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SageTV Linux Discussion related to the SageTV Media Center for Linux. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV Linux should be posted here.

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Old 09-06-2009, 07:47 AM
hanki hanki is offline
Sage User
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Dummies Guide for Conversion to Linux (a start)

Team Sage, I have been a user for over 4 years now, and I have put more $ and more effort in this than I ever thought I would. My relationship has been up and down with the process. What I have appreciated most is the community in the forum for support. And while my technical skills of both linux and the inner workings of Sage absolutely stink (the decision for Sage was to have a single server to hold all video because seperate DVRs were killing us). Gradually the quest for perfection drove me to spend entirely too much money and time, but here I am -- hooked.

So as my contribution, an idiot's guide to converting to ubuntu linux...(along with the things I still have not figured out)READ ALL OF IT BEFORE STARTING...

1. Buy the linux licence (its the cheapest thing you will buy in this whole experience).
2. I installed ubuntu desktop linux 9.04. (even for an idiot, you download the software and burn it to a cd, and install it on an old computer)
3. DOWNLOAD and SAVE the debian package installer for the Sage Server ( It should be on the desktop.
4. DOWNLOAD and SAVE the debian package installer for the placeshifter (same address)
5. Turn off the computer and install the hardware.
6. Install the sage server by double clicking on the file, and an installer will appear -- click upper right hand corner - install package.
7. It will prompt you for your root password -- this is the same as the first user password from when you set up linux.
8. Go to Applications, Accessories, Terminal
9. Enter the following:
cd /opt/sagetv/server <enter>
./ <enter>
10. Copy and paste the licence key from your purchase email, and hit enter...
11. In the terminal enter:
/opt/sagetv/server/startsage <enter>
(you can close the terminal)
12. Different from windows is the Linux server does not include the front-end. Double click on the debian package installer for the 'client' or 'placeshift' (I have seen it referred to as both).
13. You should see the the placeshifter in application, sound&videio, sageTV (by right clicking on it you can add it to the launcher panel at the top of the desktop).
14. Select the only server that should be present (unless you are an idiot like me and still have a windows box).
15. The sage setup is identical to windows at this point and pretty self explanatory).

Next Challenge: Those with the HD PVR, I have only gotten a little bit of this to work, but here is where I am.
1. Open another browser window with
2. Go to Applications, Accessories, Terminal
3. Copy and paste the instructions from 'HD-PVR Driver Compilation Howto' one at a time into the terminal window, and hit enter after each one. Note that there are specific instructions for Ubuntu linux users. Follow them.
4. Before rebooting enter the following in the terminal window:
sudo apt-get install i2c-tools libi2c-dev
5. After you finish everything, you have to follow the suggested reboot path.
6. Once you do that, you can install the video source as you noramlly would through set-up. If you have multiple cards, manually tune the cards to different channels that you know what is playing, so you can figure out which one is which with the preview.

Here is where I got it to work but not well...
- Every time I reboot the server I have to reinstall the debian package otherwise the client (and any HD100 or HD200 device) cannot connect. So simply click on the debian package still on your desktop, wait and click on reinstall. (If someone knows where the village idiot went the wrong way this is really an annoying feature)
- IR blaster is still not working.
- Need a conversion plan to Linux for the legacy server - how can I keep the already recorded programs and index?

As I figure out more, I will keep sharing the in as human readable a form as possible (if someone will tell me how to do the neat little windows for terminal, I will even clean this up a bit...)

What follows are a few things I picked up along the way, and a wishlist:

1. I have comcast. In addition to the IR Blaster, I have in infared to Radio frequency remote that I got from HomeSmart, which allows me to tote the cablebox remote with you all over the house, so when you tune to video on demand through sage, you can switch to the cable remote to use the comcast windows -- works like a charm

2. On the windows box, I bought a commercial defrag software - I use Diskeeper and it runs in the background as well as every night from early in the morning - it improved skipping greatly. (It keeps large files together on the disk). Definitely worth the money.

3. DVD Backup, I use DVD cloner 6. We back up purchased DVDs onto to the server, and the kids can watch nemo ad nausium from any tv in the house.

3. Wish list:
a. Have a rename facility for recorded programs (I have a lot that are timed correctly but named 'data unavailable').
b. Improve ComSkip or integrate it better.
c. HuLu Anyone? Seems like you should be able to build a browser into the new boxes and surf to it -- my Wii can...
d. Have a way to group shows in the archive based on name rather than creating folders.

Last edited by hanki; 09-06-2009 at 09:02 AM. Reason: stupid errors
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hd pvr, install, ir blaster, linux, tips

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