If you're in the market to build a home theater PC, you might want to check out the first stable release of the Linux distribution OpenELEC version 2.0.
The new distribution is available free of charge, with its developers claiming OpenELEC takes less than 5 minutes to install.
The software is very easy use and supposedly requires "zero Linux experience" to operate. Meaning, the platfirm promises to be ready to play whatever media you're interested in - in less than 10 seconds from a cold start.
Intrerestingly, the operating system can be navigated using only a remote control. The last point is definitely a big deal for those who don't want to have to keep their bulky keyboards and mice in the living room to control a nice compact HTPC.
The operating system is designed to update itself automatically and is powered by the XBMC V11 media core. OpenELEC includes PVR support, and offers improved functionality on AMD-powered machines. The software supports CEC adapter compatibility, along with NFS, AFP, CIF S, SSH shares, airplay and Airtunes.
"There is no easier way to get a more ‘appliance-like’ feel to XBMC than to use OpenELEC," said Nathan Betzen, Community/Project Manager for Team XBMC.
OpenELEC will run on most Intel and AMD 32-bit and 64-bit hardware. However, the developers also offer alternate builds that are optimized further for maximum performance on specific hardware from Intel, Nvidia Ion and AMD fusion systems. Interested? The software is available for download here.