Getting a Remote Running with Kodi under Ubuntu

[UPDATE] I’ve aborted this effort after a rework on the home network.  I’ve ultimately opted for a Raspberry Pi Complete Starter Kit, with Noobs and Raspbmc.  It worked with the remote out of the box and now I’m up and running.

I use kodi (formerly xbmc) as a home media system.  It was setup working nicely with a Harmony One remote control.  For a few reasons, I updated some packages on the Ubuntu 12.04 system and ended up on Ubuntu 14.10.  As part of this upgrade xbmc became kodi.

Unfortunately now, kodi recognizes only some of the remote commands.  Left, right, up and down and play work well.  Others (OK, Back, etc) don’t.  Debugging and resolving this has proven to be a much bigger challenge than it has been in the past, where i have worked things out without too many hoops.  Unfortunately both Linux and kodi have changed quite a bit over the years and a lot of the online documentation, blog posts and so on are out of date.

My modus operandi is less about hacking things heavily and more about the simplest path to get things working.  I’d rather remove a package than heavily configure and customize a set of files.   This is my way of looking at if I can get things to “Just Work”.

This blog post is intended to be both a narrative on how to get things going, but also serve as a current reference for people out there who run into this sort of problem.  Read on for more details on what I have done.  This post will carry a lot of questions as I resolve issues, and will be updated over time.

Out of the box, we have a remote that does up/down/left/right/pause work.   However the OK, back and other buttons don’t work.

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At-Launch Linux Hardware Enablement

The Linux market presents some unique challenges to Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) in bringing their products to market with broad support available at the time of launch.  Independent of ideological or pragmatic rationale, both Open Source and proprietary drivers are constrained by similar mechanics.  This article provides a broad outline of the mechanics and considerations that are needed for delivering hardware support at-launch.

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Making More Informed Linux Hardware Choices

This presentation was made at Scale9x in Los Angeles in February, 2011.  This presentation was made to coincide with our launching of OpenBenchmarking.org.

PDF and video available.

The Five Stages of Benchmark Loss

This presentation was presented at Scale8x in Los Angeles in February, 2010.  It was primarily a vent piece highlighting the way that you can never win when running benchmarks and you can never win when publishing benchmarks.

Presentationad and audio available.

Support Options in an Open Source Environment

Appropriate support frameworks are considered by some to be one of the fundamental building blocks for widespread acceptance of Open Source Software in the wider corporate community. Provision of support for Open Source Software can be achieved in a sustainable manner by maintaining a strong focus on the Open Source Community and working with the Community.

There are a number of possible frameworks that implement support within an Open Source Environment, each with distinct benefits and drawbacks. In most cases all can provide suitable levels of support within their defined limitations. Examination is made of the current state of the Open Source support market, presenting a number of currently existing support providers.

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