Getting Front Row to Work on OS X Server

In my post ‘Front Row and OS X Server,’ I bitched about Apple not updating Front Row for 10.5 Server. Well I have found a work around. Here’s how to get it working.

Step 1: Download the latest version of Front Row from Apple (2.1.6 as of this writing).

Step 2: Launch the DMG file.

Step 3: Right Mouse Click on ‘FrontRowPackage2.1.6.pkg’. Click on ‘Show Package Contents’.

Step 4: Double-Click on ‘Contents’.

Step 5: Locate ‘Archive.pax.gz’. Right mouse click and ‘Copy Archive.pax.gz’.

Step 6: Paste the copied archive into a folder somewhere.

Step 7: Double-click on ‘Archive.pax.gz’. Archive.pax will be unpackaged, then decompressed resulting in a folder called ‘System’. Contained within this is the key to getting Front Row working.

Step 8: Eject the FrontRow_2.1.6.dmg file.

Step 9: Navigate through the decompressed folder (System) and locate the three folders named: CoreServices, LaunchAgents, PrivateFrameworks.

Step 10: Launch Terminal. When the prompt comes up, type in ‘sudo -s’ (without the quotes) and hit enter. You will be prompted for your password. Enter it in and hit enter again.

NOTE: You are now Super User for your system. Anything you do within this will not prompt for a password and might break the system. Ensure you have a backup and are very comfortable navigating as root. Otherwise, any of the resulting steps can be done using ‘sudo’ followed by the command, resulting in needing the root admin password, and allowing you to double-check before doing anything.

Step 11: Type ‘cd /’.

Step 12: Type in ‘mkdir temp’.

Step 13: Type in ‘cd temp’.

Step 14: Type in ‘mkdir frontrow’. This is where the backup of the original Front Row files will be stored.

Step 15: Now that the backup folder is set, type in ‘cd /System/Library/CoreServices’.

Step 16: Type in mv ‘Front\’ /temp/frontrow. This will move the Front Row Application to the backup folder we’ve created.

Step 17: Type in ‘cd ..’ to go up one folder.

Step 18: Type in ‘cd LaunchAgents’.

Step 19: Type in ‘ /temp/frontrow’. This will backup the RemoteUI plist used by front row.

Step 20: Type in ‘cd ..’ go to up one folder again.

Step 21: Type in ‘cd PrivateFrameworks’.

Step 22: Type in ‘mv BackRow.framework /temp/frontrow’. This will backup the Backrow frameworks.

Step 23: Type in ‘mv iPhotoAccess.framework /temp/frontrow’. This will backup the iPhoto frameworks.

Step 24: Close out of terminal

So far we’ve only moved the files that were going to be overwritten to a backup folder (in case anything goes awry).

Step 25: Within the GUI, go to the folder where you stored the front row decompressed files.

Step 26: Open a new Finder Window by hitting command-N.

Step 27: Hit ctrl-shift-g to bring up the Go To dialog box. Type in ‘/System/Library/CoreServices’.

Step 28: Copy the Front Row application from the decompressed CoreServices Directory to your /System/Library/CoreServices directory. You will be prompted for your administrator password. Type it in when prompted.

Step 29: Copy file from the decompressed ‘LaunchAgents’ folder to your ‘/System/Library/LaunchAgents/’ directory. Again you will be prompted for your administrator password – type it in again.

Step 30: Copy the Backrow.framework and iPhotoAccess.framework directories to your ‘/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/’ folder. Again, you will be prompted for your admistrator passsword – type it in again.

Step 31: Launch Front Row from Spotlight (command space) and type in Front Row. Hit enter.

Step 32: Enjoy the fact that you can now browse your iTunes library from Front Row on your OS X Server machine.

If anything doesn’t work, remember you have your backups, so you can always put them back to their originals if you need to.

Remember this will need to be done with every subsequent update of Front Row. You can do all of this from the GUI if you want. I just prefer to do the backups via terminal. I realize that not everybody who runs OS X Server will even need to do this update, but there are those few out there who will want to do this. So I thought I’d provide a way for them to so.

If you run into any snags or have other ideas, drop them in the comments.

I'm into everything technology related, particularly anything Apple related. I enjoy programming and tend to lean towards server-based technologies over client-based. You can contact me on twitter, via e-mail, or follow me on friendfeed.