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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crystalbuntu Instalation Guide - Part 4 - The First Boot


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At this point you should have already modified the AppleTV hardware by removing the Hard Drive and fan as well as replacing the WiFi adapter with a Brodcom CryastalHD card. You should also have completed the steps to build a CrystalHD for AppleTV boot thumb-drive and modified the system files within to allow booting with no internal hard drive.



If all the above steps are complete, go ahead and attach your Apple TV to your TV with either the component cables or the HDMI connection, connect the LAN port to your network and insert the AppleTV bootable thumb-drive. Once it’s all connected, turn on your TV and plug in the power cord to the AppleTV. The AppleTV does not have proper ACPI support, so there is no power button or real suspend mode; if it’s plugged in, it’s turned on.

The First boot

Booting an AppleTV is not an instantaneous process, in fact it will normally take about two to five minutes to fully boot into XBMC. However the first boot will take significantly longer! The first time you power on the Apple TV you should expect the following:
  • 30 seconds of blank screen, nothing at all
  • 20 – 30 seconds of the ATV-Bootloader logo (An AppleTV with a Penguin)
  • 10+ minutes of text as Ubuntu starts up for the first and updates files from the internet. At this time the AppleTV will download and install XBMC as well as any updates available from STMLabs.com. Currently this will include the May and June updates.
  • A few minutes of a totally blank screen and then a reboot.
  • 30 seconds of blank screen, nothing at all
  • 20 – 30 seconds of the ATV-Bootloader logo (An AppleTV with a Penguin)
  • 5+ minutes of text as Ubuntu continues to update. This update will include an change to the XBMC file structure and takes only a few minutes.
  • 1 – 2 minutes as X11 and XBMC start for the first time.

After about 15 minutes, the Apple TV should suddenly fill the screen with the XBMC user interface.

It’s all very interesting to watch, but you should not need to do anything during this process. It’s a good idea to watch for the first five or ten minutes just to be sure that there are no error messages, (like a bad IP address or the inability to resolve DNS addresses) but once the screen starts showing that Ubuntu is downloading and installing updates you can safely assume everything is setup correctly. Feel free to leave it alone and come back in fifteen minutes.

Running XBMC

If all went according to plan, the AppleTV will boot, the screen will flash and then you will be greeted with the XBMC home window. In the future, a typical power up will take about two minutes since there will be no need to update anything from the internet.

A typical power on from re-boot or cold start will look like this:

  • 30 seconds of blank screen, nothing at all
  • 20 – 30 seconds of the ATV-Bootloader logo (An AppleTV with a Penguin)
  • 30 seconds as of scrolling text as Ubuntu starts up (Longer if an update is available)
  • 15 seconds of blank screen (some flickering is normal as X11 starts)
  • After a total of 2 minutes, XBMC should be running