I’ve recently tested Xbian and Raspbmc. Xbian seems to be based of raspbmc, with a few changes, for example a quite sleek setup plugin.
Raspbmc, in turn, are based on Debian, the well known Linux-distro, with apt and all the snacks.
Both are painless to setup, and works quite fine for playing media files. However, I wanted a bit of a special setup with openvpn connectivity to the NFS / Plex server. This was fairly easy to set up, apt-getting the openvpn and resolvconf packages. But with Xbian it stopped there. They use 7 year old dhcp-scripts, which has no concept of resolvconf. Why? I don’t quite understand, as Raspbmc does not. On Raspbmc the openvpn + resolvconf setup just worked.
Same goes for other things – Xbian does not show the correct time in xbmc, even though system time is set correctly. Raspbmc handled this just fine.
I’m aware that Xbian is in a beta, but they seem to have made some very strange decisions in the transition from Raspbmc…
Also Raspbmc uses less cpu for xbmc, with approx 15-16% cpu load for idle, and 80% with running full screen music visualiser. RAM usage? 150MB used with Raspbmc, 300MB+ with Xbian.
I have not checked why those differences are there. But they are, and they’re irritating enough…