Installing Showtime on a HTPC using Ubuntu

This is a guide that describes how to install a HTPC from scratch that runs Showtime. It pretty much describes how I (Andreas Ă–man), Showtime's project leader and main developer, and my family, uses Showtime at my home.

If you have any additional questions or feedback, please post in Showtime's Linux forum

Disclaimer: When this guide was written I used Showtime 3.99.41. In future versions some of the buttons in Showtime's user interface might relocate or change. The idea of and such change is to make it more obvious for the user and easier to understand, even so, I'll try to remember updating this guide as Showtime changes.


  • A PC with decent graphics card (any recent Nvidia would do, which is what I use) connected via HDMI or DVI to your TV.
  • Some kind of remote control (a normal keyboard works just as well but is a bit clunky to use from the couch). I use a Logitech diNovo Mini myself.

Installation procedure

  • Log in with the user created during install. After logging in Ubuntu will soon ask you to install a bunch of updates and might also ask about install/upgrade restricted drivers. Do this (unless you have a good reason not to do). Typically if you have an nVidia graphics card you want to do this. System restart might be required.
  • Start Firefox and browse to Locate the downloadable for Ubuntu 12.04 (choose 32-bit or 64-bit version depending on which version of Ubuntu you installed). Click on the .deb file and Firefox will ask if it's ok to open Ubuntu Software Center. Do so and press the 'install' button to the upper right once the details for Showtime appears.
  • Now go to System Settings -> User Accounts -> enable Automatic Login (note that you need to Unlock in order to do this).
  • Log out (using the session menu on the top right of the desktop) to end up back on the Ubuntu log in screen.
  • Click on the session icon next to the display username as showed in this picture:

  • Change session to "Showtime Mediacenter"

  • Login and you should enter Showtime in full screen mode.
  • The system will now boot straight into Showtime following a power on.

Running Showtime

This guide is not meant to be a documentation for using Showtime, but due to the lack of such documentation here are a few hints:

  • You start at the "home" screen from which you reach all other parts.
  • To the top-left there is a Previous, Next and Home -button which should be familiar to everyone that has used a browser.
  • To the top-right in the home screen there are a few buttons worth mentioning.
    • Jigsaw - Leads to installation of plugins (or Apps if you wish). This include Youtube, Dropbox, etc. There is a complete list of plugins here.
    • Cog - Takes you to the settings menu
    • i - Information about Showtime
    • Power icon - Suspends system.
  • The search bar field can also be used to open URLs.
  • By default any UPnP devices that offers media should be visible directly on the home screen
  • You can attach to Windows shares (CIFS/SMB) by entering a URL in the search field like this: smb://ip.address.of.server/share
  • In the settings menu you will find Bookmarks where you can add new items to the home screen.

Exiting Showtime


Showtime has a power icon up to the top right. Press it to suspend the system. The normal power-button on USB remote controls, etc will
do the same thing.

Auto suspend

In Settings (the cog icon to the upper right) -> General Settings there is a setting for how long time Showtime can be idle before
suspending itself. The default setting 0 minutes means auto suspend is disabled.

Power off

To power off the system go into Settings (the cog icon to the upper right) -> General Settings and press the Power off button.

Log out

To return to the Ubuntu login screen, go into Settings (the cog icon to the upper right) -> General Settings and press the Logout button.

username.png (47.1 KB) Andreas Smas, 05/28/2012 08:27 AM

session.png (44.1 KB) Andreas Smas, 05/28/2012 08:27 AM