLeft
5 – XBMC – Enter
6 - Windows MCE – MouseRight
7 - Windows MCE – MouseLDown
8 - Windows MCE – MouseDown
9 - Windows MCE – MouseRDown

Additional Buttons:
“Left Click” - Windows MCE – LeftClick
“Right Click” - Windows MCE – RightClick

8) Add an additional command to start your NUC when you power on your tv (b/c we told it to leave it on all the time in step 3)

or install Openelec?

EDIT: no web browser in openelec
Very nice tutorial.

Does anybody know if there is one for openelec ?
There's one on the OpenELEC wiki:

OpenELEC is very nice if you want the XBMC only experience. It really does give the full appliance experience.

The only possible downside is that it really does nothing but run XBMC.

I am very new at this. If I got the system mentioned here, could I add a HDHomerun Prime + Cablecard and use it to record shows? Would it be able to record the movie networks (HBO, etc) provided I have access to them, or would it somehow copy protect them?

Would it be possible to just program everything using the remote and xbmc?

Finally, is there an alternate cablecard unit I should get that is not the hdhomerun prime?
Download the right repositories and/or install the right add-ons and u won't need a cable card. To answer ur question, though, I have no idea if that's feasible or not. I don't know what HDHomeRun Prime is and I don't have cable (b/c I use XBMC).

It's possible to program A LOT of stuff with the Harmony remote, but navigating the Internet is much easier with a keyboard.
Thank you for the post NUC-HTPC - great for getting my harmony going.

Different startup script for Ubuntu, but pretty close - need to parse this command (as seen on an Intel forum):
My solution in step 5 worked for me in Ubuntu 13.10 - b/c the name of the gedit file automatically made it autostart. That being said, looks like your solution worked for you; so those that can't get one to work should try the other.

Did you happen to find a good method for using the harmony to do mouse clicks outside of xbmc? Like setting up an additional device or something? My setup above doesn't register my windows mce clicks when using chrome
I set the mouse buttons similarly to you, but they are really only to get out of a pinch. They cursor is slow and the click is a click+hold, which is frustrating. Anyway I just use a K400 or remote desktop into the thing and configure in the background whild movies are playing.

Some modifications include the XBMCWindowmode control to the "Exit" button (to exit the program fullscreen), and Esc the the "Exit" and "Back" buttons.

I sometimes use xbmc, but honestly I use the semi-commercial fork "Plex" which downloads info from the internet - I suppose there is an xbmc addon to do the same, because Plex is a little buggy (in the UI) on Ubuntu, but the video playback is solid.

I'll keep trying to get the nuvotron thing to work, it is actually not working for me at all no matter how I try to autostart. I never turn the thing fully off, so I have been running the terminal command and then forgetting about it.
& I never suspend mine (I turn it fully off), so that must be where the difference is for us. If you're able to restart it just the once I would say try the gedit auto start file that I have, then reboot it that one time; again, though, I don't know if it'll respond upon resuming from suspend in the future.

I find that I don't use the cursor buttons that much either, for those reasons you said; figured I'd ask though.

Good luck w/getting the ir to respond!
I would say that having to use three of the five harmony 650 devices to make this work is kind of too much. I can at least get on without the "intel media player" buttons to free up one more slot.
If I had time I would figure out how to make a completely custom device at logitech so as to only use the one slot...
I've got a NUC kit arriving tomorrow and intend to build almost the exact same setup. I believe (but am not certain) that the solution isn't on the Harmony side, but rather via keymappings on XBMC. I remember seeing some docs on how to pull this off on Raspberry Pi's ... I'll try to apply that here and share if I learn anything.
I have only added the intel media player device (I3 version though), and I can fully control XBMC. I have the NUC I3.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, NUC-HTPC. Laugh Your guide worked perfect for me to setup my Harmony Logitech 880 remote to work with my Nuc I3 D34010. It does it all, and the mouse will be great in a pinch. This is a great guide. I do have a few other commands I was hoping you could help with.
1. I would like to make my menu button command it to go to windows.
2. I need the skip forward button to skip forward 10 minutes.
3. I need the replay button to skip backward 10 minutes.
4 I need the channel up and down button to page up and down. (I could not find page up or down in the commands in Logitech.)
5. When I hit the power button on the remote the NUC power button goes from solid to blinking. Then when I start the NUC activity it goes back solid and starts up. My questions are; when its blinking is it in sleep, hibernate or what. What is the procedure for just leaving it on all the time in case I ever need for it to stay on for downloading purposes.
NUC I3 Haswell with external 4TB HD, Windows 8.1
Onkyo TX-NR626 Receiver
LG 55" LCD
Cat 6 wired ethernet
Controlled with:
Logitech Harmony 880 remote
Lenovo N5902 remote keyboard/mouse

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