XBMC Live is the XBMC Media Center software bundled with an embedded Linux operating system, all pre-packaged for that set-top-box feeling. XBMC Live also lets you easily boot to the XBMC Live CD in order to demo XBMC Media Center for your friends and family on practically any relatively modern computer, (as long as it was manufactured in the last 5-years or so it should meet the XBMC's minimum requirements).
What is XBMC Live?
XBMC Live is a boot-CD with XBMC Media Center pre-configued to work directly out-of-the-box without touching the users harddrive for demo purposes. Once booted, XBMC Live will give the user the option to either just run it as a demo from only the CD (not touching your harddrive) or do a permanent installation of XBMC Live complete with embedded operating-system onto a 2GB (or larger) USB-flash-memory-stick or your internal harddrive for a dedicated set-top-box style installation of XBMC, currently with Microsoft's Windows MCE (Media Center Edition) Remote with USB IR-receiver receiver dongle as the default supported controller which is supported directly out-of-the-box.
When installed onto a USB flash drive or hard disk drive XBMC Live has the ability to save settings and make updates to XBMC Media Center and the operating-system back onto the USB flash drive or hard disk drive that it is installed onto, this is not possible when running XBMC Live from a Live CD booting from a CD-ROM disc as they are read-only and any changes settings are only temporarily saved until the system is rebooted.
XBMC Live minimum and recommended hardware requirements
* x86 (Intel/AMD-based) processor computer capable of booting to CD-ROM.
- Intel Pentium 4, Intel Pentium M, AMD Athlon XP/64, AMD Opteron, or newer CPU (that support SSE).
- Very fast modern dual-core processor is required to decode H.264 videos in FullHD (1080p).
- For clarification; XBMC Live does not work on the Xbox game-console.
* ATI/AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA (recommended) graphic controller which supports OpenGL 1.4 or later (2.0 recommended).
- ATI Radeon R420 (X800) or newer supported, ATI Radeon R700 (HD 4000) or newer recommended.
- Intel GMA 950 (945G) or newer supported, Intel GMA X4500HD (G45) or newer recommended.
- NVIDIA GeForce 6-Series and newer supported, GeForce 8-Series and newer recommended.
* Optional is to install to a 2GB (or larger) USB-flash-drive or internal harddrive.
- If you like to install XBMC Live to USB then note that it can not still have U3 software on it (so uninstall that first).
- Larger than 2GB is if you have a lot of media as covers are cached on it.
HOW-TO use XBMC Live
It is as simple as 1, 2, 3, and if you only plan on using is as a Live CD (not installing to USB or harddrive) then you can skip step 2.
WARNING! Just to be safe, if you plan on installing to USB then make sure that you first unplug any other USB drives just in case, (as you do not want to risk the chance the installation to overwrite the data on any other USB drive you might have connected). Note that if you do select to to install to USB flash memory drive or the internal harddrive then all your data on that drive will be completely erased (deleted forever!)! As per the hard disk installation, the selected hard disk will be totally erased, any existing partitions and data will be permanently deleted!
1. Download the ISO image, burn it just like any ISO image to a CD-R/RW.
2. If you going to install to USB then first disconnect all USB storage devices that you do not want to install to.
3. Boot your computer on the CD-R/RW and follow the instructions on the screen.
* If you choose to install to USB then make sure that you do not set the permanent storage area to "None" as it will then not save any settings or changes you make after a reboot.
Username and password to the underlying OS environment
Username and password to the underlying OS environment is not need by average users of XBMC Live but here they are just in case you want to digg into the (very) advanced possibilities that are avilable:
XBMC Live running as Live CD:
· Since a Live CD is booted from read-only]media, it requiring either installation to rewriteable media (i.e. a USB flash drive or hard disk drive) or complete remastering to install additional software or modify and of the existing files.
XBMC Live installed on USB or HDD:
· Some computers, particularly older ones, may not have a BIOS that supports USB booting. Many which do support USB booting may still be unable to boot the device in question. In these cases a computer can often be "redirected" to boot from a USB device through use of an initial bootable CD or floppy diskhttp://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/11/21/use-a-floppy-to-boot-usb-pendrive-linux/ boot floppy for live USB.
· In contrast to the Live CD, the data contained on the booting device can be changed and additional data stored on the same device. This allows for Live USB/HDD to be used as personal storage, as it allows a user to carry their preferred operating system, applications, and configuration as well as personal files with them, making it easy to share a single system between multiple users.
· The absence of moving parts in USB flash devices allows for faster seek time than is possible with hard drives or optical media, meaning all programs will start faster from a USB flash drive than from a local hard disk or Live CD. However, as USB devices typically achieve lower data transfer rates than internal hard drives, booting from a computer lacking USB 2.0 support can sometimes be very slow compared to booting from a internal hard disk drive.
· Due to the additional write cycles that occur on a full-blown installation to a USB flash drive, the life of the USB flash drive may be slightly reduced. This usually does not apply to systems particularly designed for live systems which keep all changes in RAM until the user logs off, and XBMC Live developers have done their best to try to prevent this from happening.
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· Today we announce the first beta in what we hope is a very short pre-release cycle. Dharma has been in development for over 9 months now, and we’re quite happy with the result.
· The improvements are too many to name, but head over to the milestone page to get an idea. By far the biggest new feature is the Add-ons system. Our community is full of talented script-writers, skinners, and designers; we wanted XBMC to display their full potential. The result is a powerful and flexible system that allows for complete customization of the XBMC experience. Gone are the days of digging for the latest version of buggy plugins, or incomplete skins in our forums. Most of our users probably never even made it that far.
· We have refactored everything that doesn’t belong inside the core of XBMC to be an addon. So in the future, your scrapers, visualizations, skins, etc. will update automatically (unless disabled). Since opening the xbmc.org repository a few weeks ago, submissions have been pouring in. We expect to have a very nice collection by the time we reach our final release.
· But don’t let the add-ons take away from the loads of other features (hardware acceleration, anyone?) that have gone into XBMC in the last 9 months. We’ll be sure to hi-lite some of the other big features in the coming days/weeks.
For those brave users, please give beta1 a shot. Builds are ready for all OSs, visit the download page to grab them. If you stumble upon any nasty bugs, be sure to send us a QUALITY bug report. Beware of (at minimum) the following:
· As always, treat this as beta-quality software. Be sure to back up your profile in case you decide to roll back.
· The clunky old web interface has been removed. We’re working hard to have a new one ready for final release.
· svn-ppa users may have to remove old xbmc packages before installing Dharma.
· You may have to reset your screensaver and visualization settings after upgrade. These are now addons.
· Pre-Dharma scripts/plugins/skins will NOT work with Dharma, but most have been updated accordingly.
· Enjoy. And to the add-on creators: keep the submissions coming!