March 19th, 2004, 19:31
I am soon going to be building an HTPC (Home Theater PC) and unfortunately I cannot use FreeBSD to do it. There is no support for Mythtv or Freevo. Since FreeBSD takes care of 99% of the stuff I want to do i'm really not complaining.
What I would like is someone to reccomend a distro of that other OS, linux. I have been trying to figure what would work well. Debian is currently out of the running as it does not have support for the newest rev's of Myth. Red Hat/Fedora seems to be out based on it's overwhelming size. Please feel free to disagree with me on this. I have never installed it personally but I know there are like 7 cd's. I'm thinking maybe slackware. Any thoughts out there on which one of these poor cousins I should use? The number of distro's is a bit overwhelming.
On the bright side I figure I can use bsd for the backend server. I have to do a little research on what is supported in terms of raid. There should be no problem making the linux box an nfs client...right?
Looking forward to your responses.

March 19th, 2004, 20:31
Ive always been a major Slackware fan. (my first *nix distro at home) As to debian, try their cutting edge sw instead of stable. Stable is always lagging behind. You can also cut down on pkgs on RH etc... with a custom install.

March 19th, 2004, 20:59
debian.... got it running on my mac... for linux it's pretty nice.. .

March 19th, 2004, 21:10
Slackware 8.1 is my favorite of the linuxes, 9.X has gone to hell IMO

March 19th, 2004, 23:19
The only thing that MythTV needs that FreeBSD doesn't already have is MythTV itself. All the dependencies are already in ports. I've been tempted to see how tough it would be to package it up into a port. FreeBSD doesn't have hardware suppport for the hardware encoders like the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-x50 series or MJPEG cards but most people are using an inexpensive Brooktree card in software mode anyway. The PVR-350 is $200 and you could buy a couple brooktree cards and still have some money left over to throw at a faster CPU. A lot of people are running it on less than 2Ghz machines and doing just fine.I'm playing around with a linux install because FreeBSD doesn't support my tuner card (Matrox G200 Marvel) while Linux can support it in hardware even.

There's packages built for Red Hat, Debian, Gentoo and Mandrake that have been tested pretty good. You are going to have to do a custom install if you want to trim it down but it can be easily done. Mandrake has a couple very minimal install options. You might try doing the one with urpmi. Add MythTV with urpmi and it will only grab the prereqs and it should be fairly small. There's a urpmi mirror with mythtv in it at Debian and RH are the most develped for and tested so I'm not sure how Slack will do with pathes and other things assumed to be either Deb or RH specific. It may do great but you'll have to try it out to know for sure.

March 22nd, 2004, 04:04
I am working on a Freevo box myself and I used RedHat9, it was only 3 cd's. But if you are concerned about space, what size HD were you planning to use anyway? Reason I ask is that if you plan to use it like Tivo with the Freevo software you are going to need alot of space to store those "taped" programs. I would say if you are trying to do this with a 20Gig drive or less you probably want to splurge for a new 80Gig (or more) HD. If you are going to er "store" movies off your DVD's those are around the 4 Gig mark unless you plan to re encode them in a lower format, but you still have to store in the *.vod format first. And if you record a movie in the lower Mpeg formats (1 or 2) an one and a half hour show can run around almost a gig. Throw in MP3 storage and you will run out of space fast (I have 6 gigs of music myself). IMO Redhat is the best choice just because most the apps for that sort of thing usually have a RPM ready to use and it will be the least amount of hassle, plus it is free if you download it from their FTP server.

March 23rd, 2004, 21:21
I'm configuring a gentoo box as I type. :twisted: I tried slackware 9.1 and that bogged on my test box which is just to see what distro I liked. I tried debian and that defaulted to much crap. Now this gentoo I built the system from one 'universal cd', the install was non gui with good docs online. I ran into a couple of snags as I'm sure everyone does. But my first time install only took 3 hours including going back and fixing some entries for the networking and video cards. I have one more non-critical snag I used grub instead of lilo as my boot manager but I mistyped the path to the kernel...using 2.2.24 instead 2.4.24... the grub.conf was in /boot/grub/ but I will be damned if I can find it to fix the error. Boot is empty. Thank God you can edit it at the splash screen.

Whoops found it where I left it: /mnt/gentoo/boot/grub/grub.conf

To answer your question I plan on using the linux box front end probably with a 100 gig drive and then my fantasy is to build a freebsd backend server for video. I was thinking a white box with a 3ware ide raid card in it to really get some serious storage going. I have to think about it though, maybe there is another way. If anyone has any thoughts on it I would be happy to hear them.

September 20th, 2004, 08:29
Bumping an old topic, I know ... but check

Edit: - speling