There’s a good chance that following all of the screenshots and videos of Ubuntu TV you’d like nothing more than to play with it yourself.

The good news is that you can – but there are drawbacks to caressing your curiosity; you will need to sacrifice the Unity-2D session.

Content with that? You crazy fool – use Virtualbox or an installation you’re content with borking.

How to Install Ubuntu TV in Ubuntu

This is development software. Do not install unless you are competent enough to revert any or all changes made.

The Ubuntu Wiki provides instructions for compiling the latest code manually. This is the recommended way to test Ubuntu TV.

But, for the lazy amongst you, the Ubuntu TV code has also been packaged up into a PPA by Alin Andrei.

The PPA provides Ubuntu TV packages for Ubuntu 11.10 32bit and 64bit only. If you’re using an earlier version of Ubuntu you can droop you head in disappointment anytime about now.

So, on to installing. Open a new Terminal window and run the following three commands. Be sure to let each one finish before trying to run the next.

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/test3
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install unity-2d
  • sudo apt-get install unity-lens-video

As Ubuntu TV can’t be run from the Unity 2D session you will only be able to run the prototype in Ubuntu itself. Assuming you’re in Unity run the following command: –

  • unity-2d-shell –opengl
The Ubuntu TV interface will now open. To close it just Alt+Tab back to the Terminal you ran the command from and press CTRL+C.

Using Ubuntu TV

Ubuntu TV is by no means finished or – don’t hate me – fully functional.

But there are enough features present to play around with to enable you can to get the ‘feel’ of how it all works – just be sure to go in with your eyes open.

For your own videos to show up in the shell you will need to place them in the following folders: –

  • ~/Videos/unity/local/featured
  • ~/Videos/unity/local/rented
  • ~/Videos/unity/local/purchased
  • ~/Videos/unity/local/recorded
And for video thumbnails to be generated and displayed the following command run: –
  • /usr/lib/unity-lens-video/ ~/Videos/
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