Media center for Linux

I’ve acquired a little hardware box in order to be my next media center. For sure it’s going to be with Linux so I’ve look around to see what’s most mature software.

Almost everybody talks about this software:

  • Xmbc: and I’ve seen running on a older Xbox … it’s simply amazing how fast it is: wow, but get mad if it doesn’t fit your needs
  • Entertainer: a very Gnome solution, it looks fine and it is a full Linux plus this soft, but as far as I look for there’s no Fedora package for it and I fear it does not support every single codec as mplayer does it
  • Elisa: by the moment one of my favourites since it has its own package for Fedora and its website and the whole project looks serious. It’s a plus being a package over my distro and the only but is that it has no TV view posibility on the other hand it has Flickr and Youtube plugins. Elisa has also good documentation.
  • MythTV: it was the first recommended by a colleague but it has no support for directories -everything has to be on a single directory and also I’ve read it is not a good option for absolute beginners, and my media center has to be used by everybody at home.

I’ve try to install a simple Fedora on my hardware unsuccessfully, it seems that SATA support requires to change some option in the bios and besides I terrible fail trying to install a normal Fedora on a 64 bits hardware. So a little bit disappointed with myself I decided to wait ’till today 24 of November since it’s Fedora 10 launching… it looks nice

I’m going to wait until the weekend and have a try on Fedora 10 + Elisa + Sata emulation on bios… too many things on the same time. I hope all flows smoothly.

What packages do I have installed in Fedora?

There’re easy things to do that I forget how to do it… For instance, I know that I may get a whole package list if I type: rpm -qa on my console screen. I know that I may get information about packages by typing
rpm -qi package_name
or by typing
yum info package_name

Since I’m experiencing some issues with my Eclipse installation I was comparing my version with recommended version from UOC, so I wanna know what software do I have installed that starts with eclipse* pattern… how can we do it? My old-fashioned way was to type
rpm -qa | grep eclipse
but there’s a more cool way, after a read a little bit from your manual page you may type something like
yum list installed eclipse*
So don’t forget to read man pages buddys.

Fedora 9 just installed

As I wrote here a couple of weeks ago I’ve installed Fedora 9 at my laptop.

I’ve used for the very first time a different method. My laptop (buyed 04/11/2002) is unable to boot from a DVD, I allways have been using the set of CDs but now I downloaded a ISO that allows you to install from the network. This is not new for Debian fans.

So if you look for Fedora-9-i386-netinst.iso you’ll find it has only 144Mb, for sure you’re gonna need a quite good internet conection. It tooks me around 3 hours to finish the whole process, including type of installation (Workstation, development or webserver), packages selection and download and so on.

Once the boring part was finished then comes the amusing process… as long as I keep my personal home filesystem untouched this part is easier.

By now I’ve done a couple of customizations quite usual among Fedora’s users:

  • Livna repos: download livna rpm…
    1. got to http://rpm.livna.org/rlowiki/
    2. pick up http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-9.rpm and install it
    3. type yum update and install mplayer (I used for see movies, many people prefers vlc software, both of them are a good option) by typing yum install mplaer
    4. do the same for ffmpeg (I used it for convert video files); yum install ffmpeg
  • Flash plugin for Firefox: download flash-plugin-9.0.124.0-release.i386.rpm from Adobe’s site and install typing rpm -i flash-plugin-9.0.124.0-release.i386.rpm
  • Solve some problems with HAL daemon… Pablo has told me that hal doesn’t get very well if you use both network and Network-Managed daemons so he tolds me to use the second one or at least one of them, but not both at the same time… I keep myself on tune it accurately

There’re more thong to be told but that’s enough for now. Soon a second part, ’till then have a look to http://hacktux.com/fedora it keeps a lot of tricks that you were thinking of.

From Fedora to Debian

I upgraded from Fedora 7 to Fedora 8 without problems… ’till the day mplayer doesn’t run anymore. A very competent guy from Red Hat who’s working at our office told me to use livna repos … I told him about how upset I feel about livna repos vs. freshrpms repos, they both does not run very well together

I believe him and I try livna repos… then begins the show: hal-daemons stops, autorun needs hal-daemon… and don’t want to remember that hell. I know what to do: to get disable livna, also freshrpms, uninstall and reinstall hal-daemon (just in case it helps) and so on,…

Since I have been a Red Hat devoted users since Red Hat 7.2 (passing through all Red Hats 8.0, 9s, and Fedoras) I thought some other distro deserves a chance… so I keep my home and I install Debian. I also keep a server running CentOS, if you don’t know it, try it.
I’ll post more in a not too distant future but my first impression is that everything is clean, well organized, a little bit more fast, and quite different, I mean, there’s no /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ or apache configuration file is under /etc/apache2/... and also their start up script is different but, time to learn, which is always good to keep us alive