Using XBMC

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What is required to run XBMC?

  • Electricity
  • Either a PC running Linux or Windows, a Mac running OSX, or a hard or softmodded Xbox™.
  • A controller or remote.
  • A TV.
  • A suitable AV Cable.
  • Some media

Can you use/run XBMC on a retail Xbox™ without a modchip installed in it?

Yes, there are some pre-coded hacks (software mods) to run XBMC unmodded, but we do not support how to use them. It is unlikely that XBMC will ever run on unhacked Xboxes. Visit Xbox Scene for information on how to use software mods or mod-chips. We can offer no assistance in this area.

What will a software-mod* or modchip* enable me to do once installed in my retail Xbox™?

Many things, these are some interesting options some modchip's will open up:

  • Enable you to execute homebrew applications/software such as XBMC
  • Install software onto the Xbox™ Hard Drive or launch from CD/DVD+/-R/RW.
  • Enable you install a much bigger and faster Harddisk Drive (the original Xbox™ only has 8GB harddrive).
    • Up to 2TB (2048GB) in size. Upgrading your harddrive will also speedup Xbox loading and boot-up times.
    • If you install a harddrive larger than 137GB then you need a LBA48 compatible BIOS.
    • If a partition is larger than 256GB, the harddrive needs to be formatted with 32k clusters, use XBpartitioner.
    • Largest partition supported by a LBA48 BIOS and 32k clusters is 500GB, so 500GB+ need G: partition.
  • Enable you to replace the original Xbox™ DVD-ROM with a different one, allowing faster loading times and better compatibility of home-burned media like CD-R/RW, DVD+/-R/RW.

A modchip also allows you play imported Xbox™ games & other region DVD movies. (*This is maybe not legal in your country, check your specific country's law for details).

 Note! We do not support HOW-TO use a software mod or HOW-TO install/use xbox mod-chips

What kind of mod/modchip do I need to install in my Xbox™ to use XBMC?

Any mod/modchip will do, but we recommend Xecuter 2/3, SmartXX or Xenium no-solder modchips.

 Note! XBMC-Team and our forums does not support HOW-TO use or install Xbox mod-chips!

Control methods

Can I control XBMC with the Xbox™ DVD Remote and/or a game controller?

Yes, XBMC currently supports both Xbox™ DVD Remotes and game controllers/gamepads. You can also use a universal remote control (see below).

Can I control XBMC or the Xbox with a Universal Infrared Remote Control (IR-remote)?

Yes, but you still need the Microsoft Xbox IR-receiver-dongle that you get with the Xbox DVD-Kit Remote Control. The XBox DVD remote uses the VCR/DVD player codes from the RCA protocol. See here for more information about universal remotes.

Can I remap the buttons on the Controller or Remote?

Yes, this is done very easily by editing the "XBMC\UserData\Keymap.xml".

Can I use a USB Keyboard / USB Mouse to control XBMC?

Yes, most types of USB keyboard and mice work with XBMC. See USB Keyboard and Mouse Support compatibility list. Note however that only the standard features work, no extra multimedia functions/keys work on the keyboard or mouse.

Can I control XBMC using a WebBrowser?

You can use The Web Interface to control many aspects of XBMC.

Media "Input" Methods

Where should I put videos/games/music so that XBMC can read it?

Anywhere you like. XBMC can read off CD/DVD, off the local harddisk, or from network sources. Simply press WHITE while in a root media view (eg Programs, Videos, Music) and then select "Add Source" and browse away.


Can the DVD-ROM that came with my Xbox™ read CD-R media with audio, video or pics?

If your Xbox™ has a Samsung branded DVD-ROM drive and was manufactured between September 2002 and April 2005 (ie. an Xbox version 1.1 - 1.5) then most likely yes. If your Xbox™ has a Thomson or Philips branded DVD-ROM then most likely no, however there are a few of these that can read a few brands of CD-R media. If your Xbox™ has a Samsung branded DVD-ROM drive that was manufactured after April 2005 (ie. an Xbox version 1.6 or later) that it will most likely not read CD-R media. You can find out what brand of drive you have very simply by just ejecting the tray and looking at it, see here for for more details. The only real way to find out if your DVD-ROM can read CD-R media or not is to test it. You may also install a PC DVD-ROM as a replacement for the Xbox™ DVD-ROM if you wish.

Can I put XBMC and videos on a CD or DVD media and boot from it?

Pike's note, ORL ? How then ? Needs a guide! Yes, as long as the CD/DVD is written in a format the Xbox™ can read (i.e. UDF128/xISO).

PS! You can't boot the Xbox™ with ISO9660 format, it needs to be UDF 1.02 or xISO/XDVDFS format. 
However if you have XBMC installed on the harddrive as primary dashboard then it will still start.
Note! Most Xbox DVD-ROM dives are Thomson or Philips which cannot read CD-R media (link).

Can I play/view a video/audio/pic file direct from a CD or DVD when got XBMC on the HDD?

Yes if it is a supported file and CD/DVD format (ISO 9660 – mode 1/2 or UDF128/xISO).

Note! Most Xbox DVD-ROM dives are Thomson or Philips which cannot read CD-R media (link).

Can I play a ISO9660 CD-R/RW direct from the DVD-ROM if I got XBMC on CD or on HDD?

Yes, you can play media files directly from a CD/DVD as long as drive can read the media.

Note! Most Xbox DVD-ROM dives are Thomson or Philips which cannot read CD-R media (link).


How do I setup my local network properly?

Can I connect my Xbox to a 802.11 g/a wireless network/LAN to stream media to XBMC?

Yes, you can use the class of wireless LAN products called a Wireless Bridge, like the offical Xbox Wireless Adapter or third-party ones like Linksys WET54G, Buffalo Tech Air Station? 54G, or SMC SMC2870W. More info on Small Net Builder's? article on Wireless Bridging NTK.

 Note! 802.11b wireless adapters can not sustain streaming high quality video or audio,
       so we highly recommend getting one that supports 802.11g (54Mb) or better,
       such as the official Microsoft adapter.
       Note also that even 802.11g may in fact operate at much slower speeds in practice
       than the theoretical 54Mbits/second.

Local Hard Disk Drive

Can I put supported files on the Xbox™ build-in hard disk drive and play them from there?

Yes, with XBMC's file-manager or FTP-server or another file access program for the Xbox™. Note that the Xbox™ Hard disk filesystem has the following limitations:

  *Maximum Filename Length: 42 Characters (38.ext)
  *4096 files/folders per directory
  *INVALID CHARS: < > = ? : ; " * + , / | 
  (Characters values 0 through 31 and 128 through 255) <- JM: NOT TRUE
  *4 Gigabyte maximum filesize, Some times files over 2 Gigabytes will report 
  strangly as having negative size in older xbox software, though XBMC will 
  work show the sizes correctly. 
  *Always format your F: partition with 32k clustersize if its bigger then 256GB, 
  formatting partitions greater than 256GB without 32k clustersize results in 'CORRUPTION'!

Internet (Streaming)

Can XBMC play (stream or download) audio and video directly from the internet?

'wrong'Only SHOUTcast MP3 audio playlists (pls), it can't play any other formats from the internet.


What is the default username and password to XBMC's built-in FTP server?

Both the default password and the user name for the FTP-server is “xbox” (in lower case).

How do I change the user-name and password to XBMC's built-in FTP-server?

Change it in FileZillaServer.xml, password is encrypted in MD5 hash, so not plain text;

 Example: xbox = 3a3417f5f20a03a98973689887fb72a2

An online MD5 converter is available here:

What is the Q drive?

The Q drive is a path substitution to your XBMC installation folder. So if for instance XBMC is installed in E:\Apps\xbmc, the Q drive points there.