Author Topic: Finally getting there (was "Unsure, still, what's wrong)  (Read 3992 times)

tekoholic

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Finally getting there (was "Unsure, still, what's wrong)
« on: October 06, 2007, 06:58:40 am »
I love the idea of this project, and look forward to seeing it actually capable of doing it.  However, after nearly 2 weeks of hassles trying to get it to work as advertised, I've not yet gotten close.

My experiences are as follow:

Hybrid = 1.3G Duron / 768MB DDR / 4 internal HDD's, totalling over 100Gigs (400 more on NAS) / AGP Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT with 512MB DDR2 / 1 Pinnacle tv-capture card, more would have been added when it worked...

I struggled for the first several days with the DVD-install, which in the end, was just plain useless to me.  It would not allow for ANY installation of proprietary drivers for my video-card, and there were HUGE stability issues.

I did get the video drivers (Nvidia 100.14.19) installed after the fourth attempt by use of the CD's on a clean Kubuntu load, and finally had a working standalone media-box, until I actually tried to use it for ANYTHING.  I could only start ANY video playback ONCE, as with all subsequent attempts, all video was garbled and mis-colored horribly (from capture, from stored vid-file, anything), until I rebooted the hybrid.  This went on for a couple of days, and then seemed to ALMOST fix itself (but NOT due to updates, they came in immediately), as I can now start video of any format around 8-12 times before this happens...  I've since become aware of the bugs in this version of the driver, but it's working for now, so I will wait until they've fixed it...

I then, began attempts to build out MD's...  I started with my own HP Pav dv6423om (notebook) / 1.8G Turion 64 X2 / 2GB DDR2 / 160GB HDD / Ubuntu 7.04 w/ KDE...  Cannot get it to network-boot, as each attempt results in "Diskless Setup failed" error after just 30 seconds (yes, the hybrid is the ONLY DHCP server).  Installed the LMCE MD software, and it cannot make use of my local Nvidia drivers (Go 6150), nor does it attach the network-drives, most times...  I cannot get it to do much of anything...

Next was an older HP L2105CA / Turion 64 / 1GB DDR / 80GB HDD / ATI Xpress 200M / missing LCD-panel, uses external flat-panel 19"...  In the end, same error as the last...  Nothing recognizable in the logs, no other signs of what might have gone wrong.  Several other attempts have come to just as bad a situation, so I attempted to install Kubuntu and the MD software.  Didn't even try to install the video drivers, yet.  It actually worked!!!  Until it didn't...  Lasted about 10 minutes, X crashed, and a string of repeated errors about CIFS share error -6.    It seems quite similar, if not identical to this:  http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=2706.0

All the way around, the install media, hardware, and such are all good.  I've researched each and every problem I come upon, until there's no more info to research...  I've done everything exactly as it is to be done (at least per the documentation available...), and it still will not work.  Still wrestling with it...
« Last Edit: October 11, 2007, 10:38:04 pm by tekoholic »

tekoholic

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2007, 05:43:23 am »
OK, so I couldn't help myself...  Brought over another geek, who's vastly interested in what this is supposed to be able to do, and we went thru the diskless / PXE boot process, him on my server, I on my notebook (the dv6423om, if it matters).  He waited for any word that interaction was needed, as it states in the Wiki that it should be, I waited to see the familiar Diskless Setup failed.  He DID receive an announcement that the connection had been detected, and that the notebook was being added, but that went away quickly, no interaction requested, and I got EXACTLY what I expected...  Did I download bad CD-images?  The MD5 sums are good...  I just can't let this go, as this seems like it might be EXACTLY what I want (although I thought I'd need multiple servers with multiple OS's to do it all...), and I'm not one to give up easily, for which, I'm sure, my Wife will make DARN SURE I end up DEAD, one day (unless I can actually get it WORKING, in which case she'll love me to the ends of the Earth!!!).

PLEASE, if ANYBODY's got ANY thoughts on this, I'd GREATLY appreciate it.  I REALLY love it when my wife loves me...  And, I'd really hate to end up dead at her hand...

p.s.:  She wouldn't actually kill me, but she's pretty good at making me WISH I were dead, when she wants to be...  PLEASE HELP...

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5499
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2007, 06:41:56 am »
I am sorry you've had such difficulties, but there really are people who are using this system (and its ancestor, PlutoHome) on a day to day basis, in homes with multiple media directors and storage hanging all over the place, with home control etc.. it does work, honest.

The biggest problems thus far that i've seen with most people seem to center around:

* Video Card... this is currently very touchy, because the NVIDIA drivers that ship with the current Kubuntu are old, the NVIDIA 6150 and 6200 cards work best with UI2-AlphaBlending and the 5xxx cards work great with UI2-Masking. Other cards will work in either UI1, or UI2-Masking, you might have to fiddle a bit.... I hope the developers find a solution to allow download/install of the vendor drivers, this would solve so many problems... or at least try to track the latest NVIDIA drivers into deb packages...

* SATA... very strange indeed.. some SATA chips are not supported well with the DVD image, and the CD image seems to have better luck here...

* Network... Make sure you have TWO network cards... one for internal, one for external.. if you have to, DOUBLE NAT.. but run the DHCP and network services.. otherwise you will be fighting tooth and nail for nothing, really.

* Drives... this one heh....This is an example of the two converging worlds of users for this system... Pluto was originally designed as an appliance...drop the drives into the core...go... if you had windows shares, cool! it would find em... if you had a NAS dangling around, it would see it as shares, and just go with the appropriate credentials... I've seen so many users try to force their world view into this setup, at the expense of their own sanity, and I do believe that compromise needs to be done on both the developer and user end of things to make this better.

I hope you'll try again soon, it really is an amazing system. I've been running mine for a while now, and I can't live without it.

-Thom

tekoholic

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 04:23:33 pm »
Quote
I am sorry you've had such difficulties, but there really are people who are using this system (and its ancestor, PlutoHome) on a day to day basis, in homes with multiple media directors and storage hanging all over the place, with home control etc.. it does work, honest.
I know, and for this very reason, it's killing me that I cannot make it work here...

Quote
* Video Card... this is currently very touchy, because the NVIDIA drivers that ship with the current Kubuntu are old, the NVIDIA 6150 and 6200 cards work best with UI2-AlphaBlending and the 5xxx cards work great with UI2-Masking. Other cards will work in either UI1, or UI2-Masking, you might have to fiddle a bit.... I hope the developers find a solution to allow download/install of the vendor drivers, this would solve so many problems... or at least try to track the latest NVIDIA drivers into deb packages...
Again, I do understand.  My Geforce 7300 GT was a  PITA to install, tried and failed a dozen times before it suddenly just worked, glxgears reporting steady 3850-4200 fps on the svideo all day long...  On my Go 6150, it never even shows me the video wizard, for to set up the UI selection, and the drivers are the newest already (on the install).  On the PXE-boot, I don't get past Diskless_Setup.sh, EVER.

Quote
* SATA... very strange indeed.. some SATA chips are not supported well with the DVD image, and the CD image seems to have better luck here...
The dv6423om and l2105ca have onboard SATA, but this should have no bearing on the PXE-boot, should it?  My wife's off-brand notebook and the server both have standard EIDE, so I'm confident that this issue should have no bearing on me, at this point.  Even my NAT (just an old tower with a bunch of HDD's), which at this point has remained unused, is all EIDE...

Quote
* Network... Make sure you have TWO network cards... one for internal, one for external.. if you have to, DOUBLE NAT.. but run the DHCP and network services.. otherwise you will be fighting tooth and nail for nothing, really.
OK, here is where I've received conflicting information...  So far, I've only had one NIC installed.  Thought this might be the problem, and read up on it.  The most common answer seems to be simply that it will work, as long as I DO NOT have DHCP served from another device, and I do not.  All addresses issued are in the 192.168.80.* net, as should be...  I'll have to give it a try with a second NIC, and see what happens.

Quote
I hope you'll try again soon, it really is an amazing system. I've been running mine for a while now, and I can't live without it.
Well sir, although my wife would like me to, I've not given up just yet.  I want to be able to install systems such as this for others, for profit, and this will please her, in the long run (I hope).  As well, when it's making me money, I'll be passing a portion back to the developers, to encourage and support the continued improvement of the system!!  My system, once working, will simply be the first of many, I'm sure!!

Thank you, Thom, for your reply.  I'm still kicking it around, don't worry.  I just can't give up...  Can't let it beat me...

MediaMonkey

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 07:39:48 pm »
Thank you, Thom, for your reply.  I'm still kicking it around, don't worry.  I just can't give up...  Can't let it beat me...
If you don't mind investing in a new motherboard (everything built in -- video/audio etc) then it might be worth trying a proven motherboard. It does work, at least as much as shown in the video!
Core/Hybrid: Foxconn N570SM2AA-8EKRS2H (has 2 network ports), ASUS EN6200LE, AMD-X2 4000+, 1GB DDR2-800, 500 GB SATA/300, DVD drive/writer, Sony XL1B3, BTC 9019URF, Gyro Mouse, Gyro Remote, USB-UIRT, MS Win XP Remote, ATI HDTV Wonder, HDHomeRun

marrandy

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 09:25:08 pm »
I am sorry you've had such difficulties, but there really are people who are using this system (and its ancestor, PlutoHome) on a day to day basis, in homes with multiple media directors and storage hanging all over the place, with home control etc.. it does work, honest.

I hope you'll try again soon, it really is an amazing system. I've been running mine for a while now, and I can't live without it.

-Thom

You know, I wish people that had working systems would put their working linuxmce hardware at the bottom of their post or even better, in their signature on their members page.  It would give us a better idea of how many people are using certain types of working hardware, especially when they post.

teedge77 does something like this although I don't see any PVR cards.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 09:28:37 pm by marrandy »

teedge77

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 591
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2007, 09:45:14 pm »
well....you can only put so much in the signature...and i dont have any pvr cards yet. i put what i could. as i get more stuff ill take out the less pertinent crap ...like...the power supply....and the ram....replace it with the pvr or whatever i get.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
Asus M2V Via AM2 ATX
Lite-On LH-20A1S SATA DVD Burner
80GB  SATA-150
EVGA GeForce 7300 GT 512MB DDR2 PCI Express
Sound Blaster Audigy SE
Kingston 2 GB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz
Ultra X-Finity 800-Watt
ZCU000
Cisco 7970
TDM400P

marrandy

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2007, 10:14:48 pm »
Hey teedge77.

I wasn't criticizing you, just using you as a good example of putting some pertinent info in. 

I searched for some time and you were the first one I found.

Really, it was an indirect compliment.

I would like to see something like:-

Server/back-end
asus whatever, 1GB RAM, 1TB sata raid 5
hauppauge PVR 150 & 350
Digium XP100 & TDM400 (1-fxo, 3-fxs)
xwz cctv framegrabber

Client/front end
asus M2NPV-VM, 512KB

teedge77

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 591
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2007, 10:29:21 pm »
i know you werent criticizing me. just saying that theres not a lot of room in the signature and that i dont have any PVRs so im not much help there. i do think its a good idea to see what everyone has working if they dont mind doing it. is there a place in the wiki we could put it? like a user configuration place? i guess as part of our profile? then we could just put the link and people could look. idk. the signature is pretty limiting.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
Asus M2V Via AM2 ATX
Lite-On LH-20A1S SATA DVD Burner
80GB  SATA-150
EVGA GeForce 7300 GT 512MB DDR2 PCI Express
Sound Blaster Audigy SE
Kingston 2 GB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz
Ultra X-Finity 800-Watt
ZCU000
Cisco 7970
TDM400P

tekoholic

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2007, 06:13:03 am »
If you don't mind investing in a new motherboard (everything built in -- video/audio etc) then it might be worth trying a proven motherboard. It does work, at least as much as shown in the video!

I do, greatly appreciate your input.  However, in regards to this, I ask you:  What if the whole system works, as a standalone MC?  At least, other than the buggy Nvidia driver (Yup, 100.14.19) and crap tv-capture card, and even they mostly work...  I don't see this having anything to do with my mbd, because all worx as it should.  Simply, at this point, the PXE of MD's fails just after the announce step, and attempting to run Diskless_Setup.sh...  I and my fellow geek have even edited the script on the server, to echo that it IS running, but we've never seen the message...  Something IN THE SOFTWARE IS BROKEN, whether by a bad load, bad update, bad default config's (or my own normal config edits broke something), or whatever else, I cannot say.  I'm investigating file permissions, hunting for a way to verify that everything that is SUPPOSED to be installed IS, and trying to verify installed file integrity if there's any way to do so.  Again, the cd iso's md5 sums match, and I installed by directing the installer to those iso's, rather than burning cd's.  I've reinstalled this thing from scratch 7 times in the last 2 weeks, and I'm NOT going to do it again, until I absolutely must.  It is working better now than it ever had in the previous attempts.  Again, though, my hardware is fine.

As well, I DID add a second NIC, and reconfigured the system to use both correctly.  So far, all's the same as it was with just the one...

By the way, if it matters, creating a MD via the admin page, and setting up diskless image, still leaves the /usr/pluto/diskless directory EMPTY, just as attempting autodetection does.  So now, I MUST assume that either the documentation that told me the images would be stored there is inaccurate, or that my own installation is broken, and is not creating them?  And again, how might this be the fault of my mbd?  I've tried running scripts in the /usr/pluto/* sub-dir's that sounded like they might help (Verify_Installation.sh, Verify_Dependencies.sh, Create_DefaultDisklessImage.sh, etc., but don't quote me on the names), to no avail...  What else might I do, without spending any money?  No further $$-investment will be permitted by the wife, until I can show her a working system, so that idea's out...

Oh, please, help me, LMCE-Gods???

tekoholic

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Wonderful idea, not currently workable (IMHO)...
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2007, 04:25:35 pm »
OK, just to offer updates on my progress (if it can be called that), here I am again.

I am now using VMware to boot to the PXE, so that I don't need to have all these different machines laying around my living room (it was getting quite cluttered), and so I don't have to reboot my own main notebook.

At this point, thinking that I found the correct directory for the PXE images, I deleted the contents of the /tftpboot directory, and attempted rebuild of them.  The directory was populated by 2 directories:  default, and pxelinux.cfg.

Unfortunately, at this point, I get the following errors, and they are the same when using the actual system as well:

TFTP.
PXE-T01: File not found
PXE-E3B: TFTP Error - File Not found
PXE-M0F: Exiting Intel PXE ROM.

tekoholic

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
OK, new potential cause for all this:  My community's DSL services have been horribly flaky for the last few weeks.  I'm starting to wonder if it's flaking out in the middle of an attempted update, and fubar'ing the data???  Is there any sort of integrity check upon a downloaded update file, before installation?  If there isn't, I'm of the opinion that there should be...

In any case, is there any way to roll back the updates, so as to redo them from fresh downloads???
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 08:54:52 pm by tekoholic »

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5499
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile

tekoholic

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
You're wonderful, Thom...  However, as my DSL has been down ALL DAY, due to their 7th attempt to repair whatever the trouble is, I didn't receive your post until it was too late.  I decided to start from scratch, and am already in the process.  I'd have liked to try out the solution you sent me after, just to see...

Anyhow, just to detail what has me doing this, in case it is relevant:  I realized that I had set up my /home partition on an LVM2 software RAID set, of 2 partitions on separate disks, on the server.  I had, at one point, noticed that the LMCE system saw the 2 partitions as separate, unpartitioned space, even while it saw and used the /home mount-point to it's full capacity.  This got me wondering if there might be a conflict between LVM2 and the LMCE system, so I decided to quit troubleshooting the old, and start anew.

At this point, I've got a 30G EXT3 (was reiserfs) partition for /, and will allow /home to remain mounted within (for now).  Then, the 3 25G unpartitioned areas of 3 disks will be turned into a raid-set by LMCE's native mechanism, and I've got a 1G swap partition on each of the 4 disks (it was 2Gx4, but the system never used more than a few Megs).  As well, I've downloaded the Nvidia 100.14.11 driver, to replace the 100.14.19 I was using, as it is known to be buggy.  Just hoping that if any of these things were even a small part of the cause of my issues, I can fix them.

I'll be back to post progress, as soon as the install is complete!!

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5499
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
dude, don't do lvm with linuxMCE. it will not recognise the LVM slices.. I figured this out too late, and the only solution for me was to mount the LVM slice via the fstab as /home...and now it always thinks my lvm slice has 500 megs free, it doesn't get the disk free bytes correctly because it can't grep for the partition correctly and update the database.. if I can track it down, I will try to fix at least that problem, if not adding support for LVM slices to LinuxMCE's automatic discovery process.

-Thom