Recommendation for HTPC Linux distro

I've been using XBMC for a few years now and really love it. I currently use it on a windows 8 PC, but have recently been given a few older Acer Netbooks, which i am hoping to set up XBMC/KODI on.
The netbooks are the Acer Aspire 1810 and 1830. I thought that I would give linux a try this time around, because I have found windows 8 to be pretty sluggish on i'm looking for some recommendation on which linux distros would be best suited for this task.

Here is a list of the requirements that I have thought of so far.
  • Be able to easily install XBMC/KODI on
  • Be able to install Google Chrome on - For Netflix playback
  • Be able to install some game console emulators
  • Friendly to users with not tons of linux experience

So far I've tried openELEC, but I couldn't find a way to install chrome or emulators. It's nice and fast which is nice, but a bit too slimmed down.
I've also tried XBMCbuntu, but when i tried to update XBMC to KODI RC1 or install Chrome it said their where missing dependencies, so i think i'd like something a little friendlier for people that don't have alot of linux experience. As an example when i tried Ubuntu a bit ago i was able to install Chrome without any issues and the "Software store" was really nice.

I do have a bit of linux experience but not tons...with that said i'm no stranger to using command's just most of it has been in windows and powershell.

I have heard some decent things about elementaryOS, XUbuntu and Linux Mint

Any recommendations or tips would be greatly appreciated.

I would use xubuntu or lubuntu 14.04 (for long term support).

Or ubuntu minimal, then install what you need, there are a couple of howtos. Again use 14.04 for LTS.

XBMC/KODI make official builds for *buntu, which is why I say to stick with that.

Having said that I am more than happy with openelec, but have no need for netflix - there is a chromium (not chrome) browser for openelec.
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(2014-12-03, 07:17)nickr Wrote: Having said that I am more than happy with openelec, but have no need for netflix - there is a chromium (not chrome) browser for openelec.

Yeah i used openelec for a while and was pleased with the speed and ease of setup to run xbmc, but since there were a few other things that i wanted to use it for in addition to running xbmc, it wasn't as friendly for that.

I'll try a few ubuntu based distro's as you've suggested and see which one i like best. I tried elementaryOS which is a ubuntu based distro and it was pretty easy to set up chrome and KODI RC1
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