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Gemstone for v9 This forum is for discussing the user-created Gemstone custom interface for SageTV.

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  #1  
Old 07-25-2017, 11:38 PM
texneus texneus is offline
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Gemstone Fanart on Multiple Clients w/Centeral Server

I ran into an issue setting up Gemstone on v9...not sure if this is a bug or I'm just pushing the boundaries of what is possible (or I'm just flat out "doing it wrong"). My purpose here is to note the bug for the Gemstone devs but also to show the work around so others can get this working.


Background: With V7 I had a single SageTV box with Gemstone. I had no problems to speak of, but since I never did this with SageTV 7 I can't prove if this is a new or pre-existing problem.

With V9 I decided to go all out. I setup a SageTV server on my FreeBSD based NAS (on Docker in a Linux VM). My current and only client is the same Windows 7 machine, just updated to the version 9 client. Over the next few months I expect to expand to to additional clients with Mi Boxes (or similar), and I want to run Gemstone on all of them. It then occurred to me that each client should not have to be responsible for scraping the same fanart over and over. It also occurred to me that if I need to change fanart, it's only changed on that one client. So I did some research. The basic result of that was that if all machines can manipulate and share a single, common fanart directory, then all machines would display fanart that is in it, and place into it anything that is missing for other clients to use. Brilliant!

To get this going I installed Gemstone on the SageTV server. This is so the server scrapes fanart for new recordings as well as to provide the Gemstone UI via Placeshifter. I also installed Gemstone on the Windows client, mostly only for the UI on that client. I then setup a shared fanart directory and made it accessible to SageTV Server in the Docker at /var/fanart. SageTV Server can now access fan art as if it were a local directory. I also shared the same directory (via the NAS it all runs on at \\server\fanart) to provide the windows client access to the same fanart for display.


The Problem: On the server, the fanart directory can be set with placeshifter (/var/fanart). It all goes as you would expect. Trying to choosing a fanart directory on the windows client, however, was pure frustration. For whatever reason the "chooser" (where you navigate and pick a directory or just type in a path) presents the SageTV Server view of the world. In other words, the directory navigation shows the Docker directory structure.

When you leave the "chooser", Gemstone is back to the Windows world and you'll find whatever path you have chosen (probably /var/fanart) is now a windows path (C:\var\fanart, an invalid directory). Specifying a path seems to work, but then you'll find whatever path you pick or type on Windows is stuck to the server as well (and Linux becomes equally confused).

The problem should now be obvious, that being fanart paths cannot be set on a per machine basis. This seemingly makes it impossible to have each machine access a single fanart directory.


The Work Around: On the windows machine, make a symbolic link at C:\var\fanart, and have it link to the SMB share. I wasn't even sure this was possible, but it turns out Windows can so this without issue. The way to do this is shown here.

Basically open a command prompt as an administrator. Make a C:\var directory, CD into it, then type

Code:
mklink /D fanart \\server\fanart\
Now Docker / SageTV Server sees fanart at /var/fanart, so it's happy. Windows also sees it at C:\var\fanart, so it's happy. Best of all, it works as advertised.
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2017, 02:03 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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I've always just shared the fanart folder on the server, and have the sage client connect to that directly. No reason to make the symbolic link, just point sagetvclient's central fanart to \\server\fanart

The fanart folder location is a client side setting, so setting it from sagetvclient sets it only for itself, and doesn't have to be the same path that is set on the server.
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2017, 11:45 AM
texneus texneus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
The fanart folder location is a client side setting, so setting it from sagetvclient sets it only for itself, and doesn't have to be the same path that is set on the server.
Yes, I agree that is how it should work (maybe it did in v7) and I spent the better part of a day trying to do just that without success. Some of my details may be incorrect, as I'm trying to recall what I observed last week. What I am certain of is when Gemstone is installed on both the Linux server and a windows client, the only way I could get it to work is to have the same path on both and a symlink to point the windows machine to where I actually wanted it to go. If there is a setting somewhere to make it work...I'd like to know!
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Old 07-26-2017, 03:04 PM
jusjoken jusjoken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texneus View Post
Yes, I agree that is how it should work (maybe it did in v7) and I spent the better part of a day trying to do just that without success. Some of my details may be incorrect, as I'm trying to recall what I observed last week. What I am certain of is when Gemstone is installed on both the Linux server and a windows client, the only way I could get it to work is to have the same path on both and a symlink to point the windows machine to where I actually wanted it to go. If there is a setting somewhere to make it work...I'd like to know!
Could you open a issue in the Gemstone 2 issues list...see my signature. This is a simple fix if it is just offering server locations on the windows client.

k
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2017, 06:23 PM
jusjoken jusjoken is offline
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This is fixed in Gemstone 1 and 2.
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  #6  
Old 09-14-2017, 07:01 AM
wayner wayner is online now
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This is a bit of an aside to the original issue but will pulling Fanart across the LAN from the server vs a local SSD have a noticeable affect on performance? I have assumed that it would so I have tended to try to just mirror my server's Fanart folder on client(s). But I primarily use Extenders so it isn't an issue.
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  #7  
Old 09-14-2017, 07:08 AM
wayner wayner is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texneus View Post
Over the next few months I expect to expand to to additional clients with Mi Boxes (or similar), and I want to run Gemstone on all of them. It then occurred to me that each client should not have to be responsible for scraping the same fanart over and over. It also occurred to me that if I need to change fanart, it's only changed on that one client. So I did some research. The basic result of that was that if all machines can manipulate and share a single, common fanart directory, then all machines would display fanart that is in it, and place into it anything that is missing for other clients to use.
With the MiBox or SageTV extenders it is different as they run mini-clients rather than full clients and they always pull Fanart from the central location on the server as they don't have local resources like hard drives. So then you never have to worry about these sorts of issues.

I find it FAR easier to manage Plugins on miniclients because then you don't have to worry if you have to install a plugin on the client or the server - everything is installed on the server and can be used on any miniclient. This isn't the case with Plugins on a full client, especially UI plugins. There are a few issues with SageTV placeshifter with some types of files, otherwise I would say there is very little need to install the full client. Hopefully this will be fixed in the future when the media file player is updated.
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Last edited by wayner; 09-14-2017 at 07:24 AM.
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2017, 10:39 PM
texneus texneus is offline
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Ack! I had actually forgotten I posted this :-). JusJoken, thanks for looking at this and fixing!

wayner - personally I put the fanart on an SSD not for performance, but so I'm not spinning up a drive on the server each time it needs some random fanart.
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2017, 08:25 AM
wayner wayner is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texneus View Post
wayner - personally I put the fanart on an SSD not for performance, but so I'm not spinning up a drive on the server each time it needs some random fanart.
Is your Fanart on your system drive (normally it is in your SageTV folder)? If it is on the system drive then I would think that drive is being used all the time to update logs, wiz.bin, etc - so it is always spun up. But presumably you are using an SSD for your system drive as well, aren't you?
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:13 PM
texneus texneus is offline
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"System Drive" is a relative thing. For my NAS, the "system" resides on a USB stick, the contents of which are loaded into a RAM drive and run from there at boot up. This is the "System Drive", in the sense that this is where the OS and system files for the NAS resides.

SageTV Server runs in a Docker container on an Ubuntu VM. It, and all my other VMs, reside on an SSD. I opted to move the Fanart folders out of the Docker container to a location that can be served by the NAS (on the same SSD) so SageTV clients can access and display fanart provided by the SageTV server. In that sense, yes, the SageTV server "system drive" is a virtualized container in a virtual HDD on an SSD alongside the fanart directory.
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  #11  
Old 09-20-2017, 06:13 AM
wayner wayner is online now
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That's pretty similar to the similar setup on unRAID docker - the system resides on the USB stick. And then the applications, like SageTV, are generally run on a cache drive which is an SSD. Then you have your physical hard drives for your bulk storage like media. I have SageTV on an SSD and I have my Fanart in the default location, which if I remember correctly, is a userdata/phoenix folder. So there are no drives to spin up when accessing Fanart.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:56 PM
jptheripper jptheripper is offline
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how does this work for thick clients like the hd300 and hd100?
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