Tag Archives: xbmc

Stretch preparations before the freeze

These are the last hours when we can update packages and they migrate to testing after 10 days right before the full freeze on 5 February.

The latest Wireshark upstream version, 2.2.4 has been released on Monday and it is waiting patiently to be part of next Debian stable.

I have just tested the fix for Kodi’s bug preventing playing DVD-s and today it will be fixed in unstable as well.

If you have packages which could be updated to make Stretch even better you can still do it today, but don’t wait too long!

Thanks to everyone working on Debian! Stretch will be awesome! 🙂

FFmpeg and Kodi arrived to jessie-backports!

FFmpeg Kodi Debian JessieDebian has switched to FFmpeg in testing in July but the work on the package did not stop at that point. After careful testing we can now provide official packages for Jessie users through jessie-backports. See installation instructions here. FFmpeg becoming available in jessie-backports also enabled us to provide Kodi from Debian in the same official repository.

Thanks to everyone in the Debian Multimedia Maintainers team, especially Andreas Cadhalpun who is also upstream developer at the FFmpeg project, Reinhard Tartler who maintained FFmpeg then Libav then FFmpeg again in Debian for long years and everyone else I could not name here but helped making this possible!

Kodi from Debian

The well known XBMC Media Center has been renamed to Kodi with the 14.0 Helix release and following upstream’s decision the xbmc packages are renamed to kodi as well. Debian ships a slightly changed version of XBMC using the “XBMC from Debian” name and following that tradition ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you “Kodi from Debian”:

Kodi from Debian main screen

Kodi from Debian main screen

As of today Kodi from Debian uses the FFmpeg packages instead of the Libav ones which have been used by XBMC from Debian. The reason for the switch was upstream’s decision of dropping the Libav compatibility code and FFmpeg becoming available again packaged in Debian (thanks to Andreas Cadhalpun). It is worth noting that while upstream Kodi 14.0 downloads and builds FFmpeg 2.4.4 by default, Debian ships FFmpeg 2.5.1 already and FFmpeg under Kodi will be updated independently from Kodi thanks to the packaging mechanism.

The new kodi packages are uploaded to the NEW queue and are waiting for being accepted by the FTP Masters who are busy with preparing Jessie for the release (Many thanks to them for their hard work!), but in the meantime you can install kodi from https://people.debian.org/~rbalint/ppa/xbmc-ffmpeg/.

Happy recovery from the holidays! 🙂

update: I have updated the Kodi version to 14.2 in the xbmc-ffmpeg repository also updating FFmpeg to 2.6.1.
The packages can be used with Jessie, but unstable and experimental repositories also have to be enabled due to some dependencies missing from Jessie but present in unstable/experimental.

update 2: Dominique Dumont wrote a nice how-to about automounting optical media (CD/DVD) using Kodi on Debian.

update 3: Kodi is now available from jessie-backports, testing and unstable. Please use the packages from the official repositories instead of my temporary one which contains outdated packages and will be deleted.

XBMC (from Debian) running on MIPS CI20 dev board

XBMC on CI20 MIPS dev board

Imagination Tech kindly offered many developers (including me) a CI20 development board which let me play with XBMC on it a bit and patching it alive. The OpenGL GUI works smoothly, but video can’t be played due to crashes in FFmpeg/Libav/libva libPVROGL_MESA.so (See bug report here).
The patches needed  are sent to upstream and the latest Debian package already ships them.

Big part of the credits go to Cory Fields who created the first MIPS patches I found and updated for latest XBMC code. Thanks!

update:  Both Kodi 14.0 and XBMC 13.2 crash in libPVROGL_MESA.so which library is closed source thus I can’t debug it further.

update 2:  The crash is fixed in latest beta image from Imagination Tech which makes XBMC from Debian able to play videos using software rendering:

update 3: Kodi also runs with with the patches sent upstream:


update 4: Patches for Kodi have been merged!

XBMC 13.0 Gotham entered Debian

XBMC v13.0 Gotham

XBMC v13.0 Gotham

Thanks to the great work of the XBMC Team XBMC 13.0 Gotham has been released last Sunday and now “XBMC from Debian” can be downloaded from experimental to Jessie and Sid systems.

It will take some time to enter unstable since it is blocked by the Libav 10 transition, but that will happen, too, eventually.

I have also set up a separate repository at https://people.debian.org/~rbalint/ppa/xbmc-ffmpeg/ based on the Debian packages in main but using XBMC’s internal copy of FFmpeg because I received several request asking for this variant. The packages there can be used on Wheezy (stable), Jessie (testing) and Sid (unstable) but are not part of Debian.

Update 1: For the interested parties the XBMC 13 Libav compatibility patches are available from a git branch in the packaging repository.

Update 2: Gotham and compatible PVR addons have migrated to Jessie (testing) and have also been uploaded to wheezy-backports. This makes Frodo and compatible PVR addons not installable from the usual official Debian repositories but if you would like to still use Frodo you can install it from snapshot.debian.org. Just add the following lines to your sources.list:

deb     http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20140401T173926Z/ wheezy-backports main
deb-src http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20140401T173926Z/ wheezy-backports main

It may be necessary to ignore the Valid-Until header within Release files, in order to prevent apt from disregarding snapshot entries (“Release file expired”). Use aptitude -o Acquire::Check-Valid-Until=false update or apt-get -o Acquire::Check-Valid-Until=false update for this purpose. (from snapshot.debian.org)

Update 3: people.debian.org became available through HTTPS only thus sources.list have to be updated as well. You may need to install apt-transport-https package to access the repositories there.

XBMC 12.3 Frodo has arrived to Debian Wheezy, Jessie and Sid

Q: How to install latest XBMC on Debian?
A: Just run “apt-get install xbmc”

Well, it actually installs “XBMC from Debian” and to get the 12.3 you also have to enable backports on Wheezy, but I guess you can forgive me for those nuances. 🙂

Many thanks to the Debian Multimedia team, Modestas Vainius and Ron Lee who kindly backported XBMC’s dependencies and also many thanks to the XBMC Developers for XBMC itself!

The package is well tested on amd64, i386 and armhf, and it is now built on powerpc and armel, too. If you would like to see your favorite architecture running XBMC, please check the build logs and submit a patch fixing the build to the BTS.

Happy hacking!

update: XBMC 13 Gotham replaced Frodo in Debian, but you can still install it from snapshot.debian.org. For details see the post about Gotham.

Introducing “XBMC from Debian”

… available from unstable, and hopefully soon from testing, too!

The longer story:

The xbmc package has been uninstallable and unbuildable in Debian unstable for quite some time. Mainly due to differing preferences of the XBMC project and Debian.

Original XBMC source includes several embedded libraries, some patched to work with XBMC perfectly and to provide the best user experience the XBMC project prefers building XBMC with those libraries.

In Debian, on the other hand, the recommended practice is not embedding libraries, but using the packaged versions instead to reduce the amount of security updates in case a library needs a security related fix, to save space on mirrors and to avoid divergence between the embedded versions of the libraries.

One consequence of using externally packaged libraries is the need for making XMBC work with newer versions of the external libraries even when the embedded one would still work perfectly or (in some rare cases) there are even breakages due to changing APIs or new bugs in the library.

XBMC depends on many libraries and the changes to them in Debian used to break one or another XBMC use case. The XBMC project received many direct bug reports from users of the Debian-shipped XBMC package which were harder than necessary to handle due to the lack of clear differentiation from the .deb packages provided directly by
them and using the embedded libraries.

To help both users and developers the xbmc package starts using the “XBMC from Debian” name on the main screen and in the logs, the version number used inside the application is set to the Debian package’s version, and README.Debian directs users of the package to Debian’s BTS instead of XBMC’s forums.

The most notable difference between XBMC and “XBMC from Debian” is that XBMC uses
its embedded patched FFmpeg, while “XBMC from Debian” uses libav. If movies play too slow, too fast, without sound or too loud, you should definitely check BTS first. 😉

Happy Holidays and don’t stay too much in front of the screen if “XBMC from Debian” happens to work for hours without any crash! 🙂

update: (The crashing part is just a joke. “XBMC from Debian”  should work flawlessly. I use it every day without problems.)

update 2: If you prefer the internal FFmpeg over Libav for some reasons I have created a separate repository for the package using the internal FFmpeg library copy starting from Gotham.