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Installing OpenELEC as your XBMC

Many people know what XBMC (Xbox Media Center) is but what about OpenELEC? (Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center). Basically it is an operating system built around XBMC. OpenELEC was designed to be as lightweight as possible by only taking up around 80-125MB (by default) of space and configured for one simple purpose, to run XBMC.

If you get stuck during any of the steps below check out the screenshot gallery below.

Requirements

  • You can run it almost any sort of PC or laptop but it is optimized for builds such as Atom, Intel, ION & Fusion.
  • Any of the following storage’s are fine: SSD, HDD, SD card, USB drive.
  • At least 125MB of space to be safe.

Installation

  1. Your first need to determine what type of system you are installing OpenELEC on.
  2. View the list of possible categories that are fully supported from the OpenELEC website here.
  3. For this installation I will be using an ION build as that is what my Zotac (Mini PC) contains.
  4. Once you download the file to your computer extract the contents of it somewhere (Mine was: OpenELEC-ION.x86_64-3.0.6.tar.bz2)
  5. Open up the folder (Mine was: OpenELEC-ION.x86_64-3.0.6) and double click the exe named create_livestick.exe.
  6. Insert a USB drive into your computer and follow the media installation steps. (It will want to reformat your USB drive)
  7. Once the installation is complete, insert the USB drive into the device you plan on installing it and allow it to boot from the USB drive.
  8. When the OpenELEC splash screen pops up select the live installation and install the basic configuration.
  9. Once the installation is complete remove the USB drive and reboot the device.
  10. Your OpenELEC installation is now complete. But if you want to be able to pause videos on one OpenELEC device and play on another move on to the configuration step below!

Configuration (For database/video sharing+pausing)

Requirements

  • MySQL
  • phpmyadmin

This configuration assumes that all of your media is on another computer. The following is also based on a Ubuntu Server 13.04 installation, even if you don’t have this operating system you can still easily port over the ideas by a quick Google search.

Configuration

First thing we should do is create a back up of our MySQL configuration.

sudo cp /etc/mysql/my.cnf /etc/mysql/my.cnf.orig

Now open up your MySQL configuration with your favoriute txt editor. I used Vi for this.

sudo vi /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Change the following line
bind-address = 127.0.0.1 to bind-address = 192.168.1.100

Save the file and proceed by restarting the service.

sudo /etc/init.d/mysql restart

Open up your phpMyAdmin web UI.

http://192.168.1.100/phpmyadmin

Create a user called XBMC

With the password XBMC

Now ssh into your OpenELEC device with whatever program you prefer.

I used WinSCP with the following default information:

username: root

passowrd: openelec

Either create the following file by copying it over or writing it in from scratch in this directory

/.xbmc/userdata/advancedsettings.xml

The contents below to be within the advancedsettings.xml

You will have to edit the host, and SMB information for your setup.

<advancedsettings>
<useddsfanart>true</useddsfanart>
<network>
<disableipv6>true</disableipv6>
</network>
<videodatabase>
<type>mysql</type>
<host>192.168.1.100</host>
<port>3306</port>
<user>xbmc</user>
<pass>xbmc</pass>
</videodatabase>
<pathsubstitution>
<substitute>
<from>special://Thumbnails/</from>
<to>SMB://USERNAME:PASSWORD@192.168.1.100/main/media/thumbnails/</to>
</substitute>
</pathsubstitution>
<gputempcommand>echo "$(nvidia-settings -c :0 -tq GPUCoreTemp) C"</gputempcommand>
</advancedsettings>

Save the file and reboot your OpenELEC device.

Once the system has rebooted add your video sources to OpenELEC and check your phpMyAdmin to see if the database it created is adding content information.

That’s it you are done!

Final Thoughts

So now that your installation is complete you can now easily pause in one room on an OpenELEC device and play in another room with another OpenELEC device!

If you have any questions or got stuck at all during this installation guide post below or visit our forums!

Screenshot gallery for additional support below

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About Tyler Bailey

Tyler Bailey is a university student who owns and runs draalin.com. Follow me on