Gentoo MythTV

25. 08. 08

quick roundup about how to install gentoo on the epia m9000 or similar cmov-less c3 boards

Filed under: Main — Tags: , , , — niko86 @ 3:03

since the emerging is on fast-forward right now (thanks to icecream/crossdev)
i thought it might be a good idea to sum up what i have done to get gentoo running on an epia m9000 board featuring a cmov-less c3 ezra (933mhz).

you should at first make sure that you are able to efficiently cool the c3 and the northbridge since it becomes really hot in a closed case with these small 40x40mm fans.
i read about a maximum temperature of about 75°C.
ok, now get yourself the gentoo minimal install cd for x86.
Here is the Link.

boot into the cd (no boot options needed)
i assume you are using dhcp so you do not need to care about network settings right now.
in case you want to test it, here is a neat one-liner:
[ $(ping -c1 -W1 -w1 | awk '/received/ {print $4}') ] && echo "ONLINE" || echo "OFFLINE"
let’s you easily know wether you are online and wether dns resolving works.

ok now it’s time to partition your harddisk, take a look at what we got right now:
fdisk -l

we need a boot, a swap and a root partition.
i like to do it this way:
boot = 32M (space to store different kernels for testing around)
swap = half the size of the RAM
root = what’s left

fdisk /dev/yourDevice

well, no need to explain really as fdisk is kinda self-explaining.

after you set up your disk, it is time to make some filesystems.
i like to use ext2 for the boot and reiserfs for the root partition.
choose what you like best.

mke2fs /dev/sda1
mkreiserfs /dev/sda3
mkswap /dev/sda2
swapon /dev/sda2

now we want to mount our new partitions, so we can use them and finally chroot.

mount /dev/sda3 /mnt/gentoo
mkdir /mnt/gentoo/boot
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/gentoo/boot

now we want to download a portage snapshot and a stage3 image.

cd /mnt/gentoo
wget \
&& wget \ && \
tar xvjpf stage3-*.tar.bz2 && \
tar xvjf portage-latest.tar.bz2 -C /mnt/gentoo/usr

you should choose another mirror which is geographically near to you.
notice how i chained the commands together, this way we do not have to sit there and wait, enter some commands, wait…
we just enter this chain and everything is fine.

ok proceed with the make.conf located in /mnt/gentoo/etc/make.conf
set your options and save.


24. 08. 08

speeding up the build on the c3

Filed under: configuration — Tags: , , , , , — niko86 @ 21:21

it finally worked out really well and i managed to overcome all the gcc problems i previously had by following this guide: Click.
In fact i did not change my chost on this system, after endless problems i did a reinstall with the right chost, but gcc, glibc and binutils where broken anyways…
after some hours (you really should prepare yourself for endless compiling) the compilers did work.
so i could focus on the main task, setting up mythtv.

Well, as i already experienced while dealing with the gcc stuff, compiling takes ages on this little bird.
That’s why i thought about using the other machines at home as compiler nodes.

In other words:
How to do distributed computing and cross compiling on Gentoo using icecream and crossdev

I am using Icecream (sys-devel/icecream) and crossdev (sys-devel/crossdev)
The decision for icecream was easy, it supports its own “scheduler” which distributes the compile jobs to the machine which is capable of compiling the required arch and has the least cpu load.
so if you plan on distributing compile jobs across several hosts with different arches, and if you know that your nodes won’t be online all the time, use icecream.
if you plan on using machines which will be on all the time and you don’t care about the load, you should use distcc.

In my opinion icecream is more simple and “plug and play”.
You could just setup icecream on any host, start it, it will broadcast for the scheduler on your net, announce its compiling capabilities and start receiving jobs.
simple as that.

ok, prerequisites:

18. 08. 08

quick wake-on-lan howto

Filed under: configuration — Tags: , , , — niko86 @ 22:22

Quick breakdown:

Required Software:

arp (part of net-tools)


bunker ~ # emerge -av net-tools

look@comment (ether-wake is now part of net-misc/ethercard-diag)

The Syntax is:
usage: ether-wake [-i ] [-p aa:bb:cc:dd[:ee:ff]]

so you need the mac adress of the host you want to wake-up, which is not very handy since i assume you do not want to remember every MAC Adress.

ether-wake can however read from the file /etc/ethers
this file stores MAC/Name pairs, so you can ether-wake by name.

this is how you create this file:

#create MAC/Name pairs for every host on your network \
that is currently in the arp cache
bunker ~ # arp | awk '{print $3,$1}' >> /etc/ethers

after you have done this you are almost there.
some machines do not even need to be setup to wake them up.
you should however look for some WOL option in the BIOS of the machine you want to wakeup, commonly found under “Power Management”.

As far as I know there are no additional Kernel Paramters/Modules needed (it flawlessly worked for me on 5 machines without even looking for BIOS otions.)
It could not hurt however if you take a peak.

With Windows it is another story, boot the machine up, go to your device management panel, select your network adapter, if there is an “advanced” tab you can look for some wake-on-lan options there.

waking up a machine by its name works like this:

bunker ~ # ether-wake machinename

if machinename is not specified in /etc/ethers ether-wake will complain.
if you got multiple network interfaces in your machine (the one you are using to wake-up the others), you have to specify the interface to use:

bunker ~ # ether-wake -i ethX machinename

if something does not work, it may well be, that it will work if you set everything back to default, as i said, it worked for me with 2 windows and 3 linux machines without touching any bios or software options.

ether-wake is capable of HEX Style passwords which are recognized by the clients to prevent abuse, but since i do only use this at home i did not bother to much )

if you want to use ether-wake as non-root user you may have to set the suid-root bit on the application because it requieres you to be root to execute.

bunker ~ # chmod u+s /usr/sbin/ether-wake

14. 08. 08

Let’s get to work

Filed under: Main — Tags: , — niko86 @ 22:22

This is where I am right now:

Frontend is still missing the SSD Drive.
The Case should be delivered any day soon.
Slim DVD Drive is still missing.

The Backend is missing a CPU Cooler which im gonna buy today.
I found some 80mm and some 120mm Fans today, i just cleaned them from the coat of dust.
I also found a Fan Control Thingie in my cabinet.

Just mounted all the Stuff into the old Chieftec Tower.

So after im back from buying the CPU Cooler i will throw a Gentoo CD into the backend and see what i can do.

Im really curious if the old Hardware is still working since i did not use it for some years.

If i do not experience any hardware problems i will start compiling the Backend today.

The reason why i like to use gentoo?
Simple enough, i just like it )

If i cant get it to work due to hardware incompatibilities i will just switch to mythbuntu which sould work like a charm.

more to come later today.

Buying Stuff

Filed under: shopping — Tags: , , — niko86 @ 22:22

Here we go, first comes the fun part.
We should buy some stuff.

So i recently started looking at TV Cards.
Since the TV Cards known to work with MythTv are mostly older Cards, i had to look at Ebay.

So i found myself a few Hauppauge PVR 150 Cards.

PVR 150

Started bidding and bought two of them.

I also bought a Pinnacle PCTV Studio since it was extremely cheap (1 €).

PCTV Studio

I am still lacking a DVB-S Card.
I’m looking at the Nexus or Nova Series.

What do else do i need?
Hardware for the Backend and Frontend.

So i bought the stuff for the Frontend first.
Just arrived:
Via Epia M9000

Epia M9000

This is a nice little Mainboard with C3 Processor doing 900mhz.
I put 512MB RAM on it.
It has one PCI Slot and an S-Video Out as well as a Via Unichrome Chip with Hardware MPEG2 Decoder.

This should fit perfectly into the concept of doing a quiet unobtrusive Frontend.

Still waiting for the second Part,
Morex Cubid 2600 ITX Case with an external 150W Power Brick.
I know there are much nicer cases, but this one was really cheap.
Also found on Ebay, paid 30 € for it, mint condition, black.

Cubid 2600

So what else do i miss?

Sure, some Storage for the Frontend, Harddisks are not suitable for this project since i want it to be quiet.
So i took a peak at the SSD Market and found myself a nice little 1 inch 8GB Transcend IDE SSD.
This should be enough to do a mythtv frontend.

Im still missing a DVD Drive, i found a cheap Samsung Slim Drive.
I have not bought it yet.

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