Author Topic: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?  (Read 2076 times)

ariznaf

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Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« on: June 29, 2007, 11:04:51 pm »
Hi, I am new to this amazing software. I am trying to install it and get up and running properly.
I have a Pentium 4 3.2GHZ with 1GB of 400MHZ DDR2 RAM and a Gigabyte GA-8I915G-MF with an integrated intel i915G and integrated 5.1 audio.

Is this configuration capable of running 1.1B2 Core and MD?
I would like to have it as my Core system in the main room and add a better graphics card and TV TDT tuner and device input and Home automation (may be z-wave?) later, and more disk with a RAID 0 or RAID 5 configuration. But that will be in the near future.
But I would like to know if it is a capable enough to run the system fluidly...
It should be able to encode and decode two video streams simultaneously -with an appropiate graphics card and TV tuner, of course-. But I am not sure if the motherboard and processor are good enough to do that.

Thank you for your opinions.

MasterC

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Re: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 02:31:28 am »
Generically speaking, yes that should be fine.  In fact, using the intel driver should allow some decent graphics with that chipset:
http://intellinuxgraphics.com/
The intel driver (IIRC) in Kubuntu should be the one that works smoothly (the intel xorg devs are really good and constantly provide updates).  But what you don't mention is how you will be doing your video capture (What TV tuner will you use).  If you are using a good one (PVR-500 and it's brethren) you should be just fine.  For the rest of the stuff... shouldn't be any issues.  The UI2 might give you a bit of a headache, not really sure though since intel is native linux, but doesn't have XvMC support (but doesn't really need it with a CPU that fast) and not a binary blob like Nvidia offers.

HTH

-Chad

ariznaf

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Re: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 02:47:07 am »
Thanks a lot, MasterC.
I am having troubles getting he MD to work in the COre. It seems intel 82915G integrated chip has not the appropiate driver in kubuntu. I have put a question on this in the installation forum. It uses the i810 driver. I could manage to put it to work in KDE in 1280x1024, but just at 60HZ (it should be capable to do it at 75 or 80Hz). The MD orbiter doesn't work properly. I could just run it in U1 mode and could not display any video or picture correctly (even if the test application runs the video an manages to do masking).
I am quite new in linux (well i have been out of linux for more than 10 years, so it has advanced a lot since then) what is Xvm? I saw i could choose some other acceleration engines, like opengl, wich will work with the 915?. I don't know how to install a new diver from intellinuxgraphics. They say in their web that graphics controller drivers for 945 or older are included in the linux distribution.

I have no TV tuner yet. I want first to install the system and test it displaying DVD and divx. then i will install a TV TDT/analog tuner and move it to the living room. You say the PVR-500 would be fine. I will write that down, thank you.

MasterC

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Re: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2007, 07:50:47 am »
You may want to give the intel driver a whirl instead of i810.  I'm waiting for a response from one of the intel developers, so take this with a grain of sand (usually smaller than salt :D ).  The i810 that currently ships with Kubuntu 7.04 (the one we use for LinuxMCE Beta 1.1) has seen better days.  It's getting old and doesn't have the usefulness a newer version may have (but supports a wider range of hardware out of the box).  If you do a:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intelYou will get the updated version of the driver, and to boot you don't have to change anything in your xorg.conf (a symlink is created when the install happens so you can call either "intel" or "i810" and be calling the same driver).

If none of that makes sense, or at least the technical parts don't, basically a newer driver may help and the install line above will get a newer version of that driver.

To get to the command line to type that above stuff, after you boot up and everything is just sitting there type:
Code: [Select]
CTRL + ALT + F1Login with your user you created while installing Kubuntu.  Then you should be able to type that line and answer Y to the question on whether to remove your existing driver (i810) or to abort.  Choosing Y **may** b0rk your GUI system, but in reality, you are fairly safe in saying Y.  The upside is that if it works you may have a better responding GUI, the downside is if something goes wrong you'll be stuck in command line land until you either reinstall or revert to the older 810 driver, which is probably:
sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-i810

So write those down as you'll be in "the dark" when you need to use them.  Good luck!

-Chad

ariznaf

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Re: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2007, 11:10:13 pm »
Thank you MasterC, I have done what you said and downloaded the driver install package, thus I have the latest intel graphics drivers version, I suppose.
Some problems remain, though.
1- I cannot get 1280x1024@75Hz or 80Hz with an ADI Provista 19" monitor, in the kubuntu system configuration/display i can choose just 60Hz. It should, as I had it running that way with Windows.
2- cannot get UI2 interface working properly. I select masking option and the MD does not display correctly. Blending does not work at all. Is there some options I could try to put them to work?
When I select UI2 with masking and try to start the MD services, an error message appears:

ERROR:UI2 with mask needs XvmcUsesTextures
Error: UI2 with mask needs AllowGLWithComposite
Error: UI2 with mask needs RenderAccel
Warning: you try to run UI2 with mask on the i810 driver. Performance will be affected.
Do you want to run helper script to try to fix it? Press Cancel if you want to close LMCE Launch Manager completly.

It seems that the driver or the i82915G graphics chip does not supply some services that are needed.
Or is it a misconfiguration of the driver parameters?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 01:25:27 am by ariznaf »

MasterC

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Re: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2007, 07:27:32 am »
It's a LinuxMCE limitation.  LinuxMCE seems to prefer an Nvidia chipset and expects Nvidia driver options to be in your xorg.conf

As far as the refresh though, your monitor may be supplying "bogus" EDID, this is the information that it sends to a videocard to tell the card it's abilities.  It may not be giving your card the info necessary to let it have a higher refresh.  Is the current refresh value (60Hz) too low for your eyes, or are you just interested in "getting the best" out of your monitor/video card?  If it's just a desire to push it to the max, my suggestion is to let it go.  If however 60Hz is too low of a refresh for your eyes and you can see the refresh, then you may want to see if lowering your resolution allows higher refresh. 

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar enough with the Intel driver options to tell you exactly how to override (or even if it's possible) your EDID info.  With Nvidia it's a fairly straightforward option:
Option IgnoreEDID "True"
or something very close to that (I'm lazy right now and don't want to look up the exact line since it is Nvidia specific and won't help you anyway). 

So...  It does indeed sound like I'm suggesting just forking over 30 bucks and getting an Nvidia 6200 for your system, but in fact I'm not.  I'd rather see the Intel stuff work since it's a far better option to use open source drivers on an open source system and Intel does a great job of providing those to us.  Instead my suggestion is to contact the Intel driver devs and see if they will work with you.  The easiest way to do that is to join the xorg mailing list and send out a request for help there.  Obviously that is a little more involved than most people want to go, so you may start with the distro "bug" section and work through them first.  If they fail to help then move on to the Intel folks.

Good luck!

Cool

ariznaf

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Re: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2007, 10:40:56 pm »
Thank you, MasterC.
As you suggested, I have tried 1024x768 resolution and 85Hz. It should be enough for testing the linuxMCE capabilities.

I would buy a Nvidia card, but I have tested one (Gigabyte one with 7600 chip, I think) and it didn't work.
My motherboard (GA-8I915G-MF) has a PCIE-16 slot, but i tried connecting it there and couldn't get it to work. The BIOS does not have an option to disable the 82915G chip and there was no message of the system that detected the PCIE card, so I could not start the system from it.
I will try to see if i can get a new driver in xorg, but my linux knowledge right now -i hope that would change in the future- is not good enough to help developers to test a driver :(

I have triad almost all mixes of possible configuration for the MD graphics, and none work properly.
Using opengl accelerator, I could manage to get UI2 with masking (no blending) working, but it was not stable, sometimes you could get the menus and select on them and sometimes not.
Using UI1 I could reproduce a DVD, but was not very stable either.

May be it is my system configuration (the i915G graphics card) but i am not sure.

I have another system much newer, with a GA-590SLI-S5 motherboard and an AMD64 x2 5800+, but tried to install kubuntu there and it didn't work either (complains about the system timer with a kernel panic in the very first steps).

It seems to me that LinuxMCE is not very stable and mature yet, but it is a very interesting software, so i will keep trying.
The linuxMCE developers don't seem very active in the forums these days either, they must be very busy in the developing stage. More work seems to be needed in the compatibility and installation area, to have a systems easy to install in many systems.

Thank you for your help it aid me to get a working system and have an idea of the posibilities. Will keep looking forward to linuxMCE advances and trying to get a stable and capable system.

1audio

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Re: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2007, 04:14:53 am »
Two things to help perhaps=

1) Video at other than 60 Hz will be poor at best. Scaling and deinterlacing video for 60 Hz is a major task. Doing it for higher refresh without special software won't really work. And TV's will object strenuously to it. Try getting it all working at 60 Hz first.
2) LMCE uses a specific "compositing" extension to implement the transparent overlay in UI2. I don't think the developers have event tried it on an Intel graphics platform. The open source Intel effort is very new as this stuff goes. And my quick look suggested that the 965 graphics system is the only one that might work.
3) Update the bios on the sli board if you can. Many of the kernel panics etc. seem to be related to bugs in the bios that go away on the more recent bios's.

LMCE uses the hardware at its extremes to play video and get some of the other media stuff working. And there are a lot of work-arounds in the code to make it function that may not cooperate with untested video drivers. I know getting it to work with Via has been a nightmare. I would like the Intel graphics to work so we can say goodby to these problems. The ATI is also problematic.

ariznaf

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Re: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2007, 09:40:23 pm »
Thank you 1audio:
1) i will follow your advice of using 60Hz. It would be enough for an MCE system to watch videos and photos.
2) These are bad news for me :( I tried to mount another ndivia card in the boards PCIE-16x slot, but the system continues booting in the onboard i915G chip. I checked the BIOS and couldn't find an option to disable it. The manual didn't help -although it comments how to phisically install another video card in the board-.
3) I will try to update the BIOS of my other advanced SLI computer. Unfortunatly yesterdeay it suddenly crashed and couldn't make it come to live again. I think there is a hardware proble in it (may be graphics card or motherboard).

In the future my wish is to buy a dedicated not too expensive system to run linuxMCE, but I would like to try it first!!

1audio

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Re: Is this computer capable of running Linux MCE/MD properly?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2007, 10:33:18 pm »
Usually there is an option to select the first graphics interface where you would select PCIE. There may be no option to disable the "IGP" but possible set its reserved memory to "0". You must have 128 MB of ram in the graphics card to handle HD, and it may be required even without for some reason.
       
For known good hardware look at Fiire.com. The cost is pretty close to that of the basic hardware and its known to work.