Modifying the Aeon XBMC Skin to Launch Firefox from main menu in Ubuntu

If you followed the instructions in my previous post about starting Firefox from inside XBMC you’ll probably have realised by now that with Launcher you have to navigate through the ‘Programs’ main menu  etc etc to find the shortcut.

Ideally, I wanted it in my XBMC main menu – using the beautiful Aeon skin. I got it set up so it launched from the menu as per the picture below:

Firefox Browser Launcher for XBMC in Ubuntu

Background wallpaper pinched from Geekpedia (see footnote for link)

If you’d like to know how I did it just follow the steps below.

Please note that this is a ‘quick and dirty’ method, as you’re editing an existing menu item (in this case, ‘ASSISTANT’):

  1. To change the text on the main menu, open ‘~/.xbmc/skin/Aeon/language/English/strings.xml’.
    On a Mac this is in ‘/userfolder/library/Application Support/XBMC/skin/Aeon/language/English/strings.xml’)
  2. Find the ‘ASSISTANT’ entry which looks like
    <string id="31021">ASSISTANT</string>
    and change it to
    <string is="31021">INTERNET</string>
  3. Make a note of the string id (in this case ‘31021’)
  4. Open ‘~/.xbmc/userdata/favourites.xml’ and locate the Launcher shortcut you created for Firefox. It should look something like ‘plugin://programs/Launcher/?Firefox’
  5. Now we need to change what happens when you click the link in the menu to the shortcut to Firefox (above), and this is dictated by ‘~/.xbmc/skin/Aeon/720p/Includes_MainMenu.xml’
    Find the entry in the file that refers to the string id you modified in strings.xml file (in our case, ‘31021’). It should look something like this:
    <item id="21">
    <description>Assistant</description>
    <label>31021</label>
    <onclick>XBMC.ActivateWindow(605)</onclick>
    <visible>Skin.HasSetting(assistant)</visible>
    </item>
  6. You’ll need to change the ‘onclick’ entry to use the shortcut from your ‘favourites/xml’ file:
    <onclick>XBMC.RunPlugin(plugin://programs/Launcher/?Firefox)</onclick>
  7. Save the ‘Includes_MainMenu.xml’ file and your modified shortcut should fire up Firefox and return to XBMC when closed

Remember, if you want to change the backdrop for your new shortcut, change the ‘ASSISTANT’ entry as you modified the behaviour of that menu entry. These menu hacks are limited to entries you don’t use, but if I find a way of creating new menu items I’ll be sure to post here.

Footnote: I pinched the ‘Internet’ menu background image from Geekpedia. I found it by searching for ‘Firefox’ in Google images, set to ‘Large’

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One response to “Modifying the Aeon XBMC Skin to Launch Firefox from main menu in Ubuntu

  1. Pingback: Starting a web browser in XBMC for Ubuntu 9.10 « Mark Brewster's Blog

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