OpenELEC is an installation and optimization tool for XBMC that aims to make installing and using XBMC. the beloved but sometimes technically challenging media server software, as simple as using a DVD player.
XBMC comes in a variety of flavors, including as a Linux Live CD–XBMC Live–that makes it pretty simple to install Ubuntu Linux and XBMC. Pretty simple in so far as: when it works it works perfectly and when it doesn’t work you’re in for a whole bunch of forum reading and hair pulling to figure it out. OpenELEC is hoping to cut down on that hair pulling.
The OpenELEC system is essentially a highly optimized Linux Live installer. They’ve stripped away absolutely everything but the core pieces needed to run XBMC. Once they whittled it down they optimized what remained so that OpenELEC installs quickly and easily on a wide range of computer platforms including nettops and other small form factor machines.
In addition to all that tweaking they’ve set out to develop an ecosystem of add-ons that makes XBMC easier for new users and feature rich for newbies and veterans–one of their more impressive add-ons is a LiveTV functionality, a feature many people ask about when looking at XBMC.
It’s an impressive project and, given what big XBMC fans we are, we hope they achieve their end: putting XBMC in more living rooms. Hit up the link below to check out the OpenELEC site and find the right build for your media center computer.
Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 10/31/11