Best OS for XBMC on Raspberry Pi??

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pi guy Offline
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Post: #1
I got a Raspberry Pi, and wanted xbmc so I installed Raspbmc. However this is very slow. What version of xbmc is the best and fastest for my Raspberry Pi?? thanks.
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coolasice Offline
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Post: #2
raspberry pi is not a fast machine... they are all about the same speed... i use openelec myself on a class 10 sd card with sql database on another machine... loading the movie list is slow, but playback is perfect.

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Milhouse Offline
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Post: #3
Overclock you Pi, you could see a 50% performance improvement (maybe more, maybe less, depending on you Pi). SD Card corruption may result from overclocking, again depending on your Pi, and maybe also your SD card.

Texture Cache Maintenance Utility: Preload your texture cache for optimal UI performance. Remotely manage media libraries. Purge unused artwork to free up space. Find missing media. Configurable QA check to highlight metadata issues. Aid in diagnosis of library and cache related problems.
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pi guy Offline
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Post: #4
Hi, how do I overclock it??
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Daveb500 Offline
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Post: #5
Have a read through this thread. I started with no knowledge and now have a very good Pi/XBMC combo.

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=150297&page=2
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xbmcomane Offline
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Post: #6
Installing on an USB device is supposed to increase performance compared to a sdcard as well.
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miappa Offline
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Post: #7
You can speed up Raspbmc significally, this is taken from Raspbmc forum:

1) force refresh rate to be 30Hz or less in config.txt set via raspbmc settings addon (additional config section)
2) install onto a fast usb disk or nfs server then overclock to super mode
3) mount cifs/nfs using /etc/fstab with noatime option
4) In "system -> settings -> video -> Library" uncheck "update library on startup"
In "system -> settings -> video -> File Lists" uncheck "extract thumbnails and video information"
In "system -> settings -> audio -> Library" uncheck "update library on startup"
In "system -> settings -> audio -> File Lists" uncheck "enable tag reading"

NB! No. 1 above also changes the refresh rate when in GUI so I donĀ“t use it since the GUI can be a little laggy an actually feel slower. I use "Adjust display refresh rate..." instead as I have a 24p TV.

Other things to consider:
* Fast SD card (class 10 etc.)
* Export .nfo, thumbs and fanart etc so you have it locally. On all scans after that it will be A LOT faster.
* If you can, stay away from smb (however I use it and it works for me)
* If you can, use SQL

Go over to their forum if you have more questions: http://forum.stmlabs.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=6

Edit:
The easiest thing you can do to speed up Raspbmc is to install to a USB-stick and overclock it.
(This post was last modified: 2013-01-09 23:37 by miappa.)
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dvandriesen Offline
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Post: #8
Are you overclocking to super with those settings or just fast ?
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miappa Offline
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Post: #9
You can test to overclock to super, but it is recommended that you have installed XBMC to USB or NFS.
This way you will not corrupt the SD card if you run into trouble.

If you notice that the you have some problems on Super, test with Fast and see if your problems remains.
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doug Offline
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Post: #10
Each version can be tweaked as describe in the posts above. They are all good but each has it's strengths. As there are only three, try each one out. It's pretty easy.
Here's a very short summary of my experience, which will probably be made outdated by future updates in each version:
-OE. Worked quite well, but is a bit too locked down for what I wanted. I would start with this if I was new to xbmc on the Pi (and didn't need to add drivers or additional components of linux)
-raspbmc. Also works well, but it currently doesn't display thumbnails for videos which are not scraped. So my home videos didn't have thumbs. The installer has options for USB or NFS installs which can be useful.
-xbian. My current choice. It doesn't have the thumbnail issue and boots the fastest (which is beneficial for my carputer). default xbmc settings seem to be better set up for me, though I still tweak them more)

Each version can be overclocked and updated, though the methods are different and have advantages/disadvantages. I have had mixed results with the update methods of each and find that a clean install from a new image is usually required. That may change too as the software gets the bugs worked out.
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frumpsnake Offline
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Post: #11
This is my personal opinion of all three. As always, YMMV.

OpenELEC
Pros: By far the lightest and best performing distro in my experience. Runs well, even at stock. Seems to handle 1080p w/DTS decoding with a more modest overclock compared to the others IMO.

Cons: Not the easiest for non-Linux users to set up (Win/Mac requires non-official image & doesn't automatically resize partition to fill SD card). Needs tweaking -- some of the default settings are ridiculously conservative, like <imageres>256</imageres> making all posters look like crap. If you're that worried about memory usage it'd be better to reduce the fanart res or disable it entirely. Locked down for XBMC use -- limited additional software if you need to add drivers or addtitional Linux software, can't set up fstab mounts, etc.

Raspbmc
Pros: Easy to install and configure for novices. Sensible defaults, and easily allows tweaks like 1080p menus or USB installs. Debian-based, easy to add 3rd party software.

Cons: Not wanting to start a war, but menus and navigation has always been *considerably* slower w/Raspbmc for me, even at 720p and I'm not sure why. Raspbmc users will often blame the SD card (insisting you install on USB), clock speed, or various settings to fix it, despite the fact the other distros seem to be fine without them.

Xbian
Pros: Faster than Raspbmc. Close/on par with OpenELEC, Debian based, easy to add 3rd party software.

Cons: Overclocked out-of-the-box, which you might not agree with. But mainly I get the impression that the devs don't quite know what they're doing -- in the past they've accidentally voided warranties because they combined force_turbo and over_voltage without knowing what that meant, they completely hosed several updates, and even now the latest 1.0a4 does things like tweaking <thumbres> which has zero effect in Frodo. It might be a minor thing but I expect devs of an XBMC-based RPi distribution to know both the RPi and XBMC inside and out.

In short, none of them are perfect, but which you prefer will depend on your needs. You might disagree with me and find Raspbmc w/USB is your preferred. As doug said, it's really easy to switch between them all to find which you like best. Especially if you set up a MySQL server and don't need to populate the database every time, you can have your 3 SD cards and try them all out (or even update them periodically to see how progress is going.)
(This post was last modified: 2013-01-11 00:43 by frumpsnake.)
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Milhouse Offline
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Post: #12
With OpenELEC there is the autostart.sh facility which is often sufficient to overcome the "locked down" nature of the distribution, such as mounting additional filesystems or reconfiguring standard services. Additional software can also be installed via OpenELEC OS Add-ons eg. iperf, rsync, maraschino, SABnzbd, transmission, evtest, etc.

Texture Cache Maintenance Utility: Preload your texture cache for optimal UI performance. Remotely manage media libraries. Purge unused artwork to free up space. Find missing media. Configurable QA check to highlight metadata issues. Aid in diagnosis of library and cache related problems.
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brantje Offline
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Post: #13
(2013-01-11 00:39)frumpsnake Wrote:  This is my personal opinion of all three. As always, YMMV.

OpenELEC
Pros: By far the lightest and best performing distro in my experience. Runs well, even at stock. Seems to handle 1080p w/DTS decoding with a more modest overclock compared to the others IMO.

Cons: Not the easiest for non-Linux users to set up (Win/Mac requires non-official image & doesn't automatically resize partition to fill SD card). Needs tweaking -- some of the default settings are ridiculously conservative, like <imageres>256</imageres> making all posters look like crap. If you're that worried about memory usage it'd be better to reduce the fanart res or disable it entirely. Locked down for XBMC use -- limited additional software if you need to add drivers or addtitional Linux software, can't set up fstab mounts, etc.

Raspbmc
Pros: Easy to install and configure for novices. Sensible defaults, and easily allows tweaks like 1080p menus or USB installs. Debian-based, easy to add 3rd party software.

Cons: Not wanting to start a war, but menus and navigation has always been *considerably* slower w/Raspbmc for me, even at 720p and I'm not sure why. Raspbmc users will often blame the SD card (insisting you install on USB), clock speed, or various settings to fix it, despite the fact the other distros seem to be fine without them.

Xbian
Pros: Faster than Raspbmc. Close/on par with OpenELEC, Debian based, easy to add 3rd party software.

Cons: Overclocked out-of-the-box, which you might not agree with. But mainly I get the impression that the devs don't quite know what they're doing -- in the past they've accidentally voided warranties because they combined force_turbo and over_voltage without knowing what that meant, they completely hosed several updates, and even now the latest 1.0a4 does things like tweaking <thumbres> which has zero effect in Frodo. It might be a minor thing but I expect devs of an XBMC-based RPi distribution to know both the RPi and XBMC inside and out.

In short, none of them are perfect, but which you prefer will depend on your needs. You might disagree with me and find Raspbmc w/USB is your preferred. As doug said, it's really easy to switch between them all to find which you like best. Especially if you set up a MySQL server and don't need to populate the database every time, you can have your 3 SD cards and try them all out (or even update them periodically to see how progress is going.)
Comparing Alpha's between stable's is not nice...
(This post was last modified: 2013-01-12 15:42 by brantje.)
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BartOtten Offline
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Post: #14
(2013-01-11 00:39)frumpsnake Wrote:  Cons: Overclocked out-of-the-box, which you might not agree with.

1.) But mainly I get the impression that the devs don't quite know what they're doing --
2.) in the past they've accidentally voided warranties because they combined force_turbo and over_voltage without knowing what that meant,
3.) they completely hosed several updates,
4.) and even now the latest 1.0a4 does things like tweaking <thumbres> which has zero effect in Frodo.

1.) Thanks Smile
2.) A long time ago when there was only one developer. Today there are multiple and the testing routines are extended
3.) Confused?? The only really 'hosed update' was when people started to use an Alpha4 image that was meant for testing purposes and was not announced yet.
4.) Using wrong values in advancedsettings.xml was not XBians fault. We used the latest Wiki-information about this tag replacing <thumbsize> (I know cause I submitted the issue on their tracker to use those Frodo variables). It was one of the developers of XBMC that provided the wrong info (shit happens).

(2012-12-04 00:01)jmarshall Wrote:  Thanks - it was my fault the wiki was wrong (must look at code when documenting...)

I work 20 hours a week at XBian, but you don't even make some time to submit an issue to notify us of the problem....enough said
(This post was last modified: 2013-01-12 17:19 by BartOtten.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #15
There's a big banner at the top of the advancedsettings.xml wiki page that says "This page or section may require cleanup, updating, spellchecking, reformatting and/or updated images.".

You can't expect people to trust a distro again so easily after things like the overclocking warrantee issue. Trust is earned, not given.

Keep in mind, the standards being set here are very high. There are OpenELEC developers that are members of TeamXBMC, and TeamXBMC has even discussed making OpenELEC an official distro for XBMC. Raspbmc comes from the same guy who made Crystalbuntu for the ATV1, and has a few years of very happy users (myself included).

Even if you weren't there at the time, those issues still happened. Don't get mad when people call out out on these things, but instead work on making a better version that will speak for itself. In my opinion, frumpsnake is pretty much dead-on here.

You can make easy links to the XBMC wiki using double brackets around common XBMC words: [[debug log]] = debug log, [[Video library]] = Video library, [[SMB]] = SMB , [[userdata]] = userdata, etc
(This post was last modified: 2013-01-13 06:55 by Ned Scott.)
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