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post #1 of 44 Old 05-29-2007, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Help wanted: As you may or may not have heard, a few developers on Team-XBMC have begun the porting of XBMC to Linux and OpenGL using the SDL toolkit. The goal is for this to become a full port of XBMC containing all the features and functions available in the Xbox version of XBMC. This is a huge task which is why we are making this public request, seeking C/C++ programmers to volunteer in assisting us with this Linux porting development project. Whether you have contributed to The XBMC Project in the past or not, please consider doing so now. Those of you who are completely unfamiliar with XBMC can get a good overview of what XBMC offers for its end-users by reading through the "XBMC" article on Wikipedia

The XBMC code structure uses a fairly modular design (with libraries and DLLs), and we think that there are enough modules/libraries to keep a wide skill-level range of developers busy in the porting of them all. So please, take a look at the source code, then with the help of our Linux port To-Do list assess where the porting stage is today and see if there's any areas you'd be willing to help out. Note that we are not abandoning the Xbox hardware - XBMC will be a cross-platform software application, supporting both the Xbox and normal computers, (the 'old' Xbox still have a good amount of years to live we hope). Developers who would like to volunteer should read the Linux porting development project article in the official XBMC WIKI for more detailed information.

Note to all end-users! Please understand that this Linux port project is not yet mature enough for you as an end-user to play with, no media can even be played back yet. We can not yet give you an ETA as to when it will be useful for end-users. Respect that we can not accept any bug-reports or feature/function-requests for this Linux port yet.
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post #2 of 44 Old 05-29-2007, 02:08 PM
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that's absolutely fantastic.

i'm still using an old xbox after all these years for a digital music player. XBMC on my mac mini with linux would be a great replacement .
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post #3 of 44 Old 05-29-2007, 05:55 PM
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Excellent news. I've been looking for something to replace my trusty XBMC box. Considered AppleTV and PS3 with 1.80 but this news puts those plans on indefinite hold.

I wish I could help. Thank you guys so much. XMBC is excellent in every way.

!
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post #4 of 44 Old 05-29-2007, 07:50 PM
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xbmc is a great front end even has some nice mythtv plugins
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post #5 of 44 Old 05-30-2007, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI:

Though to early to set in stone but Apple TV will probabely be choosen as the 'low-end' reference hardware platform.
* Low-end: meaning cheap (

High-end (
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post #6 of 44 Old 05-30-2007, 04:51 AM
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Ok, but with mythtv and freevo, what does xbmc provide that the others don't?
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post #7 of 44 Old 05-30-2007, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Simply put, 'simplicity' and 'easy of use', ...and I like to say; userfriendliness is next to godliness

I highly suggest you checkout the whole Wikipedia article => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBMC
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post #8 of 44 Old 05-30-2007, 08:30 AM
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Yeah, I've been using it for years and it's got what most programs lack - total ease of use, and no power is sacrificed at all to get it. Once this thing is ported and goes mainstream, people are going to wonder where in the hell such an excellent program came from and how they'd missed it for years. Everyone I ever show it to always has that look of astonishment and delight on their face.

Sure, there are other media players, but they are a pain without exception. Once I started using XBMC I've never looked back - anything else on any platform would be an unacceptable downgrade. I think XBMC and MythTV have a lot in common, and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the folks rolling the LinuxMCE distribution merge them into a killer package. The plugins are already there.

Once the linux port is finished, the first thing I will be doing is installing Xentoo on my original xbox and loading XBMC under there if possible. It would be wonderful to get away from the limitations of Microsoft's xbox filesystem and operating system.

If this thing comes out as an official package endorsed (even if not supported) by a hardware vendor I'll take a very serious look at their package. This is rather like Rockbox for MP3 players - the community crafted user interface and player seems to always trump the corporate ones.

It would be wise to consider the business side of this. With a CableCARD and a future version of this product one could take back one's television set from the big companies. A ********** backend of some kind could provide an easy way to augment channel-based programming with user content and create a new distribution network. There would be money in that.

Good luck guys. We're pulling for you.
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post #9 of 44 Old 05-30-2007, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamester17 View Post

Simply put, 'simplicity' and 'easy of use', ...and I like to say; userfriendliness is next to godliness

I highly suggest you checkout the whole Wikipedia article => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBMC

exactly.

how long did you spend setting up mythtv and freevo bac?

with xbmc, you ftp the files for the program over to your xbox, and reboot, that's it. everything just works. if you wanna customize it the settings for the entire app and all its plugins are in one XML file. if you want it to work with mythtv, you ftp over the mythtv plugin and enable remote database access on your server, set the database ip, user, and pass in the GUI, and it also 'just works'.

it has what other open source media apps don't, a design around reference hardware that anyone with said hardware can use. there's no bother with setting up a distro with all of the dependencies to accept the application. and from the developer's standpoint there's no sorting out hardware issues, they provide a program that will run on reference hardware and spend their time improving the program from the user's standpoint, rather than from the hardware compatibility side.

i have nothing against people who want to use their existing hardware and customize their media computers exactly how they like, but at some point you have to put a value on your time. and given the option of customization and buying a box that i can bring home from the store, wipe clean, and install XBMC on to use in lieu of more customization, i'll take the reference hardware and XMBC any day of the week and twice on sunday.
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post #10 of 44 Old 06-02-2007, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xayd View Post

exactly.

how long did you spend setting up mythtv and freevo bac?

"apt-get install freevo" and 120 seconds later I was done and running. Of course I'm using my as a player only and not a recorder so that might make a difference.

Don't get me wrong, the more media center apps the better, but I'm not so sure that it's going to be as seamless of a port to linux as it was on xbox. xbox's are known quantity's with its hardware design, linux systems are not, everyone's is totally different.

Still I'll be one of the first people to try XBMC so I'm looking forward to the port.
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post #11 of 44 Old 06-02-2007, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

but I'm not so sure that it's going to be as seamless of a port to linux as it was on xbox. xbox's are known quantity's with its hardware design, linux systems are not, everyone's is totally different.

I hear the "everyone's PC is different" argument often when people talk about porting something from a game console or Mac to a PC, whether in Windows or Linux.

I don't buy it. All the developers need to do is port XBMC to the most popular or known good hardware, like Nvidia and Intel mobo chipsets, Haupaugge tuners, and the top 3 or 4 sound chips and GPU's (ATI and Nvidia) in use, and publish what parts work. It's the job of the user to go buy the right hardware they tested to. Why is this any different than having to go buy a new or used Xbox to run the current XBMC vs complaining that it doesn't run on your PS2, PS3, N64 or Intellivision ?

DOn't have the right combo of hardware? Tough noogies! Sell what you have, buy the right stuff. THe ability to *build your own XBMC box* is a BIG incentive- you don't need to buy a used proprietary box like an Xbox.

The added bonus- with a dual core high speed CPU and good GPU, the Linux XBMC coud support all HD video through 1080p H.264...
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post #12 of 44 Old 06-02-2007, 12:23 PM
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I believe Geexbox's intent was to be a XBMC-like distro of Linux (whether they knew about XBMC early on or not).

I hope all the Geexbox and freevo developers "see the Light" and help the XBMC Linux port.

Geexbox was a player-only, no recording. They never got the interface where it should be.

Movix was another bootable Linux based all-in-one media player, but also stalled and didn't emphasize usability-
http://sourceforge.net/projects/movix/
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post #13 of 44 Old 06-02-2007, 12:47 PM
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The simplest, quickest way to get XBMC up and running on a PC might be to start with a PC containing the same hardware as an Xbox- P3 CPU, Nforce chipset and MCP, etc. Get that working rock solid, then move on to the next chipset, etc.
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post #14 of 44 Old 06-02-2007, 03:47 PM
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XBMC is simply the best digital media player available. It's too bad that it has been tied to the original XBOX which is loud and ugly. The linux port is awesome news. aTV with XBMC would be incredible!
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post #15 of 44 Old 06-03-2007, 09:56 AM
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Forgot to post link to Geexbox above-

http://geexbox.org/en/index.html

The very name "GeeXbox" implies they tried to emulate a stand alone set top like an Xbox.

The Geexbox project was planning to team up with the Freevo project, though I don't know the status.

Again, I hope Geexbox, Freevo, MythTV and other media-player related Linux distros and app developers unite and help the XBMC Linux efforts.
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post #16 of 44 Old 06-03-2007, 09:58 AM
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WHat it the easiest way to load XBMC on an Xbox without any hardware mods?

Could you remove the Xbox hard drive and use an image program like Ghost or Gparted to copy a working XBMC hard drive image from another Xbox?
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post #17 of 44 Old 06-03-2007, 02:21 PM
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bleh double post
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post #18 of 44 Old 06-03-2007, 02:24 PM
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you need to defeat the xbox's bios somehow or it won't run anything that isn't keyed as a game.

there are software mods that work, the forums on http://www.xbox-scene.com have alot of info.

hardware modding it isn't terribly difficult if you have one of the old 1.5 or lower xboxes (manufacture date ~pre april 2004). just a matter of connecting two points on the motherboard to make the bios writeable, which you don't have to solder, you can do it just as well with a conductive ink pen, then load up one of said software mods and use that to flash the original bios with a different one.
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post #19 of 44 Old 06-03-2007, 02:48 PM
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I'm pumped. I've been using XBMC (and the previous incarnation Xbox Media Player - XBMP) for years. These guys have done it right and IMO have the best track record bar none in producing a highly competent, compatible, user friendly, and good looking setup. The only issue has been native HD content and some of the new h264 codecs and that is solely due to the original XBox's underpowered hardware - and these guys have absolutely mastered working with memory and processor constraints. To be honest, it always amazed me that the hardware media player manufacturers never took a closer look and just copied the damn thing. This is great news in my book.

For the record, I'd help but I know squat about programing in anything other than the original Basic and some very light pascal which is likely buried so far back in my memory it would never be found.

Display:    Panasonic 65" VT60

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Speakers: Kef Q towers/rears Kef Reference center

HTPC:       Win 7 Pro with XBMC

Xbox Live: Arbitrage XXL

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post #20 of 44 Old 06-03-2007, 05:55 PM
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post #21 of 44 Old 06-03-2007, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisFB View Post

The only issue has been native HD content and some of the new h264 codecs and that is solely due to the original XBox's underpowered hardware - and these guys have absolutely mastered working with memory and processor constraints. .

This is what irks me the most about software developers the past 8-10 years.

They have completely lost the art of optimizing code, writing software that takes the absolute minimum RAM, CPU, etc to accomplish a task while still retaining a good interface.

This was normal practice in the 80's and early/mid 90's.

Then bloat-creep became the accepted practice among developers. It used to be a matter of pride among software writers to write the most efficient code possible. I'm glad the spirit lives on in teams like XBMC, bringing the philosophy into Linux, which has been suffering bloat creep in recent years, too, though not nearly as bad as Windows and Mac.

I hope the XBMC Linux team makes it a point to build a Linux based bootable XBMC CD/DVD distro that requires no more than the hardware and RAM in an XBOX if desired, with options for faster CPU's, GPU's and more RAM if you want to play the most demanding HD codecs, though I believe they should work to achieve Xbox functional parity first- i.e. make a bootable CD Linux distro that looks and acts exactly like XBMC on an Xbox, THEN move on to support faster hardware for HD or other uses.

Again, to see what is possible, try Movix or GeexBox (both bootable CDs), which attempted to be Linux distros with XBMC functionality, though the interfaces were lacking.
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post #22 of 44 Old 06-04-2007, 05:38 PM
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i agree, and think alot of it is the sad state of the UI options on linux.

people don't like Qt because of the licensing restrictions on it, despite the fact that KDE is the superior desktop. Gnome on the other hand is, well, terrible. it's not usable in an unpatched state by anyone and never has been. they've always relied on the distros to fix their bugs, many of which have existed for over a decade.
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post #23 of 44 Old 06-05-2007, 08:20 PM
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Gamester17,

Will we be able to run the software on our existing x86 rigs? It's Linux can I presume it will? AppleTV is fine, but it really doesn't hold a candle to many of the current systems you'll see people build here. I don't think it can even do high bit rate x2.64, correct? & it doesnt even have a standard BIOS!

Alex
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post #24 of 44 Old 06-06-2007, 08:09 AM
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I've poked around in the XBMC code and I think it would be significantly easier to port to windows... but what do I know...
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post #25 of 44 Old 06-06-2007, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofygrin View Post

I've poked around in the XBMC code and I think it would be significantly easier to port to windows... but what do I know...

Port it and they will come!

Alex
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post #26 of 44 Old 06-07-2007, 12:44 AM
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after my short lived attempt at using a mac mini, that died when it died, i've gutted that flimsy POS and intend to use its working remains better with an AOpen miniPC Duo MP945-VDR.

from looking at the specs, these type of mini-itx mobos might be a good reference to work from. they're fairly cheap, use common notebook CPUs and memory, and all of the various extras appear to be original intel stuff (e1000 network adapters, azalia audio, GMA950 video, etc.)
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post #27 of 44 Old 06-07-2007, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by goofygrin View Post

I've poked around in the XBMC code and I think it would be significantly easier to port to windows... but what do I know...

The main XBMC GUI has already been ported to Win32 (Microsoft Windows), but the thing with open source project that pays nothing is that unless there is a programmer/developer out there who have the personal interest to develop it for free then it will not happen. Currently XBMC_PC for Win32 work but it plays no video, no developers on Team-XBMC have any personal interest in activly head the development of the Windows port. So you are more than welcomed to continue where others have left of and finish/complete the existing port and submit patches to us, if we like what we see then we will ask you to officialy join Team-XBMC if you like:
http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/forum...d.php?p=115893
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post #28 of 44 Old 06-07-2007, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melechmet View Post

Will we be able to run the software on our existing x86 rigs? It's Linux can I presume it will? AppleTV is fine, but it really doesn't hold a candle to many of the current systems you'll see people build here. I don't think it can even do high bit rate x2.64, correct? & it doesnt even have a standard BIOS!

There is an extremly long discussion about this on the official XBMC Forums so I do not want to re-start that discussion here, but to sum up. Yes will will be able to run XBMC on any existing x86 computer as long as the graphics adapter meats the minimum requirements (Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0 ~DirectX 9.0c), ...however perhaps not without modifications as though not yet officially decided we will probebely only support our own Live Distro (Live CD) version with the XBMC application on it and only on a restricted set of reference hardware, (of which Apple TV might be one as previously mentioned). This is because we have a limited amout of developers and tech-support people and they will never be able to have access to all combination of hardware that people using non-refernce hardware might use. But note that that is only the official support via the official XBMC forums, other people will probebly build and distribute their own third-party Live CDs, and run their own support for those distros.
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post #29 of 44 Old 06-07-2007, 10:14 AM
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Gamester17,

Well that's very fair and certainly understandable. At the end of the day, the software must work on some platform flawlessly and there are very limited resources to make that happen. Thanks for the reply.

Just one follow up question- will the app be available as a binary (tarball etc) for any of the known distributions during the beta phase, as apart from the liveCD? Reason I ask is; I'm more or less comfortable using Linux as an end user- but like some others here, compiling from source is a bit tricky and would discourage me from trying.

BTW, I'd like to add: Thank you for undertaking the project! it's a great boon for all HTPC afficianados here. I will definately like to contribute $ to the effort.

Alex
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post #30 of 44 Old 06-08-2007, 04:18 AM
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