Upgrading from XBMC 11 (eden) to XBMC 12 (frodo) on XBMCBuntu

With XBMC 12 (Frodo) being released January 29th it was time to think about upgrading my HTPC. Since it’s been a little over the a week since its release I figured if there were any show stoppers I would have read about them over at the XBMC forums, so I figured last night that it was time.

As with any serious upgrade you should always take back ups first. So I utilized rsync to create a back up of my boot drive just in case. Here’s what I did:

rsync -av / /path/to/backupdir --exclude "/path/to/media"

Obviously if you are going to do this you should personalize it for your machine. I didn’t want to backup my media files so the exclude makes sure that doesn’t happen. Once that’s done its time to upgrade. I wanted to make sure that everything was current before I upgraded XMBC so I ran the following:

sudo apt-get update

Next I ran the following command.

sudo apt-get upgrade-dist

About 10 minutes later the whole machine was done upgrading including XBMC. So I rebooted to make sure that it would still boot, and viola XBMC 12!

The first thing that I noticed was a pop up error saying “Error: script failed: randomitems.py”. To get rid of this error delete the script. It has been replace in Frodo by skin.widgets.
source: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=79378&page=34

The script is the script.randomitems folder and while I haven’t deleted yet here’s where it is if you want to.

Under Windows 7:

Go to C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\XBMC\addons

Under XBMCBuntu (and other Linux distros):

/home/tmib/.xbmc/addons

Lastly I should note that if you are using the AEON skin like I do you will encounter this error.

Next is that navigation no longer made noise. Well if navigation noises don’t work I should try playing something so I went into TV Shows it told me that my art needed to be updated and that it would not require any downloading. It should prompt you with a Yes/No to do it now. I chose to do it now. Trying to fire up an Episode was also soundless. To fix this I had to go into System -> System -> Audio Output, scroll down and play with my Audio output Device and Passthrough output Device. You may need to do the same.

Now to get caught up on CSI right? Well sadly no. While watching a video I decided to fire up my web-browser and connect to XBMC wouldn’t you know it, connection timed out. So I went to the box and opened a terminal and ran ifconfig. Huh eth0 isn’t there. Next step I ran:

lshw -C network

The very first line read “*-network UNCLAIMED”. That tells me that the driver isn’t being loaded right and it isn’t claiming the device. Funny thing about the ASUS P8H77-V, it has an Atheros ethernet controller. Ubuntu as well as XBMCBuntu does not have the driver for it, so you have to jump through some hoops. I’m pretty sure that it is actually an AR8161, but I’m not totally sure. Either way though there is an excellent site that covers detailed instructions on how to get it working. The short version is to the compat-wireless drivers. Luckily I still had the package I downloaded last time. Here is a link to where I downloaded the version that I already had 2012-03-12-p. You may want to try a more current version, but this one worked for me in the past.

The article that pointed me in this direction is linked below in case you don’t know how to compile a driver and install it.

AR8161 ethernet using compat-wireless

Hopefully you do not run into the same problems that I did upgrading, but if you do maybe this article will help you figure it out. Good luck!

UPDATE: After writing this I received a pop up notification that read: “Random Items script: Add-on has been marked as broken in the repository. Would you like to disable it on your system? Yes/No”. I selected Yes, and hopefully that means the next time that I start XBMC the error will be gone.