XBMC turns you Raspberry Pi into a media server

XBMC is an open source media center that can be used for all operating systems. Because the Raspberry Pi is optimized to output full HD on the HDMI port it is the perfect hardware for a media server. Another advantage is the cheap price. With this it is a very good alternative to other media servers. In this article I show how to setup your Raspberry Pi as XBMC server.

Base configuration

A configuration for this is not needed! For XBMC there are ready to use images that need to be copied onto your SD card. It is true that you can install XBMC with a packet manager with your linux distribution, but it can be hard to configure it. With a ready to go image it is very easy to get a full functional XBMC server with nearly no work. This image is called Raspbmc. You can find an article how to put the image to the SD card for different operating systems Windows, Linux und Mac OSX.

Installation

With this you can download a minimal Raspbmc image. If it was copied onto you SD card you can put it into your Raspberry Pi and turn it one. During booting it automatically connects to you router and installs all needed software from the internet. It is important that you connect you Raspberry with a LAN cable because the image searches for a DHCP server to auto connect. It does not work with WLAN sticks. After some minutes, the system was ready to restart. After this restart, XBMC was displayed on my TV set over HDMI. It displays the XBMC menu.

Configuration

XBMC is easy to use. You can change the language, time zone, location and so on. If it has a connection to internet you can get a weather report for your city. Next thing is the configuration of our  data sources because you want to display music, videos and pictures. The XBMC server is directly connected to your router, so you only have to configure disk space that can be reached from this network.

Samba

Samba or smb is a network protocol for network shares. With this protocol it is easy to create new network shares and the advantage is, that this network protocol is operating system independent. For this I setup a linux server with a samba share.

This is very easy

  • install Samba
  • create user
  • configure a network share. Open the configuration file

    and insert this
  • restart Samba

Now you have to configure XBMC. You have to create a new smb data source (simply put the IP address of you server). For XBMC you only need read access so I have disabled write permission.

Ready. Now you can watch you videos on your TV set.

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