Author Topic: New LinuxMCE Install  (Read 1913 times)

Robbie80

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New LinuxMCE Install
« on: September 21, 2011, 05:16:50 pm »
Hello everyone, I am in the market for a new home server system and I am comparing linuxMCE to Amahi. So far, LMCE is the winner by far! Although, Amahi integration via virtual machine may be in the plans for my own setup...

I plan to build two LMCE servers for two different locations: mine, and my parent's, I will eventually add my bro and sis. I hope to use core i7 Gulftown or Sandybridge for the core processors as I want them to be future proof and do a few vm tasks.

Multiple MDs should be able to run on cheap 30 USD intel pentium quads, with a similarly priced MOBO and graphics card, I should be able to build a MD that can display LMCE on one monitor and a PC environment on another, correct? Given enough RAM on the core and MDs I would even be able to virtualize a windows environment (for gaming, etc) on the MDs with the major processing happening on the core with the expensive i7 CPU and pricier GPU? Am I correct in assuming I can do this with LMCE/Ubuntu? I have done something similar with OpenSuse and a windows virtual machine, though I did not attempt a gaming environment.

Any advice, encouragement, or whatever other "two-cents" of information anyone has to offer would be greatly appreciated!

tkmedia

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 06:27:38 pm »
The core can run on a low powered cpu or in a VM environment.
The MD's actually do the heavy lifting. Accelerated video can off load a good portion of that
But running MD desktop apps  /hulu mame etc require a great deal of cpu


Tim
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Robbie80

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 08:12:23 pm »
I thought security cameras and DirecTV would eat up too many clock cycles for a slower CPU, I see that some of the available capture cards for these devices handle this already, or the IP cameras send the signal already as mpeg.

I was actually thinking of virtualizing the desktop to the backend server using VNC or a XEN or hypervisor client, that way the front end is only running the LMCE frontend and the client maximized full screen to the 2nd monitor. I thought this would be more efficient than putting intel core series chips in all the MDs. In this scenario, each user would have their own desktop, virtualized on the server and accessible from anywhere with any device that has a VNC or hypervisor client installed or web browser (maybe). When at home, in most cases, you would use monitor one for watching TV and monitor 2 for web, homework, work, etc.

LMCE doesn't have to be the host OS on the backend server, it could run in a VM and the remote desktop could run in a separate VM, either way.

I am just aiming for a way to accomplish that with a 30-50 USD chip in the MDs. Any more cash than that and the cost to benefit just gets too high when compared to a DVR or similar STB. Am I taking the long way around here or is there a better way to accomplish this.

Techstyle

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 08:20:42 pm »
Quote
I am just aiming for a way to accomplish that with a 30-50 USD chip in the MDs. Any more cash than that and the cost to benefit just gets too high when compared to a DVR or similar STB. Am I taking the long way around here or is there a better way to accomplish this.

CPU Chip price + MBrd + Vid + case + Ram = what?

Have you looked at some of the Atom based products?  Atom 330 boards with NVDIA Ions start at about $129.99 (CPU+Mbrd+Vid).  you need RAM and a case though

Robbie80

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 11:48:59 pm »
I was hoping for under or around 150 for the MD, maybe as much as 200 if I include a bluray drive. I was just going by some of the stuff listed in the newbie pack and what others were using, since most of those processors are no longer sold, I was going by what I thought was the current equivalent.  I thought pentium, athlon, phenom, would be stronger/faster than Atom, but I see the board you are talking about uses the Nvidia Ion for graphics which would prevent having to buy a grphx card. That seems like a great board, I will look into it a bit more. This is going to be a long project, thanks for your input...and feel free to keep it coming!

tkmedia

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2011, 02:02:55 am »
1. Drop the bluray drive..... no support for that.
2. Cheap cases generally come with cheap (inefficient)power supplies. Use 80plus certified.
3. Cheap cases generally have loud fans.
3. Atoms/ IONS  are great for media only.
4. The least expensive up front may not be in the end. Especially when you add in the time and frustration factor.
5. Consider some ready to go MD's that address all the above. ;)

http://lmcecompatible.com/#ecwid:category=280114&mode=category&offset=0&sort=normal
 


Tim
My Setup http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Tkmedia

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bongowongo

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 02:11:24 am »
1. Drop the bluray drive..... no support for that.
2. Cheap cases generally come with cheap (inefficient)power supplies. Use 80plus certified.
3. Cheap cases generally have loud fans.
3. Atoms/ IONS  are great for media only.
4. The least expensive up front may not be in the end. Especially when you add in the time and frustration factor.
5. Consider some ready to go MD's that address all the above. ;)

http://lmcecompatible.com/#ecwid:category=280114&mode=category&offset=0&sort=normal
 


Tim

3. for media only? What else is harder for a system than playing media?

posde

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 08:21:14 am »
games

tkmedia

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 08:56:35 am »
Quote
3. for media only? What else is harder for a system than playing media?

An Atom PC sucks for anything but media.. and thats only good with the proper drivers but its real good with proper drivers.

Any desktop app will be terrible anything over the simplest of web browsing is painful.
at least in my experience.
and forget mame and hulu

Tim
My Setup http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Tkmedia

For LinuxMce compatible  systems and accessories
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totallymaxed

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 12:42:10 pm »
An Atom PC sucks for anything but media.. and thats only good with the proper drivers but its real good with proper drivers.

Any desktop app will be terrible anything over the simplest of web browsing is painful.
at least in my experience.
and forget mame and hulu

Tim

I agree 100%.

In very small systems, say for testing or possibly in a small apartment, you could use an Atom/Ion system as your Core/Hybrid but that would need to be a very limited system expecially if you need to support IP cameras too as motion chews up CPU. Regens also take up a lot of processor and although in operational terms you will not be doing these everyday (I hope!!) they are still painfully slow on Atom Cores (all regens are processed by the Core). Now this will change in time as QOrbiter etc comes into real use but for now it is an issue.

So generally we would suggest the following as good rules of thumb;

- only use Atom/Ion for the smallest Core/Hybrids or for test systems
- When you use an Atom Core always try to configure a NAS as this will offload fileserving to the NAS.
- Avoid build a system using an Atom Core if more than 2-3 traditional MD's will be in use consurrently streaming media if you don't have a NAS.
- The more motion based IP cameras you add the more load... this equates to less available for other tasks like MD's, media (in Dianemo we support running motion on MD's to distribute the load)
- If you dont anticipate using MD's then Atom's are more viable as the overall system will have less load on it.

All the best


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Techstyle

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2011, 03:26:02 pm »
We were only talking Atom/IONS for his MD's.  He was talking about an I7 for his core, wasn't he?

Robbie80

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Re: New LinuxMCE Install
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2011, 12:22:16 pm »
Definitely an i7 for the core, was hoping to get away with AMDs for the MDs. As for bluray, I thought the teams over at VLC were getting pretty close, but I may be wrong, I was going for future proofing.

Definitely going the NAS route, probably incorporating a DLNA server into the NAS if this will work natively in LMCE (I think I remember the wiki indicating it can). I thought this could be a relatively inexpensive CPU, more and better than an atom like a dual to tripple core AMD for 40 bucks or so US, but still inexpensive. Add a raid capable mobo and several 1GB Seagates for 60-80/ea. Basically what I now but with a CPU upgrade, an OS change, and more HDs.

I also thought about doing this with either the communications or security systems, but I didn't know if they would automatically connect to the core. Say I build a box with an above mentioned CPU and install a minimal linux system with asterisk or the security camera suite (or maybe both?), would that be fast enough?, would it offload enough to benefit?, is it even necessary since tkmedia mentions the offloading to MDs feature?

Great ideas LMCE! Please keep them coming. I hit a financial snag for a moment, but now the project is on tract again. I make a purchase decision on the initial hardware in the next few days 1 week.

Final thought...I have a few old laptops and netbooks I thought of using as MDs some are on the wiki page. I though of using one of the more compatible ones with a touchscreen monitor (cheap VGA) and setting it up at the bar for web browsing and playing the arcade style games maybe as mini-MDst for the controls) or custom orbitor.