How To Install XBMC On Your Apple TV 2

How To Install XBMC On Your Apple TV 2

Great news for anyone looking for a tiny, cheap standalone XBMC box: You can now install XBMC on an Apple TV 2. Here’s how it works.

First, the great news here: The Apple TV is an inexpensive $129— about $100 less than the Acer nettop I installed XBMC to. I haven’t tested it yet, but Engadget’s video demo (above) makes it look very promising. Installing XBMC on your Apple TV is a pretty simple process:

Step One: Jailbreak Your Apple TV 2 If you’ve got a Mac on hand, this is a pretty simple process using Seas0nPass.

Step Two: Log Into Your Apple TV as root and Install From a Terminal prompt, you need to SSH into your Apple TV; you can simply enter:

ssh [email protected]

…and use alpine as your password. (That’s the default password; if you’ve changed it, use whatever you changed it to.) Use your Apple TV’s local IP address for the SSH connection if apple-tv.local doesn’t work.

Then simply paste the following code into Terminal, one command at a time:

echo “deb ./” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list

apt-get update

apt-get install org.xbmc.xbmc-atv2

Step Three: Enjoy XBMC! That’s really all there is to it. The hardest part is jailbreaking the Apple TV, and even that’s a piece of cake.

As I said, I haven’t had time to fully test it yet, but the folks at Engadget seemed pleased with the test unit they tried out. And now I’m actually happy I got that Apple TV for Christmas.

[Install XBMC on ATV2]


  • I set mine up with the server running on my i5 Hackintosh. I’ve got a crap load of multi-channel audio MKVs and it streams them very well. The only thing that isn’t polished yet is the audio. It send 2 channel PCM only with the voice on the right and effects on the left. I’m sure I will be sorted soon but at this point it’s a great start to something awesome.

  • There are two important things to note before getting started:
    1) As of right now, this is considered a “tethered” jailbreak, meaning that you have to physically connect the Apple TV 2 to your Apple computer in order to boot it correctly (aka “tethered boot”).
    2) Also, the computer that runs the file (the file that actually jailbreaks your Apple TV) will need to have Mac OS 10.6 or later.

    I had to stop going through the steps because I have OS 10.5.8.


  • For Windows, RC6 of greenpois0n released yesterday with Apple TV support.

    It is now possible to buy an stock Apple TV, untethered jailbreak it, and install XBMC without a mac, and also without doing any ssh crap – the GP software does it all.

    Did it this morning, and everything works great.

  • at the apt-get update stage there appears to be a package missing – others seem to report the same thing. I tried re-jailbreaking but makes not difference… Any clues?

    Ign ./ Packages
    Hit tangelo-3.7/main Packages
    Ign ./ Packages
    Err ./ Packages
    HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
    Hit stable/main Packages/DiffIndex
    Err ./ Packages
    HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
    Hit ./ Packages/DiffIndex
    Fetched 1328B in 6s (208B/s)
    W: Failed to fetch… HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found

    W: Failed to fetch… HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found

    E: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

  • This seriously failed and also apparently permanently disabled any chance of anything else ever working.

    echo “deb ./” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list

    supposed to be one command line? I have never used this particular shell language.

    Now, no matter what I put in, I get this error:

    E: Type ‘.deb’ is not known on line 1 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list

    Please help…

  • Adrian, are you copying and pasting the line directly in?
    because i did, and the “‘s were replaced with .’s

    make sure the lines you enter are the exact same as the ones posted
    and if you want, run: cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list and make sure that deb ./ is in there

  • Thought I would share an SSH alternative for those who don’t feel like turning on your computer and would like to do a quick SSH into their devices. This is android so you can use your android phone or tablet to SSH repository into your ATV or idevice. I use es file explorer a free android app to SSH into my apple TV 2. Since I use xbmc on my LG Optimistic 2x and my Acer A500, I have all the repo’s on them. Great to use to clean up cache and memory on the atv2. When you download es file explorer and open it you will see your folders you then swipe to the right twice and at the top left corner you will see a button FTP you press and you will see other options. Choose sftp and a box will pop up which is similar to cyberduck on Mac (I can’t remember how winscp or windows version looks, Mac is the Mac)
    Fill out the info exactly the same IP, root, password and it will show your connection icon which you then press. Find var and press, then mobile and add your repo’s.
    If you want to SSH with terminal like on Mac you can also use Better Terminal Emulator which also has a pro version which I use. You choose BTEP (I’m not sure if local would work I’m assuming local will do your android device) and fill out the info the way you would with cyberduck. You can than choose ‘create shortcut’ which will put a widget on your home screen. You can then access SSH fast just press and start sshing you apple TV or iPhone. I find this way to be so much easier and while your watching your apple TV. Sometimes the memory/cache gets full oso instead of turning on the Mac and waiting then opening cyberduck and waiting, I just turn my sleeping android device on and press and go with es file explorer or with better terminal. I hope this helps. I have one question. Has anyone found a working stagevu repo? Let me know if this helps.

  • I have an jail broken apple TV with the xbmc hub maintenance on it. It has worked flawlessly for 10 months, recently when I crank it up I get the message “xbmchub maintenance downloading and copying, and it just sits, I cannot cancel it and it never completes although the crawl across the bottom continues. I have rebooted the system and when it cranks up it does the same thing. Any ideas on how to resolve this issue?

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