Boxee and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on the Acer Aspire Revo

I did a fresh install of Boxee and the newly released Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on my Acer Aspire Revo today. The process has not changed significantly since I wrote my post How to install Ubuntu 9.10 and the Boxee Beta on an Acer Aspire Revo (including 64 bit option) back in January. You can pretty much follow these instructions to get everything up and running. One minor difference is in alsamixer where the entry formally known as “IEC958 1” now seems to be labelled “S/PDIF” (see below for screenshot) - unmute this as before. I used the recently released Boxee Beta version which works with Ubuntu 10.04, at the time of writing the Boxee site doesn't state this. It is also possible to integrate Boxee with the new Ubuntu One Music Store.

Alsamixer showing SPDIF setting

If you are using the Revo as a media centre connected to your TV you will want to switch off the Ubuntu screensaver, go to SystemPreferencesScreensaver and clear the tick boxes for Activate screensaver when computer is idle and Lock screen when screensaver is active. Click on the Power Management button and under On Mains Power Actions change the value for Put Computer to sleep when inactive for: to Never. Click close and close again. Video performance might also be improved if you go to SystemAdministrationNvidia X Server Settings and under X Screen 0OpenGL SettingsPerformance tick Sync to Vblank and then click Quit to exit.

The Ubuntu One Music store has a handy feature where it will synchronise the purchases you make through it to any Ubuntu machine synchronised with your Ubuntu One account. Firstly make sure you get Ubuntu One up and running on your Revo once you install Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. You can check the settings and connect the machine to your account by going to SystemPreferences Ubuntu One. It might take a while to synchronise everything so be patient!

Once your music has been synchronised (you can see it by going into the MusicPurchased from Ubuntu One section in Rythmbox Music Player) you can make these tracks available to Boxee by adding Ubuntu One as a new “music share”. To do this follow these steps:

  • Launch Boxee
  • Go to the Settings section (the cog icon by the word “Boxee” in the top left)
  • Select Media
  • Select Add Sources
  • Select your home directory (which will be the entry with your user name, usually the top entry)
  • Scroll down to “.local” and select it
  • Select “share”
  • Select “ubuntuone”
  • Select “Purchased from Ubuntu One”
  • Select “Add source”

The Boxee settings screen for the Ubuntu One music share

Now you can configure this media source:

  • Share name: Ubuntu One
  • Media type: Music
  • Type of scanning: Monitored (very Frequent)
  • Now select “Add”

The new media source is now added and if you go back a couple of screens you will see it listed alongside “Local Music”, “Local Video” and “Local Pictures”. When you next buy music from the Ubuntu One Music Store you should find that it becomes available in Boxee automatically, with artwork too (although patience is always a virtue with any synchronisation technology!).


Note very carefully everyone this is a clean install of Ubuntu. I tried to update from Ubuntu 9.10 using the update manager (sudo update-manager -d) and the update trashed my system. It had problems with video and x-org updating. This was on day one of the new Ubuntu release - maybe things are different now.

Lliam doesn't say that the method for installing the Nvidia drivers is different too. If you try the old method of going to Nvidia website drectly, downloading the latest installation software and running it, you get an error and nothing installs. You have to let Ubuntu install proprietary hardware drivers from the icon on top screen.

I also found that Boxee didn't install all the media codecs I needed so had to hunt around how to get those. Configure repositories - third party and check some boxes. Installing vlc is a good way to endure you get most of what you need.

HI Croques,

I think you are referring to quite an old post on this site. Originally I wrote about getting the Revo to work with Ubuntu 9.04 where you did have to get the drivers manually from the NVidia website. Then I wrote about this topic again, covering Ubuntu 9.10 where this was not necessary. If you follow the link at the top of this post you will see it leads to the second post. Installing drivers through Ubuntu is the preferred method. As ever, follow the instructions and links carefully. The original post has a link to the updated post at the top as well.

If you need extra codecs on your system then install the ubuntu-restricted-extras package, this will give you MP3 support etc.

Hi Liam

I've been enjoying your blog for ages now and have followed 9.04 and the 9.10 postings most carefully. 9.04 went on an Acer Aspire One Netbook (and it's still there as I prefer the 9.04 netbook screen over 9.10's), and 9.10 went on a Revo with Boxee to make a HTPC. There is no confusion; I am clear that 9.10 Nvidia drivers did not install from the Ubuntu initial installation for me. Whether I missed the Nvidia install opportunity when presented I cannot recall; but I do clearly remember having to download the drivers from Nvidia and do the installation myself. It was a bit tortuous at first having to open a terminal login and switch off the gdm service before being able to run the Nvidia installer. Afterwards I had to install the drivers repeatedly ever after, it seemed, whenever the Ubuntu Linux kernel received an update.

I'm still miffed an official Ubuntu update from 9.10 to 10.4 trashed a well set up system! In this day and age it shouldn't be this way.

It's a shame the upgrade option didn't work out for you. I upgraded a couple of other machines from 9.10 to 10.04, it worked, but took hours and hours to complete! For the Revo I thought I would just do a clean install and just install everything again and that turned out to be a faster option, particularly as it doesn't have much extra software installed on it other than Boxee.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Thank you for very clear and helpful instructions which worked well for me in 9.10. After a clean install of 10.04 I couldn't get sound and had to revert to 9.10. Then I decided to use the update manager to upgrade to 10.04. That was the most impressive thing I've witnessed in 20 years of desktop computing. In less than 45 minutes I had downloaded virtually all the 10.04 'iso' and installed it over the top of 9.10, and everything worked. I've racked my brain over reasons for not getting sound after the clean install. I didn't activate the nVidia drivers (forgot to) in 10.04. That's a bit of a long shot though.

Ditto, upgraded my Samsung NC10 and Acer Revo from 9.10 to 10.04.

The NC10 went through with no issues.

The Acer Revo complained about video issues, it also zapped grub (in that menu.lst is no longer there, so no grub menu on start up). Tried the old method of re-installing the NVIDIA drivers (as mentioned by Croques) but this didn't work.


Followed that, and at least it will boot to the GUI.

Taking a stab in the dark here to see if maybe you can give some ideas. I've set up my Revo 1600 (upgraded to 2gig of ram) exactly as you've described in 9.10, and 10.04 LTS and using both 32bit and 64bit versions of the OS and software.

In all cases the flash player (used internally by Boxee as well as Hulu) plays abysmally slow. The 360p and 480p barely keep up with occasional skips and pauses and the higher resolution formats show maybe a few frames of the video before completely freezing up. Sometimes the audio still plays.

I've tried both the 10.0 version of as well as the latest release candidates of the 10.1 version. All essentially the same. Is the 1600 just too underpowered for this?

Any ideas on any bits and pieces I can poke at to see what happens?

I should have noted that I'm referring to playing youtube videos here both inside Boxee and in either firefox or chrome.

Hi Joel,

Your Revo should be capable of playing Flash movies, I watch YouTube clips on mine. I was wondering though - how did you install Flash? Best way to do it is by installing the flashplugin-installer package in Ubuntu (type: sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree on the command line. Also it might be worth checking your video settings, under the admin menu there should be program to configure the NVidia driver, have a look here to make sure that it is installed and functioning properly. Let me know how you get on.

hey i have just bought an acer aspire revo with 1 gig of ram with no operating system just revoboot i have downloaded ubuntu
onto a usb stick i reset the computer disabled revoboot then i restarted the revo and pressed F12 i clicked on my usb stick (sandisk 2gig) and it says invalid system disk and i don't know what to do. Liam Green-Hughes if you can help me please do thanks

@ Oliver, I'm not Liam but just passing by.

Having Ubuntu on the memory stick isn't enough - the stick needs to be bootable. Google for making a bootable system USB stick from an iso or image file. Or look on the Ubuntu site as instructions are there.

This and the previous tutorial got me about 90% of the way.

Ubuntu wouldn't detect the wireless card. I was able to find the driver for the RaLink wireless card from (instructions for how to build it yourself are here:, and that worked out fine.

The other big issue was that Flash was very slow inside or outside Boxee (YouTube ran at about 15 frames/s). To fix this, I tried a few things. I'm not sure which one actually fixed it, but if you do all this and reboot you should notice a massive difference in terms of Flash speed.

1) Disable window composition by setting System > Preferences > Appearance > Visual Effects to None.
2) Get VDPau running in Boxee. sudo apt-get install libvdpau1. Then in Boxee go Setting > Media > Advanced and select Enable Hardward Acceleration
3) Enable hardware acceleration in Flash. Make sure you have the latest non-free version of Flash first (sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer). Then follow the instructions here:

Hope someone finds this useful.

i have a problem with the sound.
in boxee i can hear the gui sounds but when i start a movie with DTS or DD5.1 its gives that weird noise.
in the settings theres also an pathtrough sound thing whats that??

also youtube in firefox gives no sound.

anyone got hdmi sound working on 10.10 i cant

mine only says outout on hdmi not input

Hi, Has anyone got HMDI on the revo working under ubuntu 10.10?

WOuld I be better off using 10.04?

I can get sound out of the headphone jack but not down hdmi to my tv

Is it possible to include a screen grab for more info?

Thanks Nick


Just re-installed 10.04 LTS on my Revo 3700

In alsamixer the card detected is HDA Intel
Realtek ALC662 rev1 not HDMI

Can anyone help?
Picture goes down HDMI but no sound at all

Also in sound preferences it only shows Internal AUdio no mention of HDMI

Thanks Nick

Liam - many thanks for your work on this. If Alsamixer is showing everything as unmuted this might work:

I have an Acer 3700, I Installed Mythbuntu 64 bit, got no sound through HDMI - this is how I fixed it.
[I went with Mythbuntu 'cos i might want to record stuff - and it automatically gets the best nVidia drivers for you. - I'm not sure this was the most sensible thing to do since I've now installed Ubuntu desktop anyway]

Update Alsa to 'backport' here - [nightly dev builds i believe]
Then go here, and follow Zappzapp's instructions on making a sound config file called .asoundrc

I haven't done anything to pulse yet - but on the reboot - sound took a little time to load on a youtube vid - so be patient and test it again.

BTW - On first install you might also see overscanning - where the menu bars are partially hidden - I fixed this on my TV settings (Menu>Screen>Pixel:Pixel on an LG)

I'm blogging the whole thing here in the next few days

Thanks once again (I followed this guide when I first got my Revo) for such clear and useful instructions.

I managed to re-install and get Boxee up and running in no time at all.
Seems far less painful than I remember it being last time around (especially the Nvidia drivers).

You truly are the go-to guy for getting Boxee running on the Revo!

Add new comment

Comments are always very welcome, but please note the following:
  • Sadly due to the high number of spam comments recently all comments are now manually moderated. You comment will therefore not appear on the site instantly.
  • Comments on this web site are monitored for spam using Mollom. By posting a comment, you accept that your message and other personal details about you will be analysed and stored for anti-spam and quality monitoring purposes, in accordance with Mollom's privacy policy.
  • Please use your own name not a company or website name to submit comments. Your comment will be removed if you don't do this.
  • All links in comments will be marked with a no follow attribute. That means posting a link to your site here won't help your search engine rankings.
  • By submitting a comment you agree that your comment can be reproduced under the same licensing terms as the rest of the content on the site.
  • Comments can be removed at any time without explanation, but won't be removed just because you disagreed with something I said.