Keeping XBMC updated isn’t easy. A very frequent question in the community forums is: how do I update XBMC? The problem begins with the XBMC update system. Why, you ask? There isn’t one. Zero, zilch, nada! The problem goes on with the next problem: most XBMC users aren’t XBMC community forum users. Let me elaborate on that.
I think there are two types of XBMC users.
The common XBMC user doesn’t want too much hassle. It’s the install and forget kind. It works? Fine! Let me enjoy my content. This is the type of user that wants full support from the Home Theater PC manufacturer/distributor. Messing under the hood isn’t for them. They like products that should just work, not one that demands tech-savvy maintenance to perform a simple update.
On the other hand, XBMC community forum users are, generally speaking, tech-savvy, like the occasional battle with hardware, care about the perfect media center experience and are willing to waste time debugging and making things work flawlessly. We test XBMC skins, plugins and addons, different XBMC source code – XBMC PVR for instance – and get yelled at by the wife for breaking perfectly working things.
Keeping XBMC up-to-date
There’s no simple way to update XBMC Live and things aren’t changing with the new XBMCBuntu. No magic update feature like OpenELEC has. The update is a nightmare in terms of sheer number of steps one has to follow only to end up praying it works. Most of the time it doesn’t quite work and the common user ends up with a broken system.
The alternative? Download, burn and install the latest XBMC release. Which is to say: start all over again. That can’t be considered the practical way to update a system, can it?
Fortunately, some easy steps, done in the correct order, can make your life very easy. Just for good measure, please backup your ~/.xbmc folder first, located under your home folder.
These steps do not update the underlying OS (Ubuntu), drivers or any kind of system utilities or packages. It may break some XBMC addons and plugins because of the compatibility check. Don’t worry, it seldom happens and addon developers solve problems fairly quickly. These instructions work in recent Ubuntu releases – Lucid and onward.
Update XBMC Live and headless Live based systems
Open your favorite SSH tool and connect to your XBMC system. Issue the following commands, one at a time
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install python-software-properties sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install --reinstall xbmc-live
Update XBMC installed on Ubuntu Desktop
Open Terminal and issue the following commands, one at a time
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install python-software-properties sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install --reinstall xbmc