XBMC on Apple TV

Put your Apple TV on Steroids with XBMC

So if you’re anything like me you’ve had an Apple TV knocking around connected to your TV for a while and unless you have a Netflix subscription it’s a little pointless. Sure, the Apple TV is awesome if you’re willing to invest hundreds of pounds into the iTunes ecosystem – in the era of Spotify though I really don’t see a place for iTunes anymore.

So why do you need XBMC on your Apple TV? Basically you need it because without it your Apple TV does (pretty much) nothing.

Getting Ready

If you’d like XBMC on your Apple TV first off you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the second generation Apple TV. (It’s Black, looks like a hockey puck and importantly it is the 720p version NOT the third generation 1080p version.)

Once you’re sure you’ve got the right Apple TV you’ll need to jailbreak it. Do a quick Google search for Seas0nPass to see how to do this.

Installing XBMC on your Apple TV

The installation is pretty simple. First off SSH into your Apple TV. If you’re using a Mac do this by opening up terminal and entering the following in a new terminal window (replace the “Apple_TV_IP_Address” with the IP address of your Apple TV though!):

ssh [email protected]_TV_IP_Address

The default password is “alpine” so give that a go as that’s probably still your password – think about changing this though as it’s not very secure!

Your Terminal window should look a little something like this:

Using Terminal to connect via SSH to an Apple TV

With terminal ready to roll simply enter the following commands and you’ll be up and running with XBMC within a few minutes!

Begin here

apt-get install wget
wget -O- http://apt.awkwardtv.org/awkwardtv.pub | apt-key add -

I’ll just point out – when terminal returns to “Apple-TV:~ root# ” it’s ready for the next command line.

echo "deb http://apt.awkwardtv.org/ stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
echo "deb http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/atv2 ./" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list
apt-get update
mkdir -p /Applications/AppleTV.app/Appliances
apt-get install org.xbmc.xbmc-atv2
mkdir -p /Applications/XBMC.frappliance

Almost done, restart the Apple TV with this line


Wait a couple of minutes and when your Apple TV boots back up you’ll have the latest version of XBMC ready to go on your Apple TV. Awesome.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll formulate a post explaining how to get the most out of XBMC.