Switching to UBUNTU
#1
Just had a few general questions... all my systems right now run Win7x64, but, this time next week my parts will be in for a new computer so can finally use this computer as a devoted HTPC/Server.

Very basic setup... computer attached to TV with HDMI and an ethernet cable, That's it. TV at the front of the house has an ethernet cable that runs to the same router so streaming works great.

When I do the change over however, I was debating switching to UBUNTU, because from what I can tell it takes fewer resources and hoping will in turn, be a better performing HTPC.

Where I'm a little unclear is...

- if those two PC's are setup with UBUNTU, is it easy to transfer files from my Win7 system to the HTPC Server? Since all encoding/downloading/editing/etc. will be done on my PC, I'd like to have a mapped drive set up where I can easily drag/drop files over.
- EventGhost. I'm using it now for the remotes, but not seeing an UBUNTU download for it. Is there an UBUNTU equivalent that works just as well (or better)? I don't have a fancy remote, just whatever universal remove came with the front TV, and on this TV a Sony RM-VZ320 because it's a Sony TV and it's fully compatible with it. So I'd have to custom program it.
- On the front TV, when the computer is turned on it auto-launches into KODI, you only see the Win7 desktop briefly. Family TV so, tried to set it up nice an simple for them. Can I still have it do the same in UBUNTU? Since throwing a new O/S for them to navigate will just confuse them completely.

I'v played around with UBUNTU maybe a year ago for a few days, so, I don't really know the ins/outs of it, but, read a few posts where people said once they switched to UBUNTU from Windows and saw how much better it ran KODI/XBMC they would never switch back so, if indeed better, I'd like to run the two systems off UBUNTU.

Anyone have any advise? Warnings? better options? Thanks
Operating System: CoreElec with Kodi 18
System: Beelink GT1 Ultimate - Android 7.1, Amlogic S912 Octa-Core 1.5 GHz, 3GB DDR4
Storage: WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra NAS - 2x4TB WD Blue (WD40EZRZ)
Display: 55" TCL 55R615-CA 4K TV
Reply
#2
In this case I would recommend Kodibuntu. Kodibuntu (wiki) boots right into Kodi and you have a very nice set top box feeling. It doesn't boot as fast as openelec, but openelec is a read only system which doesn't run any other software beside Kodi except you build it for yourself from source with additional software.

For your remote, you can either choose CEC which has to be provided by the HDMI of your motherboard or I would think about a flirc dongle. With this dongle you are able to use ANY remote in the house to control Kodi.

I used Kodibuntu for a few years and loved it much. If you are able and willing to play around with ubuntu and maybe see that things won't run immediatly out of the box (most, nearly all things except of special wishings, run out of the box, but it has to be said) and like to spent some time to solve them (if you have special wishes) you will see, that Kodi will work pretty fine on Ubuntu.

If you don't need any other software beside Kodi on that machine, I would prefere the OpenElec way. This isn't Ubuntu. It's a plain Linux, so ething like a 'Linux from scratch' (Lfs). It boots directly to Kodi, too and it boots very very fast. Only contra is, that you can't install any other software if needed.

So, you have to choose Wink. Best way would be to try both and see which one you like best.

Files can easily be moved from windows to your ubuntu server if you use WinSCP for example. If you use an Ubuntu system (Kodibuntu) you can create SMB share which Windows is capable of and use them as network drives.
On the other hand, Openelec already provides those SMB share directly after install. So you don't have to setup anything...just use it, with OpenElecs' pros and cons mentioned above.
But moving files easily fro one machine to the other will of course work. Either the one way (WinSCP) or the other (SMB; setted up in Ubuntu or by the use of OpenElec).

I hope this posting helps you a bit.

Cheers
David
Reply
#3
Openelec is usually best for a straight media box. You can try it on a USB stick and see how you like it.
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thumbs up' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "thumbs up" button.)
Reply
#4
CEC/Flirc.... those are things you have to buy correct? I'm looking to pay nothing and buy nothing... mainly because if I stick with Win7 it won't cost me a cent. Smile

I'll basically have to research the advice because I don't know what half it means. Big Grin I've heard of Linux/Unix, and Ubuntu which I guess is just a version of Linux. CEC, Flirc, Kodibuntu, WinSCP etc... new terms to me. Big Grin

Kodibuntu, given the name, I assume is a KODI version of Ubuntu?

Otherwise, ya, both system will be straight media player boxes.... one to play and act as a server, and the one in the front room is play only. Any sort of editing, reencoding or adding of files, will be done from my main PC running Win7x64.

Downloading Kodibuntu now, nice that it can run off the disc, like Ubuntu when I tried it before. Is there some sorta emulator to get EventGhost onto Kodibuntu? As my signature shows, I have the HP iR Receiver, same model on both systems. Would like to keep using it if possible.
Operating System: CoreElec with Kodi 18
System: Beelink GT1 Ultimate - Android 7.1, Amlogic S912 Octa-Core 1.5 GHz, 3GB DDR4
Storage: WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra NAS - 2x4TB WD Blue (WD40EZRZ)
Display: 55" TCL 55R615-CA 4K TV
Reply
#5
@THR

I second nickr.

I have your exact PC setup. Win764 server/encoder/DVR. Networked to Linux boxes. On them I have settled on openelec [OE] They are too easy to use for our household.

On your win7 box. Just put your media in a folder with meaningful names. Right click -> share with... Done.

Open the OE Linux box add video. Browse smb, add,scan. Enjoy a movie.

Here is an old windows how to if you want an easy test, go to openelec.TV for the latest image.

1638117 (post)

G
Reply
#6
Actually we have different setups, the media server (when done) will have all the files... the Win7 system won't be a server or stream anything. It'll just dump files to the server and access the server to organize files.

I have one 3TB drive for TV series, each folder is the name of the series, then the sub folders are all season 1, season 2, specials... the other 3TB drive is for movies. I don't use nfo files or other sidecar files, etc... I like being able to simply right click the file and refresh if needed etc. Just a drive with files, no folders, files all names in the same format (ie. Jupiter Ascending (2015).mp4 ). There is also a 250GB hard drive where the OS resides, a folder for MUSIC, and the KODI folder where all the poster art goes. I disabled fan art and actor thumbs to save space and speed things up... plus most screens cover up 75% of the fan art anyways so opted to just remove it.

That system will sit in a nice HTPC case when it arrives, and plug into the network with ethernet not WiFi.

The new computer (hopefully the rest of the parts arrive soon) will be what I work on. Any/all new files for the server will be on here. Ideally, I want to open MY COMPUTER or NETWORKS and have the HTPC mapped. Then I can click, open it, drag/drop the files to the proper folders. I don't know if I can map the HTPC under network and do that? or if I have to add all 3 main folders (music/tv/movies) as mapped drives under MY COMPUTER.

That's the goal... do all the work on the PC running Win7.... the primary HTPC will have all the files and the HTPC at the front of the house will only turn on and play videos/music, either streamed from the primary HTPC, or off a USB stick. Smile

I'll have to download some stuff and test. I have Kodibuntu now to try, will also get OpenElec... though if I can get the HI iR Receiver to work with either of those, or Ubuntu (without buying stuff) then Win7x64 wins. I blew my budget on the new PC build, and I still have to order the HTPC case. My spending is done for a while.... need to spend less on the computer, and more on the car. Big Grin
Operating System: CoreElec with Kodi 18
System: Beelink GT1 Ultimate - Android 7.1, Amlogic S912 Octa-Core 1.5 GHz, 3GB DDR4
Storage: WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra NAS - 2x4TB WD Blue (WD40EZRZ)
Display: 55" TCL 55R615-CA 4K TV
Reply
#7
I use Ubuntu Server 14.04.2 Trusty Tahr for my Kodi Home Theatre PC.

I use Samba on this box to share files with my Windows computers, I have also installed NFS support.

No problems with Ubuntu so far.

I agree with the other posters here it depends what you want to do.

Ubuntu/Kodibuntu --> More versatility (can run other programs besides Kodi), can add and use a desktop environment to run a web browser etc.
OpenELEC --> Fast, uses less resources, runs only Kodi and some TV/PVR backends
Reply
#8
Well, so far I think the deciding factor hinges on the HP iR Receiver... can anyone confirm getting these to run in any environment?

Like I said... if it doesn't, then Win7 wins because I don't want to have to buy more hardware.
Operating System: CoreElec with Kodi 18
System: Beelink GT1 Ultimate - Android 7.1, Amlogic S912 Octa-Core 1.5 GHz, 3GB DDR4
Storage: WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra NAS - 2x4TB WD Blue (WD40EZRZ)
Display: 55" TCL 55R615-CA 4K TV
Reply
#9
Tried Kodibuntu off the DVD and when loaded worked fine. I exited it to see what the OS was like, but for whatever reason the font was less than 1pt in size. I have perfect eyesight, and even on a 40" TV I couldn't read anything so, wasn't able to play around with the OS itself.

Was going to try OpenELEC, downloaded the img file but ended there. Invalid file format for burning to disc, tried two versions. Online seems to constantly point towards booting from USB which on this older motherboard doesn't really work. Very intermittent and takes a lot of messing with the BIOS. So, sadly that was a bit of a bust for me. Big Grin

Kodibuntu though played nicely and audio worked.

Because right now my TV is a secondary monitor on an extended desktop, I have to enable 'use a fullscreen window rather than true fullscreen" else when I click something on my desktop, KODI minimizes... not really a problem, however, when watching a larger file movie where the screen pans across something like scenery, it's really jerky. Disable that feature and it's smooth again. Seen a few posts about it so I guess a common issue for people with my setup. Kodibuntu still did the extended screen though the PC monitor was black (can see the cursor on it though) but skipped through a few large file action movies and saw no jerky-motion panning.

Is there a way to test OpenELEC? apart from saving to a bootable USB stick and installing it to another USB stick? Because if the install and testing is all USB based, I'm SOL. Smile
Operating System: CoreElec with Kodi 18
System: Beelink GT1 Ultimate - Android 7.1, Amlogic S912 Octa-Core 1.5 GHz, 3GB DDR4
Storage: WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra NAS - 2x4TB WD Blue (WD40EZRZ)
Display: 55" TCL 55R615-CA 4K TV
Reply
#10
I was not sure what your *main HTPC* was. That makes sense. I prefer Xubuntu desktop, use firefox/chrome/gmail, etc: If used for HTPC/storage. Xubuntu is easier to **disable** compositing (like Aero on windows). This is VERY important for smooth playback. No extra frame buffering as that kills video performance.

Xubuntu is free, supports almost all ubunto apps, boots fast, works on most older processors very well. Booting into Kodi is easy to autostart on boot via settings gui.

I don't share from my xubuntu box, but it should be very simple- Like this or similar:

http://www.howtogeek.com/74459/how-to-cr...-easy-way/

Installing kodi via command line will likely give best results, but changing you repository to wsnipex, or nighly, etc.. It might all install the same. Learning apt installation will give you access to a lot more on (x)ubuntu.

On linux, I prefer nas4free for storage/ SMB shares- but it can't run kodi.

OE- As for usb, I never found an easy way. OE images are bootable install USB disk creators. Not live disks that run or install like ubuntu disks, etc. By mistake I have installed it on 2 sata blank hard drives in one PC before- that works fine *from what I recall*. 1) disk for the setup/install/boot image, 2) second as the target for install. Once installed unplug the 1) disk and boot from disk 2). If you have spare drives you can try that. Be careful to not bork your main windows boot drive!

good luck.
G
Reply
#11
Quote:Was going to try OpenELEC, downloaded the img file but ended there. Invalid file format for burning to disc, tried two versions. Online seems to constantly point towards booting from USB which on this older motherboard doesn't really work. Very intermittent and takes a lot of messing with the BIOS. So, sadly that was a bit of a bust for me. Big Grin

Gunzip the img.gz then use w32diskimager to "burn" it onto a usb stick. Then boot from the usb stick. When it asks you what to boot, enter live with your keyboard. Please use 5.95.2 - as 14.0 is nearly gone :-)
First decide what functions / features you expect from a system. Then decide for the hardware. Don't waste your money on crap.
Reply
#12
(2015-07-12, 02:56)THRobinson Wrote: Well, so far I think the deciding factor hinges on the HP iR Receiver... can anyone confirm getting these to run in any environment?

Like I said... if it doesn't, then Win7 wins because I don't want to have to buy more hardware.

Your HP ir receiver is highly likely to work in oe or in kodibuntu. But you haven't (I think) given us an exact model.
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thumbs up' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "thumbs up" button.)
Reply
#13
(2015-07-12, 09:43)fritsch Wrote: Gunzip the img.gz then use w32diskimager to "burn" it onto a usb stick. Then boot from the usb stick. When it asks you what to boot, enter live with your keyboard. Please use 5.95.2 - as 14.0 is nearly gone :-)

Well, like I said, I found a lot of stuff about burning to USB, but I can't boot from USB, so OpenELEC for me is a bust.
Operating System: CoreElec with Kodi 18
System: Beelink GT1 Ultimate - Android 7.1, Amlogic S912 Octa-Core 1.5 GHz, 3GB DDR4
Storage: WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra NAS - 2x4TB WD Blue (WD40EZRZ)
Display: 55" TCL 55R615-CA 4K TV
Reply
#14
(2015-07-12, 10:45)nickr Wrote: Your HP ir receiver is highly likely to work in oe or in kodibuntu. But you haven't (I think) given us an exact model.

Haven't given it, but, my system specs are in my signature, should show the make/model of HP receiver.

I was reading up on LIRC for my remote and was very surprised that despite having about 2000 remotes listed, including a lot of SONY remotes, the RM-VZ320 wasn't listed... probably the most common SONY remote out there. :S

I hoped to play with Kodibuntu without full install, but like I mentioned, for whatever reason the OS screens were showing the fonts so small they were almost just dots on the screen so, I couldn't do anything.
Operating System: CoreElec with Kodi 18
System: Beelink GT1 Ultimate - Android 7.1, Amlogic S912 Octa-Core 1.5 GHz, 3GB DDR4
Storage: WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra NAS - 2x4TB WD Blue (WD40EZRZ)
Display: 55" TCL 55R615-CA 4K TV
Reply
#15
so don't see your sign without a bit of futzing but got it now.

don't have a clue if it works, but boot oe live and you will find out.
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thumbs up' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "thumbs up" button.)
Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average



Logout Mark Read Team Forum Stats Members Help
Switching to UBUNTU00