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.

Install Aeon / Aeon65 with git on XBMC Live

You can then use git to install themes for XBMC. For example, if you want to install Aeon65, do the following.

Change to the skins folder:

cd ~/.xbmc/skin

Get the skin via the GIT repository. You can find the git URL at the top of the GIT repository that most of the skin developers will link to in their main thread:

git clone git:// "Aeon65"

Note: the “Aeon65” is an optional parameter and simply downloads (gits) the skin into the Aeon65 directory. By default it would have gone in the “aeon” directory.

In the above example, the skin will get downloaded to the ‘Aeon65’ folder within the skins directory. Make sure the directory that you will be downloading to does not already exist. For example, I already had Aeon STARK in a folder called ‘Aeon’, so I downloaded the Aeon65 into a folder called Aeon65 per the command above.

Important: if you are running a stock build of XBMC (eg. not an SVN), you will probably have issues. Read my post on how to upgrade xbmc(-live) to the latest SVN. And if you are an Nvidia ION user, you may need to update your Nvidia drivers after you update xbmc to the latest SVN.

Update an XBMC skin with git

If you’d like to update your skin (which you got via git), you can navigate to that skins directory:

cd ~/.xbmc/skin/Aeon65

Then run the git pull command from that directory:

git pull

More notes: you can use git pull to update any skin that you’ve downloaded with GIT. In the example above, my skin was named Aeon65. If you just cloned Aeon65 down without renaming the folder, you will need to change directory to whatever you named the skin. If you can’t remember, you can change directory to the skin directory, then get a listing of all the files/folders:

cd ~/.xbmc/skin/

Which will get you an output like the following

Aeon65  Aeon Auriga  Aeon STARK  Alaska  Rapier  Transparency!

In the example above, I’ll change directory to Aeon65 then get a listing of all files (including dot prefixed folders). What we are looking for is a .git directory to ensure this skin as downloaded with git in the first place:

cd Aeon65
ls -a

Which will get an output like the following:

.   720p    extras  .git        language  skin.xml
..  colors  fonts   .gitignore  media     sounds

If you see the git related folders, then you should be able to run a ‘git pull’ command directly from the folder you are in:

git pull





10 responses to “How to Install GIT on XBMC Live”

  1. Joe Avatar

    Great guide. Thank you.

  2. Brendan Le Foll Avatar

    Thanks for the small write up. However I think you mean “cd ~/.xbmc/skin” in the first part of the post!


  3. josh Avatar

    Thanks for the catch on the missing period at the beginning of the post – it’s fixed now!

  4. jacob Avatar

    I cant install GIT.. i get this message
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Package git-core is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source
    E: Package git-core has no installation candidate

    any ideas?

  5. Dan Avatar

    First, many thanks to you. Without this site I’d have been completely lost refining the set up of my Revo with XBMC Live. Great site. Great information.

    I’ve just run into a problem I can’t crack and was hoping for some guidance….

    (Note: using SSH via Terminal on MBP OS-X Leopard)

    When following instructions to ‘Install GIT on XBMC Live’ I receive the following:
    xbmc@XBMCLive:/$ sudo apt-get install git-core
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Couldn’t find package git-core
    xbmc@XBMCLive:/$ [/i]

    And when I try to update XBMC I get the following:

    [i]xbmc@XBMCLive:/$ sudo apt-get install xbmc
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    xbmc: Depends: xbmc-data (= 1:9.11+svn28256-jaunty1) but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: xbmc-skin-confluence (= 1:9.11+svn28256-jaunty1) but it is not going to be installed or
    xbmc-skin-pm3-hd (= 1:9.11+svn28256-jaunty1) but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: xbmc-web (= 1:9.11+svn28256-jaunty1) but it is not going to be installed
    E: Broken packages[/i]

    All this is doubly concerned as I recently installed XBMC Live on a friend’s Revo and the above procedures worked sweetly.

    All and any assistance greatly appreciated.


  6. Mike Avatar

    Still works smooth after doing a:

    sudo apt-get update

  7. josh Avatar

    As Mike mentioned in his comment, you will want to do a ‘sudo apt-get update’ before running any ‘sudo apt-get install’ commands. The update command makes sure your local apt-get repository has the latest links/details from the repositories on the internet.

    I’ve updated the blog post so it now includes the ‘apt-get update’ step.

  8. Dene Avatar

    Hey Joshua,

    Thanks for the post, most helpful! Well…almost..

    I followed the instructions, launched XBMC (on desktop pc, linux 10.04.1 32bit, gnome), went to change the skin. Aeon65 is listed but greyed out and nothing happens when i change to it.

    Any advice? (i’m a bit of a linux n00b, so go easy 😉 )

  9. Momoski Avatar

    I did all the steps and I have the skins in the correct folder. However when I go into xbmc and appearance settings, the skins are not listed. Except the default confluence. The skins are in the folder: /home/xbmc/.xbmc/skin

  10. josh Avatar

    @Momoski: What OS and version of XBMC are you running?

    @Dene: I haven’t tested this on Dharma Beta 4 yet… in fact, I quit running the Aeon65 skin since it just isn’t quite as smooth as I’d like on my Revo. I’ve got a lot going on right now, but if I get the Dharma 4 Beta installed, I’ll try to check out Aeon65 using these instructions…

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