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This document will guide you through the process of installing and configuring MediaCenter for Linux. You are advised to read through the document before installing MediaCenter. It assumes some basic knowledge of Linux in general and familiarity working from a terminal. It also assumes an installation on 64-bit distribution as that will most likely be the target system. Installation on a 32-bit system will be very similar and, where applicable, notes will clarify the differences.

Throughout this document you are required to run certain commands in a terminal, sometimes with root permissions. Whether you do that as root itself or using temporarily elevated permissions through sudo is up to you. This document will precede each command with a # or $ sign, signifying whether the command needs to run as root (#) or as a regular user ($). Unless you changed your terminal prompt, it will show this same symbol for root (#) or user ($) on its prompt. You should not include this symbol in your command, it only signifies how the command should be run.

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Before you begin

MediaCenter is in beta and is under heavy development. As such, it may not work as expected. Although it is considered to be stable enough for regular use it may still show unexpected behavior such as crashes or random refusals to play a track. Please make sure you read through the list of Outstanding issues.

It is strongly advised to make regular backups of your media. There have been no reports of MediaCenter for Linux messing up tags or otherwise corrupting files, but it is still in beta - consider yourself warned. You can configure MediaCenter to not update tags at all, it will only read from your files but that does not negate the fact that you should always have backups.

It is also a good idea to read through the sticky threads on the forums, too.

System requirements

MediaCenter is being developed on Debian Wheezy 32-bit, x86 architecture. It will run on multiarch distributions (64-bit with 32-bit libraries) once the proper 32-bit dependencies are satisfied. See DEPENDENCIES for more information.

MediaCenter requires a CPU that supports SSE2. This means the CPU needs to be from around 2002 or later.

Hardware Requirements (Minimum)

  • Intel or AMD x86 Compatible CPU with SSE2
  • 2GB RAM
  • 300MB free hard drive space for installation (excluding space for digital media)
  • Sound device supported by ALSA
  • Internet connection (recommended)

Software Requirements

  • Debian Wheezy or a similar distribution based on Debian
  • Working Xorg - MediaCenter is known to work on XFCE, Unity, KDE, Gnome and Cinnamon. MATE is currently untested. If you know this works or how to get it working, you are invited to share this on Interact.
  • Working ALSA sound stack

MediaCenter is known to work on recent versions of Mint, Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora and Arch Linux. However, this is considered experimental and it is currently unsupported. If you intent to run MediaCenter on an unsupported distribution, you are strongly encouraged to share your experience on Interact.

Limitations

  • Although Linux can run on architectures other than x86 (like ARM or PowerPC for instance), MediaCenter does currently not run on architectures other than i386 or x86_64.
  • OSS and Pulse are currently not supported by MediaCenter. It may work with Pulse, but it is currently unsupported.
  • MediaCenter can run in server mode on a headless server, but it requires an Xserver running. See HEADLESS for more information.
  • MediaCenter can run on bleeding edge distributions like Gentoo or Arch. MediaCenter however is built on Debian Wheezy, so some of the libraries it depends on are older versions not included or compatible with the versions used on bleeding edge distributions. To work around this issue, see TROUBLESHOOTING.

Dependencies

To successfully install MediaCenter, you need to make sure that the following depencies are installed. Installation on a 64-bit system requires multiarch to be enabled for 32-bit compatibility.

To enable multiarch on a 64-bit system, type the following in a terminal:

# dpkg --add-architecture i386

This command require you update. Type:

# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

If you had not updated in a while, you may get a lot of new packages. Read the output carefully. If it says certain packages are held-back, cancel using CTRL-C and issue the following command instead:

# apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade

You should reboot your system when it is done, unless it didn't update anything of course.

Next we are going to install the following packages and libraries:


  • lame
  • musepack-tools
  • xfonts-75dpi
  • xfonts-100dpi
  • vorbis-tools
  • libcurl3:i386
  • libx11-6:i386
  • lib32stdc++6
  • libmpcdec6:i386
  • libc6:i386
  • libstdc++6:i386
  • libcrypto++9:i386
  • libasound2:i386
  • libuuid1:i386
  • libboost-regex1.49.0:i386
  • libicu48:i386

Note: On a 32-bit system, you can install the same libraries by removing ':i386' part.

Unless you're installing on a fresh system you probably have some of these installed already. This doesn't matter as Aptitude will simply skip packages that are already installed. You can install all of them at once by issuing the following command with root privileges from a terminal:

# apt-get install lame musepack-tools xfonts-75dpi xfonts-100dpi vorbis-tools libcurl3:i386 libx11-6:i386 lib32stdc++6 libmpcdec6:i386 bc6:i386 libstdc++6:i386 libx11-6:i386 libcrypto++9:i386 libasound2:i386 libuuid1:i386 libboost-regex1.49.0:i386 libicu48:i386

Or, on a 32-bit system (REQUIRES CONFIRMATION):

# apt-get install lame musepack-tools xfonts-75dpi xfonts-100dpi vorbis-tools libcurl3 libx11-6 libstdc++6 libmpcdec6 bc6 libstdc++6 libx11-6 libcrypto++9 libasound2 libuuid1 libboost-regex1.49.0 libicu48

Carefully read the output and make sure no packages are being removed.

Installing these packages and libraries do not require a reboot.

On a fresh install the CD or DVD from which the system was installed might have been added to the sources.list as an available source for packages. It is advised you remove this and use online repositories instead. To do this, edit /etc/apt/sources.list and remove any lines starting with "deb cdrom:". First, make a backup of the current file:

# cp /etc/apt/sources.list{,.bak}

Open the file in nano:

# nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Remove the lines, or comment them out, for example:

# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 7 _Wheezy_ - Official Snapshot i386 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20131014-03:33]/ wheezy main

deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 7 _Wheezy_ - Official Snapshot i386 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20131014-03:33]/ wheezy main

Downloading MediaCenter

The latest version of MediaCenter for Linux should be downloaded, this version can be found in one of the stickies on Interact. You can download it from your browser to ~/Downloads, or use the terminal issuing the following command:

$ cd ~/Downloads && wget http://files.jriver.com/mediacenter/channels/v19/latest/MediaCenter-19.0.103.deb

Obviously, the directory Downloads should exist under your home directory ;).

Installing MediaCenter

After having satisfied all MediaCenter's dependencies and having downloaded the package to your PC, you can continue with the installation. Change to the directory to which you downloaded, or add the full path on the commandline:

Issue the following command from a terminal:

# dpkg -i /location/of/MediaCenter-19.0.103.deb

If the output says it is missing dependencies, leaving unconfigured, you should take note of the packages mentioned. You can try to install them manually, or you can try issuing the following command:

# apt-get install -f

Examine the output carefully, as it may remove packages to satisfy dependencies. This may not always lead to a happy ending - so be careful.

If you run into unresolvable dependencies, have a look at the troubleshooting section, or post your problems on Interact where someone will try to help you resolve the issue.

First Run

When MediaCenter is first run, it will popup a Notification that it will timeout at a certain date. If it pops up a notification that it is has timed out already, you may have installed an older version. Visit Interact and find the latest version in one of the sticky threads from the top of the board. You can simpy install it over the older version, see Upgrading.

Upgrading from an older version

Download the latest version from Interact and install it, for example:

$ sudo dpkg -i MediaCenter-19.0.xxx.deb

Replace xxx with the build number from the file you downloaded. There are currently no complications or different dependencies. All versions should be able to install the same way.