After much delay, it’s finally here! Last Sunday was the 1 year birthday of Raspbmc, which I announced on the 2nd February 2012. It’s rather fantastic, that within a year, we’ve gone from not even having the hardware, let alone a usable software platform, to a stable and well refined product. It wasn’t always the smoothest ride in the world. With early firmware, untested kernels and alpha builds of software, you’re going to have ‘interesting’ results to say the least. In the final release, we’re introducing a few extra features:
- Raspbmc can now detect unstable power supplies and unsafe shutdowns.
- Language selection
- XBMC 12 Final with improved 1080p DTS software decoding (Thanks Dom)
- Better Hama remote control support (supporting this thing is a real headache)
- A more streamlined approach to the handling of USB mounting
- Logs written to RAM to decrease SD IO
For the full Raspbmc feature list head on over to http://www.raspbmc.com/about
This project has only really thrived because of the support it’s got, from so many people. In particular, I’d like to thank (in no particular order):
- s7mx1 – This fellow started working on the project in May and helped transform it greatly. He’s achieved a lot for the project, including an excellent Settings addon, the implementation of WiFi support, NFS and USB installation, as well as much much more. I can’t really thank him enough for always keeping an eye on things and pushing Raspbmc that little bit further to make it shine.
- The testing team – the team have always been eager to test new builds and tweaks and give me feedback. Without constant testing the project would never have been able to get where it was. Dilligaf in particular always managed to find time and never left a thing untested.
- Moderators – the forums have been kept in good shape thanks to moderators willing to spend their time helping others and keep the forum organised and free from spam. Thanks guys.
- Raspberry Pi foundation
- Eben & Liz were kind enough to give me a Pi in advance of the launch, which allowed me to get a good head start on Raspbmc. They were also kind enough to give me a blog post on their website about the announcement (although I can’t say I appreciated it at the time — the surge in traffic took my site straight down!)
- Dom – some of you may have seen him as ‘popcornmix’ in the forum. He does a rather amazing job of helping users; maintaining the firmware and kernel and making general improvements. In fact, his most recent action was to significantly improve DTS performance in software. Good work Dom!
- Team XBMC – the XBMC development team should be thanked for the excellent work with Frodo, but the following developers are particularly noteworthy:
- Edgar ‘gimli’ Huceke for his work on OMXPlayer, which is the interface for GPU accelerated playback on Raspberry Pi.
- Scott Davilla for work on the ARM port of XBMC.
- Lars Opdenkamp for working on Pulse Eight’s libCEC implementation and PVR support.
- UKFast – following the rather frustrating Denial of Service attacks in June, Neil Lathwood of UKFast donated a server to the project. This server acts as a Varnish cache as well as a nightly build server (nightlies were of utmost importance when trying to chase down bugs in XBMC).
- NodeDeploy for the short time they firewalled us after Denial of Service attacks.
- The press / general media outlets. Thanks to Engadget, Lifehacker, CNET UK, New York Times and many others for mentions, no matter how small they were, they were greatly appreciated.
- Daniel Bolognesi for designing the Raspbmc logo
- Dan Burke for designing the website design
- Mirrors – thanks to everyone that is mirroring the project.
- Sponsors – thanks to Linux Career and NWS for sponsoring the project.
- Last, but not least. The users. Everyone who used Raspbmc since it first became available for testing in late May has helped in some way by providing feedback. Thank you.
How to get it
Installation does require a complete reinstall.
To grab the final release, head over to the Download page and select your platform. That’s all there is to it. Be sure to download the latest image if you’ve installed Raspbmc before. The Windows and Python installers are much improved, allowing you to configure WiFi adapters if necessary.
If you wish to make a backup, you can do so via SSH or the command line with a keyboard attached by executing the following commands
tar -czf xbmc-backup.tar.gz .xbmc
And then after transferring the xbmc-backup.tar.gz to your newly installed Pi, running this command to restore:
sudo initctl stop xbmc && tar -xzf xbmc-backup.tar.gz && sudo initctl start xbmc
Winners of the competition
The winners of the competition were contacted a few days ago. They didn’t reply, so I’ve redrawn the winners. Provided that they reply, they will be:
- Stephen Lam
- Ralph Stokhof
Don’t miss out guys!
Final does not mean no more work
Just to clarify what confused a few. Final does not mean we’re not doing any more work, it means the 1.0 version of Raspbmc is available and stable. We’ll be improving the overall user experience in the form of themes, improved localisation and backported XBMC 13 improvements shortly. XBMC 13 nightlies will be available soon.
Enjoy! It’s been a great journey!