LinHES

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Revision as of 22:29, 8 November 2009 by Graysky (Talk | contribs) (Current Status)

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Description

LinHES (Linux Home Entertainment System) is a distro based heavily on Arch centered around [MythTV] designed for use on Home Theater PCs (HTPCs). The expressed goal of LinHES is to provide a HES-appliance feel to your HTPC. Most if not all of the system configuration and operation can be accomplished via your remote control. Users can go from a blank HDD to fully functional MythTV system in literally 15-20 min.

Current Status

  • Current stable release: R6.01.00 (26-Sep-09)
  • Creator/lead developer: Cecil Watson
  • Pkg Maintainers/developers: Greg Frost, James Meyer, Nathan Harris

Brief History

The predecessor to LinHES is Knoppmyth (KM). As its name implies, the initial releases of Knoppmyth were based on Knoppix, but the latest incarnations are not, although the brand-name "KnoppMyth" has been retained. From the knoppmythwiki, "Knoppix itself is an adaptation of the Debian Linux distribution, Knoppmyth therefore is another project that has spiralled off into its own domain. These days it would be more correct to call KnoppMyth a specialized and heavily customized Debian derivative, as there's very little Knoppix left."

The first release of KM was on 09-Aug-2003 (R1) and was based on MythTV 0.10. The latest stable incarnation of KM is R5.5 which was released on 06-Jul-2008 and is based on MythTV 0.21.2. The first release of LinHES (R6) went gold (stable) on the 26-Sept-2009, version R6.01.00 being officially released.

Both LinHES and KM can be installed and function on almost any "modern" computer. There are a set of components that constitute the so-called, "Knoppmyth Reference Platform" which is nothing more than a set of hardware that is known and certified to work out-of-the-box with KM. The hardware specs are completely open and published [here].

Development on KM has halted and all efforts are focusing on LinHES. That said, KM R5.5 is still a very robust Mythtv-Distro.

Version History of KM/LinHES

Since the first release in 2003, there have been about a dozen major and minor versions of KM.

  • 09-26-09 R6 goes gold, version R6.01.00 officially released
  • 08-14-09 Pre-Release R6.00.09 of LinHES
  • 7-6-08 Release 5.5 "Bone Marrow"
Uses a snapshot of Debian Unstable and the 2.6.23-chw-4 kernel
  • 5-11-07 Release 5 Final 1 "Farewell days of my youth"
  • 11-3-03 Release 4 "CoCo2"
Upgraded to MythTV 0.12.
  • 9-01-2003 Release 3 "Each of these my three babies"
The CD can now be use as a frontend!
  • 08-25-2003 Release 2 "Chicago, Chicago"
Updated to MythTV 0.11
  • 08-08-2003 Release 1 "You better Belize it!"
Based on Knoppix 07-26-2003 and MythTV 0.10

Required Hardware

A LinHES system can use most modern and "semi-modern" hardware. Some users reported a fully functional system driven by an antiquated AMD Athlon/nforce2 CPU/MB. For HD-playback one will need a more powerful CPU or a GPU capable of [VDPAU] such as an nVidia 8400GS, 9500GT, or GF 210. For a complete table of nVidia cards and their VDPAU support, see [this] table.

LinHES can also run in a virtual machine (verified to work in Virtual Box v3.0.10).

Features

  • Installation and setup are trivial
  • Major features aside from MythTV are preconfigured (SAMBA, sshd, x11vnc, webmin, litehttpd, lirc, etc.)
  • Superb "Auto Upgrade" feature (along with backup scripts) makes upgrading to future releases of LinHES equally trivial
  • Live Frontend feature allows users to run a frontend on any machine live from the CD
  • Great user support forums
  • Partial automation of Australian EPG setup
  • Native [VDPAU] support for both MythTV and mplayer
  • Native support for many popular SDTV/HDTV capture hardware
  • Native XBMC support
  • Native support for a large number of remote controls
  • Hulu desktop option
  • Packages for Mythtv-0.22

R6 Installation Walk-through (Brief)

Boot the LinHES CD or USB media which are both available via FTP download [Here].

  • Screen 1: Select the "Install or Upgrade" option.
Warning: If upgrading from an R5.x box, make SURE that you run the mythbackup script BEFORE you continue!
Note: If upgrading, you will go directly to screen 10 and everything will be processed automaticaly based on your backups.
  • Screen 2: Select a target HDD
  • Screen 3: Select the type of install (Full/auto or Upgrade). Also assign partition sizes for the OS, swap, and data partitions. The defaults should be fine. Users can also select which filesystem format is used. Currently the default is for ext3, but other options such as ext4/RFS/XFS are also available.
  • Screen 4: Assign a hostname
Note: Make sure you're happy with the hostname you select since you cannot easily change it after the installation due to a number of other config files/mysql tables that will depend on it!
  • Screen 5: Setup the network options. Users may select from wired or wireless configurations with all the standard stuff such as dynamic IP/static IP, devices, mtu size, etc.
Note: For more of MTU sizes a.k.a jumbo frames, see the [jumbo frames] article.
  • Screen 6: Setup host options. Choices here include system configuration (standalone/frontend/master backend/slave backend). Initial resolution (i.e. SDTV or HDTV) and remote configure are also on this screen. The setup GUI contains MANY options for remote controls that are preconfigured for you. User also set the option to use or not use mythwelcome on this screen.
  • Screen 7: Setup timezone/zipcode.
  • Screen 8: Setup NFS options if media is stored on a remote NFS share. Also configure automatic updates.
  • Screen 9: Setup user accounts and passwords.
Warning: Make sure to create a non-mythtv account, assign a root password and assign a mythtv password on this screen before you continue!
  • Screen 10: Sanity check/are you sure you wish to continue nag screen.

That's it. The scripts will take over and in about 5 min you will reboot into your LinHES installation.

Links

Link to torrent tracker: [None at the moment]

Link to FTP download of R6: [Here]