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Messages - mkbrown69

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Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Grocery List
« on: May 10, 2010, 04:27:31 am »
You might want to tie into the whole "Landing Page Thread".  There's some discussion about using some CMS software to manage some additional "household" type content.  There's a Recipe module for Drupal here: and there's some discussion on that site as to how to implement a shopping list.  That might give you a starting point...

Hope that helps!


Users / Sambahelper, unix and pluto users, and home dirs.
« on: January 03, 2010, 05:49:00 am »
Hi Folks!

First of all, Happy New Year to all!  All the best to ya for 2010!

I'm plodding along with my setup and testing LinuxMCE in KVM, and trying to understand some things so I can properly merge my existing environment with my future LinuxMCE environment.  One of the things I'm wanting to leverage is the NIS (Network Information Services) for centralized user management, as I'm wanting to have Unix user logins/homes available.  Here's how NIS and the various user types appear to be configured in LinuxMCE based on poking around my systems:

UIDs 0-999: root and Normal Linux service accounts, generally no shell/login for service accounts
UIDs 1000-9999: Unix User accounts, shell and login, merged into NIS passwd maps.
UIDs 10000+: Pluto User accounts, no shell or login, merged into NIS passwd maps.

So, generally it all makes sense, and is a normal Linux environment.  The pluto users don't get login capability, and their homes will never fill up with Unix stuff like dotfiles.  Now, here's the problem or what I don't understand.  A user gets created on the core called "sambahelper" that gets the next available UID in the Unix users range, and it gets pushed into the NIS passwd map.  That same "sambahelper" also gets created on MD's using the first available UID, which may not be the same as the one on the core, or in NIS, as it appears that the user is created using the useradd command without the -u switch.  

Here's what my install looks like right now...

CORE: /etc/passwd
mkbrown:x:1000:1000:Michael Brown,,,:/home/mkbrown:/bin/bash
sambahelper:x:1001:1001:Pluto Samba Share Helper:/tmp:/bin/false

MD: /etc/passwd
sambahelper:x:1000:1000:Pluto Samba Share Helper:/tmp:/bin/false

NIS: (ypcat passwd)
mkbrown:x:1000:1000:Michael Brown,,,:/home/mkbrown:/bin/bash
sambahelper:x:1001:1001:Pluto Samba Share Helper:/tmp:/bin/false

So, when I ssh into an MD as mkbrown, I end up with the following:
sambahelper@moon31:~$ id
uid=1000(sambahelper) gid=1000(mkbrown) groups=4(adm),20(dialout),24(cdrom),46(plugdev),112(lpadmin),119(admin),120(sambashare),1000(mkbrown)

Would it not be better to have this "sambahelper" user set to a lower UID, like 999, so it's not pushed into NIS?  This could likely cause a lot of problems with file permissions, but I'm not familiar with the role of the "sambahelper" user...  Should "sambahelper" even be in NIS?  Seems more like a service account to me... Should I file a bug report to set it to something like UID 999?

I also noticed that the mythtv user was not getting the same UID on the MD as was on the core, but was sharing the same home directory?  Problem?  Bug report?

Now, a question about home directories.  The pluto user homes (user_#) are obviously for Samba shares for Windows users, and are primarily for media storage (especially for personal media when you enter your PIN into an Orbiter/MD.  If I create Unix users and want to avoid duplication, could I add my Unix user to the pluto_user's group (or vice versa) and symlink the various media folders to the other home directory?  Would this break anything?  I know Thom doesn't want us fighting the system, so I'd like to figure out how to work with it without duplicating effort or damaging anything!

Thanks for your time!


Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Calendar/Groupware Integration
« on: November 19, 2009, 04:23:17 am »
Ok... although it's not going to happen anytime soon... still kicking the tires on a not-fully-functonal 8.10 VM.  I've got an existing MythTV system that the wife and kids view as a production system, so I've got to work everything out on LinuxMCE in the background first.

I'll also be standing up a Zarafa VM to kick the tires on (and port my existing mail server over to), and will look to see if there's an easy way to link the two products together using API's.  So, maybe something in 9-12 months with maybe some baby steps along the way...  (I'm a sysadmin, not a programmer!)



Users / Dallas Semiconductor 1-Wire Questions
« on: November 16, 2009, 03:41:52 am »
Hi Folks!

I'm presently kicking the tires on LinuxMCE, and I have some questions regarding 1-wire support.  There isn't much in the Wiki on 1-wire support, so I'm hoping to be able to flesh it out with what I find out...

How is the 1-wire support implemented?  Is it direct into LinuxMCE as a DCE device, or via something like the 1-wire file system (OWFS) or digitemp?

What devices other than thermometer chips does it support?  Does it support the 1-wire switches for a switched 1-wire network?  Does it support A/D and GPIO type devices?

Is the 9097U serial adapter supported in addition to the 9490R USB 1-wire adapter?

Are you able to input a calibration offset amount into the configuration that gets applied to the individual sensors?  Due to where most of my sensors are located (phone jack height), I offset those sensors by a degree C so they jive with what my Thermostat reads.

I remember some past forum discussion about data logging not presently existing or about to be implemented... so I guessing that in the 8.10 beta there isn't any way of graphing or otherwise recording temperatures... is that correct?  I'm presently feeding a bunch of 1-wire sensors throughout my house into the 1-Wire Weather (OWW) daemon, which feeds that info into Misterhouse, which generates RRD graphs that I can use to analyse tweaks made to the HVAC system.

Thanks for your time!


Users / Insteon questions
« on: November 16, 2009, 03:19:20 am »
Hi Folks!

I'm new to LinuxMCE, and am presently getting to know it via a KVM VM on my existing system.  I'm also presently starting to build out a mixed Insteon and X10 network.  I've got a few questions relating to the existing documentation on the Wiki...

Is it still necessary for the 8.10 beta to build out the PLM template with the Ruby codes that are in the WIki?  Source page:

Is it possible to create Insteon scenes in LinuxMCE and have them pushed into the link tables on the devices themselves?

Is the Insteon driver itself still considered beta?  Is the X10 support information on this page still accurate?

Thanks for your time!


Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Use Google Contacts
« on: November 15, 2009, 10:20:54 pm »
What about looking at integrating an existing open-source project to handle contacts and syncing, like one of the groupware projects?  That could allow LinuxMCE to leverage work and technology that is constantly being developed for that purpose, and LinuxMCE would only need to be concerned with the integration.  I started a thread about Calendar/Groupware integration.

Hope that helps!


Feature requests & roadmap / Calendar/Groupware Integration
« on: November 15, 2009, 10:16:51 pm »
Hi Folks!

I'd like to suggest Calendar and groupware integration as a Feature to round out LinuxMCE's feature set.  Integrating groupware like Zarafa, Zimbra,, php/egroupware, or another similar groupware package to leverage it's calendar, tasks, contacts and integrate that functionality into LinuxMCE.  Plus, you could leverage a mobile sync solution like zpush (Open-Source ActiveSync implentation) or Funambol (SyncML), would allow for the integration of mobile devices with the same datastore as in LinuxMCE (and vice-versa).  The idea would be that calendaring/task/contact and sync functionality would be handled by their respective projects, and LinuxMCE would wrap it's functionality much like MythTV or Xine, either with wrappers or API calls.

Usage cases:

You wakeup to an LinuxMCE alarm.  The system reads you your daily appointments as you get ready in the morning.

Your mobile device is synced against the DataStore shared with LinuxMCE. Contacts you have just added to your mobile device are now available to the Asterisk Telephony system.  Birthdays listed in your contact's information are announced a predefined period of time in advance.

LinuxMCE's behaviour is modified by categories or keywords found in your calendar.  For example, you set an earlier wakeup time in your calendar due to attending a seminar, so LinuxMCE automatically starts your morning wake-up routine at the earlier time, rather than at the regularly scheduled time.  You have a party at home, so LinuxMCE automatically engages entertaining mode.

Hopefully this is some food for thought...


Just to add to the list of people with a black screen on Internet install.

My install went ok till the point where it tried to "install" pluto-orbiter (packages were already installed).  I end up with the same black screen on the core with white mouse pointer.
 F7 doesn't do anything.  Core appears fully functional otherwise, but I wouldn't trust it as being properly installed. I'm not sweating it at this point, as I'm just kicking the tires right now, and plan to burn it down and rebuild later as I'm sure I'll be making lots of mistakes as I poke around under the hood.

Host: Debian Sid/Squeeze  Kernel 2.6.30-1-686-bigmem via KVM, AMD64 processor
Guest: KVM VM, default Cirrus Logic virtual graphics adapter, Kubuntu 8.10 install from CD, LinuxMCE install via Internet.

Installed via instructions here:  problems occurred at the step ./  I didn't get the actual output, but it basically kept trying to install the pluto-orbiter package every 30 seconds.

Hope that helps!


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