So far my experience with getting XBMC in Ubuntu 9.10 hasn’t been too painful. Everything is set up quite nicely and I just decided to tackle the last piece of the puzzle to enable full girlfriend compatibility: the remote control.
I had an old MCE remote control left over from an old HTPC system I had, along with IR receiver so I thought I’d try to use that. I think it’s an aftermarket MCE copy remote – looks nearly exactly the same bar the missing Microsoft logo at the bottom (see other remotes here).
This is what I did, with significant help from this post on the XBMC forums:
‘lirc‘ (Linux Infrared Remote Control) is the software Linux uses to recognise commands from your IR control/remote. To install it I opened a terminal window and typed:
sudo apt-get install lirc
The configuration takes place in the terminal window. Unfortunately I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and skipped the configuration. I restarted it by opening a terminal window and typing:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lirc
The first screen will be for remotes, I chose
“Windows Media Center Transceivers/Remotes (all)”
For Receivers I chose
“Microsoft Windows Media Center V2 (usb) : Direct TV Receiver”
Don’t worry about the Direct TV part, it just references the mceusb2 driver that you need.
To check what configuration you have type
lsmod | grep lirc*
The first time I did it nothing was output, so I knew something was amiss (I reran the configuration as above)
Install the USB receiver
When I plugged in the USB receiver, the red light came on, but how did I know it worked? First, I tested the remote AND the receiver on my Windows 7 box. The Media Center interface started up correctly so I knew the batteries were good and everything was OK. After some Googling I discovered this command:
This lists the connected USB devices. I could see
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0471:0815 Philips eHome Infrared Receiver
so I knew the receiver was working OK.
After that, a reboot and quick test in XBMC confirmed everything was working. Stoked.
Next job is to get the HTPC suspending (sleeping) and resuming (waking up) using the MCE remote control only.