Putting SteamOS and XBMC on an Intel NUC last weekend was surprisingly straightforward for what is billed as very much a DIY project. I just needed to pick up a PS/2 to USB converter for an old PS/2 keyboard.

The Hardware

Pretty hard to screw up the assembly portion; just glance at the instructions.

BIOS Update

The NUC needs a newer BIOS to properly handle the UEFI Debian boot binary. I opted to follow the F7 BIOS update instructions, which entails hitting F7 at BIOS load time and hitting a file on your USB drive. My unit was on 2013.1017, and updating to 2014.0303 worked. Do note, that one will have to disable the Wake-On-Lan feature, until Intel releases a fix for the reboot after shutdown issue.

SteamOS installation

  1. Download SteamOSInstaller.zip. As noted on Build your own Steam Machine.
  2. Unzip the contents to the root of your FAT32-formatted USB drive.
  3. Boot from the UEFI entry on the USB drive into the installer.
  4. Run the Automated Install to overwrite the contents of the SSD.

Add Debian Wheezy repos and XBMC

This is based upon the Steam Universe posts: Installing applications from the Debian repo in SteamOS, and Intergrating XBMC in SteamOS.

  1. Get into a sudo shell: sudo -s
  2. Open up /etc/apt/sources.list and add:
    • deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
    • deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
    • deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-backports main contrib non-free
  3. Update apt: apt-get update
  4. Install XBMC: apt-get -t wheezy-backports install xbmc
  5. Update the gnome session files to automatically switch between Steam and XBMC on either program exit:
    • mv /usr/share/xsessions/gnome.desktop /usr/share/xsessions/gnome-old.desktop
    • cp /usr/share/xsessions/XBMC.desktop /usr/share/xsessions/gnome.desktop
  6. Restart

Install AeroFS for Music syncing

While I filled up an external NTFS USB drive with Videos, I like to keep my music library synced across all my devices with AeroFS. Updated August 10 2014.

  1. Install the Java 7 runtime: apt-get install openjdk-7-jre-headless
  2. Grab the .deb from https://www.aerofs.com/downloading?os=linux
  3. Install it: dpkg -i aerofs-installer-*.deb
  4. Install screen: apt-get install screen
  5. Create the file ~/launch_aerofs.sh with the contents:

     export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
     screen -dmS AeroFS aerofs-cli1
  6. Create the file ~/.xbmc/userdata/autoexec.py with the contents:

     import os
  7. AeroFS will always be running in the background after 1st open of XBMC. More on XBMC wiki: Autoexec.py.

Additional customizations

509 words. Post tags: SteamOS, XBMC, Intel NUC, and AeroFS.

Post content is written by Jason Zerbe and licensed CC BY-NC 3.0.