XBMC (formerly known as "Xbox Media Center") is an free open source cross-platform media center and entertainment hub software distributed under the GNU General Public License. Originally developed as "Xbox Media Player" for the first-generation Xbox game console in 2002, XBMC eventually became a complete graphical user interface replacement for the Xbox Dashboard, and has since been ported to also run under Linux operating system. As a media center, XBMC can, via software codecs, play audio and video files, as well as display images from virtually any source, including CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, the Internet, local area networks, and hard drives. XBMC is neither produced nor endorsed by Microsoft or any other officially recognized vendor, and, like all Xbox homebrew applications, requires a modchip or a softmod exploit. As such, its legality is disputed.
Through the C++ and Python programming languages, XBMC has been extended to include large metadata databases for multimedia libraries, weather forecasts, TV guides, website interaction (such as for YouTube videos and Apple.com movie trailers), SHOUTcast and Podcast streaming, among other things. XBMC also functions as a gaming platform by allowing users to play Python-based mini-games, while the Xbox version contains built-in support to launch console games and homebrew applications, plus a free alternative to Xbox Live called XLink Kai.
New Hardware Requirements
Due to the dated hardware of the Xbox, a Linux port was announced for personal computers in 2007, without Xbox-specific features such as game trainers and video game loading. XBMC for Linux is available as pre-alpha software through Subversion access. The greater processing power of newer hardware allow for it to render high-definition video, including 1080p, while the Xbox hardware could only output up to 1080i through upscaling at most HRHD-quality videos. However, as with the Xbox version, XBMC for Linux does not currently support hardware decoding, thus all load is placed upon the central processing unit, limiting the use of sound and video cards to output only.
Adding a Repository
Use either repository, not both:
Unstable Nightly Builds
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/unstable
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
How to Install
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install xbmc
MythTV - (DVB/PVR) TV software
Official XBMC Sites
XBMC Scripts, Plugins and Skins
Python Scripts and Plugins
xbmcscripts.com (Python scripts which add additional features and functionality to XBMC)
XBMC Addons SVN (Python plugins for XBMC)
allxboxskins.com - unofficial XBMC skin download site (currently down?)
xbox-skins.net - another unofficial XBMC skin download site