Author Topic: Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc  (Read 4112 times)

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« on: August 25, 2005, 10:57:13 am »
I have succesfully installed an hybrid on a VIA EPIA based pc.

More precisely my hardware is a EPIA M board with 1 Ghz Nehemiah processor, that is fully compatible with i686 code (no CMOV bug).

Kick start CD went just plain, and currently I've a system up and running.

Of course I'm not expecting to have top notch performances, the main goal of this project is to set up a small system that is capable to offer Pluto services for a small apartment like mine.

So far the results are encouraging, and I think that this could be an interesting solution.

There are anyway some things to fix, and are related to kernel and video driver optimization.

I'm not a linux scientist so I'm doing little steps, but I think that maybe someone ot there could be also interested in this project and may give me some help to make things working the way they should.

The main issue to fix so far is related to video playback. With Pluto Debian distro I was not able to set my video chipset (CLE266) to use hardware MPEG2 acceleration, so I have to use standard settings and video playback isn't that smooth and sometimes has frame loss. In other words xine -V Xv does not improve video playback performance.

On the other side I know by digging in several forum that with proper drivers and settings DVD/avi files playback runs smoothly with very reasonable CPU load (around 25 - 30% load on hadware like mine) that would perfectly fit my needs (and probably not only mine ...).

VIA does not provide CLE266 drivers for Debian (it does for Fedora, Mandrake, Suse), but there is a SourceForge project (Unichrome Project) that provides sources for those drivers.

The point is that documentation is not that clear to me (again, I'm not a linux guru) and I couldn't really understand how to proceed. Mainly it is not clear to me whether those drivers may run with xfree86 or if xorg is needed.

Besides this, it may be useful to consider kernel 2-6-12 that has some patch for EPIA optimization (there are rumors saying those optimization may be included in one of the next official kernel release), but I don't know whether such kernel may break something with Pluto system.

This is so far what I was able to do.

Even if the system is not "fine tuned" yet, I'm pretty convinced that this may be a really interesting solution for small hybrid and obviously for standard Media Directors.

If anyone is interested in Pluto - EPIA set up or has already managed to solve the above mentioned issues let me know.

I recall that another pluto user (tinia) was doing something similar, and was encoutering more or less the same video optimization problems.

Rob/Tinia, if you are reading this let me know ....

Regards
Marco

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2005, 11:15:52 am »
Hi,

I'm surely reading this. I have 3 epias at home (2 with that i686 bug and one without it sp8000e), but there is problem with video acceleration.

Unfortunately I didn't have time to work on that, so I'm waiting a bit to get some other solutions.... It's a pitty that Debian doesn't have easy solution for this....

I'm surely interested in this work - I still think that EPIAs would be great low cost MDs or hybrids also....

I think that there is also possibility to get 3 independent stereo channels out of epia - feature that are we know discussing in other thread...

Maybe Pluto guys could squeeze this into their to do lists and maintain it or work with you.... Those questions can be easily solved with Radu - we already did some experiments with i386 kernels on other two epias - but video problem kept up - as we didn't have time to do it - maybe you can help on this one ...


Regards,

Rob.

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2005, 03:56:03 pm »
Hi,

perhaps this link is helpful:

newbielink:http://www.physik.fu-berlin.de/~glaweh/debian/ [nonactive]

cu
Carsten

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2005, 07:32:42 pm »
Hi Carsten and thanks for your reply.

I already tried that site, that is supposed to contain Debian packages for Unichrome drivers. That site is also pointed to by the Unichrome Project home page ( newbielink:http://unichrome.sourceforge.net/ [nonactive]).

Unfortunately it's not working for me, most probably because I'm doing something wrong at some point. Documentation is also intended for an expert user, it's not that "step by step" for a newbie like me and for sure I'm missing something. I'm convinced that those drivers have to work but I haven't figured out yet how.

I've also found another site ( newbielink:http://epialinux.org [nonactive]) where there seems to be a steb by step install guide, that anyway refers to Xorg or at least requires to have an Xorg source tree locally.

So here comes the question: are Unichrome drivers intended to work only with Xorg, or may they work also with xfree86?

I'm going to post the same question to the Unichrome Sourceforge mailing list, but if anyone out there already has the answer please let me know.

Thanks and regards
Marco

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Willing to do Unichrome Work
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2005, 08:17:59 am »
I'll be happy to work on integrating the unichrome drivers. I have four EPIA systems including an SP8000E that I purchased specifically for Pluto to work around the i686 issues. Once I get the unichrome drivers done, I'd be willing to consider trying to get a i586 kernel built with all the Pluto patched modules for the other EPIA systems as I am interested in using them as well. I am especially interested in using a low powered unit (500Mhz) for audio only applications.

Anyhow, to get started, I need to be able to upgrade/recompile the following:

Kernel - DRM Kernel Module
Xfree86 - Upgrade to 4.4 w/Via driver
MythTV - Recompile w/XvMC
Xine - xine-lib-1-rc5 w/unichrome-xine-plugin-patch, recompile of Xine?
Pluto Interface - ability to launch Xine using 'xine -V xxmc'
VLC - unsupported at the moment, what does Pluto use VLC for?

Maybe Radu can help me get started. My major concern here is that I capture all of the settings and patches that Pluto has made against the above mentioned systems when compiling. Also, I don't want my work to be blown away by apt-get if/when I happen to reboot the MD.

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2005, 05:08:32 pm »
Hi wshuller

the main problem with unichrome drivers is that they still don't support MPEG4 acceleration. On  the unichrome mailing list I've read that a new release with MPEG4 support is not that far to come but as to now it is not possible to say when.

They currently support MPEG2 hw decoding, and according to what I've read around they are quite efficient. On a epia M10K it should be possible to play at the same time 2 MPEG2 streams with up to 70% CPU load in total, that sounds quite good.

I've also read about epia ME6000 with MythTv, so probably you could give your 500 MHz a chance ...

Anyway I agree with you that it would be the case to rebuild kernel and some key packages with epia patch/support.

As an example, on my M10K board mp3 are played fine with alsaplayer, but pretty poorly with xine, and this is probably due to some lack of optimization (and possibly lack of knowledge on how to configure it the proper way ...)

So in general there are surely some adjustment/optimization in order to have Pluto running at 100% on a epia board, either as MD or hybrid.

The point is that I'm also afraid that setting up a epia box with all the proper kernel and whatever else may result in some broken functionality in Pluto, or may lead to some strange surprise on the first apt-get upgrade.

It would be great if someone at Plutohome could give us some hints on this, just to give us a starting point for some tests.

Radu, if your're reading this please say something ... :)

Regards
Marco

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2005, 10:14:26 pm »
Quote from: "MarcoZan"
Hi wshuller

.....

As an example, on my M10K board mp3 are played fine with alsaplayer, but pretty poorly with xine, and this is probably due to some lack of optimization (and possibly lack of knowledge on how to configure it the proper way ...)

....

Regards
Marco


Some time ago I had an idea to make Alsaplayer device for Pluto - I also have feeling that it's eating lowest resources - but I'm not sure if it will work with videolan server, when there is more players connected to same source....

Otherwise it would be pretty straightforward to do it, and there is no problem doubling player feature - AFAIK user can decide whether to use one or another player....

Also to avoid kernel i586 bugs and apt-get problems - maybe focus on EPIAs that don't have such problems for a start ....

HTH,

Regards,

Rob.

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2005, 10:40:23 pm »
Quote from: "tinia"

Also to avoid kernel i586 bugs and apt-get problems - maybe focus on EPIAs that don't have such problems for a start .....


I will be developing on an SP8000E, so I won't be running into i586 bugs. I will be modifying the plutohome_xine, etc packages. That is what I am afraid of being overwritten.

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2005, 12:27:25 am »
Quote from: "wschuller"
Quote from: "tinia"

Also to avoid kernel i586 bugs and apt-get problems - maybe focus on EPIAs that don't have such problems for a start .....


I will be developing on an SP8000E, so I won't be running into i586 bugs. I will be modifying the plutohome_xine, etc packages. That is what I am afraid of being overwritten.


Hi,

I've made some initial tests on Xine audio only device. And what really had to change was xine.conf. So I guess using correct drivers will change some entries in xine.conf or maybe can be done with some parameters when Xine is called. So maybe you could contact Pluto guys, to solve it by adding parameter to Xine_player.....

HTH,

Regards,

Rob.

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2005, 03:24:29 pm »
Hi, very nice to see that there are others with epia boards interested in making everithing work. I have two epias one EPIA MII 6000 LVDS and an EPIA PD 6000. I was thinking of using the EPIA PD as a core only system and the EPIA MII as an MD with a dvb-t low budget card (avermedia dvb-t 771). I am practical in recompiling the linux kernel but not with xorg and unichrome. If I can be of any help please tell me.

I'll try out fedora core 3 on the EPIA MII 6000 to see if hardware decoding is ok for fluent dvd (divx) playback, because there are some prebuild xine... for the CLE266.

I tried the pluto cd but it doesn't boot right, it crashes.

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2005, 07:28:47 am »
Quote
I tried the pluto cd but it doesn't boot right, it crashes.

At what point it crashes and what do you see on screen?
Dan

archived

  • Hello, I'm new here
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Pluto working on a VIA EPIA pc
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2005, 09:11:53 am »
At the beginning of the boot process. I think it is because of the i686 bug. I tried it on a EPIA PD 6000 (Samuel 2) Processor.