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How To Build A Slackware Mediacenter (HTPC) With XBMC

My Situation

I wanted a stand alone media center and everything pointed to XBMC. I tried the various LiveCD versions of XBMC but each had problems that either prevented the system from working or were too annoying. The solution turned out to be a S lackware 14 box that boots right into XBMC.

Here's What I Did

  1. Install Slackware on an old PC.
  2. Install XBMC, ffmpeg and the dependencies via sbopkg.
    1. Copy /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.twm to ~/.xinitrc to set twm as the default window manager.
  3. Create a user named xbmc and login as the user xbmc to create the essential window manager configuration files.
  4. Edit ~/.xinitrc and at the bottom, change:
    /usr/bin/twm &
    /usr/bin/xclock -geometry 50x50-1+1 &
    /usr/bin/xterm -geometry 80x50+494+51 &
    /usr/bin/xterm -geometry 80x20+494-0 &
    exec /usr/bin/xterm -geometry 80x66+0+0 -name login


    /usr/bin/twm &
    #/usr/bin/xclock -geometry 50x50-1+1 &
    #/usr/bin/xterm -geometry 80x50+494+51 &
    #/usr/bin/xterm -geometry 80x20+494-0 &
    #exec /usr/bin/xterm -geometry 80x66+0+0 -name login
    exec /usr/bin/xbmc -geometry +0+0
  5. Edit /etc/rc.d/rc.local and add:
    sudo -u xbmc startx

    this is instructing the system to login as the xbmc user on boot and start the default window manager.

After you reboot the machine, it should boot right into XBMC and you should have a working media center/HTPC.

Some Other Things to Configure

If you keep your media files on other machines and they are accessible via Samba or NFS, make sure you enable file sharing:

  • To enable Samba file sharing:
    chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/rc.samba;/etc/rc.d/rc.samba start
  • To enable NFS file sharing:
    chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd;/etc/rc.d/rc.nfsd start

For NFS, you'll have to do some other configuration but all that is explained in the NFS wiki pages.


* Originally written by arfon

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