How To: Install Raspbmc on Raspberry Pi (XBMC)

This will show how to install Raspbmc onto a Raspberry Pi.

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I’ve previously covered the Windows 7 installation of XBMC here, and the install process of XBian on the Raspberry Pi here.  This time I will be covering a method to install Raspbmc onto the Raspberry Pi for the purposes of creating a simple media center appliance. Raspbmc is just one of many pre-built 3rd party distributions of XBMC available.The three main XBMC variations that the community seems to prefer for the Raspberry Pi; XBian, Raspbmc, and OpenELEC.

The installation is very similar to XBian and so is the end result so this may seem familiar if you read my previous posting. I’ll cover the most complicated (but still extremely simple) installation of XBMC to a Raspberry Pi using the OpenELEC distribution shortly.

Download the version of Raspbmc from the official site here. I’m working on a Windows PC so that’s the installer I’ll choose. There are also Mac and standalone versions available if you want to install without an active network connection.

On your PC: Extract the file you just downloaded into its own folder and run the setup file, the program will run and a window appears. Select your SD card, accept the terms, then press install.

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The installer will download and in a very short time the SD Card is formatted.

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Take the SD card and place it into the Raspberry Pi. Ensure the Pi is connected to HDMI and has an active internet connection.

The installer will quickly run through some informational setup process on screen and then display some messages and progress bars…

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…then like the installer suggested, in roughly the amount of time it would take to make a cup of coffee Raspbmc had completed the installation process. Upon completion the system will reboot automatically and install some updates one of which appeared to be a new build. Overall It intentionally rebooted a few times before finally starting up completely. Expect about 10-15 minutes before the HTPC is usable from initial boot as it is downloading software and updates necessary to complete the installation. After installation the usual boot time will be seconds not minutes.

You’ll need to have a keyboard hooked up to select the language, or be using a mobile device app over LAN. The web server will be enabled by default on port 80. You can also use the built in web interface if you have no other option.

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Of note Raspbian uses port 80 whereas XBian uses port 8080 for HTTP. On boot an informational pop up will display showing the Pi’s IP address which you can then use to connect via network.

You’re done. Install addons and sources and enjoy.

Default passwords are User: pi, Password: raspberry. To copy your settings to another Raspbmc simply ftp to the pi and copy the home/pi/.xbmc folder and then copy to the same location in the new pi.