Some of my thought on technology and programming.

A little while ago, RaspBMC (XBMC for the Raspberry Pi) was updated to use the new Helix release (v14). This was awesome as it made thesystem much faster and probably added loads of new features which I don't use, but it also brought some compatibility breaking changes too. One of the most painful for me was the fact that it broke the Amber skin (theme). Additionally, when this became broken, the updates that were being added to Amber were not being reflected in the many Kodi repos, including SuperRepo.

WARNING! In this article I assume quite a bit of *nix command line knowledge, if you don not know how to use the terminal, please walk away now. I accept no responsibility for any ill-consequences this may cause.

Below, I will explain how I am now using Git to manage this awesome theme. Using git means that I can always get the newest updates as and when I want them.

Installing the skin

SSH into your RaspBMC either with ssh if you have it or PuTTY if not. You will need to determine the IP address yourself but the username and password are by default respectively pi and raspberry

Firstly, install the "Certificate Authority Certificates":

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ca-certificates

Next, install Git:

sudo apt-get install git

Now, navigate to the addons/ folder:

cd ~/.kodi/addons/

If the theme folder already exists (check with ls, empty it out

Please use pwd to make sure you really are in ~/.kodi/addons/ because the following command could have terrible consequences in the wrong folder):

cd skin.amber
sudo rm -R *

If it does not exist, create it:

mkdir skin.amber

Either way, jump into the skin directory:

cd skin.amber

Clone the Git repository from Github into this folder, using the following command (the full-stop after .git is not a mistake, it needs to be there):

git clone .

Restart RaspBMC either on the command line (sudo shutdown -r now) or via the GUI.

Finally, once RaspBMC has restarted, go to: Settings > Appearance, click on Skin. Amber should appear in the list of Skins alongside the default skin "Confluence". Select the new skin and choose Yes when the dialog pups up asking if you want to keep the change.

Updating the skin

If you want to update the skin, login the the Pi again (like we did at the beginning of installing it and navigate to the skin folder:

cd ~/.kodi/addons/skin.amber/

Then, use Git to pull in the updated content:

git pull

Finally, restart the Pi, either on the command line (sudo shutdown -r now) or via the GUI.

Please leave a comment if this helped you :)