How to Install Ubuntu TV on any TV

Canonical has just announced their new project "Ubuntu TV" few days ago in CES 2012. Installing Ubuntu on your TV will allow you to do much more than watching satellite or cable t.v. channels. To know more about what Ubuntu TV can do, watch the video below.

What You Will Need:
  • Any ordinary computer ( or laptops but it is not recommended to use a laptop ) that can run Ubuntu Linux without problems ( more details below )
  • Any T.V. with either DVI, RCA or HDMI input ( more details below )
  • A cable to connect your computer with the T.V. ( more details below )
  • ( Recommended ) Either a wireless keyboard and mouse, or an Android or iOS device to be used as a remote ( more details below ) 
The Computer:
Any normal computer will do the job as long as it can run Ubuntu 11.10 ( or earlier ) and can be connected to a monitor, here are some great choices if you are planning to buy a new computer for your new Ubuntu TV.

Lenovo Idea Center
Dell Zino HD
Asus EeeBox PC
More Choices on

More Choices on

If you own an HD TV, make sure you buy a nettop or pc that has an HDMI output so you can watch HD videos.

Connecting The Computer with the TV:

TV from the back

There are three main types of video input and output cables, DVI, HDMI and RCA.

Most of the modern TVs support all of these types of cables,  if your TV doesn't support the type of cable that is supported by your computer, then you will have to by a new cable like the ones below to connect your computer with your TV.

If your Computer has DVI output , and your TV has RCA input:

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If your computer has DVI output and your PC has HDMI Input ( most of the TVs that support HDMI also support DVI ):
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    Buy it from

If both your TV & Computer support HDMI, make sure you use HDMI to HDMI cable to connect them, for better video quality.

More details about connecting your computer to your TV can be found at this youtube video:
Installing Ubuntu + Ubuntu TV on your PC:
If you have no experience with Linux, follow these easy steps to install Ubuntu Linux distro on your PC 
Note: I tried installing it on ubuntu 11.10

While installing Ubuntu, choose to Login Automatically ( unless if you don't want someone else to use your TV ).

After installing Ubuntu, the next step is to install Ubuntu TV on it, at the main time Ubuntu TV is buggy, but most probably installing it will be much easier within few months and it will be more stable.
After installing Ubuntu run the terminal ( control+alt+t ) and paste the following command:

sudo apt-get build-dep unity-2d && sudo apt-get install bzr dconf-tools ffmpeg gnome-common libdeclarative-multimedia && bzr branch lp:~s-team/ubuntutv/trunk ubuntu-tv && cd ubuntu-tv && cmake . && make && cd .. && bzr branch lp:~s-team/ubuntutv/unity-lens-video && cd unity-lens-video && ./ --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc && sudo make install && cd .. && /usr/lib/unity-lens-video/ ~/Videos/  && GSETTINGS_SCHEMA_DIR=ubuntu-tv/data gsettings set com.canonical.Unity2d form-factor tv

And press enter, it will ask for your password, type it and press enter.
about 400mb of will be downloaded from the internet during this step, so it may take some time depending on your internet speed.

After it finishes installing, downloading & configuring the packages. Create a new file at your desktop ( right click > Create New Document > Empty Document ). Name it and open it (double click) and paste the following:

metacity --replace &
cd ubuntu-tv
./shell/app/unity-2d-shell -opengl

Save it ( control + s ) and right click on it and go to properties then permissions and check the box beside "Allow Executing file as program"

Permissions Tab

Then press the super button ( the button that has the windows logo on the keyboard ) and type "Startup Applications", Press Add and fill the field with the following details:
Name: Ubuntu TV
Command: Click at browse and choose the file we just created.

Adding Ubuntu TV to Startup

, restart your computer and Ubuntu TV should work. 
If it didn't work, don't worry. While Ubuntu TV becomes stable. You may try using some similar free & open-source alternatives such as boxee.

Setting up the remote controller:
  • Android : install All in One Remote from the Android Market. ( Tested and works good )
  • iOS ( iPhone & iPad) : install Mobile Mouse on your device.
  • Or connect a wireless keyboard and mouse to your computer.


  1. How do i resolve this problem =
    E: You must put some 'source' URIs in your sources.list

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Using ubuntu 13 clean desktop install:

    bzr: ERROR: Invalid url supplied to transport: "bzr+ssh://": no supported schemes

  4. how do i watch regular TV (cable/DTH) using Ubuntu TV..?

  5. I am running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Will this work together or do I have to get an older version