I'm sure there are a plethora of methods, and I could list more, but my linuxmce is extremely modified from source due to the lack of ease of use, stability, hardware support, and poor mechanisms for automated background processes so my suggestions may not be accurate.
I can understand this, I have found that LMCE fights me all the way to working, and have also had to start modifying LMCE shell scripts. I know the developers are working hard but there are problems with the way LMCE works, and the announced 12 month release cycle will just generate more hardware compatibility issues.
I've given quite a bit of though to the problems I have encountered and why LMCE has been so hard to get working, and I feel that the root cause is that LMCE was written for a limited set of hardware platforms, configured in a certain way. Released into the big bad world the simplistic assumptions it makes about its environment mean that the attempts to be overly smart become a big fat pain in the you-know-what.
simplistic = characterized by extreme and often misleading simplicity
- assumes that it can overwrite Mythtv settings at each reboot
- assumes it can overwrite xorg.conf at each reboot
- runs AVwizard and reconfigures when it feels like it
- launches Mythtv for LiveTV and if a tuner is not available keeps trying to go back to LiveTV over and over and over again
- assumes that any RAID device is a storage device- if / is RAID then UpdateMedia goes into an infinite loop
- did not have an up to date kernel, so my TV tuners kept failing (USB disconnect, AMD northbridge- known and fixed problem)
- did not have an up to date Linuxtv set of tuner drivers for DVB-T
Once you rely on an automatic system it has to be *perfect* in all its functions, otherwise a single problem gets magnified. I spent more time stopping LMCE from trashing my xorg.conf than I did getting my xorg.conf right (and much more time than I spent handcrafting a "single adapter-2 displays- one monitor- one TV" configuration for my previous Mythtv install).
The core architecture of LMCE is good (router, multiroom, IR command intercept etc), but the stuff around it which tries turn it into a consumer appliance is misplaced and a burden to hobbyists trying to get LMCE running on a variety of hardware and software configurations.
If you are lucky, LMCE would probably be a breeze to install. If everything runs smoothly it would be amazing. But get one problem and you have to be hacking shell scripts to stop infinite loops in your filesystem.
So, IMHO LMCE needs 2 modes: appliance mode (current version), and a hobbyist mode where once it has configured it just LEAVES EVERYTHING ALONE and does not try to reconfigure X, Mythtv etc.
And it needs an approach to increasing robustness- in this case defined as the ability to cope with differetn configurations of hardware, software, and configuration (e.g. cope with having LVM filesystems, or / on RAID).
FInally, to become a true hub for the home it needs to have at least some strategy for high availability. That is, if the core fails, there should be at least an easy manual way to reconfigure to get say an MD take on the core functions (esp the security, home automation parts and telephony as these are IMHO the "mission critical" functions, TV and audio are not). This might be done with say a NAS drive, or DRBD.
I also don't find the UI very usable for viewing my recorded TV programs. A huge flat list of files is ugly and unworkable no matter how slick you make the the flipping between pages and pages of files. I find myself going back to Mythtv and using it to browse my most recently recorded list, or browse to a series name to see the episodes- in LMCE I can't even tell which media entry is which episode, and if I select one to watch and it isn't the right one, it is back to the start of the list and start flipping again. And I don't think it is reasonable to force a user to "filter" a view just to easily get to an episode of a series.
If I didn't think LMCE was good I would not bother writing this (or contributing here or updating the WIKI), so please do not flame me. I also know that this is an open source project with people dedicating their time for free to make it work. But LMCE could do with some rethinking to make it installable, manageable, workable and supportable.
Right now, I would not recommend it to my computer and Linux savvy friends to use in their homes, as it is just too finicky and time consuming to get working. And it fights the user too much!