XBMC: Perfect Home Media Server.

Intro & Hardware

Since I’ve recently made the move from Mac OSX to Linux, I’ve been toying with the idea of swapping my standard (and expensive) cable TV for something slightly more suitable…

I’ve used XBMC (xbox media center, which nowadays has nothing to do with xbox) for a while on other systems and with some config, I reckon it could make a good TV.

I had some old hardware laying around, a HP xw4400, Dual Core Duo Intel CPU, 4GiB RAM, new DVD drive and new 1TiB HDD and the standard 300ish GiB HDD, I slapped a cheap £30 graphics card in there so it can handle HD well and a gigabit NIC, wired of course.

I ran an Ethernet from my AirPort Extreme router to the TV with the HP computer (connected by HDMI) and started on the software…

Software and Server

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XBMC: Perfect Home Media Server.


VNC is the method we can use to remotely control our Ubuntu computer (now also an SSH server) [see SSH Basics & Server Setup]. In the administration section of the Ubuntu computer you will find a GUI to help set up your VNC over your local network (ticking boxes and assigning a password).

Once you have that set up, you can then VNC to your server (now a SSH/VNC Server & Ubuntu Desktop) with a program such as Tight VNC on windows or Mac’s built in VNC client, simply point your program (VNC Client) to your Servers internal IP address (assuming your on the same network, 192.168.1.??) and choose the port number (a hole in your computers firewall to let data through) for example I would point my VNC client to as port 5900 is the default VNC port.

Continue reading “SSH & VNC…”