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By default XBMC Media Center is not available to install from the Software Manager in Linux Mint (or Software Center in Ubuntu). So, before we can install it we first need to add XBMC Media Center’s official file servers (repositories) to Linux Mint.
Doing so is a simple prospect as we just click on the mint Menu button then click on the Software Manager. Once this opens up find and click on the Edit menu towards the top of the Software Manager window and select the Software Sources towards the bottom of the list. This will prompt you for your password once entered another window for Software Sources should pop-up.
In the Software Sources window click on the Other Software tab at the top and then the Add… button at the bottom of this tab. Another little window should pop-up with a text field titled APT line:. In this field paste the following information.
Now, click on the Add Source button and if you examine the Other Software tab you should likely have two new entries something like
http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc/ppa/ubuntu RELEASE main
If so great, we can now Close out of the Software Sources window. When doing so we’ll likely get a pop-up window asking if we’d like to Reload the information about available software. And we most certainly do. So, click on the reload button, wait for it to complete, and for the Software Manager to reload.
Once done we’re ready to move on to installing XBMC!
Now, back in the Software Manager we can type into the search field (in the upper right of the window) “xbmc” and, now that we’ve added its servers to Linux Mint, after a moment or so of waiting it should fill up with a bunch of entries.
The first entry should be the one we want. It should simply be named “xbmc” and be sub-titled “Xbmc media center (full metapackage).” Once you’ve found this (if it’s not the first entry) click on it, and then click on the nice big green Install button, type in your password, and sit back and relax while it installs (make note of the 1 ongoing actions and progress bar at the bottom of the Software Manager window).
Once the installation has completed and the ongoing actions returns to 0 we can close out of the Software Manager and click on the mintMenu again. It will likely have automatically switched from Favorites to All applications (If not, click on All applications on the top right of the mintMenu list to do so now). Then navigate to the Sound & Video section and verify that XBMC Media Center is now listed (likely in bold since it was just installed). If so go ahead a click on it to make sure it starts up as expected.
Note: If XBMC fails to startup and complains about not having the proper drivers you may need to install the proper proprietary drivers for your graphics card. If you’re in the market for a new card (or are now) I strongly recommend one by NVIDIA.
While NVIDIA has not open sourced their drivers, they have been consistent in releasing, updating, and supporting their products for GNU/Linux based operating systems and only show signs of continuing to do so in the future. They have also open sourced certain supporting libraries such as VDPAU.
If you’re unsure as to which model to get I can likely provide timely model recommendations if asked in the comments below. Also, if you’re in the market and would like to support Ainer.org consider using one of our affiliate links on the right when purchasing your new hardware (Amazon.com preferred).
If you have other issues with your system not running XBMC properly I would recommend visiting XBMC.org and utilizing their support directly. Due to the limitless combinations of hardware I will likely not be able to help you in any real way (but please feel free to ask!).
So, assuming XBMC fired up as expected, lets move on to installing the Simplicity skin (next page)!