Tip: Run XBMC on Almost Any PC with XBMC Live


xbmc live boot screen

A commenter recently brought up how he was going to use XBMC Live with an HTPC he was going to build. Honestly, I forgot that such a thing was available. XBMC Live was announced briefly in a paragraph in the August 2008 release notes of “Atlantis”. Curious, I decided to take it for a spin. What I found was that XBMC Live not only provided a drop-dead simple way of experiencing XBMC without having to do a full install, but that it also does a superb job of creating a set-top like experience.

Here’s what impressed me. The XBMC Team created what I suggested to a competitor to do a while back for use with a PS3. They built XBMC Live on a stripped down version of Ubuntu that boots directly to XBMC from a “Live CD”. Once XBMC is up and running you can easily click on the power button on the home screen (bottom right) and power down or put the PC to sleep. It boots quickly and powers down in a couple seconds. Simply brilliant.

The next thing the XBMC Team did that wins them brownie points is that they enabled XBMC Live to load the official grahics drivers for ATI, Intel, or NVIDIA cards used with x86 Intel/AMD based PCs.

Options for running / installing XBMC Live:

Note: This version of XBMC (XBMC Live) is intended to be installed on a dedicated machine only.

1. You can burn the XBMCLive.iso (disc image) included in the zip file you download from XBMC to CD to create a bootable “Live CD“. Then power on the PC and insert the burned CD in to the drive and watch the magic happen.

2. If you’re already using a Linux PC, you can use the installXBMCFromISO.sh script included in the zip to install XBMC Live directly to a 2GB (min.) USB stick. Or you can use the function shown in the XBMC Live boot screen to install XBMC to USB.

3. Install XBMC directly on your PC using XBMC Live’s boot screen function once you’ve confirmed everything is working properly during your initial tests with the Live CD.

Wiki Page: XBMC Live




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Filed in: Entertainment PCs, Streaming Media Devices


  • DeadPenguin

    I am thinking the install to a small SSD might be the best option right now. Just not sure if I want to increase the cost of the build by $150 or not.
    Nice post thanks for the info.
    There are some other cool distros that make XBMC easy to kick around. I like Sabayon Lite MCE
    Download here
    http://sabayon.linuxfreedom.com/download.html

  • daskino

    nice idea

  • DeadPenguin

    I am thinking the install to a small SSD might be the best option right now. Just not sure if I want to increase the cost of the build by $150 or not.
    Nice post thanks for the info.
    There are some other cool distros that make XBMC easy to kick around. I like Sabayon Lite MCE
    Download here
    http://sabayon.linuxfreedom.com/download.html

  • daskino

    nice idea