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Hi guys, I haven't found any recent posts about this, but here's what i'd like to know:

I'm an experienced XP user who's never dealt with Linux.
From what i've read, the Linux version of XBMC has a couple advantages:
- VDPAU (yes i know it's not 100% there yet, but it sounds like it will rather soon)
- Hassle free support of MCE remote control

Are there any other advantages?
Do you guys think it's worth it moving to Linux? And if so, how long would you estimate it would take for a novice like me to set up (~half a day)?

Thanks for the help,

- Cas
cascius Wrote:Hi guys, I haven't found any recent posts about this, but here's what i'd like to know:

I'm an experienced XP user who's never dealt with Linux.
From what i've read, the Linux version of XBMC has a couple advantages:
- VDPAU (yes i know it's not 100% there yet, but it sounds like it will rather soon)
- Hassle free support of MCE remote control

- Cas

Boot time is faster.

I will just warn you though, it is going to take some time to get right. I am a fairly experienced Linux user and had to learn a lot of new stuff. Of course that isn't really a bad thing if you have the time.

xnappo
cascius Wrote:Hi guys, I haven't found any recent posts about this, but here's what i'd like to know:

I'm an experienced XP user who's never dealt with Linux.
From what i've read, the Linux version of XBMC has a couple advantages:
- VDPAU (yes i know it's not 100% there yet, but it sounds like it will rather soon)
- Hassle free support of MCE remote control

Are there any other advantages?
Do you guys think it's worth it moving to Linux? And if so, how long would you estimate it would take for a novice like me to set up (~half a day)?

Thanks for the help,

- Cas

I was in your shoes about a year ago, and partially jumped ship to Linux -- on my laptop and secondary computer. My primary computer is still Vista 64.

My current experience with setting up XBMC with a MCE remote has been less than "Hassle free". I've so far invested a total of 16 hours into trying to get it right, and I am *almost* there, but the remote still isn't working. That's the last component. Surely it's something I am doing wrong, but as a new linux user my assumption would be you may make the same or similar mistakes Smile

Good luck!
Hmmm, this doesn't sound too good. Maybe I'm better off staying with what i know best: xp.

VDPAU sounds good though, but i guess i don't really need it at this point, my cpu has enough power for all the files i've tested thusfar.

Thanks guys.

Next I guess I'll check if there's any use in going xp 64bits vs 32 bits.
Your major advantage on the Linux platform will be being able to run XBMC with nearly no other processes in the background taking up resources.
If you can get though the somewhat more complicated lircd setup you'll likely be impressed in the long run.
cascius Wrote:Hmmm, this doesn't sound too good. Maybe I'm better off staying with what i know best: xp.

VDPAU sounds good though, but i guess i don't really need it at this point, my cpu has enough power for all the files i've tested thusfar.

Thanks guys.

Next I guess I'll check if there's any use in going xp 64bits vs 32 bits.

Well, if you want to stick with Windows, I would suggest you look into the external player plugin. That will pretty much get you the same thing as VDPAU, though you would be as 1337.

On the other hand - my IR remote setup in Linux WAS plug and play.
Take it from a guy that's been a computer geek since the days of the 8088 CPU: Windows is bloated crapware that has been illegally shoved up the asses of consumers for over a decade now, and you should rid yourself of it faster than water freezes at -1000 degrees C.

If you can follow instructions, then your remote, etc. will work without a hitch.
I went the linux route as I wanted a fully "plug and play" solution. I wrote a thread in this forum which outlines the hardware I used.

I too have no linux experience and plenty of windows experience but I wanted my media center to be more of an "appliance" and not so much a computer.

I specifically chose the hardware for my rig knowing it was fully compatible with atlantis out of the box. Once setup the only real issue I had was figuring out how to unmute some of the audio sources which turned out to be fairly simple.

Every now and again I'll run into a tweak that I want to apply and it does take a little longer to figure out how to apply it. The good news is Linux, being a very big community supported OS, is extremely "google friendly." I had to figure out some permissions issue this week to get some scrapers updated and it took me a few minutes with some simple web searches.

Boot time is MUCH better too. About 15-20 seconds from a bold boot to GUI.

Also, the MCE remote was indeed a breeze for me, plug and play. However, I didn't use the original MCE remote that came with the MCE kit, I have a universal Harmony remote. Therefore I never had to play with xbmc button mapping customization as all that is customizable via the harmony setup.
eamiryar Wrote:I specifically chose the hardware for my rig knowing it was fully compatible with atlantis out of the box.

This is the trick...do your homework and use hardware that is known to work OOB.
cascius Wrote:Hi guys, I haven't found any recent posts about this, but here's what i'd like to know:

I'm an experienced XP user who's never dealt with Linux.
From what i've read, the Linux version of XBMC has a couple advantages:
- VDPAU (yes i know it's not 100% there yet, but it sounds like it will rather soon)
- Hassle free support of MCE remote control

Are there any other advantages?
Do you guys think it's worth it moving to Linux? And if so, how long would you estimate it would take for a novice like me to set up (~half a day)?

Thanks for the help,

- Cas

You could also try XBMC Live, its XBMC for linux on a small footprint ubuntu (mobile edition) and it´s meant to have all the tweaks needed for a low resource media center, nevertheless some need to install full ubuntu as we haven´t gotten all hw perfectly supported yet (some need tweaks and so on).

But it will only cost you a CD to test it. (or 2 if you want to test the newer version also and not just stable)

Cheers,
Tobias
Thanks guys, those are very usefull inputs. I'll give the Live version a shot, just for the sake of it. ;-)

Anyway, I'm stuck at home with a cold and gona spend most of the day ripping dvds. That should give me plenty of time to experiment.

Thanks guys

- Cas
My opinion is yes, it is worth it. Check this guide out http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=HOW-TO:_Inst...ep-by-step

You will get a kick a*s HTPC setup in no time. Well, you have to go through the guide, but if you follow that precisely you won't have any issues. I don't know about ATI support however, I've always used nVidia.

If you want to use VDPAU you just have to change two things in the whole guide (if I am not mistaken).

1. Change the XBMC checkout to:
Code:
svn co https://xbmc.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/xbmc/branches/xbmc-vdpau xbmc-vdpau

2. In the .xsession file, make sure the line
Code:
/usr/share/xbmc/xbmc.bin --standalone

is exactly as above, without any other flags (such as -p or -q).
eamiryar Wrote:I too have no linux experience and plenty of windows experience but I wanted my media center to be more of an "appliance" and not so much a computer.

I agree you have no experience, linux on hardware is more of a computer than Windows will ever be.

/end of rant-flame

If you want to get the most out of your hardware use linux, just spend time and research to make sure your hardware will work.

I find nowadays the only reason I am booting to windows is to play games or use Visual Studio..

The key to learning / using linux is to take all your knowledge about windows and forget it. Don't try to do things the windows way it will not work and you will get frustrated. Just pretend all you know about computers is the on button and how to use the keyboard/mouse and google.

A good way to start is go to vmware and get a copy of vmware server (its free) and install a linux distro to it. Which distro is up to you and it doesn't really matter as long as you are aware each distro tends to do things its own way.
Luckily Ubuntu/Debian have gotten to the point where most annoying and difficult tasks are automated, and after a short while Ubuntu becomes easier to administrate and fix than Windows for the typical user. Also it's easier to setup additional features like web servers, ftp servers, etc. What could be easier than typing "sudo apt-get install apache2"?

I highly recommend Ubuntu over Windows, if only for the fact that you NEVER have to reboot the computer unless you're switching kernels, which is handy for security fixes.
cascius,

if you have a Nvidia GPU don't think about it twice, just switch to linux Smile
Easy to troubleshoot, to customize, and to compile your own builds etc....

Of course in addition to the fantastic VDPAU feature, which gets you an amazing picture and great picture filters, like grain, sharpness.... which are all using nvidia hardware
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