Upgrade System from XBMC Live?

Posted By: Team XBMC on Mar 03, 2009 in Site News

Have you ever wanted to upgrade your system from your couch, not being forced to SSH in on your XBMC Live and do the long whinded sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade process?
I have, and finally after some troublesome python learning I finally made a script that does just this!

Basically you choose the script ‘Aptitude‘ from the script section and it will download, install and configure your system. The magic of aptitude in Ubuntu is a wonderfull thing.
Even if most people that have used Ubuntu for a while might know what Im talking about but the newer users of XBMC Live might not be familiar with this.

Basically Aptitude is the packagemanager of the OS we use in XBMC Live, it can look like the Windows Update on a fast lookover but aptitude is so much more. It handles all applications and you never need to go out and hunt your applications latest versions of the installers. In aptitude you don´t even need to go out and install the different helper libraries you sometimes have to do with windows, ever needed to download dotNet?

Aptitude will download, install and configure this for you. It will even tell you when a new version is out! We haven´t had this feature in XBMC live and the users have been forced to drop to terminal to do this maintenence, even though its somewhat doable it is still not even close to the feeling of a home appliance.

For those of you that want to install the script its located in the xbmc-additions, but its not that easy to install as of yet.
Basically as aptitude needs root privileges you need to allow this script (install.py) to be executed without asking for password. Hopefully XBMC we will add support for a script to call down the password dialog and then we could ask for the password making this script super easy to install.

EDIT: This is now fixed and latest svn of the script can do this

When all the small issues are bug bashed (with help from users) this script will find its way into next XBMC Live release, and then users won´t need to think about how to install it.

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Discussion - 10 Comments

  • americantabloid Mar 04, 2009 

    Cool!!! Nice feature.

  • Zyn Mar 04, 2009 

    I hope it will be integrate to the next version! ;)

  • niconk Mar 05, 2009 

    Ok, it’s a bit more “home-appliance-like” but still… people still would have to manually perform the update.

    Besides, what about regressions ? It once happened that an automated update broke my wi-fi…

    I am currently using cron-apt, set up by default when I installed ubuntu server. I’m still not convinced that it’s a good solution in general, but it might be the best way to push security updates only.

    Thus said, this plugin will probably make plenty of people happy. Keep up the good work !

  • IllumiNaughty Mar 05, 2009 

    Thats awesome.
    Nice work!

  • topfs2 Mar 05, 2009 

    @niconk
    The big reason for not doing the upgrades automagically is exactly because of just that, regressions.

    Anyhow you bring up a good point and perhaps add the possibility to the script to let the user choose what he wants to upgrade: System, Security upgrades or Just XBMC
    Choosable between XBMC and System should be very simple to add but just security upgrades might be harder, although lanscape can do this afaik. Will look into it!

    Also afaik XBMC is always compiled on latest kernel and libs available when added to the ppa, so I would believe that just upgrade XBMC without the latest system can lead too XBMC crash on next start.

  • Rand Mar 06, 2009 

    This is most certainly wonderful news. I personally think a stand alone version of XBMC is going to be the future on XBMC for the “ease of use” crowd. Personally I use XBMC on a full blown Ubuntu install, Windows XP, Windows XP x64 edition, Vista and OSX. XBMC simply works great on them all. I have never used the live version because I felt it was too difficult to keep an up-to-date version of XBMC running from a live install but with this new script, it is certainly on the way to dummy proof with out having to drop to consol to do updates.

  • topfs2 Mar 09, 2009 

    No need for sudoers file now!

  • Dummy Mar 12, 2009 

    I would love a XBMC set-top-box type system that will let me know when new updates are out, both of XBMC for Linux, libraries that XBMC depends on, and the underlying operating-system, and then have the option to apply those update VERY EASILY with the push of a button.

    This would be great for all your family members and friends who know absolutely nothing about computers, and do not even mention Linux because then they will shit their pants of fright. I personally have not installed nor recommended XBMC Live to any of my family or friends because I do not want to maintain it for them, but with this they will b able to maintain their own XBMC HTPC themselves.

    XBMC for Dummies for the win! :)

    Long live stupid and lazy people!

  • Tsingi Apr 02, 2009 

    “Long live stupid and lazy people!”

    That would include any programmer worth his salt:)

  • Evan Richardson Jun 23, 2009 

    This is awesome. This truely makes XBMC for set top boxes as easy to update as DISH recievers, or bluray/HDDVD players. Check for updates…update? download and apply. Too easy. Great job!

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