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Thread: Linux Distro. Needed

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    Linux Distro. Needed

    Hi, I hope you'll be able to help me on this question.
    I'm building a mini-ITX system that i'll be able to watch DVD's and play Music on. Now I don't want to shell out the extortional amounts that they charge you for a copy of XP as I would only use half the features. I think i'm going to get one of the new MII 6000E Eden boards, would this be a problem (from drivers etc)
    Does anyone know of a Linux distribution that I could do that on?
    Also, if possible, i'd like it to be able to play music over a network. All the machines on my Network are on XP and I play music through a shared documents file. Is Linux able to communicate with Windows shared docs or is that a no go?
    Cheers for your help

    [edit: sorry, posted in the wrong forum, can a mod please move this thread to Operating Systems forums]
    Last edited by r1zeek; 06-06-2004 at 11:33 AM.

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    linux can easily access windows file shares - i'm listening to music from my Server 2K3 box right now. depending on your distribution, you will need a package called "smbfs" or similar, which will allow you to mount windows shares as if they were local drives (e.g. "mount -t smbfs //spike/music /mnt/music")

    there are distributions designed for use on a HTPC, but unfortunately I can't remember any off the top of my head - fish about on www.distrowatch.com and you'll probably find them eventually. alternatively install any distri bution, and install the MythTV or Freevo applications, which are what provide most HTPC functionality under Linux.

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    Sorry for being a dumbass but whats HTPC?

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    Just as a note i'm planning to install it to a USB Pen drive and i don't want anything that is gonna run on the fly from a CD

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    Quote Originally Posted by r1zeek
    Sorry for being a dumbass but whats HTPC?
    Home Theatre PC

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1zeek
    Just as a note i'm planning to install it to a USB Pen drive and i don't want anything that is gonna run on the fly from a CD
    Hm. how big a pendrive?

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    O right, makes sense now. Well, that's what im trying to find out, i'm haven't bought it yet so whatever you advise. Anything up 512mb I think.

    I've just been looking around at distrowatch.com and I found MoviX2
    http://movix.sourceforge.net/ sound's like what I need. Is it any good?

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    interface looks a little... well, ass. try it though, can't hurt.

    worth keeping an eye on is http://linpvr.org/, a mini distribution based on MythTV, optimised for the Epia M series. if they update their system to a more recent kernel, it should be able to boot fine from a usb pendrive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    worth keeping an eye on is http://linpvr.org/, a mini distribution based on MythTV, optimised for the Epia M series. if they update their system to a more recent kernel, it should be able to boot fine from a usb pendrive.
    Isn't MythTV a PVR though, or does it have the same functions as a HTPC?

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    it's modular. some of the modules are for, say, playing games or web surfing or whatever. unfortunately, one of the modules missing from the above distro is mythdvd - you could try to compile it yourself, if you wanted

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    Hmm, don't think I could, I've never used Linux before and the only scripting/programming language I know is HTML.
    Know of any other distros that I could use?
    About playing DVD's do you think I should use a DVD Rom drive (I don't really want the noise though,) or should I rip them from disk and play them over the Network?
    I heard you do alot of DVD Ripping directhex so think you could give me some advice?
    Last edited by r1zeek; 06-06-2004 at 02:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r1zeek
    Hmm, don't think I could, I've never used Linux before and the only scripting/programming language I know is HTML.
    Know of any other distros that I could use?
    About playing DVD's do you think I should use a DVD Rom drive (I don't really want the noise though,) or should I rip them from disk and play them over the Network?
    I heard you do alot of DVD Ripping directhex so think you could give me some advice?
    Hm. I rip all my DVDs to XviD, as it saves on having to swap discs to watch random episodes of things, or have a loud spinning disc sound coming from a dvd drive.

    Takes patience to do it to an acceptable (as good as the original or better) quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    Takes patience to do it to an acceptable (as good as the original or better) quality.
    How'd you mean?
    I've heard of XviD before, never ripped anything before though. Do you know of any programs (for windows) that will rip to XviD.
    How does it work anyway, the same as images where you get a single 2Gb+ file or is it something different?
    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by r1zeek
    How'd you mean?
    I've heard of XviD before, never ripped anything before though. Do you know of any programs (for windows) that will rip to XviD.
    How does it work anyway, the same as images where you get a single 2Gb+ file or is it something different?
    Cheers
    DVDs store video as a series of 1Gb .VOB files, which contain one or more MPEG2 video streams, and 1 or more audio streams (in PCM, DTS or AC3 format). An average movie will contain maybe 3-6Gb of VOB information.

    You can re-compress the data in another format, lowering the screen size slightly and employing a far more efficient video or audio compressor, to get a more-or-less DVD quality (or in some circumstances, better than DVD quality) output at 0.7-1.4Gb of disk space. XviD is an example of a more efficient compressor, others include DivX, RealVideo9, FFMPEG, or Windows Media 9. Producing high quality output relies on an understanding of the more advanced settings provided by the application doing the conversion, and can take up to ten times longer than a lower quality conversion.

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    Directhex, how can you get better than DVD quality? Surely it's impossible to better quality than the parent?
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1zeek
    Just as a note i'm planning to install it to a USB Pen drive and i don't want anything that is gonna run on the fly from a CD
    Why are you planning to use a pendrive - do you have a spare that you're needing to use?

    If you're buying hardware for your Linux HTPC then I'd strongly recommending giving the USB route a big avoid. My recommendation would be to get a CompactFlash card. They're cheap-ish (I bought a "40X" one a while ago for less than 80UKP) and I seem to remember that there's Mini-ITX boards that have a CF slot as standard. At the risk of p'ing off the Hexus folks, get yourself across to Mini-ITX at http://www.mini-itx.com/ and have a look at their news and projects pages.

    As to distro, there are specialised ones designed for minimum footprint, but unless you're a Linux uber-geek why not take a look at Debian. It's pretty big and totally free, best of all you can configure a minimal system to start with and dead-easily add the bits you need as required later.

    crossy

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