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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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  #1  
Old 02-23-2011, 10:30 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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Close to building a Linux SageTV Computer, which Linux distribution is best?

I am close to starting my Linux SageTV server. Which Linux distribution is the best choice? I have a couple of HVR-2250's, HD-PVR, HDHomerun, and a soon will have a Colossus. I want to process files with Comskip using SJQ3 and use Playon for Netflix streams. I could setup Playon on a separate Windows computer.

Perhaps none of that has anything to do with which flavor of Linux I should use. However, I need some recommendations, because I am about to start the build. I haven't ordered the Linux SageTV version yet, but I plan to order it soon.

I plan to keep my Windows XP Pro SageTV computer running until the Linux version is functional and more stable than the Windows version. Eventually, if things work out, I will migrate to the SageTV Linux version. The hardware is almost the same as the Windows SageTV computer. I'll move over tuner cards gradually starting with one of the HVR-2250's.

Dave
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Capture cards: 2 - HDHR Primes - Comcast Xfinity CableTV
Extenders: 1-HD-300, 2-HD-200
Software: Windows 7 Pro X64, Ghost 15, VideoReDo TVSuite 4 h.264, Playon (Netflix), OpenDCT
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:38 AM
razrsharpe razrsharpe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
and a soon will have a Colossus.
there is no linux driver support for the colossus at this time.... I too have been toying with the idea of moving to linux for my server but will probably wait until their is driver support for colossus. btw I think the flavor of the month is currently ubuntu.
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:47 AM
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stuckless stuckless is offline
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I'm running Ubuntu 64bit 10.10 as my server. I have 2 HD-PVRs hooked up, but I had to patch the drivers in order to see the second hd-pvr because of usb id change in the newer models.

It's been running smooth for a while now, but I also ordered the command-ir3 unit for irblasting since I couldn't get the hdpvr ir blaster to work, and the other ir blasters that I had didn't seem to work well. I've been very happy with the commandir3 (it's a 4 port linux only ir blaster). And recently they shipped a native tools (irsend and record) which means that I don't need lirc either. (I think most of my ir blasting issues have been lirc issues)

I can't speak for the other cards, since I only use the hdpvrs, but what I have does work well.
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  #4  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:28 AM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckless View Post
I'm running Ubuntu 64bit 10.10 as my server
If the OP is interested in using playon, I'd suggest he avoid Ubuntu 10.10. See
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53996

I generally run the LTS (Long Term Support) version of Ubuntu so that I get security patches for a few years. The "normal" releases are only supported for 18 months, which will force an OS upgrade unless you want to risk having an unpatched system sitting around. The latest LTS release is 10.04, which is what I run. The downside of running LTS is that you're missing all the shiny new stuff. But you also miss most of the bugs

I'd like to suggest a Red Hat Enterprise based OS, but the primary repackager (CentOS) *still* doesn't have version 6 ready. And at this point, CentOS 5.x is quite long in the tooth. Maybe scientfic linux..

Drew
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:50 AM
kbyrd kbyrd is offline
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There is no best. Each distro has a culture and flavor.

The short version:
Choose Ubuntu, either 10.10 or the most recent LTS. probably 32-bit. Why? Lots of people running it on this forum means a big crowd of support. If you want to go off on something unusual, you should have well thought out reasons that come from running Linux for a while.

Long version:

- Are you familiar with Linux? Do you have a favorite already? If not, pick a major distribution that you see users on this forum using. Having a supporting ecosystem may be more valuable than anything the distro offers.

- No Linux driver for Colossus yet. I don't know how good it'll be when it's released. Sometimes these things are great out of the gate, sometimes it takes months/years to get it stable. This may be a deal breaker for you. Or, use the interim as an opportunity to learn the basics of Linux administration without Sage.

- Ubuntu is a popular choice. It moves really quickly (lots of updates), which is good for getting access to the latest versions of drivers and software. However, moving really quickly can also lead to instability. Ubuntu LTS seems to be a good compromise. For my personal home use, I like (and like to think I am capable of) living closer to the edge of instability in order to get the latest versions of things so I go with Ubuntu's latest (or even Debian Unstable if I'm really feeling adventurous). CentOS/RedHat skews way more towards stability, but I'll echo a previous comment, CentOS5 is way too old, and you care for this use becuase of modern versions of libraries and drivers.

- The default these days seems to be 64-bit, but Sage is still a 32-bit application. This usually doesn't affect anything, but it does affect the PlayOn plugin for Sage. You may want to choose 32-bit Linux for now.

It's not clear from your post, but if you're unfamiliar with Linux, figure on spending some time just learning the ropes before thinking about Sage. Just play with the thing, get SMB shares working, tear it down, try software RAID or LVM, and then set it all up again. Play with startup scripts, etc. I've seen people use a virtual machine for this, it makes reconfiguring drives and such easy. But, if you have another computer available you could just use that.
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Last edited by kbyrd; 02-24-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2011, 01:02 PM
rockinray rockinray is offline
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I was a total Linux newbie when I built my server and I still am!!!

Currently, I am running Ubuntu 10.10 64 bit server. I have only installed the 32 bit libs and 32 bit java in order to get SageTV up and running. I should say my server is dedicated SageTV, nothing else runs on this box..

I have an OS drive and I also have a dedicated "TV" drive (see my sig) and the server runs very fast and is very reliable.

You will find a ton of great support on this forum. Some of the poeple here and been very helpful to me. I felt dumb asking the "questions" but no one made me feel dumb. They gave the answer that I needed and the end result is a killer SageTV Server!

For now, I am only using 2 HDHOMERUN units but I plan to add a DirecTV box or two this summer.

Go for it! Have fun and learn!

This board is a wealth of knowledge.

My two cents!

--Ray
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2011, 04:55 PM
kbyrd kbyrd is offline
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Quote:
For now, I am only using 2 HDHOMERUN units but I plan to add a DirecTV box or two this summer.
Doing this makes life a lot easier. Specifically, you don't need to rely on kernel support for the capture device. The HDHR is accessed over the network via library shipped with SageTV, not sure about the HD-PVR, but it might be similar.
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Last edited by kbyrd; 02-24-2011 at 06:45 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2011, 05:06 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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Thanks for the responses. I thought about trying Ubuntu, but I did not know if it should be the 32-bit or 64-bit version. There's also a Server version and a Desktop version. I also thought about using CentOS/RedHat, but I haven't downloaded that yet.

It's been several years since I've used Linux, other than my unRAID server. I've never used Linux very much in the past. I do some shell scripting at work, but don't do Linux administration, only Windows administration.

That's a disappointment that the Colssus does not work with Linux yet. I don't know if the USB-UIRT works with Linux. I could buy the Command-ir3. I need to buy an IR device anyway since I'll be running both Windows and Linux versions. If it doesn't, I can buy the other device. I plan to start off with one of my HVR-2250s to get it working with that and playback of ripped DVDs. I could run Playon on a Windows computer. I may end up having two SageTV servers, the Windows and Linux versions running for quite awhile.

I'm also looking around for an imaging product for Linux. I found Clonezilla, which I will try. There's also a low cost product called R- something. The Acronis imaging software is very expensive for Linux, about $800. Symantec Linux imaging software is also very expensive.

Last night I made the commitment and ordered the Linux version with the placeshifter. So now the Linux build is going to happen.


Dave
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SageTV: LIAN LI PC-K58, Gigabyte GA-EX580UD5, i-7 950 3.06 gig quad LGA 1366 CPU, Zalman CNPS9700 CPU cooler 1366 bracket, Memory 24 gigs GB, PNY NVIDIA GeoForce 9800 GT 1024 MB, Corsair 750w PSU, Samsung 500GB SSD boot, 3 SSD recording drives
Capture cards: 2 - HDHR Primes - Comcast Xfinity CableTV
Extenders: 1-HD-300, 2-HD-200
Software: Windows 7 Pro X64, Ghost 15, VideoReDo TVSuite 4 h.264, Playon (Netflix), OpenDCT
UnRAID File Server 4.7 Pro: Lian-Li PC-G70B, MBD-X8SIL-F-O, i3-540, 16 TB
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2011, 06:57 PM
kbyrd kbyrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
Thanks for the responses. I thought about trying Ubuntu, but I did not know if it should be the 32-bit or 64-bit version. There's also a Server version and a Desktop version. I also thought about using CentOS/RedHat, but I haven't downloaded that yet.
Despite what Canonical makes it look like, Ubuntu Server and desktop aren't really that different. If you want a regular desktop GUI, install desktop. If you plan on only console or ssh access to it (which works just fine for Sage, BTW) installer server. You can always convert server to desktop by installing a set of packages later.

Quote:
That's a disappointment that the Colssus does not work with Linux yet. I don't know if the USB-UIRT works with Linux. I could buy the Command-ir3. I need to buy an IR device anyway since I'll be running both Windows and Linux versions. If it doesn't, I can buy the other device. I plan to start off with one of my HVR-2250s to get it working with that and playback of ripped DVDs. I could run Playon on a Windows computer. I may end up having two SageTV servers, the Windows and Linux versions running for quite awhile.
Yes, side-by-side installs reduces the stress. Good idea. No idea about the IR stuff on Linux.

Quote:
I'm also looking around for an imaging product for Linux. I found Clonezilla, which I will try. There's also a low cost product called R- something. The Acronis imaging software is very expensive for Linux, about $800. Symantec Linux imaging software is also very expensive.
Why imaging software, what do you need to do? If you're looking for a relatively easy way to backup/restore an entire running Linux system, we can probably help. I've found Linux much easier to backup than Windows.


Quote:
Last night I made the commitment and ordered the Linux version with the placeshifter. So now the Linux build is going to happen.
Great! Hit us up here on the forum for questions, you'll get the help you need.
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