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How To Install 'Ubuntu TV Concept' on Your Desktop [Ubuntu 11.10 Required]

Ubuntu TV has been revealed by Canonical earlier today. The interface is made of same underlying tech that powers Ubuntu desktop. Using dash, lenses, scopes, universal search bar etc. a pretty neat interface has been created.

Since many people want to try it out, I have written a short guide below. Detailed Instructions for installing Ubuntu TV on Oneiric can be found here.

I have installed Ubuntu TV using method explained below but both are essentially same. However, the method on wiki should always supersede.

Also Ubuntu TV is just a concept yet so many things are not working. It will take you nowhere so install it you just want to get a feel of it.

One last thing before I go ahead. Don't try on your production system. Do it on virtualbox because installing Ubuntu TV will break your existing Unity2D packages.


Install dependencies and required tools:

sudo apt-get install bzr bzr-builddeb debhelper dh-translations cmake pkg-config libqt4-dev libqt4-opengl-dev libglib2.0-dev libwnck-3-dev libpango1.0-dev libqtgconf-dev libdconf-qt-dev libqtbamf-dev libqtdee-dev libdbusmenu-qt-dev libx11-dev libindicator3-dev libgtk-3-dev libutouch-geis-dev libstartup-notification0-dev libunity-core-4.0-dev libnux-1.0-dev libxi-dev cdbs dh-autoreconf libdeclarative-multimedia libqt4-declarative-shaders dconf-tools ffmpeg gnome-common

Get the source code by running the command below:

bzr branch lp:ubuntutv
bzr branch lp:~s-team/ubuntutv/unity-lens-video

Now the run commands below to make deb packages out of the code. It will take some time.

cd ~/ubuntutv
bzr builddeb -- -uc -us

cd ~/unity-lens-video
bzr builddeb -- -uc -us

Install all the newly created deb packages from your home folder by running the command below:

cd ~/
sudo dpkg -i --force-all *.deb

For reference, these should be the packages:

libunity-2d-private0_5.2.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb, libunity-2d-private-dev_5.2.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb, unity-2d_5.2.0-0ubuntu1_all.deb, unity-2d-launcher_5.2.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb, unity-2d-panel_5.2.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb, unity-2d-places_5.2.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb, unity-2d-shell_5.2.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb, unity-2d-spread_5.2.0-0ubuntu1_i386.deb, unity-lens-video_0.5_i386.deb

Set the Unity 2D form factor to TV by running the command below:

GSETTINGS_SCHEMA_DIR=ubuntu-tv/data gsettings set com.canonical.Unity2d form-factor tv

Unity Video Lens will show all the videos you have in special folders. It will ignore everything else. There are four folders to be filled with media. So put some media files in them.
  • ~/Videos/unity/local/featured
  • ~/Videos/unity/local/rented
  • ~/Videos/unity/local/purchased
  • ~/Videos/unity/local/recorded
All right everything is done. Now we just need to run the shell.

If you’re running unity-2d, you need to kill unity-2d-panel, unity-2d-places, unity-2d-launcher, unity-2d-spread (twice):

$ killall unity-2d-{panel,places,launcher,spread} && killall unity-2d-{panel,places,launcher,spread}

If you’re running unity, replace compiz with metacity:

$  metacity --replace &

To run Ubuntu TV, execute one of the commands below:
  • unity-2d-shell
  • unity-2d-shell -opengl
Remember many things wont work. For me, video list appeared when searching for a moment and then I never got to work it again. You can navigate through the interface by using arrow keys and F1, F2, F3 are shortcuts for launcher, top bar (in player), sidebar, respectively.

P.S. I am not aware about the best practices of using many of the commands above. So be lenient on that regard :)


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