Author Topic: Hybrid on VIA (Nehemiah) HowTo  (Read 2037 times)


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Hybrid on VIA (Nehemiah) HowTo
« on: November 01, 2005, 04:42:35 pm »
After some testing on several pluto releases I feel confident to post here some notes that should allow to run properly a pluto hybrid (and also a MD) on a VIA EPIA box with Nehemiah CPU.

These are in the end some minor hacks, just aimed to have the minimum difference from a standard installation but still having a system well performing.

Some tech data on my hardware:

VIA EPIA M10000, CPU Nehemiah 1Ghz, 512 Mb Ram

Please note that this procedure will likely NOT work on Eden CPU, because of a well known "CMOV bug" that prevent newer i686 kernels to be executed. The possible solution may be to make some further hacks that honestly are out of my reach for now...

I assume to start from a fresh standard Pluto install, and to subsequently apply the needed changes.

The main problem is related to xserver and video playback. If you try to play a divx on a standard install you will hang the system. This is because a patched xfree server for unichrome chipset is needed.

To use the proper one do the following:
    - add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list
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deb unichrome/
deb-src unichrome/

- create the file /etc/apt/preferences and put the following lines
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Package: *
Pin: release o=Eartoaster
Pin-Priority: 1100

- then issue the following commands:
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apt-get update
apt-get install xserver-xfree86
apt-get install libxvmc1


Now you can play video files without hanging the system, nevertheless you may experience some frame drops and/or a/v sync problems due to xine version shipped with pluto (1.0.3).

To avoid this you have to dowload xine 1.1.0, compile it and install it on top of xine 1.0.3. Be aware that with pluto .31 doing this you will likely break some VDR extension, but since I'm not using VDR I cannot exactly say what.

I don't know whether kernel sources/headers are needed also to compile xine, I needed anyway to compile some extra modules so here are the notes

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apt-get install kernel-source-
apt-get install kernel-headers-
apt-get install kernel-kbuild-2.6-3
cd /usr/src
tar -xjvf kernel-source-

rm /lib/modules/
ln -s /usr/src/kernel-source- /lib/modules/
rm /lib/modules/
ln -s /usr/src/kernel-source- /lib/modules/

cd kernel-source-
make menuconfig
make dep
make clean

You do not really need to compile kernel, just start it and stop it after a while (Rob, this is what i missed to say in my previous notes for pwc recompilation ...)

Afterwards you are ready to compile and install xine using this procedure:
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./configure --prefix=/usr
make install

This is because by default xine is installed in /usr/local, so in the end you would have 2 installation of xine and pluto will use always the wrong one.
By modifying the target dir you will overwrite xine 1.0.3 and pluto will use the new one.
To have smooth divx playback you may want to edit /etc/pluto/xine.conf and set codec.ffmpeg_pp_quality to 0.
This reduces the CPU overhead due to mpeg4 postprocessing, so you have a very fluent playback and I didn't notice relevant image quality worsening.

After these steps you better reload router or if you like, reboot the box.

If some of you have MD based on this hardware (and I know that some of you actually have ...) I think that  these notes may be a starting point to produce some similar steps in order to update the MD images to be sent via PXE boot.

If someone happens to do that, please post here the results

Hope that helps