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Topics - KirkD

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Users / Really basic noob questions
« on: January 02, 2015, 01:22:45 am »
I just got an instance of LMCE 12.04 running.  It is a bit of a hack (guest in VirtualBox on Fedora 21 host), but I do indeed have a hybrid system working in that configuration.  (Also working on getting an independent media director up and running - see this post for more details or if you have some ideas:

Now that I'm playing around in the system, a few questions come up.  Most of these are probably crazy simple, but I cannot seem to find answers to them in the wiki, forums, etc.

* What video formats are compatible with LMCE?  I have a few .avi files that seem to work, but a movie as .ogv isn't recognized.

* Once I'm playing a video, how do I stop it?  I cannot seem to find any way to stop the video from playing - it just has to go all the way through or I have to reboot the system.

*  Same question for audio.  I can't seem to get a playing audio file to stop, and it continuously loops so I have to reboot the system to get it to stop.

* Can I rip a DVD from within a media director?  I tried to insert a disc, but it just started playing and then I was stuck without a way to stop it (see two questions up).

* I did quite a bit of work to get shared folders operating in VirtualBox.  It seems the Guest Additions that Kubuntu 12.04 wants to use is the wrong one, so after some gymnastics I have a nice set of links to my guest system that auto-mount.  In the process of working at the terminal, I have the strong urge to update things, but the strong urge not to.  Any problem with updating kernels, applications, etc?  Or, are these better left as is?

* In setting up a Media Director, I don't see an option to simply install a Media Director OS.  The install seems only to allow a headless core or a hybrid system.  If I install another hybrid, will I have issues with my existing core?  I cannot find a netboot option on my chosen MD system, unfortunately.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

I've been working to install LinuxMCE on a server box and have bumped up against numerous issues.

First off, here's a snapshot of my core system:

Zareason Breeze Server 5880s
GigaByte mother board, model #H97N-WIFI
i7-4790 3.6-4GHz
16GB DDR3-1600
2x2TB 7200 rpm drives currently configured as software RAID
2xGigabit Ethernet
Integrated Intel HD audio with jacked outputs as well as digital spdif output
Integrated Intel HD video with DVI and HDMI output

I've tried to install LinuxMCE directly on the system with no luck whatsoever.  10.04 and 14.04 fail completely.  12.04 will install, but I get no video playback in the wizards.

Instead, I installed Fedora 21 (mostly to see if anything would work) and yes, that works great.  Given my familiarity with Fedora, I decided to install VirtualBox and then LinuxMCE as a guest.  Again, 10.04 and 14.04 fail completely, but 12.04 installs nicely.  Video playback and sound are fine and I currently have that set up as a hybrid system.  Of course, a VirtualBox media director isn't much use, but I am able to test various details of the system from there.

Next, I'm using this as a potential MediaDirector:

ThinkPenguin PocketWee (
i3-4010U 1.7 GHz processor
8GB memory
120 GB SS SATA drive
HDMI output
Intel 4400 graphics integrated
Intel HD audio 8 channel sound through HDMI

Should serve quite well.  I have a USB DVD drive that I use for the install and everything seems to go OK, but I have no video playback on the initial wizard.  I tried going to the KDE desktop and updating the Intel drivers, but that caused the whole thing to stop working - only command line - so I started over.

Any tips on getting the Intel video drivers working?


I've been working to install LinuxMCE on a server box and have bumped up against numerous issues.

First off, here's a snapshot of my system:

Zareason Breeze Server 5880s
GigaByte mother board, model #H97N-WIFI
i7-4790 3.6-4GHz
16GB DDR3-1600
2x2TB 7200 rpm drives currently configured as software RAID
2xGigabit Ethernet
Integrated Intel HD audio with jacked outputs as well as digital spdif output
Integrated Intel HD video with DVI and HDMI output

LinuxMCE 14.04:
During the installation, I noticed that the NIC cards are not recognized.  At first, I thought this was just because of a new install, but I can never see any network card information from ifconfig.  I can get through the full install but upon reboot, I end up at a KDE desktop rather than in LinuxMCE.  I do see a script on the desktop for LinuxMCE, but when I try to run it, it simply stops without producing an error and nothing changes.

LinuxMCE 12.04:
Again, no recongnition of the NIC cards.  In this case, I do get to the LinuxMCE startup, but the video tutorial doesn't play.  I assumed this might be the Intel video drivers, but I seem to have full access to the card info from lspci.  Everything seems to behave fine in HD display mode.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:
I can indeed install 14.04 but again, I see no network card information.  And, of course, this doesn't seem to be a useful place to start.

Fedora 20:
Just to see if the network cards were broken or there were other problems I tried to install Fedora 20.  Apart from a couple of installer hangs when trying to write the bootloader, I now have a fully functional Fedora 20 box.  Not very helpful for LinuxMCE, but the network cards are both operational.

I'm not sure where to go next with this.  One thought is to install VirtualBox where I could put a LinuxMCE virtual machine operating as the core.  I did find some options of this in the wiki, but I'm not sure if it is the best use of my efforts and equipment. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea.  I would simply need a media director for each TV/audio station, which I already planned to do.  I could also then make the server a more general utility server with an obvious focus on LinuxMCE.

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


Installation issues / Installing 12.04 from USB stick
« on: September 13, 2014, 11:49:33 pm »
I downloaded the 12.04 version of LinuxMCE .iso and created a bootable USB drive with the installer in place.  When the installer starts up, I choose the Guided option to allow the installer to use the full disk as it pleases.  On the Timezone screen, I get these errors:

'ubi-partman failed with exit code 141...'

'ext4 file system creation in partition #1 of scsi1 (0,0,0) sda failed'

The system I'm trying to install on already has an Ubuntu installation on it - 14.04 LTS which seems perfectly happy, but I cannot get this one to actually access/write/partition the disks. 

Any tips are greatly appreciated.


System specs:

Zareason Breeze Server 5880s
i7-4790 3.6-4GHz
16GB DDR3-1600
2x2TB 7200 rpm drives currently configured as software RAID
2xGigabit Ethernet

Users / Recommendations for server and station computers
« on: August 04, 2014, 01:25:38 am »
I'm building a new house and I've just gotten all the details set for sound and network wiring.  Briefly, I'll have two rooms wired for sound with embedded speakers, and I'll have multiple locations where there will be Cat5 ports where I want televisions.   The speaker wires will terminate in a utility room in the basement, and I'll be able to put my server and other equipment (audio amplifier?) there as well.

Now I need to start buying computers for the system.  Specifically, I need a server and at least two media director computers.

For the server, what specs should I go with?  Processors?  Storage?  Memory? Video card specs? Audio card? etc.  I'm inclined to buy from Zareason or System76, but I'm open to other options as well.

Likewise for the media directors - what specs do I need.  I stumbled across these recently which look like they would be perfect as media directors:

Any recommendations/advice are truly appreciated.


Users / Building new house - Setup questions
« on: June 11, 2014, 06:25:29 pm »
I'm building a new house and have the ability to choose loads of options including all the media related options.  I could go crazy on this one and get a fully automated house if I wanted - control the door locks, climate control, etc. remotely.  I'm not going that far.   ::)  But, I do want to have some media options and LinuxMCE looks like the best place to start, but I need a bit of guidance on equipment, setup and expectations.

Here's what I would like to achieve and what will be set up in the house:

There will be a data center in the basement where internet, cable, etc. will come in and where I will set up the primary controls, a data server, etc.  The house will be Cat5e wired so I'll have Cat5e in the living room, the basement (entertainment/workout area), master bedroom, and upstairs loft.  I'm also opting to have speakers installed in the ceiling of the dining room/kitchen/living room (open floor plan) as well as the loft.  We currently have a Samsung SmartTV (I forget the model number - a couple year old) that has wifi connectivity as well as a Cat5 jack, and has Roku device embedded in it.  We can easily get NetFlix, Amazon, etc. through wifi on this set.

Under ideal circumstances, I would like to accomplish these scenarios:

I would like to be able to select the audio being played in the kitchen/dining room and the loft independently.  Ideally this would be selectable from an iPad or an Android phone (I suppose these would be "orbiters") - I could choose the source of the music - files on the server, Pandora, etc. - and the destination kitchen/dining or loft. 

It would be great to be able to stream video to the SmartTV from the data server.  For movies, etc. it is easy enough to go through the embedded Roku device, but the sound will obviously not be piped into the ceiling mounted speakers.  Any way to accomplish that??  Not a priority.

There will also likely be a TV in the basement that can be connected to the network with a Cat5 or through wifi, and I'd like to be able to pick what I watch there from the data server.  I do a lot of biking and in the winter I would like to watch my collection of Ironman Triathlon videos which I have ripped to .iso media.  I could also rip my biking training videos (Sufferfest), my wife's PX90 videos, etc.  These would be selectable from an Android phone or iPad and streamed to choice of TV.  Again, pick the source and the destination.

And that covers the main things.  The questions I have are:

Do I need a computer at each TV to serve as a Media Director?  This would connect to the network through the Cat5 and provide a video out (HDMI most likely) to connect to the TV, correct?  Or, can I stream directly to the TV if it has a Cat5 connection?

How about the audio?  How do I set up the server room such that I can pick different locations to receive the audio output?  Also, how about selecting a source?

And, of course, what other considerations I need to take into account now?  I have the full list of options available to me, so I can set it up any way I like. 


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