I tried linuxmce last year (2007) and couldn't even get the thing started/installed. So I gave up. This year, I decided to give the new version a try (0710). I was able to get it installed and I was psyched! However, I quickly ran into several problems that are making me quit again. Here are my reasons. I've researched and asked on these forums, but to no avail.
1.) surround sound.
I have a cheap usb soundcard that gave me surround sound in ubuntu. Tried it in linuxmce and I have front and rear sound, but no center/sub. Also, linuxmce refused and I mean flat out refused to control my volume. I went to the kubuntu desktop and told it to control the correct channel in kmix. Well, kmix states that it is controlling the proper channel, but linuxmce doesn't change volume when I push the volume buttons/ use the gyro volume option.
-1 for linuxMCE not being able to do what kubuntu and ubuntu are able to do
2.) ui2 w/ alpha blending
ui2 without alpha blending looks terrible and I don't want to use ui1. But ui2 w/alpha blending has awful tearing during ANY video playback. From digital tv to dvds, tearing occurs anytime the camera moves horizontally. I read that this is due to the nvidia driver. I also read that this has been around for more than a year. If you want to get tear free playback, you have to use ui2 without alpha blending. Unacceptable as this is a MEDIA CENTER! This should be one of the main problems addressed. I don't care about mame games! I care about my media looking the way it's supposed to. If we can't fix the nvidia driver, then we need a work around. I would be so pissed if I had built a high definition linuxmce and found this tearing. luckily, I tested on a regular monitor before splurging on an expensive tv and sound system for linuxmce.
-5 points for linux media center not play media correctly...ever
3.) problems with mythtv
there are certain things that mythtv can do, but linuxmce cannot. This is very confusing to me...for example, I have an analog tv tuner and a digital tuner. When I leave linuxmce and goto the kubuntu desktop, I close linuxmce and open mythtv by itself. While watching tv, I can press "y" to change tuners. It takes a second, but mythtv successfully changes cards and switches from analog to digital. Ok great! Try that in linuxmce and myth freezes. Sometimes its just mythtv that freezes, sometimes its all of linuxmce, which requires a hard reset.
-10 points for linuxmce not being able to do what mythtv can do, even though it's supposed to be "seemlessly integrated"
4.) random lockups!
This is the straw that broke my back. I was ready to live without a center/sub channel. I was ready to live without being able to control my volume via a remote. I was also ready to sacrifice transparency and the ability to watch both digital and analog tv in the same sitting. I read in alot of places that linuxMCE is stable. Don't those people know that they shouldn't lie to prospectives?! I cannot and I mean CANNOT leave my computer on for more than half a day without it locking up. Sometimes, it just stops in mid playback, sometimes it freezes mysteriously overnight and I turn on my monitor to find some random pictures from flickr that won't budge. I know it's not temperature as I have 4 fans in this case and have even just taken the panel off and set a box fan to blow into the case! This is probably the most important thing to an "always on" media center: IT HAS TO BE ABLE TO ALWAYS STAY ON! I could live with all the other problems, but freezing for no reason is just too much, especially since it seems to happen with no pattern. I've also seen several others having this problem.
-100 points for linuxmce not being able to run for more than 1/2 a day without dying.
I've tried several different reinstalls and have all compatible hardware. Yet, I get all these rediculous problems. I'm going to install ubuntu and mythtv as I know that my surround sound will fully work, since I've done it before. I also know that it won't randomly freeze as that was the system I used prior to linuxmce.
Don't get me wrong, I really want to see linuxmce work. I'm a huge fan, but I can't personally use it with the above problems. With the exception of the surround sound problem, I don't think that any release of linuxmce could survive with even 1 of the above problems. Devs, keep up the good work, but PLEASE make linuxmce stable. I don't care about new features as much as making the current one's work. I will continue to follow linuxmce news and will probably try each new release until the above issues are resolved, but I'm leaving. I hope and pray that by the next release, I'll be able to come back and enjoy the sweetness that is linuxmce. And please note, when it was working, I LOVED linuxmce. It just couldn't hold itself together. Sad day....