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Topics - phenigma

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Users / Changes to packages and install procedures, whew.
« on: August 28, 2015, 06:15:45 am »
Hi all,

I hope that you are all enjoying LMCE as much as I tend to. I wanted to let everyone know about some pretty major changes that are occuring in the system.  This is meant both to inform and to solicit feedback as we go forward.

To date the LinuxMCE system has been a bit of a pain to install.  We have required an officilal installer script that you would run after installing ubuntu.  It has long been a goal of mine (and others) to remove this requirement and make the system install more like a normal ubuntu package.  Today we are very close to that.  I am working vigorously towards the ability to simply 'apt-get install lmce-blah'.  This allows us to more closely align with debian policies (something we want to do more of) and allows for easier integration into the ubuntu ecosystem.

I know that for some this could cause issues.  I, and others, hope to minimize any issues that might occur.  That doesn't mean that there won't be some 'growing pains' as we move forward.  We urge anyone that is testing on 1204 (or 1404 if you are really brave) to provide feedback.  IRC feedback is ideal but the forums here are a good place if you cannot access IRC.  If something is determined to be a proper bug (as is often the case) we will have you (or one of us) file a ticket in trac.  Trac is locked down for anonymous submits due to *massive* amounts of spam.  We still want your bug reports and would be very happy to grant trac access to submit tickets and information (code submissions are still relegated to devs only).

Going forward the plan is to support simple installation through normal apt procedures.  This would entail adding the lmce repo to the /etc/sources.list and then apt-get install blah package to install the remainder of LinuxMCE.  Tests are so far very successful and in the next day or two we will ask others to begin testing this procedure.  After that DVD installers will follow with the hopes that they too will work as easy (or easier) than they have been.

Many small install bugs are being squashed with regards to network setup and general installation.  Hopefully we can improve the setup further to reduce any issues that people may experience.  Some issues may be known, others not.

As always testing is really, really, appreciated.  Please follow: for changes to LinuxMCE packages.

Happy LinuxMCE'ing!


Users / LinuxMCE Rpi2 alpha testing
« on: April 18, 2015, 01:14:01 am »
Hey all,

I wanted to let you all know that Rpi2 development has been speeding along as quickly as possible.  We now have Rpi2 MDs booting in LinuxMCE on 1204 and 1404 cores.  We currently use UI1 but we are still working towards a qOrbiter based MD as well.

Our Rpi2 solution is built completely on Ubuntu Trusty ARMHF so we support almost everything that standard i386 LinuxMCE supports, the exception is some newer game emulators and diskless MDs.  Video, Audio, Games (up to PS1 emulation should be possible but not yet tested), HDMI-CEC control should all be working.

Because we build for Rpi2 on Ubuntu Trusty rather than Raspbian Wheezy we support all ARMv7 cpu instructions, which permits faster execution of many applications than the Raspbian equivalents.  We also support newer libraries for many common functions like audio and video decoding than the Raspbian equivalents permit.

Please follow instructions at

Please file tickets if you encounter issues (somewhat expected at the moment), join us in IRC to talk one-on-one or respond here for any issues you may have.

Happy LMCEing!


Users / 1204/1404 HAL replacement !!! Please read!
« on: March 21, 2015, 02:19:48 am »
Hey there LMCE'ers!   :o

A major change within the linux community has driven a need for a change to the hardware detection methods within the lmce smart home automation system.  This change will affect all users of LMCE1204 (Ubuntu Precise) and up, including the pre-pre-alpha LMCE1404 (Ubuntu Trusty).

The linux community dropped support for hald (the hal daemon) which provided hardware detection events and information to applications, including lmce, for many years.  This change happened about 4 years ago.  LMCE has been sheltered from the changes because Ubuntu has maintained support for hald through the 1204 LTS release.  As of Ubuntu 1404 LTS hald has been discontinued completely.

In order to maintain our level of automatic hardware detection, and ultimately improve it beyond its' current capabilities, hal detection is being replaced with udev based device detection with appropriate device detected/removed event notifications for dcerouter.

udev is the hardware event notification system that has replaced the hald (hal daemon) in the general linux community.  udev has been incorporated into the new systemd (system daemon) which is becoming the standard for boot managment and service launching under the linux kernel.  LMCE will also support systemd launching in the near future.

In the next few days we will be pushing an updated version of the HAL daemon that linuxmce uses to detect devices.  The HAL daemon was named for its interface to the hald.  The updated version of our HAL daemon will now interface with udev directly rather than hald.  The package in question is "pluto-hald".  At the moment the pkg name will not change to avoid issues with upgrades.  Eventually the package name will change to reflect the new "lmce-" package naming convention.

Once the update is deployed you will need to
Code: [Select]
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade
your lmce core and MD devices to receive the new device detection system.  I am doing everything I can to mitigate issues that people may encounter during this upgrade process and I can offer the following observations so far:
  • Some devices may trigger the Setup Wizard to appear.  This is usually the Wizard confirming that the new device is actually the old device.  i.e.  My Zwave dongle is re-detected (due to changes in device identification) but recognizes that it is actually the old (original) device and simply requests confirmation of that fact.
  • GSD devices may need to have their serial ports reset (as they may be lost) and saved, followed by a router reload.  No issues have been observed after this with serial devices.

As always we ask you to remember that this is ongoing alpha software with very few developers contributing.  If you have any issues please file tickets in the trac system (contact posde in IRC for credentials).  Please watch to follow changes to the 1204 development version, including when this change hits release.

Thanks everyone and enjoy LinuxMCE!


Users / Happy New Year!
« on: January 01, 2015, 08:25:04 pm »
Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all have a great 2015!

To start your year off right I would like to announce Blu-Ray disc playback is now available in LinuxMCE.  This is still in early stages and there are some system bits that still need to be flushed out but the basic functionality is there now.

Code: [Select]
sqlcvs update your dce repo
apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get install libaacs-data-installer libbdplus-data-installer

This will get you completely OSS BD playback.  Many discs manufactured before 2012 will play but lots will not.

To add a closed source package that will allow you to play back most discs you can then

Code: [Select]
apt-get install makemkv-bin

This will automatically replace the OSS libs and use the closed source makemkv package.  Please note: MakeMKV is a time limited piece of software, it expires after 30 days and new packages will need to be created and installed.  If you have issues with this you can allways uninstall makemkv-bin and makemkv-oss to return to full OSS playback.

Happy LinuxMCEing!


ps. Just like using libdvdcss to playback DVD discs in Linux using libaacs and libbdplus could be restricted in your region.

Users / LinuxMCE HDMI-CEC control demonstration
« on: November 30, 2014, 11:01:00 pm »
Hi all, I thought I would share a video that Thom requested showing some HDMI-CEC control using a Pulse-Eight HDMI-CEC adaptor and the integration within LinuxMCE.

I'm not one for narration, so there is none, it makes the video a little boring but it does show what is possible.  What you will see is HDMI-CEC control of the TV/Amplifier and a connected PS4.  At the end you will also see an infrared controlled Xbox360 seamlessly integrated in the same setup.  The control is all performed from a Windows Orbiter but you can use any input device MCE remote, qOrbiter, USB game pad, weborbiter, etc, etc to achieve the same control.  This really demonstrates the flexibility and integration possibilities in the system.

All the same control is possible with a connected Raspberry Pi media director as well.



Users / HDMI-CEC control (RaspberryPi and PulseEight)
« on: October 23, 2014, 06:13:48 pm »
I am happy to announce that initial HDMI-CEC control has been added to the Raspberry Pi.  It is now possible to control your rpi MD with your television's remote control.  A compatible television is required.  Control should also be possible from your TV remote if you have a PulseEight HDMI CEC adaptor connected to your non-rpi MD.

Current control is one way, work will continue to add external device control in the future.



Users / NEW Remote Screens for UI1
« on: September 27, 2014, 02:22:05 am »
Hey all!

I wanted to let everyone know that I created two new MediaTypes (np_PVR & np_Playstation) and my wife built new UI1 remote screens for them.  We have also updated the UI1 np_BluRay remote to include more of the standard buttons you would expect of a blu-ray remote.  And we have a WD HT TV Live that we built a remote screen for as well.  There may be updates/fixes and I'll keep this thread updated.,wBmBzld#0 <- Blu-Ray,eICxAKZ#0 <- Playstation (2/3/4),gLkjHxr#0 <- PVR <- HDTV <- XBox (thanks go to tschak909 for creating this screen)

If you have an existing device template that you would like to have utilize the new PVR screens, or you have a blu-ray player and want the new remote screens in 1204:

Code: [Select]
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
then do a 'Full Regen' of all your orbiters.

If you are on 1004 you should be able to access the new screens by:
Code: [Select]
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
then do an sqlCVS Update of the 'dce' and 'designer' repo.  (WARNING: this may break other things, I have not tested this on 1004.  You've been warned.)  Then do a 'Full Regen' of all your orbiters.

I'll try to help any way I can.


Users / Raspberry Pi as a MediaDirector
« on: September 20, 2014, 12:56:31 am »
Hey all!

Well, it's been over 2.5 years since I started down this journey of trying to support the rpi as a media director.  There have been trials and tribulations and breaks of many weeks between development commits.  I have pulled my hair out and re-grown it twice over already.    :o

I can say that now I am confident in the 'alpha' status of the rpi as a Media Director.  The wiki details the methods you need to follow to implement an rpi as a standard MD right now.  I am working hard to implement qorbiter based media directors and the rpi is the test bed for that, at the moment.

If you have a raspberry pi and want to get involved in testing then I'd love to hear your feedback in irc at #linuxmce or #linuxmce-dev.  Visit the wiki at: to learn how to setup an rpi MD.

Media playback is working with an lmce OMX_Player device to control omxplayer.  The Photo Screen Saver is working.  Please realize that using the rpi as an MD is not the quickest.  Orbiter and Photo Screen Saver take all of the resources of the rpi and not much else is possible.  qOrbiter will open up many possibilities and is being worked on extensively.

Enjoy your LMCE experience and let me know what your experiences are, I'll try to help any way I can.


Users / Audio track and Subtitle support
« on: September 20, 2014, 12:36:15 am »
Hey all!

I wanted to give a heads up about some additions I've made recently.  The existing code has long permitted the selection of audio tracks and subtitles for non-disc playback.  We have had no place in the user interface to make selections so far.  For me this has been frustrating, I really enjoy 'foreign' or 'subtitled' movies.  To that end I have added buttons to UI1 that allow the cycling of the audio tracks or subtitle tracks that exist in a playing media file.  They are hidden away on the UI1 'Zoom & Aspect' menu.

There is no feedback on the UI for the currently selected tracks, nor for any listing of available tracks.  I hope to provide this functionality at some point but there is a lot that goes into making that happen in the old Orbiter UI.  So for now, you can change audio tracks and subtitle tracks in playing media files.

I would also like to point out that this functionality works within both Xine_Player AND (on regular MDs) and in OMX_Player (on Raspberry Pi MDs).

Like I said, I hope to extend this to make it more user friendly.  For now the capability is there for those that have been requiring or missing it.  :)

This is available for 1204 (precise) ubuntu and on raspbian (wheezy).  apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade then reload your router to get the functionality.


Users / LinuxMCE 1204-alpha DVD Installer is here!
« on: November 20, 2013, 10:11:47 pm »
It is with great pleasure that I would like to share the LinuxMCE 1204 DVD Installer with you all!  

Snapshots will be available as they are produced and you should grab the latest one when you attempt your installation.  If you already have a snapshot and want to upgrade to the most recent, then you can use zsync to download the most recent version while consuming much less transfer bandwidth.  Refer to zsync documentation on how to use.

Refer to for information about obtaining the DVD and installing/upgrading your 1204 system.

Please note:

1204 is still in an alpha state with new bugs being identified every day.  There is a lot of work going on to identify and fix these bugs as we are able to.  Please keep in mind that 1204 is still in a 'alpha' state and is changing regularly and *could* be broken through testing.  We do endeavour to keep things as stable as possible but that is not always possible.

We are not currently providing 'support' for installing and running 1204.  This means that you are very much on your own if something does break.  We rely heavily on people to identify problems and document them well in trac at

We welcome patches to improve the experience and/or fix bugs.  If you have figured out a solution to a problem, but don't know how to code it, please document everything you had to do in a trac ticket so someone can then properly patch the code.  This is imperative.  The limited number of devs cannot solve every problem.  If you discovery a problem we would really appreciate your help in solving it!

Thanks very much and enjoy LMCE!


Developers / Latest 1204 repository update - Update 28039
« on: September 10, 2013, 08:41:28 pm »
As many of you are aware 1204 is in a state that it can be installed and tested.  Expect things to break!  Like today.   ;D

Some package changes were recently made that will break a regular apt-get update/dist-upgrade and leave you chasing your tail.  To get past Update 28039 you will need to do the following:

Code: [Select]
apt-get update
dpkg --purge --force-depends mce-diskless-tools
apt-get -f install
apt-get dist-upgrade

This will bring you past the update and allow you to continue testing and providing feedback!


Developers / Raspberry Pi Media Director
« on: August 03, 2013, 03:51:04 am »
For developers who are currently getting their feet wet on 1204 alpha you can now (soon) create Media Directors with a Raspberry Pi Model B 512MB.  There are quirks and there is a lot that doesn't work.  Enough functionality exists for me to call this an 'alpha' version.

So that people do not have to sort through endless forum posts to figure things out I will use the wiki for most relevant information.

MD creation instructions are available in the wiki -

Development status can be checked/followed on the Porting Raspbian wiki page -

Bug reports should be made by filing trac tickets against the component "Raspbian/RPi MD" at

I'll do my best to answer questions and help people out.  Find me on irc.


(and thanks to posde, tschak, golgo, l3, hari, merk, and everyone else for continuing to encourage me!)

Users / Driveway Sensor
« on: April 16, 2013, 03:47:28 pm »
I am looking to use a driveway sensor to sense vehicles coming into a long driveway and hope to use it to switch on driveway lighting and entrance lighting.  This is for my parents house and so it may not be tied to lmce directly, but I may make use of the same thing at my house.  I am looking for something with a relay contact or such.  Any suggestions would be most appreciated.


Users / xine-lib and video playback issues?
« on: March 05, 2011, 02:15:10 pm »
I have a lot of media in a lot of different formats and I've always had trouble getting lmce to play every file I have.

Recently, with 1004, testing I noticed that VDR was using xine-lib 1.2 (xine unstable branch), rather than xine-lib 1.1.x (stable branch).  I figure if it's good enough for VDR then it's good enough for me.  So I've built libxine2 (xine-lib 1.2) and built Xine_Player against it.  Although from the unstable branch of xine-lib it has been very stable for some time and has been very stable running for me.  So, I thought I would offer these packages for others to try out.  For the best results you should also have the 260 (or newer) version of the nvidia drivers.

Installation Instructions for 0810:

Get the nvidia driver v290.10:
Code: [Select]
sudo su -
chmod +x ./

Grab libxine2 and xine_player and the libav dependecies.  Open the following links in a browser to download:

Get the nvidia driver v260.19.36:
sudo su -
chmod +x ./
Grab libxine2 and xine_player.  Open one of the following links in a browser to download:

Untar the archives to extract the .deb files
Install the libav dependencies & libxine 2, this may report missing dependencies:
Code: [Select]
tar xvf libxine2-deps-20120223.tar.gz
tar xvf 0810xineplayer-libxine2-20120223.tar.gz
dpkg -i *.deb

Install the dependencies and finish installing libxine2:
Code: [Select]
apt-get -f install

YMMV, it works for me.  With the 260 290 driver and libxine2 all video playback issues I've had are fixed.

I'm interested to know if it fixes video playback issues you may be having and if it breaks anything.


Developers / ypbind running on MDs but not core is this intentional?
« on: February 11, 2011, 11:26:01 pm »
I'm trying to determine the home directory for a user on a hybrid and MDs using NIS.  ypmatch works great on MDs but ypbind doesn't appear to be running on the core causing ypmatch queries to fail when executed form the core.

Is ypbind running on the core for anyone else?

If not...
Does anyone know if ypbind is disabled on the core for a specific reason?

Thanks in advance.


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