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Old 09-10-2011, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been watching and reading about Linux for a few years
(especially this area)
ie for using in HTPC. Never been game enough to make the leap.

I have a HTPC..which currently has windows 7 on it...
but I want to get a solid reliable HTPC to work as PVR and media player.

So the specs are

Intel E6600 2.4GHz CPU
ASUS p5B Motherboard(intel p965 chipset)
4GB DDR2 800MHz ram
Gigabyte Nvidia GT220 video card
640Gb Hard drive..for OS
1TB Samsung HD for media storage..and recording
Samsung DVD burner/drive
KWorld PCI DVB-tpc-160-2T(ie 2 tuner card)
Tiny Twin USB Dual tuner.
Hauppage remote and USB receiver

I dont want any fancy 3d desktop...

I would like to use HDMI audio(as against audio via SPDIF)
prefer to decode everything to Multi-channel PCM output(48Hz)

..to send via HDMI..to Onkyo AV receiver with 5.1 surround speaker set-up.

So I know there are a number of "distros"...
I obviously want to use MythTV..for the PVR/media playing
what is the best one to use under MythTV
Linux Mint ? 10.11?
I noticed Tux99 is using SL6 as his base..and provides these for D/L

Also is burning a distro the best way to install it?

What should I format the OS drive as.. EXT?

Can I leave the 1TB Samsung storage drive as NTFS
and still access my movies on there via MythTV?

I know the 640GB WD OS size drive..is probably overkill
but I have it spare...

So can I install the base OS distro first...
and then install MythTV via a separate CD??

This synaptic sounds like it help windows users get things installed
ie for us that are terminal newbies ..and gui slaves?

I noticed MythTV 0.24.1..is out
which is why I am thinking of making the leap

..or should I wait for MythTV 0.25 to be finalised??

How does the MythTV player go as far as playing 1080p mkvs
ie does it give good quality picture...
How does it decode and render Video ?
is it ffmpeg?
or does it rely on the driver/hardware from the Nvidia GT220?
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:36 PM
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That's a lot of questions... Personally I don't use MythTV (since I don't watch/record TV, I only watch media files stored on my file server) so I can't answer your detailed MythTV questions, but I guess for someone who is completely new to Linux Mint or Mythbuntu are better suited than SL6.

What makes SL6 less newbie friendly is that the packages needed are spread over a few different repositories, so you would have to learn which ones to choose and how to add/prioritise the various repos in the configuration (config files that need to be edited by hand).

Mint and Mythbuntu are more newbie friendly as they provide everything out of one hand and are more GUI driven.

Quote:


Can I leave the 1TB Samsung storage drive as NTFS
and still access my movies on there via MythTV?

Yes that's possible.

Quote:


How does it decode and render Video ?
is it ffmpeg?
or does it rely on the driver/hardware from the Nvidia GT220?

The GT220 is ideal for Linux video as it supports VDPAU with the Nvidia binary driver so you can and should use hardware video decoding.

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Old 09-10-2011, 09:39 PM
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Can I leave the 1TB Samsung storage drive as NTFS
and still access my movies on there via MythTV?
Yes that's possible.
In ubuntu, using NTFS can add a significant layer of complexity if you run into problems with file sharing since NTFS doesn't support the same file permissions type as EXT3/4. Especially if you're trying to share linux to linux.

I had a 1tb drive almost full of media that I've since migrated to EXT4 because of this.

If you've got the spare drive space, the migration is worth it.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tux99 View Post

That's a lot of questions... Personally I don't use MythTV (since I don't watch/record TV, I only watch media files stored on my file server) so I can't answer your detailed MythTV questions, but I guess for someone who is completely new to Linux Mint or Mythbuntu are better suited than SL6.

What makes SL6 less newbie friendly is that the packages needed are spread over a few different repositories, so you would have to learn which ones to choose and how to add/prioritise the various repos in the configuration (config files that need to be edited by hand).

Mint and Mythbuntu are more newbie friendly as they provide everything out of one hand and are more GUI driven.


Yes that's possible.


The GT220 is ideal for Linux video as it supports VDPAU with the Nvidia binary driver so you can and should use hardware video decoding.

^^^^Thanks Tux99...I should mention I have a 2nd Windows 7 HTPC....
which I use at the moment for my email/watching movies and general work.
Its an Intel quadcore.
So I am mainly trying to get a machine going
in the HTPC I mentioned that can replace an
aging Topfield twin tunerPVR with HD...and also play movies.
I know in the end ..you have to make a choice on a distro
..install it and suck it and see..no avoiding that.
My main reasons for waiting so long...are

1) Audio...I would like to use the audio via the HDMI and GT220
and it always seemed not quite ready..or easy to get.
I figure some of the later distros now maybe a bit easier.

2) Video and HD/1080p playback maybe improved..ie better drivers
not sure if it has changed that much...although it seems you can now play Blu-ray..even if only by accessing the main movie(ie not Menu)

3) MythTV has improved in it features..especially in stability and
the interface..and it would work with my Hauppage Remote/USB receiver.

Yes well having to compile.. or drag different apps or parts from different repositeries..that certainly wouldnt be my favoured approach..
especially as a newbie. I thought Tux99..you had created some hybrid HTPC distro
you found worked well..and thats what you had offered for people to be able to get access to??

Just on this aspect I noticed comments that to get
audio working well for a HTPC..
you need to get rid of Pulseaudio(it causes problems)
and goback to ALSA.
It seemed a lot of distros included this Pulseaudio.

Obviously the Nvidia GT 220 is so I can take advantage of VDPAU
for Hardware acceleration of video playback...and use Nvidia drivers
..which makes that part easier.

My main concern is to get an uptodate Distro..but without any
unnecessary fluff like 3d interfaces etc..
which only seem to cause potential issues for newbies like myself
with getting a solid display/picture.
After all it its basically a platform in my case ..to run MythTV
and I want it reliable/stable.
Thats why I asked which distro..to get a modern distro(better for HTPC)
but without any added fluff like 3d desktop or Pulseaudio
seems not that easy ??

Sure if you have your knowledge Tux99..
you can pick and choose your parts..and only install those..
thats not my choice(due to lack of terminal skills..etc)
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lackskill View Post

In ubuntu, using NTFS can add a significant layer of complexity if you run into problems with file sharing since NTFS doesn't support the same file permissions type as EXT3/4. Especially if you're trying to share linux to linux.

I had a 1tb drive almost full of media that I've since migrated to EXT4 because of this.

If you've got the spare drive space, the migration is worth it.

^^^Thanks lackskill..yep I know it would be better to have
both drives in a Linux friendly HD format...but what I wanted to ensure
initially ..while installing..playing with new Linux OS/MythTV set-up
...was that I could access and play movies
from this Samsung storage drive.
Then if/when the Linux/MythTV set-up was working well
and I was happy with it..then I would update the HD format to EXT?

Just on that ..why is there differing views on which to use
for OS drive...ie EXT3 or 4??
Isnt EXT4 newer therefore better?
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Well.. I know this is nothing new...but actually writing this
using Ubunto 10.10 distro running via CD.

First thing is it reminds me of when I had a MACwith OSX10.6..Duh!
cause OSX maybe based on this...dummy!

So it reads my Samsung storage drive fine...

and of course the ethernet is working...

and it displays nicely on my Sony 1080p monitor(1920 x 1080)

Looked at synaptic package manager..whoa..
now there is a barrel of trouble for a newbie! haha!!
what goodies could I install..so much stuff
this is where you need to look at what others use..like
reading this forum ..with its guides

looking for something akin to Device manager in windows..
ie tell me about each hardware area..and it status
and there is nothing apparent??
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Rgb..I have been reading again your installation guide
Thank you for this ..its so easy to understand..

I have some questions...
As I said I want to install mythubuntu...
the latest versions seem to have much upgraded support for Blu-ray/mkv
..audio via HDMI..and other multimedia stuff

So what I was going to do was use your guide..ie use the Parted Magic
part to format the 640Gb drive into three partitions as you suggest
so that would be
OS 30Gb
swap...2x Ram size..ie 8Gb
and rest for recording/storage...so around 600Gb

I am going to use the mythubuntu 11.04 distro
(I have burned it to a disc already)...with 0.24 mythTV

obviously I need to format the drive..which is better to use
EXT3 or 4...or use something else??

I assume Parted Magic can do this.

Once I have installed Mythubuntu and configured it..
I assume that then is the best time to use Clonezilla to
backup the OS??

Can I save this to my 1TB NTFS storage drive?
as it seems it creates a compressed tarballs (.tar.gz) file
or does this have to go on Linux formatted hard drive?
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devoz View Post

My main concern is to get an uptodate Distro..but without any
unnecessary fluff like 3d interfaces etc..
which only seem to cause potential issues for newbies like myself
with getting a solid display/picture.
After all it its basically a platform in my case ..to run MythTV
and I want it reliable/stable.
Thats why I asked which distro..to get a modern distro(better for HTPC)
but without any added fluff like 3d desktop or Pulseaudio
seems not that easy ??

This is why the Mythbuntu distro was created. It's an Ubuntu distro already tweaked to give the best MythTV environment.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:51 PM
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Using ext3 or ext4 for the OS drive is good, they are fast for small files. XFS is a good choice for the media drive, it does well with large files. Or you can leave it NTFS if you need to dual boot with Windows, or put the drive back in a Windows machine.

And yes, you can store your backups on an NTFS-formatted drive.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by k_ross View Post

This is why the Mythbuntu distro was created. It's an Ubuntu distro already tweaked to give the best MythTV environment.

Yes I have read this...just wanted some feedback from users here
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by k_ross View Post

Using ext3 or ext4 for the OS drive is good, they are fast for small files. XFS is a good choice for the media drive, it does well with large files. Or you can leave it NTFS if you need to dual boot with Windows, or put the drive back in a Windows machine.

And yes, you can store your backups on an NTFS-formatted drive.

Thanks k_ross...at least I can back any install up using my NTFS disc.

Thanks for the reply..now with all the various guides..
I have collected ..just have to install and configure this sucker!

I have an older 80GB sata drive..which I might use for the OS and swap..

...and then use the 640Gb one for recording(being optimistic ..it will all work)
I might format that one with XFS..as they will all be larger files.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devoz View Post

...obviously I need to format the drive..which is better to use
EXT3 or 4...or use something else??

I assume Parted Magic can do this.

With regard to Parted Magic I've no experience; but Gparted works great for partitioning.

With regard to EXT3 vs EXT4, I still choose EXT3 for it's broader general support; they are both journaling file systems, but I've very limited experience with either.

FWIW NTFS is also a journaling file system; so far M$ has struck out (as far as I know) on upgrading NTFS, and AFAIK they've wanted to.

Meaning that file systems aren't simple stuff. For journaling file system see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journaling_file_system

Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReiserFS and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiser4 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Reiser

FWIW, I plan to use ReiserFS (FS = File System) for my Linux data partition due to Acronis True Image Home 2011 (a backup disc that I use) mentioning that they support it as well as EXT3 (and 4?), and of course NTFS and FAT32.

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Old 09-12-2011, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devoz View Post

I might format that one with XFS..as they will all be larger files.

I have heard about problems with using XFS. I believe it was regarding data corruption.

I use JFS for my video storage hard drive. It is a journaling file system that is excellent with large files. It also is quick when you want to delete a large file. I have never had a problem with JFS, nor have I ever heard of others having problems.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I have heard about problems with using XFS. I believe it was regarding data corruption.

I use JFS for my video storage hard drive. It is a journaling file system that is excellent with large files. It also is quick when you want to delete a large file. I have never had a problem with JFS, nor have I ever heard of others having problems.

Yep always want to protect against loss of data due to powerfailure or system crash...

so now in this situation..for use as a storage drive for recordings made using
Mythtv(ie larger files)...I get two options presented..XFS..or JFS
they both have merit
..as a newbie with Linux..its confusing...

Seeing as I am replacing a standalone Hard disk recorder...
what would it use? probably doesnt use either ..

Rgb..what are your thoughts?

as you wrote the guide for us novices in mythtv/linux?
and the one I have read many times...
for the recording disc? Ext3,4 JFS..XFS??
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devoz View Post

Rgb..what are your thoughts?

as you wrote the guide for us novices in mythtv/linux?
and the one I have read many times...
for the recording disc? Ext3,4 JFS..XFS??

The only filesystem I would stay away from of the four you list is ext4, which may still have corruption issues and/or compatibility issues with some utilities. Last time I tried to Clonezilla an image of an ext4 OS partition, it didn't work at all or reliably.

With recent vintage distro releases (Ubuntu/Mint and derivatives, at least), using ext3 has no practical downside that I can see- freeing up disc space after a large number of file deletes may take longer than X/JFS, but it happens in the background, so a normal user wouln't notice anything out of the ordinary. The free space shows up in 10's of seconds to minutes anyways. I do a lot of large video file processing and video file reading/saving to/from ext3 parttions, and it does not appear to affect read/write performance- approx 60-70MB/sec (or higher) read/write from one TB+ drive to another, and those are only 5400RPM drives. I never noticed any practical, day to day advantage of ext4 over ext3.

I have no experience with filesystems other than FATx, NTFS and ext2/3/4
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rgb View Post


With recent vintage distro releases (Ubuntu/Mint and derivatives, at least), using ext3 has no practical downside that I can see- freeing up disc space after a large number of file deletes may take longer than X/JFS, but it happens in the background, so a normal user wouln't notice anything out of the ordinary. The free space shows up in 10's of seconds to minutes anyways. I do a lot of large video file processing and video file reading/saving to/from ext3 parttions, and it does not appear to affect read/write performance- approx 60-70MB/sec (or higher) read/write from one TB+ drive to another, and those are only 5400RPM drives. I never noticed any practical, daya to day advantage of ext4 over ext3.

I have no experience with filesystems other than FAT, NTFS and ext3/4

Does ext3 support TRIM commands for SSD drives? For some reason I was thinking that was only added to ext4. I've been running ext4 on my ssd for my mythtv boot drive with no issues for quite a while now (from whenever they added ext4 to the mainline kernel).
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

The only filesystem I would stay away from of the four you list is ext4, which may still have corruption issues and/or compatibility issues with some utilities. Last time I tried to Clonezilla an image of an ext4 OS partition, it didn't work at all or reliably.

With recent vintage distro releases (Ubuntu/Mint and derivatives, at least), using ext3 has no practical downside that I can see- freeing up disc space after a large number of file deletes may take longer than X/JFS, but it happens in the background, so a normal user wouln't notice anything out of the ordinary. The free space shows up in 10's of seconds to minutes anyways. I do a lot of large video file processing and video file reading/saving to/from ext3 parttions, and it does not appear to affect read/write performance- approx 60-70MB/sec (or higher) read/write from one TB+ drive to another, and those are only 5400RPM drives. I never noticed any practical, daya to day advantage of ext4 over ext3.

I have no experience with filesystems other than FAT, NTFS and ext3/4


Okay as I'm starting with this first time..I will keep it simple..
and use ext3 all the way..that solves that part...

Thanks Rgb..for your info
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Dog View Post

Does ext3 support TRIM commands for SSD drives? For some reason I was thinking that was only added to ext4. I've been running ext4 on my ssd for my mythtv boot drive with no issues for quite a while now (from whenever they added ext4 to the mainline kernel).

Unless something has changed recently, yes, you need to use ext4 for TRIM support on SSD's.

But, if using an old fashioned spinning disk, I'll go with ext3...
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

But, if using an old fashioned spinning disk, I'll go with ext3...

Ext4 these days is as reliable as ext3, two years ago I would have still chosen ext3 instead of ext4 but now even conservative distros like Redhat Enterprise Linux use ext4 as default filesystem.

So with any recent distro/kernel ext4 is a safe choice.

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