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Messages - mkbrown69

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Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Bloated MDs
« on: August 17, 2012, 07:31:20 pm »
Good day folks!

Having been thinking about this for quite some time (but not having the full understanding of the LMCE architecture to implement it) I think both camps could be satisfied with the concept of 'roles' for net-booted devices.  My thoughts were along the lines of:

  • MD
  • Workstation (or laptop)
  • Workstation w/MD
  • Workstation w/orbiter

Imagine this: when a device is net-booted for the first time, the wizard asks what role this machine will be fulfilling (with some helpful text around it explaining what each does).  Then, the applicable software packages are applied onto the base OS to full-fill the role.  We're implementing a similar approach at work for server builds, using Puppet, which is a configuration and compliance management tool.  It uses a component called Facter to determine facts about a client system (like architecture, virtual, OS Family/release, etc.) which can be used to take actions based on the facts it discovers about the system.  It can be used to configure software packages, user and service accounts, install or remove software, change system parameters (like sysctl), etc.  And, there's a nice community of pre-built modules, plus stuff on github, or  you can write your own (including facts you wish to discover, then act on).  

It's a powerful configuration framework which I think would be a good fit for LinuxMCE.  It would be a radical change in how LMCE works under-the-hood, and I think it would make future upgrades and life-cycle management activities a lot easier, as you can specify different things based on custom facts or facts like the OS version or hardware architecture.  Think Pi MD vs an x86 MD.  You can have the same role applied to both, but satisfy the architecture specific dependencies and configuration using the same toolset and policy.  You can also use it to manage the core and it's services.  There are implementations on the web where folks are using Puppet to build the PuppetMaster server, which is then used to build client systems (allowing them to bootstrap an entire environment, lets say in a disaster scenario).

Puppet is something that can be implemented incrementally, when each change you want to make is quantified, so it represents a low risk to stability.  Start with the easy and non-intrusive stuff first, and as the implementation matures, go for the more intrusive changes one-by-one.  That's the approach we're taking with 3 *nix OS Families, 4 hardware architectures, 4 hypervisors, and 10 OS variants in production.  I thought I'd throw this option out for discussion, since there's a lot of interest in making the MD's (and other PC's) fit-for-purpose.  Feel free to browse the links above, google it, or 'apt-cache show puppet puppetmaster facter' from your core.

Hope this provides some food for thought!  Thanks for your time!


Installation issues / Re: 10.04 DVD install experience
« on: August 17, 2012, 06:13:13 pm »
For the second part of my post,... I was actually thinking VM Core and VM MDs on the same physical machine isolated by the lack of bridging to the network...


Assuming your virtual core's eth0 is on the internet, and eth1 is on the LMCE network, you can do a host-only network for the virtual core and virtual MD to communicate on.  So, the vCore eth0 would have it's interface attached to the bridge your host's internet-facing interface is on, and the vCore eth1 would be attached to a bridge which is not bridged to physical ports.  The vMD would have it's eth0 attached to the same virtual bridge.  See <> under private virtual bridge, or see if your version of virt-manager supports configuring host-only networks <>.  

As far as graphics goes, you may have better luck with the cirrus driver, or with the VMware vga driver (vmvga or svga, depending on your qemu version).  The VMware VGA driver ships with most current Xorg packages.  Some of the devs run ESX, so someone may have coded in support for it's video drivers.

Hope that helps!


Users / Re: LMCE as DNS Server?
« on: August 13, 2012, 04:05:21 am »
Speaking as a *nix sysadmin who works on many Linux variants, plus Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX, I can tell you for a fact that a system's local DNS config file is /etc/resolv.conf (without an ending 'e').

If you want to find out what's supposed to be in that file as far as config options go, try 'man resolv.conf' from the command line.  You can use the 'nslookup' command to test your DNS config (man nslookup to see how to use it).



Do you know of an easy way to detect the frame rate of a specific file?

Mediainfo.  # apt-get install mediainfo

       MediaInfo supplies technical and tag information about a video or audio

       What information can I get from MediaInfo?

       - General: title, author, director, album, track number, date, duration...
       - Video: codec, aspect, fps, bitrate...
       - Audio: codec, sample rate, channels, language, bitrate...
       - Text: language of subtitle
       - Chapters: number of chapters, list of chapters

       What format does MediaInfo support?

       - Video: MKV, OGM, AVI, DivX, WMV, QuickTime, Real, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DVD (VOB)...
       - Video Codecs: DivX, XviD, MSMPEG4, ASP, H.264, AVC...
       - Audio: OGG, MP3, WAV, RA, AC3, DTS, AAC, M4A, AU, AIFF...
       - Subtitles: SRT, SSA, ASS, SAMI...

       What can I do with it?

       - Read many video and audio file formats
       - View information in different formats (text, sheet, tree, HTML...)
       - Customise these viewing formats
       - Export information as text, CSV, HTML...
       - Graphical Interface, Command Line, or library versions available

   Display information about a video file
        $ mediainfo foo.mkv

   Display aspect ratio
        $ mediainfo --Inform="Video;%DisplayAspectRatio%" foo.mkv
        $ mediainfo --Inform="Video;file://Video.txt" foo.mkv

       Both forms are equivalent if Video.txt contains:

   Display aspect ration and audio format
        $ mediainfo --Inform="file://Text.txt foo.mkv

       If Text.txt contains:

       - "Video;%DisplayAspectRatio%"
           Then the display aspect ratio is printed out.

       - "Audio;%Format%"
           Then the audio format is printed out.



Installation issues / Re: system freeze
« on: July 10, 2012, 03:43:46 am »
I've had errors like those, including the hard resetting link when one my raid 1 sets was doing it's weekly checks.  Occasionally, it would become totally unresponsive, requiring a power down of the system in order to restore it, and then I'd have to re-add it to the array and re-sync.  It's happened a few times (and only under heavy load), and I was close to RMA'ing the drive.  Then, this past Sunday morning I found my server off, and unable to power it back up.  The power supply had quit (and probably been on it's way out for a while due to capacitor aging), and was likely browning out under load.  So it's possible your power supply is on it's way out, or it's under-powered for the load.

There's a good power supply calculator at

Try entering everything you have, and see what the recommended size is.  You can also add 30% for capacitor aging if your power supply is over a year old.  You'll be surprised how much it changes when you factor that in.

Hope that helps!


Users / Re: Newbie camera question
« on: July 09, 2012, 06:49:06 pm »
Glad you're still fiddling with kmotion, Mike. What, apart from the RAM disk buffering, does kmotion bring to the party? I had initially assumed it was just a graphical wrapper for motion and would not add functionality beyond visualisation.


Kmotion2 brings a few things (as a stand-alone package), but not all apply in the LMCE context.  Some of those features can be replicated with existing LMCE features.  So, I was looking to try and understand both, rather than just bolting on Kmotion2 and incurring the wrath of Thom. ;)

  • Fire off scripts (like e-mails w/picture attachments) when motion events occur (some functions could be done with LMCE events)
  • Ability to configure motion masks in the Web GUI (doesn't presently exist in LMCE)
  • A timeline view on a per-camera basis (I'm still trying to understand LMCE and it's alerts view)
  • Selectable multi-camera views, single , pairs, quads, up to 16 cameras
  • Motion conf file configuration using a web GUI ('motion wrapper' and individual devices in LMCE)
  • motion executable service management (done with motion wrapper and/or OS init scripts in LMCE)
  • RAM-disk based processing, for multi-camera performance improvements

The big ones for me were the Mask configuration (mask off areas that you don't want triggering motion events), the firing off of scripts/e-mails/events, and the camera views.  I'm going to back-burner this project until I get the CM-19a 'mochad' driver done, and look at what the Advanced IP Camera template will do for me...  Too many projects on the go right now...



Users / Re: X10 CM19A
« on: July 09, 2012, 06:14:44 pm »

Mochad is GPL v3.  Is there any issue with rolling it's code into a DCE device driver, which I think is GPL v2?  I plan on contacting the author of Mochad as well, to see if he has any issues with rolling it into LMCE.

If all's good there, I'll likely implement it as a C++ driver, and as a GSD.  It'll give me some experience with both, and there's a possible use case of the GSD with a remote mochad instance running on another computer/embedded device.

Would it be sufficient for me to set up a chrooted dev environment, or do you recommend a separate development environment (VM).  I'm not running production workload on my LMCE instance at this point in time, so I'm not overly concerned about it.

Thanks for your time!


Users / Re: X10 CM19A
« on: July 06, 2012, 03:51:48 am »
The most correct approach for mochad is to wrap the C in the C++ provided by our DCE driver.

Thom, if I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying it would be best to take the mochad C source code functions, and put those into the C++ functions provided by the DCE driver, correct?  Or are you meaning to wrap the binary like the General Info plugin wraps the mailx binary?  I'm not a C programmer by any stretch of the imagination, so I'm just looking to clarify my understanding of which direction you're pointing me in ;-)



Users / Re: Newbie camera question
« on: July 06, 2012, 03:37:41 am »
One of the interesting things that kmotion2 does, to improve performance, is that it grabs images from the camera to a RAM disk in /dev/shm, and runs motion (and other processing) against the images in the RAM disk.  It also spools them back out to disk for archival purposes.  I've been looking at possibly integrating it's functionality, but Kmotion2 and LMCE are both complicated systems, and I haven't made much headway into it yet (still trying to figure out both, and what parts should/could be integrated where).  I was considering what baby steps could be made, when I noticed Sambuca working on the Advanced IP camera template.  I have a D-Link DCS-932L configured with it right now, and was considering posting for suggestions as to the configuration options so I could help test it.

I thought that I should point out the RAM disk thing, as that is something that should be implemented across the board (if the Dev's choose to do so), so that it could be leveraged by all camera templates as infrastructure. It could also tie in with other's suggestions to move the caamera's storage location to the media pools, vs /home, as many seem to be running with small OS drives.

Just some thoughts for consideration...


Users / Re: Windows 7 enterprise and samba shares does not work :-(
« on: July 04, 2012, 04:57:14 am »
Ok, I'm running 3.5.6 on Debian Squeeze.  The following was added for Vista Compatibility, which should work with 7.

Code: [Select]
#vista compatibility
        client lanman auth = no
        client ntlmv2 auth = yes
        domain logons = yes
        guest account = nobody
        map untrusted to domain = yes

I also have local and preferred master set to yes, time server and wins server also set to yes.  You'll likely have to configure Win 7 for NTLMv2 as well.



Users / Re: Windows 7 enterprise and samba shares does not work :-(
« on: July 03, 2012, 08:02:05 pm »
I seem to remember having to force Windows Vista to use NTLM v2 many moons ago to make it work with Samba.  You might want to google for Vista +Samba +NTLM, and see if that does it for you.

Chances are, your old employer's infrastructure may have had some legacy systems that they had to force compatibility with, whereas your new system image doesn't have that "'baggage".

It's not likely to be a Samba issue, because I'm running Samba with Vista (laptop) and a Windows Home Server 2011 VM (based on Server 2008r2) at home, with no issues for years now.  I do remember setting a couple of parameters in my smb.conf file, so I'll look those up later when I'm home to see what I'd set.



Users / Re: MD wake on Lan not working
« on: June 28, 2012, 06:18:40 pm »

Generally, the interface has to be configured to support/Listen for the WOL packet.  This is generally done by

Code: [Select]
ethtool -s eth0 wol g
It could be done via an init script, like below, or in rc.local

Code: [Select]
sudo cat << EOF >> /etc/init.d/wake-on-lan
# Provides: wake-on-lan
# Required-Start: \$network
# Required-Stop: \$local_fs
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: Enable Wake-On-Lan
. /lib/lsb/init-functions
do_start() {
    ethtool -s eth0 wol g
do_stop() {
    ethtool -s eth0 wol d
case "\$1" in
  start )
  restart|reload|force-reload )
        echo "Error: argument '\$1' not supported" >&2
        exit 3
  stop )
  * )
        echo "Usage: \$0 start|stop" >&2
        exit 3
sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/wake-on-lan

Code: [Select]
sudo update-rc.d wake-on-lan defaults

Now, if this solves your problem, then it should probably be added to the MD generation scripts.  If not, then there's something else at play, possibly power management.



Users / Re: X10 CM19A
« on: June 27, 2012, 03:57:50 am »
Mochad <> is a good project to use to create a driver.  From the wiki,

Everything sent by mochad appears on netcat standard output. In the simplest use case, mochad/netcat can be used to see X10 PL and RF activity. For example, run mochad on one host with a CM15A(CM19a) then connect to it using netcat from a netbook. Walk around with various X10 RF remote controls and the netbook to see which remotes work from various locations.


I'm using it with Misterhouse right now, and would need to port that to LMCE.  I'm using it with X10 RF keypads to trigger scenes, and to send commands to devices behind Arc Fault Breakers (haven't converted everything to Insteon yet. 

Thom,  what would be the best method to implement a driver using mochad, given that netcat is normally used to send and receive data from mochad (which then handles the interaction with the CM15/19a)?



The other issue is that you can get different resolution support over different inputs.  VGA inputs will sometimes only support "computer" resolutions, and not true 720p or 1080p, whereas DVI/HDMI will support more.  It all depends on the firmware for the TV's, and the quality of the ASIC's and display engines built into the TV's.  Usually, the less expensive TV's (which are usually the smaller models too) will not have the same capabilities as a more expensive (name-brand) TV.

Just my experience from shopping around...


Users / Re: HomeOS - Microsoft reinvents LinuxMCE
« on: May 09, 2012, 09:08:02 pm »

do you need any more pointers to start?


Me thinks you've been "volun-told"...  ;)


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