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LinHES


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#1 Duffy

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:16 AM

In my travels around the web, I came across >this interview with Cecil Watson who is now working on a Mythtv release based on arch linux.

Given the number of people here with arch as a backend, I thought it worth highlighting this development - still in beta stage from what I can gather (as of Jan 09), but looks promising.

Mind you, I'm very happy with Mythbuntu - works a treat (if I stop tinkering with it and shooting myself in the foot).

Duffy

#2 arkay

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 04:37 AM

Duffy,

I heard about this a week or so ago as well. Immediately excited by the prospect I went of in the hunt for more info.

Ended up talking to Cecil himself on the LinHES IRC channel for while. Didn't get to say too much though as he was busy packing to go on holidays the following day. What they're doing is exactly what I've wanted to do myself so I was interested in becoming involved though I don't know if they need the help or what help I could be.

Turns out that LinHES is the next incarnation of what has previously been Knoppmyth. A popular myth distro based on Knoppix.

I downloaded and installed the Arch version in a vm on my desktop. Interestingly it takes a very different approach to most other myth distros. It boots directly into a myth interface that the LinHES guys have written themselves. From there you can run a live frontend or you can install the distro to the HDD, all via just the remote control! No user setup, it just runs and they are attempting to make the PC as much an appliance as possible. I haven't tried it in terms of setting up a backend + server functions so I can't comment on how good it is in that respect.

The install went smoothly in the vm and it worked out of the box, finding and using my existing backend.

After a little more research I realised that although LinHES is based on Arch it is in effect it's own distro. It's highly recommend not to use the proper Arch repositories with LinHES as doing so will break something eventually. LinHES maintains it's own repository where they compile, test and release updates specifically for the distro. As such you are limited to the packages you can install and if you want functionality that doesn't already exists then you need to request it. Most things are already there though including XBMC which is now in their testing repo.

It's great for anyone who would like the benefits of such a lightweight distro whilst having someone else take care of the build/testing/upgrading.

I'm in the process of getting rid of mythbuntu. I've never liked Ubuntu and only used it initially for simplicity. I sat down the other night to install LinHES as a frontend to my existing server but soon found that it appeared to want to format my drive and start from scratch so I didn't go there. Instead I built a new frontend, dual booting, with Arch64. Took me about 2 hours in total to install everything I needed, compiled Myth-vdpau from the AUR and install XBMC. I then copied all my scripts and lirc configurations across form the ubuntu partitions.

The idea being that you don't need a window manager to run myth or XBMC under Linux so it really becomes very appliance like. I got it all working (with some issues), and it felt great being Arch based at last :)

I've since learned that XBMC and Arch64 don't go together too well so I'm going to do the same with 32 bit Arch when I can next get the frontend to myself for a couple of hours :rolleyes:

I'm fairly certain that when it is finished and providing you have an Nvidia based rig with MCE remote I should be able to upload a clonezilla image of the frontend somewhere and anyone should be able to download and install it and it will just work with your backends. Backup and re-install your XBMC library to the new frontend and you'd be done.

At the moment I'm not sure LinHES is for me as I like to have full control over Arch but I'd recommend it as an easy way to get under way for those that don't want to go through the learning curve of Arch. But then again, the learning curve is part of what drew me to Arch in the first place ;) Mind you it would be great to become involved and help them to implement additional server functionality such that we have on our boxes already and possibly even some new stuff. Raid configurations, storage options, backup methods, torrent/nzb downloaders etc etc. There is a lot that a server applicance could do and it's all very interesting making it a simple install/use thing.

Anyway. Didn't mean to turn this into a novel!

Cheers,

Arkay.

#3 Duffy

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:46 AM

Arkay

I can see me using LinHES in the family room and having a development rig in the breadroom with all manner of partitions and OS (still want to explore Ubuntu - the thought of freeing myself of MS is tempting).

The one big benefit I see of LinHES is easing the transition from MS to Linux. Most people want the "appliance" not the hobby that comes with building and installing a system.

I can see me using LinHES for my siblings - can't imagine any of them doing what I have done and I'm in no shape to do it for them. But with LinHES, once it is stable, etc, I could certainly see the potential. Better LinHES than, say TiVo.

I'll be watching LinHES with interest.

Duffy

#4 arkay

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:49 AM

Arkay

I can see me using LinHES in the family room and having a development rig in the breadroom with all manner of partitions and OS (still want to explore Ubuntu - the thought of freeing myself of MS is tempting).

The one big benefit I see of LinHES is easing the transition from MS to Linux. Most people want the "appliance" not the hobby that comes with building and installing a system.

I can see me using LinHES for my siblings - can't imagine any of them doing what I have done and I'm in no shape to do it for them. But with LinHES, once it is stable, etc, I could certainly see the potential. Better LinHES than, say TiVo.

I'll be watching LinHES with interest.

Duffy


Agreed and me too. I could see myself getting heavily involved in it and using it myself and finally finding an opensource project that I'd both want to contribute to and be caple of doing something useful. Would be perfect for the in-laws and they're always making noise about when I'll be building their system. I won't be able to put them off for too much longer.

Cheers,

Arkay.