Ubuntu: Optimal Ubuntu version for NAS with XBMC?


In my combined NAS and Media Center solution, I have currently XBMC installed on a Ubuntu desktop 12.04. While generally functional, XBMC sometimes crashes and I can't but help that Ubuntu Desktop is overkill in this situation. Basically, the only graphical interface I need is XBMC, the rest (AFP, Time Machine setup, management in general etc) I administer through ssh or sometimes webmin. So my question is, as the title suggest:

What would be the optimal Ubuntu version for a NAS with XBMC? (My interpretation of 'optimal': I want the video rendering to be as good as possible, and I want the system to be as stable as possible.)

Hardware: Intel Atom D525 CPU & NVIDIA ION 512MB DDR3 GPU.


Measured by what we can do with it xbmc has surprisingly low demands on hardware. The minimum requirements to run xbmc are:

  • x86 processor from Pentium 4 or newer, 256 Mb RAM, Radeon HD4300, Intel GMA 950, GeFarce 6 or better.

All other OS additions, and the desktop will add to that. Therefore a full blown Unity desktop as it comes with Ubuntu 14.04 appears not only overkill but it may also considerably reduce performance on a low-end system. Still, even Ubuntu can be configured to run with the quite lean gnome-session-flashback desktop.

In case we do not need any graphical desktop on our media center we may consider to install xbmc on Ubuntu Server but then we may have to manually add some applications we may need.

Therefore a more user-friendly approach may be to choose a flavour with a desktop as lean as possible, and with few additional applications only (e.g. Lubuntu or Xubuntu). This also gives us the advantage to maintain our system from a graphical desktop.

We can configure xbmc to run an xbmc-standalone session to boot our PC directly to xbmc without loading the desktop environment. This alone may give us a best performance irrespect of which Ubuntu flavour we had used as a base.

We should also mention XBMCbuntu an inofficial derivative of Ubuntu maintained by the xbmc team and tailored to run xmbc. This derivative hovewer is not supported here on Ask Ubntu.

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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