Author Topic: How to setup PC to be Media Director (MD) ?  (Read 932 times)

valent

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How to setup PC to be Media Director (MD) ?
« on: June 29, 2010, 10:57:05 am »
How to setup Media Director (MD) ?

This is pretty lame question, right? Your reflect reaction is probably RTFM, read FAQ or Installation Guide, right?
Well the strange thing is that I have done that but I just can't see any real info on how to setup a separate PC to be Media Director. I have read Users Guide [1] Installation guide [2], FAQ [3], Tutorials [4] and Media Director [5] pages, but just can't see any info.

From reading various posts on this forum and from my own experience I have an idea how to make Media Director but please fill in any additional info.

There are two ways, diskless MD that boots from network and MD that boots from it's HDD and then connects to Core's DCERouter and gets info about media from Core.

The diskless PXE MD setup is documented on WIKI but just fails for me on both of my 0810 cores, one is with latest 0810 DVD image and other is about year old install.

So first step is to install latest LinuxMCE 0810 DVD image on PC that you want to make Media Director, right?

What are the next steps after that?

Please share your knowledge and I'll add the info to the WIKI.

[1] http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User_Manual
[2] http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Installation_Guide
[3] http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Frequently_Asked_Questions
[4] http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Category:Tutorials
[5] http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Media_Directors
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purps

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Re: How to setup PC to be Media Director (MD) ?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2010, 11:20:33 am »
I'm not sure this is an option anymore, but I could be very wrong on that one! I know there used to be an option to run "disked" MDs, having seen the option in webadmin, but I believe this setting is redundant...

May I ask why you need an MD that isn't booting via PXE?
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valent

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Re: How to setup PC to be Media Director (MD) ?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2010, 11:37:19 am »
I hope that somebody has hacked this if it is not officially possible to do anymore.
Why?
- PXE fails for every laptop I have tried on two cores
- PXE is really slow to boot up

I created PXE boot images on Core and Core has recognized and added them to Media Directors list in WebUI, I have done Quick Reload and even rebooted Core but I still can't get any device to boot over PXE.

Laptop MD starts to boot over PXE, and I get message saying "running Diskless_Setup.sh" and hear Core's HDD being used heavily, but then after two minutes I just get an message saying "Diskless setup failed"

Tried three laptops and two different cores with 0810.

If anybody made their MDs boot over HDD please tell me how, PXE even if it works is just too slow :(
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Re: How to setup PC to be Media Director (MD) ?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 11:37:25 am »
I'm not sure this is an option anymore, but I could be very wrong on that one! I know there used to be an option to run "disked" MDs, having seen the option in webadmin, but I believe this setting is redundant...

May I ask why you need an MD that isn't booting via PXE?

Support for MD's that boot from their local drive has not been in LinuxMCE since 0710. MD's can have local hard drives however and these can be used to increase the total amount of media storage on the system...however we have found this problematic and in terms of reliability/stability and it also means that if you want to power down your MD's then the media that may be stored their local drives disappears too. So overall Diskless MD's with no local media storage are what we choose to use in our commercial installations.

MD's should have their PXE boot options turned on in BIOS and then be connected to the LAN side network switch and powered up. They should then proceed to boot from the LAN and message a message about running Diskless_Setup.sh should be printed to the consoles screen. The MD will then reboot and do its first boot and will then run the AVwizard to allow you to configure the video/audio setup of your MD.

All the best

Andrew
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valent

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Re: How to setup PC to be Media Director (MD) ?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 11:45:09 am »

Support for MD's that boot from their local drive has not been in LinuxMCE since 0710. MD's can have local hard drives however and these can be used to increase the total amount of media storage on the system...however we have found this problematic and in terms of reliability/stability and it also means that if you want to power down your MD's then the media that may be stored their local drives disappears too. So overall Diskless MD's with no local media storage are what we choose to use in our commercial installations.


Then that is what confused me, because I know I saw mention of using disks in MD setups, thank you for your clarification.

How fast do your MDs boot? Do customers have an issue with boot up speed? I guess that people would like and appliance to be instantly (or as fast as possible) turned on, right?

What are the exact reliability/stability issues that you had with MDs that have local drives? I would like to use really fast, quiet and low powered SDD drives for boot and I guess that MD could be configured to use HDD as read only and/or not to use local drive as storage but only as boot drive.
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totallymaxed

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Re: How to setup PC to be Media Director (MD) ?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 12:13:04 pm »

Support for MD's that boot from their local drive has not been in LinuxMCE since 0710. MD's can have local hard drives however and these can be used to increase the total amount of media storage on the system...however we have found this problematic and in terms of reliability/stability and it also means that if you want to power down your MD's then the media that may be stored their local drives disappears too. So overall Diskless MD's with no local media storage are what we choose to use in our commercial installations.


Then that is what confused me, because I know I saw mention of using disks in MD setups, thank you for your clarification.

How fast do your MDs boot? Do customers have an issue with boot up speed? I guess that people would like and appliance to be instantly (or as fast as possible) turned on, right?
Our MM's boot in about 90secs on a Gigabit LAN. Typically user tend to leave MM's powered up but have the connected peripherals (eg TV, lights, Amplifiers etc) powered down to standby.
Quote
What are the exact reliability/stability issues that you had with MDs that have local drives? I would like to use really fast, quiet and low powered SDD drives for boot and I guess that MD could be configured to use HDD as read only and/or not to use local drive as storage but only as boot drive.

Local drives seemed to cause a lot of problems (lockups of the MM & the Core too are symptoms) with samba and even nfs to some extent. We did some work on trying to fix these problems but nwvwer managed to get reliability to a level we were happy with and in parallel with this we realised that having local storage in a system was in fact not an architecture that we wanted in our commercial installations so we never use this potential configuration.

You could use an SDD in the Core as long as it was large enough to allow for all the boot images for the MD's you need in a system. We dont currentl use SDD's we use a system HDD and usually at least 1 x additional HDD for media storage. We have also have a hardware raided System drive option that some customers choose for additional peace of mind (this raids the main OS drive across a pair of drives or for high-end installations across 6 drives). We never use software RAID in our installations for the system or for media storage.

Just to reiterate you system boot drive must be the Core and has to be read/write enabled.

All the best

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd

My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Get RaspSqueeze-CEC Wifi enabled for Dianemo/LinuxMCE: http://wp.me/P4KgIc-7C

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
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Get a Dianemo License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.msg100221#msg100221
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