Sunday, January 26, 2014

XBMC/Steam Seamless (Linux) - Tutorial

XBMC launches after the boot process finishes. When Steam is opened from XBMC, XBMC close and Steam starts in Big Picture Mode. When Steam is closed, XBMC re-opens. This setup is Solid State Drive ready. A SSD is not required, but preferred. This setup works with a wired Playstation 3 controller.

Link to forum of the XBMC add-on: Here
Ubuntu 12.04 download link: Here
Video tutorial: Here
In action: Here

1. Do a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04. Do not encrypt the Home folder and keep everything in one partition.

2. Right click on the desktop, and select Change Desktop Background. Click the drop down arrow next to Wallpapers tab on the top right. Select Colors & Gradients. Click the first colored box on the right side (there should be three of them. Towards the middle there is another box to the left of a [+] icon, click the box and change the color to black.
3. Open a Terminal (Left click on the top left icon and search for Terminal, or CTRL + ALT + T), and enter wget

4. Open the top left orange icon. There will be a file called 1.txt Double click that file. You can close out of the orange file manager. If you closed the Terminal, open another one. Copy and Paste these lines in one at a time (MAKE SURE IT'S IN ORDER WITH THIS GUIDE)

Tip: To clear the Terminal press CTRL + L

sudo apt-get remove mahjongg gnome-sudoku aisleriot gnome-font-viewer simple-scan shotwell firefox firefox-gnome-support firefox-locale-en transmission-common transmission-gtk remmina gwibber gwibber-service thunderbird thunderbird-locale-en empathy empathy-common libreoffice-base-core libreoffice-calc libreoffice-common libreoffice-draw libreoffice-math libreoffice-writer libreoffice-calc brasero rhythmbox ubuntuone-client ubuntuone-installer usb-creator-common usb-creator-gtk update-manager update-manager-core update-notifier-common update-notifier net-tools onboard xdiagnose xterm gnome-nettool gnome-screenshot gnome-screensaver gnome-system-log gnome-online-accounts gnome-orca eog ibus system-config-printer-gnome totem evince im-switch compiz gnomine landscape-client-ui-install language-selector-gnome gnome-disk-utility gcalctool ubuntu-docs gnome-user-guide gnome-power-manager checkbox checkbox-qt vino deja-dup
sudo apt-get autoremove

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config software-properties-common cuttlefish gnome-
session-fallback util-linux udisks usbmount ntfs-3g

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install xbmc

sudo rm -fr /usr/share/example-content

rm -fr ~/examples.desktop ~/Public


o gedit /etc/default/grub  – Change Time Out from 10 to 0

sudo gedit /etc/usbmount/usbmount.conf

Change this line:

FILESYSTEMS="vfat ext2 ext3 ext4 hfsplus"

to this line

FILESYSTEMS="ntfs vfat ext2 ext3 ext4 hfsplus"

ntfs is added infront of vfat

sudo gedit /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/custom-actions.pkla

Paste this in the document, save it, then close it.

[Actions for xbmc user]

sudo gedit /etc/fstab – add noatime, to the front of      errors=remount Don’t forget the comma. There are no spaces between noatime,errors=remount

sudo gedit /etc/rc.local – add fstrim –v / above exit 0 (There is a space after the m)
gconftool-2 -s /apps/metacity/general/num_workspaces --type int 1

dbus-send --session --type=method_call --print-reply --dest=org.gnome.SessionManager /org/gnome/SessionManager org.gnome.SessionManager.Logout uint32:1

5. Click the foot icon to the right of your user name. Select Ubuntu (No Effects), type in your password, and then press enter to login.
6. Click Applications in the top left corner, then click Ubuntu Software Center. Search for Steam in top right corner. Click Steam and then More Info blow the icon. Click buy on the right side above the preview photo. Accept the terms, then sign in/signup to install it.

If an error pops up saying the Software Center has crashed, uncheck the top box, check the bottom box, and click Leave Closed.
7. Open Steam, so it can go through the update process. Login when it's finished.

8. Open XBMC, and install the add-on located in the Home folder. System > Add-ons > Install from zip file > Home Folder > file at the bottom. Press ESC twice to go back to the main screen.

9. Navigate to Programs towards the left. Go to Steam, press the letter C on your keyboard, and select Add-on settings. Change to the Advanced tab at the top. Check Make executable on next run. Hit the letter C again, then add it to favorites. You can add Steam to the Main menu by going to Settings > Appearance > Settings > Add-on (Shortcuts) > Add-on 1. Check 13:36 in the video if you have problems finding where to go.

10. Navigate to Settings > Services > Remote Control > make sure both of these are unchecked.
11. Exit Steam. (Letter S on the keyboard will bring up the option)

12. Click on the gear in the top right corner and select System Settings... Select User Accounts, click on the padlock in the top right corner (Says Unlock next to it). Type in the password, then click the button next to Automatic Login. It should now say On. If it says Off, click it again
13. Click All Settings in the top left corner. In the top row, click on Brightness and Lock. Where it says Turn off screen when inactive for: 10 minutes, click the 10 minutes and change it to Never. Click the button below Lock. It should now say OFF. Uncheck Require my password when waking from suspend
14. Open Cuttlefish – Applications > Accessories >  Cuttlefish
            A. Click New
B. Name it XBMC/Steam
C. Turn off notification
D. Click Stimulus > Set Application Stops
E. Set Application to Steam
            F. Go to the Reaction tab
            G. Click plus sign at bottom left
            H. Choose Start Application > Choose XBMC
            I. Edit (On top bar, left side) > Preferences > Autostart
15. Turn the volume up all of the way.
16. Hold down the Alt key and right click on the bottom panel. Click Properties, and check the Auto Hide box.

17. Open Terminal and enter these four sets one at a time.

sudo apt-get remove software-center appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt unity-2d unity-lens* unity-services unity-common compiz-core compiz-gnome compiz-plugins-default compizconfig-backend-gconf update-manager update-manager-core update-notifier

sudo apt-get autoremove

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

rm -fr ~/script.steam.launcher*.zip

18. Click the gear in the top right corner, then click Startup Applications… and uncheck these: (Some might not show up)

- AT SPI D-Bus Bus
- Disk Notifications
- Files
- GPG Password Agent
- Gwibber
- Mount Helper
- On Board
- Orca
- Personal File Sharing
- screensaver
- SSH Key Agent
- Ubuntu One
- Update Notifier
- Zeitgeist Datahub

19. Click Add on the right side. In the Name area enter XBMC, enter /usr/bin/xbmc, then click Add.

20. Hold down the Alt key and right click on the top. Click Properties, and check the Auto Hide box.

21. Restart

Working On
- Changing the boot logo/animation
- Hiding the curser
- When Steam restarts, XBMC opens.
- Using a wireless PS3/Xbox 360 controller
- Using a PS3 remote for XBMC


  1. Hey dude, this looks incredible and I'm going to dig out an old laptop just to try it out on!

    I have a server with my media files and a separate gaming rig in my room. I'm thinking of getting a NUC or something similar to go in the living room and id like to be able to stream my media to it, and use steam in home streaming from my gaming pc to it.
    Do you thinl your setup would be suitable for that?

    Once again, awesome job by the way.

    1. Hey, thanks!

      Steam in home streaming is still in beta at the moment, but looks promising. You are going to need a higher end router if you are planning on streaming. The section way at the bottom "Working On" I haven't figured that stuff out yet, and I don't have a working controller at the moment. Everything else should be fine after you get all the drivers and stuff setup (If the specs of the old laptop/NUC are descent).

  2. This is a fantastic tutorial Sean!

    I will be trying this over the next few weeks!

    Btw what xbmc skin are you using in the video?

    1. Thank you!

      I still haven't figured out how to fix the problems at the bottom...
      I've been working on a script to setup Steam in Ubuntu Minimal. Hopefully that will work better, take up less hard drive space, boot faster, and run faster.

      - The skin is Transparency.

  3. Thank you for sharing this information. This article is very interesting and useful. Keep up the good work!

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