Idiots guide - Installing Ubuntu on a zBox AD02?

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by PerfectBlue97, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    I'm looking to get a zBox AD02 bare bones system to use as a media player.

    I'm planning on installing Ubuntu on it but while I have lots of experience building and installing Windows PCS, I have almost 0 experience with Linux (One basic install, that's it).

    Is there an idiots guide for the zBox AD02?

    I've seen a few websites with general Ubuntu installation instructions and they all look OK, right up until they start talking about using the command line interface to install hardware drivers (Windows is pretty much just point and click for this). So I'd appreciate something that was specific to this model of PC, that tells me how to do it in nice simple steps that anybody can use, no matter how dense.

    I'm afraid that unless it tells you exactly what to type, and exactly where, I'm going to struggle.

    DOS, I can handle, but Linux is all Greek to me at the moment.
     
  2. bubblegum57

    bubblegum57
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    With most linux distro's there is a live cd, run that, then on the desktop, there will probably be an icon to do a install to the hard drive. As, for drivers, try the live cd to see if audio etc works.
     
  3. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    I was hoping for something aimed at a bigger idiot's level.
     
  4. bubblegum57

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    Trust me, it is easy peasey.


    About Mythbuntu | Mythbuntu is specifically for Media playback

    It doesn't seem to have a Live cd option, But, I think you can download the iso, boot from it, then install, it will do the disk partitioning etc.

    Ubuntu does, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD

    Burn as an iso eg with Deepburner free, boot it, it will then come up with Ubuntu, but you won't have changed anything on you hard drive.
    See if sound is working, have a play, if you like it, there is an icon on the desk to to install to your hard drive.
    You won't need the command line, if you need software, you can get most things from a "repository"
     
  5. limegreenzx

    limegreenzx
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    If you plan on using as a media player why not use what zotac recommend. As others have suggested you can use a live version. Zotac appear to support the use of xbmc there is also version called openelec which is designed to remove linux from the user so all admin is from xbmc.
     
  6. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    I'm planning to use XMBC live, but I really should learn how to use a full version of Linux, including the command line.

    If you have Linux but you don't know how to use it then you might as well just go back to Windows.
     
  7. bubblegum57

    bubblegum57
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    If it's just for a Media Centre, why do you need to understand Linux?

    If, you do get a problem, google, or join a forum.
     
  8. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    Well, if I only wanted a media centre I'd buy a boxee or a Western Digital TV Live at half the price.

    I'm specifically looking a media centre PC as I'd like PC functionality. Such as real web access through a proper browser.

    I've also not found a piece of media centre software that does everything that I want. I plan to run XBMC Live from a memory stick or a partition (whichever is easiest, I suppose) to give me a fast on media player for local media. But I also want to install Ubuntu with another media player that I've found to handle video on demand and other services that XBMC isn't so big with.

    It'd be nice to Knowing about Linux. So I'd like an idiots guide that I can use a foundation.
     
  9. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    Um, I have joined a forum. I'm trying to find out potential problems before I start.
     
  10. tredman

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    Just download, burn and install Ubuntu or Linux mint - prob the best for the beginner.

    If you ensure you are hard wired to your router during install either distro will take care of downloading and installing drivers. Terminal is not needed.

    After install, ifyou're not sure what you need to do google it, it will have been asked before! Ubuntu forums are very helpful.

    I started like you 5 or 6 years ago and was averse to the terminal. These days I administer my 3 Linux machines all via the the terminal or remotely via ssh, as I find it quicker. That said you really don't need to touch it these days if you don't want.

    Edit - i'd recommend running xbmclive or openelec xbmc via a USB stick, works very well.
     
  11. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    XMBC live is in my plan.

    I thought that I'd read up in advance about Ubuntu and about the the zBox AD02, and one of the things that seemed to come up was people having difficulty with the drivers needed to get the most out of the e350 or for the graphics card.

    There were some good looking solutions that seemed to work, but they included a lot of console commands that I'm not familiar with.

    I'm used to DOS, I use it all the time, but I don't know the Linux command prompt at all. Installing drivers through it seems simple enough, but many of the solutions said things like "put the drivers in ..." or make sure that you have ABC in XYZ, and but they didn't tell you how to do it. Which is why I'm looking for an idiots guide.

    Particularly since most instances of XBMC Live don't seem to have a GUI for doing these things.

    I'm a beginner with Linux. I don't even know how to download software without a GUI.
     
  12. tredman

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    Amd graphics are/were pretty flaky in Linux. However that has recently changed. Download the openelec vaapi version of xbmclive and it should work out of the box.

    With regards to full Linux, Ubuntu or Linux mint will definitely be the easiest start IMHO. Everything you need to install with be doable via the GUI. With Ubuntu it will come with the ubuntu software centre, most programs you need will be available from there - think of it as a bit like an app store.

    Ubuntu and its derivatives (such as mint) use apt or aptitude, which are installation programs and download packages to install software, these are hosted on repositories and you get them from there. In my opinion a much better system than downloading an .exe from somewhere of Internet and installing it.
     
  13. bubblegum57

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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  14. bryanchicken

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    I learned Linux through installing xbmc live and tinkering. Xbmc live had a minimal Ubuntu under it so you can use the command line like in any other Linux by connecting via ssh or pressing ctrl-alt-f1 (or f2-6) to start a command line session. Ctrl-alt-f7 to go back to xbmc.
    If you want to get down and dirty by installing minimal Ubuntu and then putting xbmc on top then google xbmcbuntu, there is a good guide on the xbmc wiki.
    You might want to do that if you want the newer xbmc as the live version isn't done yet, or if you have more than 4gb ram as live is 32bit.
    That is what I do. It gives you a nice clean up-to-date system. Live is still on Lucid at the moment.

    I was a Linux noob when I started and I now consider myself fairly proficient. I don't bother with compiling or any of that rubbish, I just wait for repository versions. Picking Ubuntu or another Debian-based distro normally gives you the largest most up to date software choices as lots of software not in repositories provide a .deb Debian installer.

    The thing to remember is things you do in windows can also be done in Linux, they just have different names or are accessed via command line instead of GUI. If you get into it you'll realise the command line is quicker and better anyway ;-)
     
  15. bryanchicken

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    As someone said, amd graphics are a bit of a pain but I did manage to install CCC using the guide one the amd wiki.
    I needed a to install a window manager (GUI) as well as xbmc though in order to access to overscan settings.
     
  16. bryanchicken

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    At a proper PC now so here are some links:

    Minimal ubuntu + XBMC:
    XBMCbuntu - XBMC
    The screens are a slightly different colour nowadays to the screenshots but still a pretty good guide. Also, minimal image is >20mb now not the 15mb it says in the guide.
    Instead of doing the bits about the ATI drivers do the following:

    ATI drivers:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/ATI
    basically there are 2 types:
    FGLRX is the community maintained drivers, easily installable but may be less cutting edge and not as good performance wise.
    ATI maintained - binary, i think, so no source code. Bit more difficult to install, but not too bad.

    You may end up with over/underscan like i mentioned earlier. The problem you will have is that you have no window manager installed. You just have base installation, x-server and xbmc. You can start CCC using executor plugin from xbmc but you won't be able to interact with it (i couldn't get the mouse/kb to register on it rather than on xbmc).
    The workaround i use is from my post here:
    [LIVE] Black Screen if XBMC Started with HDTV Turned Off? - XBMC Community Forum
    Fluxbox is a very basic (and fast) window manager which is good for doing GUI dependant tasks like CCC. I also use it for virtualbox fiddling.
    "Tear free desktop" is a good setting in CCC. I think you have to turn off vsync in xbmc though. Certainly if you get tearing they are the 2 things to look at.

    VAAPI
    With a fusion board however the biggest problem you are going to face is getting VAAPI (hardware accerlation) working.
    Here is a bit of a guide. Either use this one or combine it with the others i have linked:
    [LINUX] HOW-TO use VAAPI HW Acceleration on AMD Zacate (Fusion) platform - XBMC Community Forum



    There may be other guides specific to fusion boards on the xbmc forums.

    I know my links are all xbmc but the majority of the info in them will be good if you plan on installing some other media playback apps also.

    Like others have said though, you could just start with the live ubuntu desktop, follow the ATI guide (or use the restricted drivers GUI) and then install xbmc.

    Hope some of that helps and i haven't put you off :D
     
  17. DavidT

    DavidT
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    I too am a noob on Linux but installing Ubuntu and XBMC is a doddle. Just download and burn Ubuntu to a CD and boot from it then follow the XBMC wiki guide. The only reason I don't use Ubuntu is because I have AMD graphics which was difficult to get working in a Linux/XBMC environment six months ago.

    David
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  18. jtf

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    Check out xbmcfreak.nl. He offers live installs with xvba support which is superseding vaapi for ati/ amd cards. Also if you go on the Linux support section of the xbmc forum there is a guide of how to install minimal Ubuntu with pvr xbmc. It's very easy, I did it last night.
     
  19. bryanchicken

    bryanchicken
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    I assume this one?:
    http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=116996

    Thanks for this.
    Not seen this before and its a good guide. Its very similar to my own personal guide that i came up with for pvr.
    Wish i'd known about that underscan setting previously. I searched high and low for a way to do it without needing to use CCC gui. And the vsync option come to think of it.
    The xbmc autostart is also more refined than the way i do it too.
    All in all, a good guide! I'll be having a go with it :thumbsup:
     
  20. jtf

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    Yep that's the one
     
  21. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    I'm planning to have XMBC live booting from USB to use as a media centre, and then have a full version of Ubuntu on a hard disk to do the PC side of things.

    I'm not really sure what I'm looking for. Do you have a link?

    I took a quick look at the page and then got to words like XBMCbuntu, which don't mean very much to me.
     
  22. tredman

    tredman
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    Go here: http://openelec.tv/get-openelec

    Get the fusion build and follow the link to installation instructions on the same page. Fusion build includes the xvba gpu decoding mentioned above.

    This should give you a USB stick which will boot straight into xbmc and offer you hardware decoded playback.
     
  23. jtf

    jtf
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    xbmcfreak.nl/en
     
  24. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    Sorry, I mean a link for the download.
     
  25. jtf

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  26. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    OK, thanks.

    The original link went to the site's homepage so I wasn't certain if I was looking for something that was still on the home page, or an older entry that was in the archive.
     
  27. PerfectBlue97

    PerfectBlue97
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    Looks like this build has a problem with displaying subs.

    I appreciate the link, but I uses subs a lot so I think that I will try a more stable version.
     

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