Which OS would YOU choose
#1
Greetings,
I built a kodi box a few years ago and at the time I decided Using windows 7 would be the way I would go for an OS. I wanted a box that would play my video library as well as emulate the old games and eventually be able to support my PVR needs when I got around to building a PVR box. Well I recently built out a Mythtv box and got it up and running and whilst installing the add-on for it on my Kodi box I noticed the whole box seemed sluggish and was eating my entire 8 GB of RAM. It has been years since I last wiped the drive (I normally wipe my other computers every year or so. Anyways, I know this question has been asked before but it has been a long time and several improvements to Linux since I have seen the question asked so here it is...if you were to rebuild your system today (or the system listed below)...what OS would YOU use for if you could choose any one? When I built this box the first time I used windows because Linux didn't seem to have a lot of support for game emulators and their accessories (Xbox 360 controllers, Wiimotes, etc) but it seems I just looked it up and Linux supports almost every one I use now. I am considering Linux instead of my copy of WIN7 because to me it feels less bloated than windows...and I figure I would have a lot less issues with "focus" on the Kodi program (IE: Windows loves to shrink my Kodi to give me some B*($SH!HF system message. I got it corrected with XBMClauncher but still annoying). My rough specs are below:

Quad-Core AMD A-Series APU Processor Model A8-5600K
Gigabyte GA-F2A85XM-D3H AMD Socket FM2 A85X (Hudson D4) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard
8 GB RAM
128 GB SSD
Using the built in geforce video (I bought a stand alone geforce card for it but it would never boot and seem to get red hot with it installed to I just stayed with onboard)

Any suggestions (or warnings) about switching to Linux (or staying with Windows and just reinstalling) would be much appreciated.

Acc
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#2
I picked Windows for two reasons.

1- I can purchase Bluray software to play discs when I need to. I rip all the ones I own, but I really wanted to have the ability to stick a disc in and play it if needed. I know there are some work arounds for other OS's using an extra library, but sometimes the list of title options on a Bluray disc with that are so long you can't figure out what to play.

2- I wanted one box with PVR software that could at least do CableCard channels (I'm in the US) that are free to copy. When I looked last, the only options for that were on Windows. It looks like MythTV can do that now as well, so that's not as big a deal as it once was.
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#3
(2017-01-15, 05:37)pkscout Wrote: I picked Windows for two reasons.

1- I can purchase Bluray software to play discs when I need to. I rip all the ones I own, but I really wanted to have the ability to stick a disc in and play it if needed. I know there are some work arounds for other OS's using an extra library, but sometimes the list of title options on a Bluray disc with that are so long you can't figure out what to play.

2- I wanted one box with PVR software that could at least do CableCard channels (I'm in the US) that are free to copy. When I looked last, the only options for that were on Windows. It looks like MythTV can do that now as well, so that's not as big a deal as it once was.

EEK, I hope if I decide to go with Linux there are no issues with Mythtv since I just got it up and running. Got mine hooked to 2 HDHOMERUN primes on FIOS. I lose out of HBO and any fox owned channel (Fox News, FX series of channels) but I can live without them. Also think it is funny I also own a Nvidia Shield I run Homerun View on and believe it or not I get the DRM channels on that device (HBO and stuff). Only with the view app though. Who would of thought Android would be the first to get all the DRM stuff correct. /headscratch
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#4
Moved to discussions as this is not a Kodi specific support request.
Always read the Kodi online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Read/follow the forum rules.
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#5
I second windows myself .....seem to have more support.
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#6
If you're planning to use Linux... I'd just go with something that has a pretty current Kernel and has a fairly light (but reasonably easy to customize) interface. I'm not sure what you plan to do w/ your box, but your hardware looks like a bit of overkill (Edit: Nevermind.. now I see where you mentioned emulators..). I went with Mint 18 XFCE

1. First and foremost, I prefer Debian based Linux distributions. All of my home stuff runs either Debian or some OS based on Debian
2. I went with Mint specifically because it's a lot less headache to install restricted codecs, etc. (most are installed out of the box)
3. I chose XFCE, because it was pretty easy to customize.

Hardware:
Intel NUC NUC5CPYH
4gigs of Ram
64gig SSD. I would have went smaller, but the prices became essentially the same, or the price drops w/ the quality of the drive. Assuming you're not storing your media content on your machine, you shouldn't need a very large OS drive, as even Ubuntu and Mate, a base install is going to be less than 2gigs, and probably only around 3 or so when you're done adding software
Mini BT keyboard/touchpad combo to use as a "remote"

After tweaking the UI just a bit and removing junk I didn't need (office software, etc)... It is extremely functional and looks good on my 48in LCD. Most of my content I stream from my custom NAS, but I also use some add on services for Kodi. Hoping to cut the cord this month as I just got notified my cable was going up AGAIN and I just don't watch it enough to justify the cost.

Here's a gratuitous screenshot on how I set up the desktop... It's simple, clean, and effective.. thus why I like it. Kodi auto starts when the NUC boots, but occasionally I turn Kodi off for Netflix, etc. http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j263/I...rhytsl.png
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#7
Linux, I have been using *nix based OSes since 1990 and haven't owned a Windows PC for 12 years. Using Windows is such a faff.
HTPCs: RPi 3B+, RPI2B & 2 x RPi 1B on LibreELEC 8.x
Amp: Pioneer VSX-819HK & S-HS 100 5.1 Speakers
Server: Acer Revo R3610, 4GB RAM, 5TB HDDs, Xubuntu 16.04 x64, NFS, MySQL
Network: Plusnet Hub One Router, Cisco Catalyst 2960, TP-Link TL-SG1005D & Netgear DGN1000 Switches
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#8
Xubuntu http://xubuntu.org/
Ted
My blog
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#9
I'm running Windows 10 on mine because when combined with Steam Big Picture Mode and the Steam Launcher add on, your HTPC is now also a game console. Smile
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#10
I had the experience the other day to check both Linux mint and Windows 10 o/s on the same device with Jarvis on each with the same movie. The box was set-up dual mode https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Mini-PCs/VivoPC_VM42/ was picked up on sale a few years back for $249 CDN, seems to still be around for $199 U.S. on Amazon.

With an h265 video playing on the windows machine, Kodi stuttered and the osd showed ~100% cpu. Most h264 played well, 80% cpui
With the same h265 video playing on the the Linux mint, Kodi played smooth and the osd read ~35%

I would consider the best of both worlds to keep it interesting, dual boot and share the content; with that in mind-> I appreciate @pkscout comments.
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#11
Lubuntu.

Lightweight and fast, but stripped down version of Ubuntu. You can add anything that would normally be included with a full Ubuntu distro if you feel the need, and you'll have access to additional software via the Synaptic Package Manager and even the Ubuntu Software Center. Check the HTPC link in my signature. My admittedly under-powered system boots to the desktop in just under 15 seconds, and I'm into Kodi in just a few seconds more. While none of my media is in any of the bleeding-edge formats, I've never had a problem playing anything that I own on it, or streaming anything from the internet.
Kodi Krypton (17.6) on ThinkPad T400 Lubuntu 18.04 | Kodi Krypton (17.6) on HTPC Lubuntu 16.04 | My Add-ons | My Repo
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#12
Windows 10 Pro 64 bit on also a AMD APU A8-7600K, 8 GB RAM, Asrock FM2A88M Extreme 4 Mainboard, DD Cine S2 v 6.5 TV Card, 128 GB SSD and i like it.
20 Seconds until boot into Kodi (as Shell), starting and shutting down by remote control (X10) and also Steam.
What you want more? Smile
@TO: If you use the igpu you have an AMD GFX Big Grin
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#13
My $0.02...

Broadly, it depends on what you want to do. For a vanilla setup, all-Kodi, straightforward audio, then it really doesn't matter - use what you're happy with - look at LibreElec if you want an appliance. If you want Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or similar, then that tilts you away from Linux; if you want more advanced audio setups then that tilts you away from Android (which isn't really an option given that you have the hardware already) and from certain chipsets; if you want on-board TV tuners then that has implications, as does native BluRay decoding, HEVC decoding, browser support, etc.

The usual advice would probably be "try LibreElec from bootable external media, and see". If that does what you want, it's likely to be the easiest and fastest-performing platform on most hardware.

Windows 10 is typically swifter than Windows 7 as well, particularly on boot time - my Haswell Win10 machines are still way behind my ancient ION LibreElec machine in terms of boot speed, for example, despite all having similar SSDs.
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#14
Libreelec all the way. The os was designed from the ground up for kodi after all.
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#15
Libreelec.
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Which OS would YOU choose00