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Messages - bobpaul

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Are you looking for a combined front end/back end, just a backend, or just a front end?

For a combined box I would say the following:
2.5+Ghz processor. Faster if want to encode more than one stream at a time. Dual core is also a huge plus.
nVidia graphics with TV out -- note you can find this integrated into many motherboards, even cheap ones.
sound -- the integrated audio on the motherboard will work. Some of CL's latest Audigy cards will not.

optionally supported tv tuner, I'd recommend haupauge and/or an HDHomeRun
optionally voip wifi phone
optionally unlocked linksys pap2 or similar
optionally lots of storage in a RAID configuration.
optionally a gyro mouse, wii mote w/ bluetooth dongle, or supported remote/receiver.
optionally a supported IR blaster to let your unit control your tv
optionally a bunch of x10 light controllers, video cameras, etc.

Some notes -- any raid controller under $100 will not do hardware raid. This includes raid controllers on the motherboard. These are "fake raid" controllers or "windows raid" controllers. The let you configure the drives before the os loads, but the driver still does the RAID in software. Linux treats these like plain IDE/SATA controllers and forces you to do normal software RAID, so you can ignore "raid level" as a feature unless you buy something like a 3ware true-hardware raid controller

I highly recommend nVidia graphics. There are a lot fewer headaches getting it working with 3D acceleration and TV-out than ATI cards. Intel's newer chips support decent 3d acceleration and come with OSS drivers, so they should be a snap as well, but I'm not sure how to separate the good from the bad.

Many TV tuners support hardware accelerated compression. Most Haupauge cards will do mpeg2 (dvd) compression, freeing your CPU from that work. I prefer mpeg4 (divx/xvid) for the smaller space, thus my cpu still does all the work. There is at least 1 tuner that does mpeg4 compression in hardware; I believe it's a USB device.

A lot of your requirements really depend on what you're trying to do exactly. Also, mythtv runs on ubuntu. There are is a cohesive set of setup tutorials on

17 -- Case, $179. Don't expect remote or LCD to work in linux, but it looks like it belongs in a theater system and it's got quiet fans. -- $60 mobo, uses nVidia integrated video and has TV out through component and composite. -- $30 proc -- $22 for DDR2 800 mem with lifetime warrenty

tuner card and hd would be extra, but I plan on this for a network boot frontend, so it doesn't need a HD. One could save a lot of money by switching to a different case. One might also want a quieter HS than the stock AMD.

Note that the first comment on the item you suggested is "Loud and HOT." A little extra money for a good case is worth it, esp if it's going in your living room.

Installation issues / Re: v1.1 b2 fonts too small after installation
« on: June 22, 2007, 05:07:08 pm »
Note that you must restart KDM after doing it. The easiest way will be just reboot the box

The easiest and fastest way to do this is to press Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. This hotkey restarts the XServer, and thus any display manager you are using.

Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Single NIC installation
« on: June 22, 2007, 07:43:06 am »
Ok. I made SOME progress on option 2, though option 1 seems to be the default and works fine, I don't like it cause I'm pretty sure that would double internet bound traffic on that 1 link making that a significant congestion point (not to mention that it already has all of that media streaming out of it).

If you edit /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf and change "option routers" to it will setup your default gateway to be that. You can now turn off DHCP on your router and LinuxMCE will take over DHCP, but set your actual router up as the default gateway. If you want, you can also add additional nameserver lines to list your actual router as a name server, your isp's nameservers, etc. This works fine and LinuxMCE can detect new devices, but network boot doesn't work.

The problem is that network boot requires that the primary default gateway (router) is LinuxMCE. The work around would appear to be setting up groups. Comment out the two lines beginning "filename" and "option pxe" in the subnet group. This will prevent pxe boot from most of your machines.

Now alter the following like so:
Code: [Select]
# PXE booting machines
group {
        option routers;
        filename "/tftpboot/pxelinux.0";
        option pxelinux.reboottime = 30;

        host vmware { hardware ethernet 00:0c:29:0c:66:f4; }

I added the option routers line and the host line. The option routers line means "for machines that boot from PXE, use this as the default gateway instead of the default declared above." The host line means "this host arbitrarily called vmware has the hardware address of __ and belongs to this group" That is to say, if you have to declare each machine you want to network boot to be IN the network boot group. Only the machines listed (each on it's own line with name and mac) will boot form the network and use LMCE as their default gateway. That way, it will only be THOSE machines who double their internet traffic, and chances are these machines won't access the internet, unless they also double as a PC.

Unfortunately, the above doesn't work. I'm declaring how a host is in a group improperly, and I can't figure it out from the man page. If someone with dhcpd experience can correct me, that'd be great. Until then, all but network boot works.

Installation issues / Re: Anyone know how to do an uninstall??
« on: June 22, 2007, 06:46:06 am »
an install on top of that duplicates the data, and I ended up with 2 dcerouters, etc.


Here's what I would do: When you install (K)ubuntu leave maybe 5GB of unpartitioned free space on the end of your HD. This will mean you have to setup the partitions manually, I think. Do an install. I would recommend just a / and swap partition, as it's easier. You can experiment with different/better layouts once you understand the process. (Since LinuxMCE modifies /home, /var, etc each partition would need it's own snapshot volume. Keep reading for this to mean anything ;) )

When (K)ubuntu boots up, enable Universe (and Multiverse?). Install the 'evms-gui' package.

Reboot from the Live CD again. Enable Universe (and Multiverse if you had to before) and install 'evms-gui'
Now, open a terminal and type 'sudo evms-gui'

When EVMS-Gui launches it will show whatever partitions you setup, but instead of /dev/sda1 (etc) they will show up as /dev/evms/sda1 (etc).
Right click on the partition that represents your / partition. Right click it and choose "convert to EVMS volume" Enter a name for the partition, such as "root"

Now right click on your /dev/evms/root partition and choose "Add Features to Volume." Add the "snap shot" feature.

Again, right click /dev/evms/root and click "Create snapshot" Choose your unpartitioned free space as the destination (you may have to first create an LVM container on that free space and choose the container instead...) Name the snapshot something like "snap"

Reset the snap shot (maybe not necessary, but good to know how to do) by clicking the "Featured Objects" tab and right clicking the snap object. Choose reset.

IMPORTANT, you now have to edit your /etc/fstab file and change the root device to /dev/evms/root. You may also have to modify /boot/grub/menu.lst

When you reboot, your root device will be running from the EVMS layer with a snap shot. When you make changes to your disk, the changes will be written to the snapshot partition instead of the real partition. When data is read, it is compared against the snapshot volume. If you "Reset" the snap shot, all of the changes are written to the actual partition and the snapshot is cleared, though it will collect new changes. You can roll back the snapshot, which will delete the change data and your root partition will look like the time you took the snapshot.

So, once you get it working (check the,, and evms user_guide for more info, I'm regurgitating this from memory) you can do an install of LinuxMCE, and if it doesn't work just roll back your snapshot!. Once is does work, and you're satisfied I'd recommend Resetting your snapshot and then booting from the live cd to remove the snapshot entirely. Otherwise, once 5GB of changes to the disk have been made (recording TV shows??) you're device will appear "full."

It's kind of complicated, and maybe not worth it, but it's better than using dd to make and restore images, IMHO.

Edit: You do not need to go back to the live cd to remove or reset a snaps shot. The only reason one needs the LiveCD again at this point is if they would like to reclaim that 5GB used for the snapshot partition. Thought I'd clarify.

Installation issues / Application Size and Position
« on: June 22, 2007, 06:22:53 am »
I have an nVidia GeForce 5700 card with DVI output and a Sanyo HD CRT TV with DVI input. The caveat is that the DVI input is "not for use with computer."

What this means is that regardless of what resolution the xserver is set at, the TV always overscans HORRIBLY leave the top, bottom, left and right non-visible. I'm pretty sure I could use S-Video or Composite, but DVI looks much much crisper on this display and I'm already using those other inputs.

When I had MythTV installed on this box I was able to set a GUI size and position option in the MythTV config. This allowed me to set the resolution to 800x600, which seems to look the best, and then set the size and position so my GUI filled the screen perfectly. MythTV also allowed me to specify the commandline passed to mplayer, and I was able to add options to the same effect.

Is it possible to do these things with LinuxMCE? Also, do the newer graphics cards support DVI compatible with TVs, or are the newer TVs just accepting standard PC display resolutions?

Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Single NIC installation
« on: June 21, 2007, 07:26:25 pm »
All our Core's are single NIC now... and we have no problems with that config under lmce at all. It works fine... no different to the way it did under Pluto in fact.

How exactly is that configured?

It seems to me I should be able to do at least 1 of 2 setups for Single NIC setup:

NIC has two IP addresses.
Main router is which has DHCP disabled. LMCE runs static to connect to the router (and thus internet) and static to serve DHCP and gateway for other systems on the network, routing traffic to router. This doubles the traffic on the NIC as data comes in on the .80.x network and leaves the same port bound for the .1.x network. The main router would have to have an entry for the .80.x network if port forwarding was required on client machines. It's also possible the main router config tool only allows forwarding to addresses on the .1.x network, regardless of manual routing table entries (Linksys stock firmware, for example).
This seems to be the default for LMCE, or am I wrong?

LMCE for DHCP only, no routing.
Main router is with DHCP disabled. LMCE runs static to serve as DHCP server. DHCP packets setup clients to use as default gateway but to network boot from All computers are still on the .1.x network, so no considerations need to be made from the main router perspective for things like port forwarding.
This is how I would prefer and intend to setup and seems to be the most sensible setup for a single NIC system.

During the install I told it my network base was 192.168.1 and it immediately assigned a second IP to the NIC of, causing a conflict with my main router. It seems I need to manually configure the network to set it up as I want.

Installation issues / Re: Anyone know how to do an uninstall??
« on: June 21, 2007, 06:46:55 pm »
There should really be a meta-package that depends on everything required. Then we could just do something like:
"sudo aptitude purge linuxmce; sudo apt-get autoremove", use deborphan, filters in synaptic, etc just like if one is transitioning from Ubuntu to Kubuntu and wants to get rid of all of the crap they don't need anymore.

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