If you haven't already installed LinuxMCE, start with the Detailed step-by-step instructions for installing LinuxMCE.
IMPORTANT: If you intend to watch commercial DVD's in Linux MCE, pay attention to step 1 in those installation instructions.
This Quick Start Guide assumes you already completed the installation. If, during the installation of LinuxMCE you did not specify that LinuxMCE should be started by default, you can start it now from the Ubuntu system menu > Application > Sound & Video > Start 'Linux MCE Center'
The first time you do a start-up it will take somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes so it can verify everything in your installation; after that it takes about 30-60 seconds. In this time some software/services will be started (like: mysql server, etc.), you just have to wait, no other interaction is needed. The first time you start LinuxMCE it will run the AVWizard automatically. This is where you pick the video and audio settings LinuxMCE will use. Note this has no effect on Ubuntu's desktop.
The AVWizard will guide you though audio/video settings for your hardware. You will be presented with 3 choices for the user interface. UI1, UI2 with masking, and UI2 with alpha blending. UI2 with alpha blending is generally considered the best, but it requires your video card support X's composite extensions. At this time, only nVidia 6xxx or greater can do this. This is the recommended platform for LinuxMCE. UI2 with masking has the same 3D OpenGL effects, but is less demanding on the hardware, and will run on most video cards that have decent OpenGL and XDamage support. UI1 is the simplest because it has no 3d effects, and never puts any graphics on top of the video. UI1 should run on nearly all Linux-compatible video cards. See Screenshots to see the difference between the 3 UI options.
IMPORTANT: Regarding Step 4 in the AV Wizard, if your TV doesn't overscan, meaning crop off the edges, you will see all 4 yellow arrows completely on step 4. If your TV does overscan, be sure to hit the - key to reduce the image until all 4 arrows are fully visible. Use the arrow keys to shift the image. The goal is that all 4 arrows are centered and as close to the edges of your screen as possible, but without being cropped off. This is where LinuxMCE will display the user interface. Your movies and media themselves are always full-screen and are not effected by this.
These are the steps in AV Wizard:
The final step asks for a confirmation of these steps, if you press 'I Agree' the installation continues and you'll get the Media Center started.
IMPORTANT: At this time you don't have any rooms or users (ie family members) added to LinuxMCE. Because LinuxMCE is a whole house solution and manages all your family member's content, before you can use LinuxMCE you must, at a minimum, provide a list of the Rooms and Users in your home, and specify which Room this system is in. If you want to dive right in, you can skip the other setup steps for now, but you cannot use LinuxMCE at all until you specify the Rooms and Users.
To do this, you can login to the web admin panel from your LinuxMCE system, or any other PC in the house, as explained on the LinuxMCE startup screen. A walk-through of the web admin is available, but if you want to just get going asap, choose Wizard > Basic Info > Rooms and also Wizard > Basic Info > Users to specify the Rooms and Users, and Wizard > Devices > Media Directors to specify which room this system is in.
If you prefer not to use the web admin site, there is also an interactive setup wizard built-into the GUI. It doesn't let you do a lot of customizing, but, it's a very fast and easy way to get up and running in about 5 minutes using all the default options for all the features of LinuxMCE. To start the setup wizard, choose Misc > Advanced Options from the GUI and then 'Setup wizard'.
Note that in the future there will be video files in the setup wizard. For now the video files are not complete, so you won't see or hear the video clips. If some of the screens are a bit vague because of this, we recommend you stick to the web admin site for now.
Here are some screen shots from the setup wizard:
After Video Wizard is ended and the house is entirely setup, press 'start using the system'. This action will also regenerate the interface with the new changes you've made.