Going to try linux again

  • Ishii
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok so I had a (somewhat) working copy of Mandrake linux about 8 months ago, then I had to pull the hard drive because I needed more HD space on my video machine. I'm now ready to install linux again, but being a bit of a newbie at it, I wanted to run a few things by you all first.

I plan on using this machine as a firewall/router, but also as a teamspeak server, and possibly some file hosting for other people to download. Is mandrake the best option for this or is there another flavor that might be better suited? Keep in mind that I'm relatively new to linux.

2nd question. I'm planning on building a media storage computer. I will be storing massive amounts of mp3s (all legal btw, I own a TON of cds), probably in the 100gb+ range. I also would like to use this computer as a Tivo style recording device. I know this is possible because I've seen it done, but I lack the knowledge of what program I need. And again, would mandrake be best for this application?

My goal is to be 100% legal, and not pay for any software, so anything suggested needs to be open source/freeware. Thanks for your help in advance.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • placid psychosis
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I can give insight on the media thing. 100GB is not a lot of space when you deal with music and video. My media server is at around 80% capacity with 4 250GB drives dedicated to media storage. Then again, I ripped every DVD and CD I own, and use MoviX terminals and freevo.

For some good advice/tips/info on building a Linux PVR, take a look at the freevo project. http://freevo.sourceforge.net/

Of course, for live video capturing you'll want a hardware MPEG encoder/decoder. I use two Hauppauge PVR-250s in my primary unit (got 'em on eBay pretty cheap). Two because I use picture-in-picture sometimes, and so I can record one station while watching another. This setup also depends if you have cable or satellite.
  • Ishii
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Freevo looks pretty good, and just to clarify, 100gb was the amount of space I allotted solely for mp3 storage. I've heard good things about the Hauppage cards, but wasn't sure about compatability with linux. Thanks for the tip on storage space necessary though, I'd like to do something similar with my dvd collection. What version of linux would you recommend as a base for the Freevo system?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

mandrake is OK though RedHat would be a good idea as well but that will depend on your hardware.
  • Ishii
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I can't remember the specs off the top of my head but it's an Athlon XP system. 512ish ram, nvidia FX 5600 card. 20-40gb hd. I can get exact models when I get home if that would help.
  • AnarchY SI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

by 'depends on the hardware', i think he meant more your video / audio hardware. the components you listed are compatible with all distro's i've tried as i also have an Athlon XP, 512 upgraded to 1024MB ram (i'd suggest getting more ram if your going to be running a server), i have an ATi card but nVidia cards are better suited for linux, sadly..

i use fedora core 4 and i started using it while i was still a n00b..i haven't surpassed the stage by much however ^_^ but i know my way around..

i've tried mandrake 10.1 and didn't like it as much. also, there's quite a bit more software for Fedora Core 3 than that of Fedora Core 4, but it was just released 15 days ago so what can ya do? lol however, its not like the available software for FC4 is minimal and its one of the more major distro's so if your looking for a distro that will have a lot of precompile packages, both Mandriva and Fedora would be a good choice.

hope this helps.
  • Ishii
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am planning on upgrading the ram - I had over 1gb in my high-end machine before most people thought they needed more than 256. Money is a concern right now though, and I know 512 will work in the short term, I'd rather put money into the storage space as I know I'm going to need a ton. I have an nVidia FX 5600 in there right now, and I'm planning on adding a Hauppauge card for recording cable. As far as I can tell all of these cards should be compatable with the major linux distributions. I'll give both fedora and mandrake a try and see which one works better. Ideally I want to go to Gentoo eventually... I've seen a couple of wicked custom tuned machines with that install, but I understand it's also one of the hardest to get working, so not a good idea for a newbie.
  • placid psychosis
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Gentoo is a beast, but has wicked performance once propery configured. I know there's a portage tree for freevo, but I've never used a Gentoo system as a freevo core. I use Debian myself, but it too can be a pain to setup. For the easiest to install and maintain stick with Fedora.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i tried installing gentoo once ^_^ had my pc installing it for like, two days...at the end when i had to write the GRUB bootloader, i rebooted and it failed. it also somehow corrupted my windows partition. after trying to fix it for a few more hours, i said "*peach* it" and reinstalled...EVERYTHING.. :(

i need to backup more often. lol
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If you're going for maximum security for your firewall/router, OpenBSD is the way to go. It is considered to be one of the most (if not the most) secure operating systems today. That said, I've never tried to set it up so I can't tell you how much of a pain it is.

For your PVR you should check out KnoppMyth. It is based on the Knoppix live CD and the MythTV PVR software. It's aim is to make setting up you PVR as easy as booting your computer and answering a few questions. I currently use MythTV on a Debian box and I'm quite happy with it.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i believe on OpenBSD's website, they boast that only 1 box running their OS has been hacked in 8 years. That compared to the number of Debian or Micro$hytes boxes being hacked is amazing. but just to make sure.. lemme check.

yea..
Quote:
Only one remote hole in the default install, in more than 8 years!
http://www.openbsd.org

but my guess is it would be a purely text based installer and it may be difficult for a beginner to figure out HOW to install it. no no...i take that back. it is pretty definite that a beginner would be clueless, lol.
but it never hurts to try? :)
  • Ishii
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Post 3+ Months Ago

PsyckBoy wrote:
For your PVR you should check out KnoppMyth. It is based on the Knoppix live CD and the MythTV PVR software. It's aim is to make setting up you PVR as easy as booting your computer and answering a few questions. I currently use MythTV on a Debian box and I'm quite happy with it.


I've heard of Myth before, but I couldn't remember the name until you brought it up. I'll definately look into it. My guess is I'm going to need a combination of a few programs to do everything that I want.

AnarchY SI wrote:
but my guess is it would be a purely text based installer and it may be difficult for a beginner to figure out HOW to install it. no no...i take that back. it is pretty definite that a beginner would be clueless, lol.
but it never hurts to try?


If I'm going to go through the process of setting up a computer as a firewall I might as well go with the best in the business. I'm fairly secure with the setup I have now, but I'd like to know beyond any doubt that nobody is going to be able to get in to my network.
  • Ishii
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Actually after a bit of research it looks like Mythtv will do everything I want it to. mp3 and DVD storage, and TV recording all on one box. The distributed architecture is pretty cool too. Means I can watch tv, playback a dvd, and record all at the same time on different TVs. Also, MythTV is now part of the Gentoo portage tree, so if I can get Gentoo running, all I have to do is emerge it... sounds pretty attractive to me.
  • placid psychosis
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thing to remember about OpenBSD is that it is NOT Linux. There are some major differences in the way things are set up. I like BSD, but I've had som issues with it on desktop machines, mostly with exotic hardware. It's rock-steady on servers, though.
  • AnarchY SI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

thats true, it is not linux. but both BSD and Linux are UNIX-like OS's :) but how would you define "exotic hardware" ?
  • PsyckBoy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ishii wrote:
Actually after a bit of research it looks like Mythtv will do everything I want it to. mp3 and DVD storage, and TV recording all on one box. The distributed architecture is pretty cool too. Means I can watch tv, playback a dvd, and record all at the same time on different TVs. Also, MythTV is now part of the Gentoo portage tree, so if I can get Gentoo running, all I have to do is emerge it... sounds pretty attractive to me.


Myth is also easy to set up on Debian. Just add the following to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://dijkstra.csh.rit.edu/~mdz/debian unstable mythtv

and then 'apt-get update' to retrieve the package list and 'apt-cache search myth' to see all the myth packages available. Then you're just an 'apt-get install' away from having them set up.

Don't forget that Myth can also play all those totally legal videos that you've downloaded from the net, play all your favorite classic arcade games (whose ROMs you've also obtained legally), and give you the weather forecast.
  • placid psychosis
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Odd USB storage devices, USB cardreaders, etc... Really I never had much luck with my USB devices on BSD. I can get them to run in Linux just fine, and I know other people with similar hardware (but different brands) can get it to work in BSD. I don't know, I haven't tried BSD on my desktop in a little over a year now, so maybe it's fine now. I just know that at the time Linux supported my hardware and BSD didn't.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i see, i see.. well *shrug* i'd still say give a couple OS's a try and see which fits best, and which is liked best.
  • Ishii
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Post 3+ Months Ago

PsyckBoy wrote:
Don't forget that Myth can also play all those totally legal videos that you've downloaded from the net, play all your favorite classic arcade games (whose ROMs you've also obtained legally), and give you the weather forecast.


It may be hard to believe but everything loaded on this machine will have a 100% legal, store bought version to back it up. I just don't want to have to dig through piles of dvds and cds to find something I want to watch/listen to. The $5 bin at walmart has been a huge help in expanding my dvd collection. It's almost like an addiction ...
  • placid psychosis
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Heh, I know what you mean. I'm always digging through those bins...

But of course as to the legality of it all, it's not technically legal to have re-encoded versions of DVD movies, even if you own the DVD. Reason is that subverting the CSS and similar encryption routines is a direct violation of the DMCA. Bunch of crap, in my opinion, but that's one of the reasons so many wonderful ripping tools are being pulled from distribution. Especially the ones that can disable Macrovision.

<rant mode="pissed">I rip my DVDs because DVDs become worthless if they get a scratch on them in just the right way, which is really easy to do. Yeah, that's right, I rip MY OWN FRIGGIN' DVDS! MPAA can shampoo my crotch.</rant>

You know, w3c should consider a rant tag... I know it's used a lot already. :roll:

But back on topic, Myth is a really nice system. I still prefer Freevo, but that's probably because I've customized the hell out of mine, and added a few extra features, such as some basic home automation. My goal with the system is to use it for entertainment, comfort, and security. I've considered switching to Myth, but I'm really just too lazy to rework my customizations at this point. Maybe when I'm ready to build my own house...
  • Ishii
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If they want to come after me for it that's fine, I'll help redefine "fair use" for the greater good. I understand the crackdown on piracy, but things have gotten a little out of control. Punish the masses for the offenses of the few... doesn't make any sense.

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