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Managing multiple xbmc devices using symlinks


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After many attempts to synchronise my xbmc devices I found symbolic links and mysql to be the easiest way to manage multiple xbmc devices and, as it took a lot of trial and error to realise this, I want to share how I eventually got it work well so hopefully I can save you guys a lot of time and effort...


My Set-up :D

Server: Ubuntu Desktop 12.04LTS
Clients: Raspberry Pi w/xbian

            PC w/Ubuntu Desktop 12.04LTS

1 - Install xbmc on your server and client(s)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc

2 - Share your /home/"user"/.xbmc/userdata folder on your server and mount it on your client

It really doesn't matter what file sharing protocol you use, just share it on your server and mount it somewhere sensible on your client. I use NFS and fstab to mount, it seems to provide smoother playback compared to SMB.

4 - Create symlinks on your client (I find symbolic links work better than <pathsubstitution>)

In Ubuntu use the following, but change to suit your set-up:
ln -snf /mount/point/userdata/"folder" /home/"user"/.xbmc/userdata/"folder"
ln = link command
-s = symbolic link
-n = no dereference (treat link as a normal file)
-f = force (replace existing destination files)

My current symlinks:

If you symlink your sources.xml file, the mount point of your sources will have to be the same on every device! I always use /media to mount all my NFS shares and media.

5 - Set up xbmc library sync using mysql
     click here for a thread I posted on how to do this

6 - Load up xbmc on your client and check your library.

     Has it worked? Leave a post below and let us know!


For more info on synchronising xbmc libraries check out this xbmc wiki page

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Symlinks are not recommended for Frodo, though. In fact, it may cause performance issues, actually.


And, I cheat.... if you can call it that. I use WDS+"WDSLINUX", NFS, XBMCBuntu with persistance and mySQL. 


Just in case your wondering, I used this: http://37rtm.host22.com/content/ubuntu-live-cd-persitence-using-nfs

Though, I only did the partial persistence, as I only wanted the home dir saved.

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