Default Controls

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When you've installed XBMC and have added at least one source, it is time to start playing with XBMC. XBMC works very intuitively. You don't need to know too much to have fun with it. Don't be shy, just go try and try a little more, before you know it you will know the basics of how to run XBMC.

It is hard, if not impossible, to give you one way of how you should run XBMC. That is because XBMC is very versatile:

  • XBMC runs on Linux, Mac, Windows, Xbox, and on a Live CD.
  • There are many Controls with their own behavior and we don't know what Control(s) you are using
  • Not every XBMC user is the same. Some like it easy and others want to explore every feature there is. Both users will be happy with XBMC.

So, the only thing we can do at this point is showing you where you can find information about the Control(s) you are using.

Note: A lot of the mentioned hardware is for Xbox only. So don't try to understand everything. You certainly don't need to read about Controls you don't have, just skip them. Note: For a Windows installation, if the Remote Controller is not doing what you want it to do, it might be a good idea to use EventGhost. See the appropriate section in this HOW-TO: HOW-TO make Windows boot directly to XBMC (as a shell).

Using Keyboards and Mice in XBMC

XBMC is originally (when it was only available for the Xbox) designed to be operated via a remote, however XBMC also can be controlled via keyboard and mouse.

Please use the links below to learn how your keyboard and mouse work within XBMC.

Also see:

Using the Xbox Controller in XBMC (Xbox-only)

XBOX DVD-Kit Remote Control (Xbox-only)

The Xbox™ IR DVD-Remote is an optional accessory that you can buy for the Xbox. There is an official one from Microsoft, and several third-party ones available (most of which look very much like the original Xbox™ IR DVD-Remote from Microsoft). The kit includes an infrared-receiver (dongle) and a remote control, the infrared-receiver plugs into any available Xbox controller port. Though a DVD-Remote is not required to control XBMC, it is a recommended accessory, as it makes using XBMC much easier and user-friendly. You can also redefine the functions of all keys of the remote by editing the key mapping, which is defined in the XBMC\UserData\keymap.xml file on your Xbox.

The following links show the default functions of the DVD-Remote in XBMC (Xbox-only):

Xbox Media Extender Remote

Universal Remote Control

You can fully control XBMC with any Universal Infrared Remote (IR-remote), however on the Xbox you still need the Microsoft Xbox IR-receiver-dongle that you get with the XBOX DVD Remote. The XBox DVD remote uses the RCA VCR/DVD player codes from the RCA protocol, so simply follow the instructions that came with your Universal Remote on how to set it to "RCA".

Important Information for Xbox users! All the below information assumes that you are using the IR dongle from the original Xbox Movie Playback DVD Kit. If you are not, most of the information still applies except the IR codes themselves may be different. (Clone IR kits may not necessarily use the RCA IR standard). You can see if you are using the original by looking at the sticker on the back of your dongle. The Microsoft product will have the name of the product, Microsoft's address and partnumber.

Custom Keymapping You can define the keys of the remote as you like, by adding or editing the XBMC\UserData\keymap.xml file.

XBox Only! To figure out what code your remote control is sending to XBMC when you press a button, enable the <displayremotecodes> setting in advancedsettings.xml.

See also:

Xbox USB Keyboard and Mouse Support

XBMC contains built-in support for some basic USB keyboards and mice that supports the HID (Human Interface Device class) USB standard. This requires you have an Xbox Gameport -> USB adapter. These are available from various suppliers on the web, and there are also tutorials available at the describing how to make your own convertor.

Note: Team-XBMC recommend "media center" keyboards (with built-in mouse) for XBMC use, for that true media-center feel.

XBMC uses the built-in libraries supplied with the Xbox, and therefore compatibility is limited to what these libraries support. This means that only the two main right/left buttons and the scroller is working on mice and only the standard IBM-compatible ASCI keys work on a keyboard, no extra multimedia functions/keys work on the keyboard or mouse. Currently, confirmed working devices are listed below. If you find another that works (or that doesn't work) please add it to the list, so that it can be used by others to help them buy compatible devices.

To assign functions to keyboard buttons, check out the Keymap.xml configuration file.

Known Working Mice

  • Dell Optical USB mouse (DP/N: OT0943)
  • Logitech USB Mice (optical)
  • Microsoft Basic Mice
  • Microsoft Intellimouse Optical
  • Belkin Optical Notebook Mouse
  • Micro Innovations
  • Apple Optical Mouse
Known Working Cordless Mice
  • Logitech Cordless Click Plus
  • Microsoft Wireless Intellimouse Explorer 2.0
  • Typhoon optical rf mouse (Article #40159; only short range)
  • Kensington (only short range, max 2 metre)
NON-Working Wired and Wireless Mice
  • Gyration (wireless)*
  • ITSG (wireless)*
  • Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000 (USB)*
  • Razer Diamondback
    • May be some variation in this; my Diamondback Plasma works just fine.
  • All these mice (wireless/optical) seem to be compatible with Linux, if that could have any meaning?

Known Working Keyboards

  • HP multimedia USB keyboard
  • Logitech iTouch Keyboard (incl. 2 Ports Hub)
  • Logitech Elite Keyboard
  • Logitech UltraX Media Keyboard
  • Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000
  • Microsoft Natural USB keyboard
  • Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 v1.0 (USB)
  • Packard Bell 5135l(BE)
  • Qware KB113
  • Genius USB KB21e Scroll
  • Trust Slimline Keyboard
  • Gateway RT-3604
  • Saitek Compact USB Keyboard ACK-201U
  • All Apple USB keyboards at least as far back as 2000
  • Hi-Grade KU-0108
  • BENQ USB (x120 Internet Keyboard Pro)
  • Sun MicroSystems Type 6 USB Keyboard
  • Dell SK-8115 Compact USB Keyboard
Known Working Cordless Keyboards
  • Gyration (WIRELESS) GC15CK 2.4ghz 30'/10m range
  • ITSG (WIRELESS) M/N:IK-1052RP 10'/3.3m range
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop Pro

Known Working Keyboard/Mouse Combos

A Cordless "Keyboard/Mouse Combos" is a wirless keyboard and mouse bought as one package and only have one receiver that they share.

  • Compaq Windows RF Keyboard & Mouse Combo – Model CPQ175KB (Keyboard works, mouse doesn't)
  • Genius USB Wireless Keyboard & Mouse (keyboard works, mouse not tested)
  • Logitech Cordless Freedom Optical (keyboard works, mouse doesn't)
  • Logitech MX5000 Bluetooth (keyboard works, mouse doesn't)
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop MX3000 (keyboard works, mouse doesn't)
NON-Working Cordless Keyboard/Mouse Combos
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop Pro Keyboard+Mouse
  • Cherry Cymotion Pro Wireless Desktop
  • Saitek Eclipse USB Keyboard (uses too much power for LEDs)
  • Media-Tech Sp@ceCom MT140 Keyboard/Mouse
  • Labtec Ultraflat Wireless Desktop USB
  • Belkin F8E832-BNDL (keyboard & mouse)

Known Working Media Center Keyboards (with a built-in mouse)

A "media center keyboard" is a keyboard that has a built-in mouse (or trackpad, trackball, touchpad, joystick, etc. with mouse function)

  • Trust Vista Remote Keyboard KB-2950 (keyboard works, built-in trackball doesn't)
NON-Working Media Center Keyboards (wireless keyboards with integrated mouse)
  • Speed-Link SL-6495-SSV Media Centre Controlboard with integrated Trackball. The Hardware works (besides special keys), but! it is the German keyboard layout that does NOT work fine with xbmc: many buttons don't map correctly to the printed key labels, they map to the usual key labels of an english layout. This is due to the fact that xbmc only supports english layout till now.
    • If an English variant exists it might be perfect! The following links to an English description (English variant???) but the high-res picture (high-res-picture) only has a German layout (QWERTZ)!
    • Distance seems not to be the best, at least when used with rechargeable battery.
  • Microsoft Remote Keyboard XP Media Center Edition (MCE), InfraRed (IR) wireless keyboard with built-in trackpad and multimedia keys.
    • Many people ask if this is compatible with XBMC, the answer is that is is not! (It uses same IR-dongle as MS MCE IR-Remote).
  • ione Scorpius P20 Media Center RF Keyboard with Integrated Mouse (by Itron)
    • Projectmanager Pike strongly advises people not to buy this keyboard, if you still do you're on your own.
    • Windows: mixed reports on Windows usage (Windows 7)
    • Linux: According to Ione Europe, this keyboard doesn't support Linux (it does) it's just poorly designed so it doesn't work 100%
    • Xbox: mixed reports on Xbox usage