Author Topic: LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?  (Read 4586 times)

tkteun

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LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?
« on: March 31, 2011, 06:20:18 am »
Could it be possible to have dcerouter run on such limited hardware as commercially available routers which have extremely limited amounts of Flash, limited RAM and CPU. But are power efficient high level networking devices that usually operate reliable and are built for throughput.
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dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/What_is_DD-WRT%3F#File_VersionsThere are many different versions of dd-wrt with the big and mega variants also include big applications like asterisk, samba, sftp and VPN etc..

I don't believe it will be possible to have standalone dce as an independant daemon any time soon, there are too many different tasks that now (initially) requires absolute control over the server.
Many people already have a cheap router that's online 24/7 and is configured as a home gateway, with usb and uart/gpio it is relatively simple to connect home automation and storage. These devices don't have the processing capacity to modify the data they transport, those tasks could be handled by another system like a living room PC which has to be capable of HD decoding. I also have to pay my energy bills and don't really like to keep those things switched on, but for a telephony application and home automation server this is inconvenient.

On dd-wrt they use Optware for loading services from external memory, maybe standalone dce could be an alternative configuration featuring dcerouter and a configurable number of services.
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dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Optware%2C_the_Right_Way
I must say that I don't really know more about linuxmce than I've read in the wiki and seen on youtube, but if I'm assuming things or if this discussion has already taken place, please excuse me.

I only hope to see more interest from people that have more time than money. When it's possible to experiment on something you already own, you'll have a better understanding of the requirements and are more likely to invest in useful devices.

tkmedia

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Re: LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 06:42:57 am »
Take a look at http://micasaverde.com/vera2 vera  is basically what your decribing



HTH


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totallymaxed

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Re: LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 09:51:08 am »
Also look even closer to home here;

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?board=354.0

Hari has been working on this for some time now :-)

All the best


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tkteun

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Re: LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 03:26:45 am »
@totallymaxed: Yeah, that's here right? I was already hoping I'd get some response from Hari, I compiled his image on my Guruplug and have been looking at the installation scripts. I didn't dare installing it because it's in use.

@tkmedia: That's exactly what I'm talking about, except that's a $250 Asus WL-500GP which I can also get locally for € 60. It runs Openwrt with dcerouter on a 240MHz MIPS processor with only 16/32MB, so technically it's possible and already done before.
I don't know if Hari is also active in that project, but they released their source code here: wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Source_Code

If it would be possible to release that project on dd-wrt it would open up LinuxMCE to a much broader audience, the ones that thought they could never afford such things.
Now it's quite a niche market, which is dominated by the big electrical installation market and the pathetic Apple and Microsoft attempts that imitate companies like B&O with heavy vendor lock-in.

LinuxMCE could cross that gap to Windows home server like the beloved XMPP project did with the xbox. But Windows home server isn't selling because it's expensive and requires a complete Intel PC to be running 24/7.

I'd like to know why the 'Core' wiki page states the core should run on a dual core 64bit Intel machine?

When the video capturing is moved to the primary media director and no streaming security cameras are needed there isn't really any use for such a processor. If that vera2 is able to run everything described on their website it seems there's hardly any limitation to functionality on a basic and very power efficient processor.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 03:28:23 am by tkteun »

phenigma

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Re: LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 09:13:24 pm »
If it would be possible to release that project on dd-wrt it would open up LinuxMCE to a much broader audience, the ones that thought they could never afford such things.

The page you pointed to says the source is based on OpenWRT kamikaze, dd-wrt is very similar, I run open-wrt software (asterisk) easily on dd-wrt.  You may have success with micasaverde.

I'd like to know why the 'Core' wiki page states the core should run on a dual core 64bit Intel machine?

When the video capturing is moved to the primary media director and no streaming security cameras are needed there isn't really any use for such a processor. If that vera2 is able to run everything described on their website it seems there's hardly any limitation to functionality on a basic and very power efficient processor.

I would suggest that this is all about scale.  As an example: If you store a lot of media, mysql and updatemedia both run on the core/hybrid, depending on the size of your media collection your cpu usage could be pretty hefty at times.  With well over 2.5TB of media, 50k+ audio and 5k+ video files I can regularly see 100% cpu usage (one core fully utilized) of my dual core AMD 3.2Ghz cpu.  This is not constant, but regular enough that the second core is required if I want responsive orbiters or stutter free media playback.  As for the 64-bit, that may be a good suggestion for 0710 but there are no 64-bit versions of lmce for 0810 or 1004 currently.

J.

tkteun

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Re: LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 08:42:21 pm »
I would suggest that this is all about scale.  As an example: If you store a lot of media, mysql and updatemedia both run on the core/hybrid, depending on the size of your media collection your cpu usage could be pretty hefty at times.

My guess is that this CPU usage has to do with this updatemedia making thumbnails and such from the media files you have.

Of course with a big collection there's going to be a lot of management which could use a lot of (my)sql time, but using two 3+ GHz processors is ridiculous for a home automation server.

My ideal solution would be:
  • Have a 24/365.25 headless server which ideally consumes about 10 Watt.
    This could be a small form factor computer with an energy efficient processor like MIPS, ARM or Intel Atom depending on scale and functions like security camera processing or audio decoding (including pbx).
    It could have internal storage or access to remote storage like a NAS.
  • Have something like the current Hybrid Core running as primary media device.
    I would have this as the most competent hd playback device, it has to have a good video card and serious processing capacities if it plays the 50+ GiB blue ray movies and it will probably reside near the living room.
    I wouldn't mind having to turn this device on to be able to use other media directors, to stream live television or maybe transcode movies to other media directors with limited hardware.
    I'm not sure whether this device needs to have a hard disk, maybe it could also be pxe'd. It surely can be started with Wake on LAN from the server.
  • Media directors.
    Not sure whether they actually need access to the Hybrid/media core or can run directly on the Standalone core.
  • Orbiters.
    Would be connecting directly to the core server (internal or external over VPN)


The big question is what the difference between the hybrid/media core and the media directors will be.
The easiest way would be to have one updatemedia on that hybrid and one dcerouter on the core.

But what if the media database isn't authoritative? It's no longer a problem that it's redundant, because the inconsistencies can be automatically managed by an updater that searches for differences between filesystem mtime and database timestamp. The media directors could perform this on an on-access basis and should be able to simply play un'registered' files without indexing causing extra latency for the user.

The whole idea is to distribute processing power to machines that aren't authoritative and can be unreliable in availability.
Also to distribute resources like live television or even storage to devices that are only powered on-demand is a great advantage in reducing energy consumption and total cost.

This would mean that except for the core maintaining a best-effort resource inventory the whole media part is modularized and becomes optional. The Core would then become more media unaware and retains to what it does best, streaming.

PS. I'm sorry to have to say I still haven't seen a way to install lmce so I'm still guessing and playing on emotions, please correct me if I'm wrong about anything.
I can tell you the graphical installation of the dvd halt my Panasonic CF-51 (Centrino 1.7 / 2GiB / ati9600) which runs the normal ubuntu flawlessly.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 08:44:21 pm by tkteun »

valent

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Re: LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 10:02:40 am »
I have two years old ION Nettop that uses only 30W of power [1] and can play full hd blu-ray video via VDPAU.

There are some newer ION nettops that use around 20W of power [2] [3] so why not go with them? Prices are more than reasonable and they provide more than enough processing power for what you need them to do. Biggest benefit it that you can install stock LinuxMCE on them.

Running Asrock ION 24/7 with average power consumption around 25W costs me 20$ per year in Croatia and probably same for other European countries.

Hope this helps.


[1] http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/AsRock_330_ION_HT
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nettop
[3] http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Acer_Aspire_Revo_1600
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 10:14:39 am by valent »
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tkteun

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Re: LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2011, 02:34:15 pm »
Thanks for your reply Valent, although I don't really need anything ;)

I already mentioned the Intel Atom platform in my previous post, and indeed, they perform well.
Those nVidia (ion) nettops you have can easily be used as nice media directors too.

What I'm trying to establish here is the difference between the standalone dce and LinuxMCE core.

While dcerouter doesn't have to be more than one application, the functionality supplied by LinuxMCE has to be supplied by a suite of applications and needs domination over your home network.

Standalone DCE would be quite useless if distributed as a distribution independent application (rpm or deb something). LinuxMCE core functionality is difficult to implement without complete control over the system, therefore it's logical to make a distribution of it.

A platform like DD-WRT already supplies a lot of the functionality needed by MCE (except DCE then).
Most people already have DD-WRT capable hardware in control over their home network, if it were to add standalone DCE functionality (without any hassle), it would open up LinuxMCE to a whole new group of people.

I think dcerouter and dhcp server would be mandatory, PXE server can be local.

Would the only bottleneck be the media database? If so, there should be some effort making it distributed.

[edit] @Techstyle: Yes, like I said to totallymaxed: I was hoping to get a response from Hari as he's listed as the moderator here. Maybe I should ask him to respond in a PM?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 09:22:48 pm by tkteun »

Techstyle

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Re: LinuxMCE as dd-wrt variant?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2011, 07:24:52 pm »
I would talk to Hari about this as suggested by Totallymaxed earlier