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How to Install NewzBook on XBMC Live

NewzBook is an application I wrote to centrally manage my downloads and media. It has integration points with various indexing sites, SABnzbd, media management, etc. I originally designed the application for the Popcorn Hour, but I am now using XBMC again. I personally use the XBMC Live variant, so I’ve written up some instructions so other XBMC Live users could also use my NewzBook app.If you haven’t heard of NewzBook before, I would recommend checking out this thread on the NMT forums which describes what it does… I’ve also attached a few screenshots after the jump below.

2009-11-29_202539

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Tech

Set XBMC to Automount Drives

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.

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Tech

How to Install GIT on XBMC Live

It’s relatively easy to install GIT on XBMC Live, but I didn’t find it well documented anywhere. Login to your XBMC machine console — either via SSH / Putty or directly from the machine (Ctrl+Alt+F2). After you are logged in, run the following command which will install the git utility:

sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install git-core

You may need to enter your root password (default password is ‘xbmc’). The system will likely prompt you to install some other required resources. Press ‘Y’ to install those resources.

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Restart XBMC Live from SSH (Bash Shell)

As an update for XBMCbuntu, you can run the following command to start/stop XBMC:

sudo service lightdm [start|stop|restart]

Original Post:

I always forget the command for restarting XBMC Live from the shell, so I figured I would post it to my blog. It’s a really simple, one-line command:

sudo /etc/init.d/xbmc-live restart

Then enter the password for the root account (typically ‘xbmc’).

Just to be clear, the benefit of running this command instead of a full reboot (sudo reboot) is the above command only restarts the XBMC Live application. This means if you have any other services or apps running (like SABnzbd+), you can keep those apps running.

The only reason I’ve ever really needed the xbmc-live restart command is when something gets locked up on XBMC… and that usually only happens when I’m trying out new skins or plugins.

I should also note that on occasion this command will not restart XBMC live. The alternative is to stop, then start XBMC again using the following commands:

sudo /etc/init.d/xbmc-live stop
sudo /etc/init.d/xbmc-live start 
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Tech

Set XBMC to Auto Update Library

After getting XBMC Live installed on my Revo and getting my library setup, I couldn’t find a simple option to have XBMC watch my video folder and automatically update my library. In place of this missing functionality, I figured I would setup a simple timed job to automatically update my library for me every hour.

Before I get started, I should note that there is an option to automatically update the library when the box is booted up which may work for some people. You can find this under System > Video > Update Library on Startup. This option wouldn’t work for me though as I leave my box on 24/7 or at most just put it in a standby state.

See below for the details on how to setup a timed job (cron) to update your video or music library. This consists of installing the xbmc-send application and setting up a cron job (and enabling the EventServer).

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Tech

How to Install SABnzbd on XBMC Live

Installing applications on XBMC Live is actually much easier than you might think. It does require bashing out some code on a shell prompt, but it’s relatively easy. You can access the shell via two methods: directly from the XBMC-live machine or remotely via SSH. See below for the details on both methods.

Before I start the instructions on how to install, I’d like to give a plug for two other applications which pair up perfectly with SABnzbd: NewzBook and SickBeard. NewzBook is an application I wrote for managing my downloads and files remotely. (install instructions | info) NewzBook includes a mobile friendly website that allows you to search for content and start downloading it remotely — it also includes a web based media player and file manager. SickBeard is an amazing PVR app written by someone else and it heavily simplifies my life. (install instructions | info) Simply tell SickBeard what shows you want to watch and it will automatically go out and search the major indexers and download new versions of the TV shows as they come out. SickBeard can also index all your content locally so it can then download updated / better versions as they come available — for example, you might have a few episodes in SD quality and you can have SickBeard automatically check for HD versions.