RaspBMC is Awesome Once You Get It Running

Friday, December 7, 2012 @ 6:27 pm by

Last night, I finally got RaspBMC running on a 512MB Raspberry Pi, complete with Wifi capability! The setup is serving up episodes of Big Bang Theory ripped from my DVD collection (with more rips coming as soon as I get around to it). I love the Raspberry Pi Project. Furthermore, RaspBMC is definitely a killer app for the Pi and I’m so grateful it’s being developed.

That being said, I had to do a lot of searching and trial and error to get it all to work the way I wanted. Below are some things I had to do to get it all running the way I wanted.

  • I had to forego my really fast SanDisk 8GB Extreme SDHC Class 10 SD Card for a much slower Class 4 card. Two different Class 10 cards would go corrupt after a few reboots, resulting in the error “Kernel panic – not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown block(179,3)”  Switching to the much slower Class 4 card has  eliminated the error (as of about 15 reboots).
  • I couldn’t use the fancy installer. Everytime I did, the Pi would get stuck in a loop reboot loop complaining about a failed update. I ended up using the pre-built RC5 image: The last resort ended up being the only one where I could get really far into installation.
  • The super-tiny Edimax EW-7811Un 150 Mbps Wireless 11n Nano Size USB Adapter works incredibly well without having to install any drivers (at least with the RC5 pre-built image). I have never bought such a cheap piece of hardware that ended up being so awesome. Note that to setup your wifi connection from within the GUI (which is what I did), you’ll need to install the Network-Manager addon from the XBMC addon repository.
  • The official XBMC Android Remote DOES NOT work with RaspBMC RC5. It’s a known issue. Apparently, there was a change in the remote communication API that has rendered the remote broken for XBMC 12. The Yatse remote app works great and allows me to pick what’s playing from my phone screen instead of having to squint at the TV.
  • I disabled automatic updates (even though it’s strongly encouraged not to do so) because it doesn’t seem to play nice with my Hughesnet.

I encourage anyone who is struggling to get RaspBMC up and running to NOT GIVE UP. It’s awesome once you get it working. And eventually, I’m confident that the RaspBMC devs are going to release an out-of-this-world distro that just works out of the box. Until then, I’m more than willing to work around these little issues and keep cheering them on!

2 Responses to “RaspBMC is Awesome Once You Get It Running”

  1. James says:

    Hi Jerry yea I agree it is sweet! Wifi setup on Raspbmc is somewhat of a headache but once you get it going it’s awesome. What I did to get it working was in Windows when I was writing the image to the SD card I choose set up network manually and just input my Wifi info then after the windows wrote the image I just stuck it in my PI and the PI grabbed the Wifi adapter and all was good.

    I have the Edimax Wifi dongle

  2. Jash Sayani says:

    I had it working on my Pi but have the kernal panic after a few reboots. Any ideas besides changing cards. Might be auto updates?

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