Run XBMC as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

How to Run XBMC as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Ensure that XBMC starts when your computer reboots and is always running to serve your media. Survive crashes, accidental shutdowns, etc.

XBMC is an popular open source media management application.

To setup XBMC with to run as a service with AlwaysUp:

  1. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  2. Download and install XBMC, if necessary.

  3. Start AlwaysUp.

  4. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  5. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to the XBMC executable, XBMC.exe. If you installed XBMC in the default location, this is:

      C:\Program Files\XBMC\XBMC.exe
      or, on 64-bit systems:
      C:\Program Files (x86)\XBMC\XBMC.exe

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call the application in AlwaysUp. We have entered XBMC but you can specify almost anything you like.

    XBMC Windows Service: General Tab

  6. Click over to the Logon tab and enter the user name and password of the account in which you installed and configured XBMC. XBMC must run in this account so that it can find its settings.

    XBMC Windows Service: LogOn Tab

  7. Click over to the Startup tab and check the Ensure that the Windows Networking components have started box. This tells AlwaysUp that the XBMC media server needs the TCP/IP networking stack to operate (for example when streaming music to a portable device).

    XBMC Windows Service: Startup Tab

  8. Click the Save button. In a couple of seconds, an application called XBMC will show up in the AlwaysUp window. It is not yet running though.

    XBMC Windows Service: Created

  9. To start XBMC from AlwaysUp choose Application > Start "XBMC". In a few seconds, the status should change to Running to indicate that XBMC has started:

    XBMC Windows Service: Running

    On older versions of Windows (namely XP, Server 2003 and Home Server), XBMC will probably start normally on your desktop. On Windows 8/7/Vista and Server 2012/2008 however, XBMC will be running in the background on the isolated Session 0. Even though you won't see XBMC, all the network-related services (media streaming, web interface, etc.) should operate normally though. Note that you can select Application > Restart "XBMC" in this session to quickly stop XBMC and start it again, visible on your desktop. And if you always want to see XBMC on your desktop, this entry in our FAQ presents a couple of options.

  10. That's it! Next time your computer boots, XBMC will start up immediately, before anyone logs on. We encourage you to edit XBMC in AlwaysUp and check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment.

XBMC not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • Consult the AlwaysUp Troubleshooter - our online tool that can help you resolve the most common problems encountered when running an application as a windows service.
  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and your application. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the more obscure messages.
  • Browse the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

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