Tech

Whenever I install XBMC, one of the first settings I change is I enable auto mounting of drives. It's a relatively simple change, but requires you modify a file on the filesystem.

For Ubuntu Lucid 10.04:

I've noticed that it's not necessary to manually remove the nodiskmount option on 10.04 (grub2). The modifications that I used to make in /boot/grub/menu.lst on Ubuntu Karmic, I now have to make in /etc/default/grub on Ubuntu Lucid.. When I removed the nodiskmount on Ubuntu Lucid I started having some issues with the disks being mounted in odd ways (eg. my NTFS drive being mounted directly to /media). What I found is that instead of removing nodiskmount, if I just properly labeled my partitions, they would automatically show up properly -- you can label your partitions using the e2label command.

As I noted in the comments below, you may still need to remove nodiskmount in Ubuntu Lucid to get your eSATA drive to mount (especially true for people who followed my Revo 1600 guide). What I found is that because the internal drive on the Revo 1600 is NTFS, it will cause the weird issues I mentioned above. If you happen to fall into this case, I would highly recommend you check out my article on Drives Being Mounted with Odd IDs. The article explains how to find the unique identifier (UUID) for your drive and manually create an FSTAB entry to mount your drive with your specifications each time the system loads. Now that I've wrapped my head around how FSTAB works, I prefer to use this method as it lets me set my own unique name, path, and other settings for how the drive is mounted.

However, if you'd still like to modify the grub parameters for other reasons, I've included the details below...

Open the file /etc/default/grub:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

Find the line for loading your system (usually starts with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUXDEFAULT) and make sure it's not the commented out line that often comes default at the top of the file. Modify this line so it no longer has the nodiskmount option in it.

Save the file and close it. Ctrl+O, Enter, Ctrl+X.

Run the following line to update grub and then reboot:

sudo update-grub
sudo reboot

For Ubuntu Karmic:

If you are still booting from the XBMC-Live 9.11 Camelot USB stick directly, this will be in the syslinux.cfg file. If you have installed XBMC to disk, this is in the /boot/grub/menu.lst file. 

To remove this flag from the menu.lst file, telnet into the XBMC machine (use the instructions from the sabnzbd install post if you don't know how), then open up the file with your favorite editor:

sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst (you may have to enter your root username and password -- typically xbmc / xbmc)

Arrow down to the first line under "## ## End Default Options ##" near the bottom of the file and on the "kernel" line arrow to the right until you see the "nodiskmount" text. Delete this text then press Ctrl+O [enter] to save the file then Ctrl+X to exit. Reboot your box and you should now see some new items in your file manager usually named something like sdb1 or sda1.

I have always noticed that when people ask the question 'How do I figure out how much hard drive space I have left' as it relates to the Linux / *nix shell, people always respond telling people to use the following command:

df

Output:

$ df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb5             56870784  22222576  31759324  42% /
...
/dev/sda1               252960    122460    130496  49% /media/sda1
/dev/sda3            1441394492 1372242748  69151740  96% /media/sda3

In the above example, everything is hard to read since it's in units of one thousand bytes. On some systems this defaults to multiples of 512 bytes unless you specific the -k option. I'm surprised that they don't mention that if you add one simple switch (-h for human readable), you can make the output much easier to read on most systems:

df -h

Output:

$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb5              55G   22G   31G  42% /
...
/dev/sda1             248M  120M  128M  49% /media/sda1
/dev/sda3             1.4T  1.3T   66G  96% /media/sda3

In the above example, you can see that I've used 1.3 terabytes of my main system drive, leaving me with 66 gigabytes free.

Side Note: You can also find out what file system type you are using by running the following command:

df- T

And it will produce the following results:

Filesystem    Type   1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/hdb1     ext3    19228276  14737848   3513680  81% /
tmpfs        tmpfs      383960         4    383956   1% /dev/shm
(The second column is the type)

You can use the following command to remotely start music playing on XBMC. The examples below were sent while I was SSH'ed into the XBMC machine. As you'll notice from the music paths, I am using some of the 'special' paths which call up the LastFM tags of Rap and Alternative.

Start the LastFM Rap tag playing:
xbmc-send -a "PlayMedia(lastfm://globaltags/rap)"
Start the LastFM Alternative tag playing:
xbmc-send -a "PlayMedia(lastfm://globaltags/alternative)"

To play a tag that contains a space in it's name, you must URL encode the space in your request (eg. replace all the spaces with %20). For example:

Start the LastFM 'Classic Rock' tag playing:

xbmc-send -a "PlayMedia(lastfm://globaltags/classic%20rock)"

I should note that each LastFM request is mutually exclusive of the other. Meaning each time you send a new PlayMedia request, the old genre/tag will stop playing and the new one will start playing.

I'll add to this later when I start documenting some of the various URLs and functions that can be used to start playing music. A list of functions that can be sent can be found on the XBMC wiki.

See below for some short instructions on how to upgrade your existing XBMC Live installation to the latest SVN version. These instructions should also work for regular XBMC Linux users as well. It is particularly important to update your XBMC to the latest SVN version if you plan on using some of the latest and greatest plugins and skins. For example, after I installed the Aeon65 skin I noticed that the skin would crash when I would go to certain views... many of the people on the forums recommended upgrading to the latest XBMC build so I did exactly that...

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Name: Joshua Lyon
Birthday: August 8, 1985
Location: Valley Ranch (Irving), TX
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