About Installation (Version 0810 Final)
This page covers what we'll call mainstream installation. It shows how to get a LinuxMCE hybrid running with minimum bells and whistles. Once the basic installation is complete, users can check the other sections of the wiki to learn how to add more advanced features. The basic hardware consists of the computer (with two network ports), display, and speakers. Its OK (and probably easier) to install PCI cards like TV capture, serial, etc. Look at the "Core & Hybrid" section of the wiki for hardware selection articles. Here is some pre-flight advice before installation.
- The computer must be connected to the internet for a successful installation.
- Recommend using a monitor for the initial install. Monitors are better than TVs for adapting to a wacky resolution setting (it could happen). You probably don't want to mess about with xorg.conf on your first install. Also recommend using a VGA cable because that is the default setting when the LMCE wizard pops up. I'd specifically advise against using an HDMI cable and expecting it to pass video and sound to your TV. It might work, but more likely it will require extensive tinkering. Its easy to swap to a different display or connection after things are up and running.
- For sound, you can use computer speakers, or use an spdif connection to an external AV receiver. This is also easy to change later.
- If you have a TV capture card, it will be configured during the installation. The wizard will ask where to get program guide information. In the US this is usually "schedulesdirect.org". Set up your account and know your username and password before starting the install.
- LinuxMCE is an extremely powerful, fantastic piece of software; have no doubt about that. But, please bear in mind that it is a project, not a product.
- LinuxMCE 0810 is based on Ubuntu 8.10, which means that brand new hardware might not work out of the box. For this reason, if you are buying hardware specifically for your home automation system, you might want to use hardware that is a little older and save yourself some money at the same time. That said, in nearly all cases you will be able to get through any issues with a little patience and some help from the community. Unrecognised NICs is the most common issue.
- Please please please be patient. Some parts of the installation can sometimes take hours. If in doubt, leave it overnight.
Basic Installation Steps
I might help to think of installation as a 3-step process.
- Run the DVD. This formats your drive, installs Kubuntu, and preps for LMCE installation. This step finishes by prompting reboot and DVD removal.
- Install LinuxMCE. The reboot will take you to the Kubuntu screen. You'll recheck your internet connection, then click the LMCE install icon. More software will load and it will prompt another reboot.
- Complete the 3 wizards (AV, House Setup, Media). This is where you tell LMCE about your system.
Run the DVD
Caution: Installing LinuxMCE 0810 Final will wipe your entire drive! It is not designed to be dual-booted!
If you just want to quickly try LinuxMCE, then consider setting it up temporarily as a virtual machine on your Linux, Mac, or Windows box. VirtualBox will allow you to do this
- Download the LinuxMCE 0810 Final ISO from here. Note: Always burn at your DVD drive's lowest speed to reduce the chance of errors.
- Boot from the DVD.
- Select your language
- Select the top option "LinuxMCE"
- Wait until the installer loads, and then...
- Welcome - Select your language.
- Where are you? - Select your location and time zone.
- Keyboard layout - Select your keyboard layout.
- Prepare disk space - Set up your partitions as you wish, but the second option "Guided - use entire disk" is perfectly OK.
- Who are you? - Set up your username, password and the system name (call it whatever you want). This username/password is specifically for the underlying system i.e. Kubuntu, it is NOT for LinuxMCE; this is handled separately.
- Ready to install - Check everything is as it should be, and press "Install".
- Let installation run through, and then remove disk and press enter when instructed to do so.
- Once the new Kubuntu installation has finished booting back up, check that your internet connections are working. If you have a NIC that is not plug-and-play (like the Intel gigabit card) then now is the time to install the driver and confirm operation. Then click the "LinuxMCE" icon on the desktop. This will start the LinuxMCE installation. You may need to enter your Kubuntu password.
- Wait until the LinuxMCE installation has finished running through. You will see the following message when the installation is complete:
The first phase of the install process is completed Reboot the system to start the final process.
Complete the Wizards
Upon reboot, you will not see Kubuntu. More software will load, then the AV Wizard will start. If you connected the display with something other than a VGA cable, the screen will go black. You will have to press a number on your keyboard (just the number, don't hit "enter") to tell the wizard what connection to use. The default value is 2: VGA.
Keys for choosing a connector: 1: DVI 2: VGA 3: Component 4: Composite 5: S-Video Q: DVI-2 W: VGA-2 L: LVDS
Then follow the wizards as described in the following links.
Tip: After LMCE is up and running, the LinuxMCE installation icon on the Kubuntu desktop becomes a hazard. Clicking it will begin a reinstall and ruin your day. Best to right click and delete the icon!