Geek Freely: kodi

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    The whole point in this post is to run your own VPN service, and allow you to connect remote devices to your home network.

    To start off yo…

    Showing posts with label kodi.

    Showing posts with label kodi.

    If you haven’t already installed and setup MySQL on your NAS4Free box, I suggest you follow this guide:

    We start off by making a for Kodi to access the DB. First we need to login to the MySQL environment to define the user:

    mysql -u root -p

    Note: If MySQL isn’t started then

    Enter the password for  root and then create the Kodi user, here I call them xbmc for nostalgia:

    CREATE USER ‘xbmc’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘xbmc’;

    GRANT ALL ON *.* TO ‘xbmc’;

    quit;

    Create (or add to, if you already have one) an advancedsettings.xml file in your Kodi userdata folder.

    Using nano copy and paste the following information into the advancedsettings.xml file, if there is already content, merge the sections appropriately:

    advancedsettings.xml configuration found in the following location:

    http://kodi.wiki/view/HOW-TO:Share_libraries_using_MySQL/Setting_up_XBMC

    And should look like this:

    mysql

    ***.***.***.***

    3306

    xbmc

    xbmc

    mysql

    ***.***.***.***

    3306

    xbmc

    xbmc

    true

    Replace the two instances of ***.***.***.*** with local network IP address of your NAS4Free server. It is recommended not to use its NetBIOS name, as not all devices may be able to resolve them.

    Save the file as advancedsettings.xml.  Copy this advancedsettings.xml file you just created to the userdata folder of every Kodi install you want to sync .

    If you exported your existing DBs, go ahead and import them.  If you created a fresh DB, scan all your content again, make sure to use the NAS4Free server IP rather than NetBIOS for your shares, as mentioned – not all devices may resolve the NetBIOS.

    As a final note, specifically with OpenELEC and Raspberry Pi, although OpenELEC suggest this for WiFi boxes, set Wait for network before starting Kodi under OpenELEC addon settings, network.

    That is it…you should be good to go.  Let me know how it goes for you, or if you have any issues.

    In some of my previous posts I have written about using NAS4Free and installing various extensions on the system, well it was time to upgrade my NAS4Free but I didn’t have the space on the Operating System drive – so a complete re-install was looming.

    As daunting as it was, it was inevitable that I had to redo everything, but thanks to the new package manager in FreeBSD 10.x this turned out to be an enjoyable exercise.

    The first step I decided to tackle was implementing the MySQL DB on NAS4Free, so I could provide a shared DB for Kodi installs.

    First let’s determine an appropriate location to install the temporary files for installation:

    setenv PKG_TMPDIR /mnt/Data

    Next let’s create the appropriate user and group for the MySQL install in NAS4Free:

    Group

    Name: mysql

    ID: 88

    User

    Name: mysql

    Fullname: mysql

    UserID: 88

    Primary Group: mysql

    NO PASSWORD

    After defining the user to access the MySQL DB, the next step was installing MySQL server, using the following commands:

    pkg install mysql56-server

    rehash

    cd /usr/local

    mysql_install_db

    At this point it is good practice to confirm that MySQL will indeed starts:

    /usr/local/etc/rc.d/mysql-server onestart

    Hopefully everything is good at this point and, the next step is to make sure that MySQL is enabled in NAS4Free:

    nano /etc/rc.conf

    Add the following line to the rc.conf file:

    mysql_enable=”YES”

    Now you should be good to go.

    If you want to configure this for Kodi to use, check out the following guide:

    http://www.geekfreely.com/2015/12/howto-configuring-kodi-to-use-nas4free.html

    The other week while watching

    I heard the team talking about the

    being a great device for running , I was slightly hesitant because I have first generation Pi’s, and as some of you may know they are pretty sluggish at times.

    Anyway, I dropped the cash on the device to check it out. I bought the:

    The major thing to note here is that the Pi 2 doesn’t use SD cards, it uses microSD cards, which is great for compactness, but I was surprised – you can tell this was an impulse buy and not researched.

    Anyway, as soon as I received the device I loaded the microSD card with the latest beta (5.95.5) – it runs like a dream, snappy GUI () and quick, timely playback.

    As some of you may know I had posted about , I think I would go with the Pi 2 now…

    Let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments, or if you have any questions.

    The Hardware

    After approximately 10 years of using XBMC, the old name for Kodi, I have tried a variety of hardware end-points.

    Always searching for the best bang for my buck. My conclusion is the Chromebox, I have a single

    and I am considering replacing my Pi’s with two more Chromeboxes. Raspberry Pi’s are nice and all, but they just don’t have the grunt, you are constantly modifying settings and over-clocking. The Asus Chromebox is a no hassle Kodi player.

    It’s silent, powerful, and it comes at the great price ~$160.

    Now I know a lot of people will be saying the Pi is cheaper, but let’s be honest – you need to spend at least $95. For that you get, the

    (~$45),

    (~$10),

    (~$10),

    (~$15) – and that doesn’t even include cables or a power supply, because you may have it lying around.

    The only question about the Chromebox is to consider which version. Some will , and some will give you , and of course some will give you both.  I have a basic , but am tempted by the

    for the AC network adapter.  provided some insightful comments on the Chromebox support of 4k and Wireless AC. AC network support can be gained in the cheaper Asus box with the , and there appears to be no difference in 4k support between models, however I had previously read the i5 would be required for 4k.

    Update: Some other readers noticed hardware omissions, I’d love to hear feedback on other hardware users have had success with, but a comparison always helps.  Here are a few I would love some more performance comparisons on:

    The Software

    There are a bunch of approaches, with the only real restriction being the hardware your running it on. I have tried the following:

    If you have ever read any of my , it will be no surprise that OpenELEC is the clear winner for me.

    The Remote

    For me this was a simple decision, nothing fancy here – I have tried a variety of solutions.

    At this time I am using the USB receiver from a

    and USB IR receiver I purchased for my initial XBMC HTPC, I have programmed my to send MCE commands – and that’s it. You could also use and have IR commands converted to keyboard commands – which gives you a lot of flexibility (I used to have a remote button programmed to send “w”, to update watched status quickly.)

    Update: One attentive reader, , noted the omission of . Utilizing the CEC adapter leverages your current TV remote to take care of the basic HTPC functionality. I personally find I want a few more buttons, but if you need the basics this is certainly worth investigating.

    The Installation and Configuration

    So you have your hardware and software, all you need to do now is install the software and you are ready to enjoy your music and home movies!

    I created a

    some time ago based on several different sources, but  has an

    that is a much better resource than my dated post.

    provides a simple installation script for running, after you have prepared the hardware, and the guide also recommends settings and covers some known issues.

    The Extras

    Personally, since I run three of these boxes in my house I like to have a synchronized library, providing watched/un-watched/resume status throughout the house. . Kodi is certainly moving towards a shared library implementation using UPNP – but I’m not sure it is quite there yet.

    The beauty of the

    over the iPad, in my opinion, is that it plays content without discrimination – I can install Kodi (XBMC) on it without a problem, along with several other functions that Apple wish to lock down – and this is without modifying it. Other than features and functionality, the price point for entry into a tablet world is great!!  ,

    With the upcoming release of the Nexus 9, we will no doubt see a marked reduction in the price of the 7.

    I decided it was probably as good a time as any to mess around with modifying my

    – and I can tell you, I am nothing but pleased.

    Here is a summary of what is involved.

    My guide is based on Linux, Crunchbang to be specific, but you can do this on any OS.  As usual, I found my information on the internet.   and reference to Windows use, although beyond fastboot setup there is nothing different.

    The first thing to do here is install Android SDK on your computer, it in turn gives you fastboot and adb on your system.

    Update:  Here is a link for installing ADB and Fastboot on any system,:

    Following directions from this site, for Android SDK ()

    Regarding the last point, I had to add the environment information, as it wouldn’t run without it.

    Install JDK — sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk

    Environment Variable — sudo nano /etc/environment adding the following line:

    JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.7.0-openjdk-i386

    Reboot, and Android Studio starts up.

    NOTE Unlocking the bootloader on a Nexus device will automatically wipe all device data.

    Power off your Nexus 7

    Press and hold the Volume Down and the Power button to power on the Nexus 7.

    Connect the device to the computer through USB.

    Verify your PC sees the device by typing:sudo fastboot devices

    If you don’t see your device serial number, and instead see “”, fastboot is not configured properly on your machine. See

    for more info.

    From the same terminal, type the following command to unlock the bootloader:fastboot oem unlock

    A disclaimer will display on the device that must be accepted. Use the volume keys to cycle through the options. Pressing the power button should confirm your selection.  If the device doesn’t automatically reboot, reboot it from the menu. It should now be unlocked. You can confirm this is the case if you see an unlocked icon at the bottom of the Google boot screen during reboots.

    At this point, download the Cyanogenmod, or whichever customer ROM you would like – to your download folder on your Nexus 7.

    Now you can install a variety of, I installed TeamWin, not the latest but here you can find the latest,

    Download the recovery software of your choosing to your PC.

    Power off your Nexus 7

    Press and hold the Volume Down and the Power button to power on the Nexus 7.

    Connect the Nexus 7 to the computer via USB.

    Verify your PC sees the device by typing:sudo fastboot devices

    If you don’t see your device serial number, and instead see “”, fastboot is not configured properly on your machine.

    Flash recovery onto your device by entering the following command:fastboot flash recovery your_recovery_image.img(Where the latter part is the filename of the recovery image)

    Navigate using the volume keys and select RECOVERY using the Power key.

    While in Recovery do the following:

    Wipe Data

    Select Install

    Reboot.

    Once the system has rebooted, give it some time to check for updates, once all updates to the ROM are finished, make note of the version you are running and proceed to the following location and download the appropriate Google Play Store APK to your download folder.

    Now to install Google Play Store to get back all your application goodness.

    Power off your Nexus 7

    Press and hold the Volume Down and the Power button to power on the Nexus 7.

    Navigate using the volume keys and select RECOVERY using the Power key.

    Select Install

    Reboot.

    Now you should be running an unlocked custom ROM on your .

    I’ve used XBMC on several systems in the past 10 years:

    As well as several custom built home theater systems.

    Finally after 10 years XBMC is shedding it’s ties to the original Xbox and renaming itself Kodi – and I embrace this change fully.

    While XBMC brings back old memories of hacking away at an Xbox to get more out of it, it no longer needs the association for exposure.

    Kodi is a strong application in its own right, with a multitude of 3rd party support – and several 3rd parties basing their own branch of software on the core, such as the  and the highly successful  appliaction which even runs on the .

    Read more about this on the official site, which I am sure will be renamed also…

    Congratulations and good luck to the team!

    So I finally went back to trying to get emulators setup in XBMC (OpenELEC specifically).  It took me a while to get everything setup, but in the end everything is working perfectly.  This all stems from the fact that I got my kid into SNES games to distract him on a long-haul flight.

    Now there are several post out there with pieces of information, but solbero posted a great and complete guide on the openelec forum:

    This venture into emulators is not a big leap from XBMC’s future, rumours have been around for a while regarding .  There is even a branch of OpenELEC which contains these modification – I am slightly tempted to try this,  Retroplayer + XBMC:

    When it comes to emulation they key component for realism is the joypad, in my humble opinion.  Amazon sells a USB compatible SNES replica controller, and it seems to get some ok feedback:

    I myself have gone down the route of Logitech Rumblepasd 2 (Wireless), simply because it has more buttons for arcade based games – and I’m a fan of Logitech products.

    The main complaint I hear about the Logitech Rumblepad 2 is the analog sticks are in a square boundary – so you can’t recreate free flowing circles with the sticks.  Beware the price of these things, Amazon was selling for $99.  I picked up a couple on eBay for $55 shipped – I know have 3 and will no doubt sell one to recoup.

    My implementation uses ROM Collection Browser to fire up the initial games, but after that I use the back-end emulator (RetroArch) to switch games.  I configured my left analog stick to save/load states using up/down, and I configured my right analog button to bring up the retorarch menu, left analog button is configured to exit the emulator and go back to XBMC.

    If anyone tries out Retorplayer + XBMC, let me know your thoughts please.

    I do have a spare Pi lying around, so I am also considering RetorPie

    For XBMC here is the version of RetroArch I used:

    Containing the following list of cores/emulators:

    First off I want to say, this was the best use of $179 in a while..just buy it:

    This box blows away my old Zotac ION – and it’s fanless.  It kills on performance compared to the Raspberry Pi and Zotac ION, and it’s small and portable, it’s fanless, it boots very quick! I love it.

    Disclaimer: All the information in this guide is completely taken from the following link:

    But I have formatted it in the appropriate manner for myself to reference in future.

    Follow this guide if you want to replace Chrome OS with OpenELEC and have it boot in automatically, I do not do the backup like the wiki, I create a backup USB after the fact on a Windows box, but you can do it from any OS it appears.  I have tested this backup and it works, so this is my preferred and quicker method.

    has updated the wiki to provide an  You must still complete steps 1.1 and 1.2.

    1 Device Preparation

    Putting the ChromeBox in developer mode will allow you to access the underlying Linux operating system features necessary for installing XBMC.

    WARNING: This will erase all user data on the device.

    With the device powered off:

    Disabling the firmware write protect will allow us to set the firmware boot flags to shorten the developer boot screen timeout (from 30s to ~1s), and optionally boot directly to the legacy BIOS (and into Ubuntu or OpenELEC). This is not absolutely necessary, but highly convenient and carries little to no risk.

    With the device powered off and unplugged:

    It is necessary to update the legacy BIOS to enable booting from USB/SD media, or if replacing ChromeOS with Ubuntu/OpenELEC, as the stock legacy BIOS is completely broken. If you dual booting and using either the ChrUbuntu or ChrOpenELEC scripts to install, then this step is included as part of those scripts and does not need to be done manually.

    To update the legacy BIOS:

    This updated legacy BIOS has a ~1.5s wait on the ‘Press ECS to show boot menu’ screen.

    Setting the following boot flags will allow you to boot either to a backup copy of ChromeOS on USB/SD (using CTRL-U) or to the legacy BIOS (using CTRL-L) and into Ubuntu or OpenELEC.

    Important: These boot flags must be set before installing either Ubuntu or OpenELEC.

    To set the boot flags, perform the following steps:

    With the firmware write-protect disabled, we can shorten the default developer-mode boot wait time (from 30s to ~1s) and set the ChromeBox to default to booting the legacy BIOS (and into Ubuntu or OpenELEC) instead of requiring CTRL-D or CTRL-L to be pressed each time.

    Follow this guide:

    I corrupted my backup from the wiki, so this was my only option – but it is tested and works.

    2 Installing OpenELEC

    In order to install OpenELEC, you’ll need to download a custom build tailored to the ChromeBox. This build differs from the regular OpenELEC Generic x86_64 build in that it uses a slightly older version of the syslinux bootloader (5.10, vs 6.02), as the version included with OpenELEC does not work properly on the ChromeBox at this time. This custom build also includes a fix for some MCE IR remotes, which fail to work when connected to USB 3.0 ports (fix has been submitted as a patch and hopefully will be included in future Linux and OpenELEC releases).

    Download the custom build of OpenELEC from

    Once downloaded, unzip/extract the files.

    If you have set the firmware boot flags as above, OpenELEC should boot right up in about 15 seconds. Otherwise, you will need to hit CTRL-L to boot the legacy BIOS.

    That’s it, you can update to the latest official OpenELEC build. Afterwards, updates should be automatic.

    Update:  Please check the following location for a list of known issues an their available workarounds:

    I have updated these guides for NAS4Free version 10.2.x, check them out here:

    So I have just set this up, and I have not tested it thoroughly yet, but I wanted to get it down on paper so I don’t forget.  As with some of my other posts this is the merging of other peoples work and findings.

    NOTE THIS IS FOR A FULL INSTALL OF NAS4FREE

    For MySQL setup on NAS4Free I followed this guide:

    And for XBMC setup I followed this guide:

    Here is all that information put into a single guide:

    Installing and Setting Up MySQL

    Create a directory to store MySQL data files, in my case I create a sub-directory in /mnt/data/db/mysql to store database files.

    # mkdir -p /mnt/data/db/mysql

    where /data –

    is Mount point name.  Provide full rights to this location:

    # chmod 777 /mnt/data/db/mysql

    By default the MySQL server on NAS4Free stores database files in /var/db/mysql which does not exist at this point, so let’s make a symbolic link in that directory:

    # ln -s /mnt/data/db/mysql /var/db/mysql

    Create the group and user ‘mysql’ using the NAS4Free WebGUI, it is important because NAS4Free will forget about the users created on command line after reboot.

    Group

    Name: mysql

    ID: 88

    User

    Name: mysql

    Fullname: mysql

    UserID: 88

    Primary Group: mysql

    NO PASSWORD

    Now install MySQL 5.5:

    # pkg_add -r mysql55-server

    # rehash

    Execute the following command to create default databases and tables, and upgrade:

    # cd /usr/local/bin

    # mysql_install_db

    # mysql_upgrade

    Give all permissions to the user and group mysql for /mnt/data/db

    # chown -R mysql:mysql /mnt/data/db/mysql/

    Execute

    # mysqld_safe &

    Now, this created  .err

    and

    .pid

    into

    /mnt/data/db/mysql

    folder.  Check errors written into .errAdd mysql_enable=”Yes”

    into /etc/rc.conf.  GUI is preferable to make this change (select System | Advanced | rc.conf), but the following command works just as well:

    # echo ‘mysql_enable=”YES”‘ >> /etc/rc.conf

    I found that after a NAS4Free upgrade the command line option no longer existed.  I recommend doing it via GUI.

    Reboot your box and type the following command to make sure MySQL is running:

    # top

    If it is not running, type the following command to start MySQL:

    # /usr/local/etc/rc.d/mysql-server start

    Secure MySQL using the following wizard:

    # mysql_secure_installation

    Log into MySQL:

    # mysql -u root -p

    You are now in mysql administration, conduct the following commands in MySQL to allow XBMC access.

    # CREATE USER ‘xbmc’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘xbmc’;

    # GRANT ALL ON *.* TO ‘xbmc’;

    # quit;

    Configuring XBMC to use NAS4Free MySQL DB

    Export your music and your video directories, you can to this as separate or single file, I tried to do separate which is the suggested, but I have no idea where the files where put – so I just started afresh.  If you want to try and retain your current “master” DBs, follow the steps here:

    Otherwise you can just continue on with this guide.

    Create (or add to, if you already have one) an advancedsettings.xml file in your XBMC userdata folder.

    Using nano copy and paste the following information into the advancedsettings.xml file, if there is already content, merge the sections appropriately:

    advancedsettings.xml configuration found in the following location:

    and should look like this:

    mysql

    ***.***.***.***

    3306

    xbmc

    xbmc

    mysql

    ***.***.***.***

    3306

    xbmc

    xbmc

    true

    Replace the two instances of ***.***.***.*** with local network IP address of your NAS4Free server. It is recommended not to use its NetBIOS name, as not all devices may be able to resolve them.

    Save the file as advancedsettings.xml.  Copy this advancedsettings.xml file you just created to the userdata folder of every XBMC install you want to sync with.

    If you exported your existing DBs, go ahead and import them.  If you created a fresh DB, scan all your content again, make sure to use the NAS4Free server IP rather than NetBIOS for your shares, as mentioned – not all devices may resolve the NetBIOS.

    One of the first changes you’ll want to make, on your XBMC systems, is to alter what XBMC does in

    response to you pressing play on a file. By default XBMC simply plays

    the file from the beginning. Since we now have an XBMC system that

    remembers our place across multiple machines, we want XBMC to prompt us.

    Navigate to Settings | File Lists and set the Default select action to Choose. We want XBMC to ask us what to do when we’re opening a file instead of automatically playing it from the start.

    As a final note, specifically with Openelec and Raspberry Pi, although Openelec suggest this for WiFi boxes, set Wait for network before starting XBMC under Openelec addon settings, network.

    That is it…you should be good to go.  Let me know how it goes for you, or if you have any issues.

    Updates from lindsay added:

    Additional updates from lindsay:

    Optimizing the DB using a cron, I used the following command to test before making the cron:

    # mysqlcheck -os -u xbmc -pxbmc –all-databases

    So I have about 3 machines in my house that function as HTPCs.  One of those systems I use with full blown blown Ubuntu and XBMC install from repo.  The other systems I use , I have this installed on an old NVIDIA ION system and a Rasberry Pi.

    I have also advised two systems, which I setup, to use Openelec.  which has a great price on it, I can only assume due to the fact that they are coming out with a new version…which !

    Some of the main benefits about openelec.

    The main reason I am not using this on my main media center is due to the lack of support installing .  This main system is used to serve my streaming music to web and mobile apps, therefore, until I have played about with installing Subsonic on NAS4Free or Openelec, I will stick with an Ubuntu system in my household.

    Some other options:

    The Rii mini.  I just bought this tiny little keyboard to control my bedroom XBMC HTPC, I am thinking about buying another for the living room – it’s perfect.  It’s back-lit, wireless, rechargeable (lithium-ion).  What more could you ask?  Seriously, what else do you need?

    Comment please!

    So I have been thinking a lot about VPN, I want to securely access my home network and VPN is the best way to do that.

    As I have mentioned in previous post I use

    on my router.  This free software allows me to adapt my .  One of the variants out there for Tomato firmware allows me to run an

    server from the router.

    Using this

    I would have the ability to connect securely and become part of my network from anywhere in the world.  This got me thinking a little more…

    I have a small portable

    solution, running on Ubuntu, if I had a VPN server up and running on my router I could configure the VPN client on Ubuntu to securely connect and be part of my network – allowing me to stream my content securely/encrypted anywhere in the world!

    So I signed up to be notified about the

    beta, but I never received an email – today I went to check the site out for an update… the beta has been out since the 7th.  I have downloaded the deb on my Ubuntu machine and installed it:

    sudo dpkg -i “downloaded file name without quotes”

    Probably have dependency issues…

    sudo apt-get -f install

    Worth checking on a few updates…

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get upgrade

    Well, obviously I haven’t had a chance to check it out, but we will see – I am very interested in the social aspects of the application, but I am loving

    with

    right now!

    Update:

    So I played about with boxee for a short period, the beta is a much needed improvement, but I am not sure if I will switch to it from xbmc!

    Just came across Ember Media Manager, this looks like your solution for Movie organization problems.

    http://code.google.com/p/embermediamanager/

    So far I have just had a quick look at this product, but it looks like you just select the folder that contains your movies, and then you can search each file and scrape the media information from online.  This basically accomplishes what XBMC does, but will give you an offline solution, a ‘backup’ incase you ever need to blow away your XBMC video database.

    Will have to look into this more, but this seems like a great solution for movie management.

    Well I upgraded to XBMC 9.11 alpha 2.

    So far I haven’t seen any significant reasons to push this update, in fact I see issues to stay where you are.

    1. Lirc is a nightmare to get configured for remotes – and I lost all my settings!

    2. There seems to be some visual defects in the video playback – which I haven’t had the chance to look into.

    Anyway, I like to try the latest in case there is something I don’t want to miss. I decided to ge rid of XBMC Live on my ION HD HTPC, since it had changed to read only, so no settings were saved.

    I read somewhere that someone else had this issue – it was caused from changing from VGA to HDMI – physical outputs, not settings – weird huh?!

    I did an overall clean house on both my HTPCs, installed the latest Ubuntu and reinstalled XBMC.

    Apart from the remote and video issues I am really happy – nice spring clean – or should I say fall.

    I urge you to check out XBMC if you are looking for a home media playback device.

    It’s cheap and will play anything you throw at it.

    Plus with the scraping tools it is a good way to keep all media organized… And I stream mine from FreeNAS – more on that later though.

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