Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Tag

Ubuntu 9.10 : Adding and automounting a second hard drive

I really should document things like this while I’m doing it and not after the fact. This is how I think it went. I was given and old hard drive. I figured I’d add it to the Ubuntu 9.10 install that I’m using as kind of a media server. It would be nice to have a second hard drive that just contains media. In the end, the hard drive was trashed, but I will repeat this process with a new hard drive soon. I think I need a terabyte drive anyway.

The PC involved/Hardware:
MB: Epox: EP 8RDA3+ Pro
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2Ghz)
Ram: 1.5 Gig
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti 4200
HD1: Western Digital 120 GB drive (IDE)
Adding HD2: 300 GB Western Digital (IDE)

First thing I did was shut down the computer. I made sure HD1 and HD2 were both jumped CS (Cable Select). I connected HD2 to the secondary position(middle) of the IDE cable. Connected the power plug and turned the computer back on. I’m not sure why but I was expecting it not to boot… but it did.

HD2 showed up in nautilus, but it was not mounted. If I click on it, I need to enter my password to mount it. I’ll deal with this later. I need to format the drive first. I went to System > Administration > Disk Utility. Selected HD2, deleted the current partition, formated it ext4 and I believe I was asked if I wanted to take ownership of the drive… I think. Well I did. Oh yea, It asked for a new volume name and I called it bucket. I’m gonna be tossing a lot of stuff in.. the… bucket…. …. nevermind.

At that point I could open nautilus, click on bucket, enter my password to mount the drive to read and write to HD2(bucket). I tried to navigate to this drive with mediatomb and was informed that mediatomb does not have permission to access this drive. Ok. Anyway, nautilus looks like this right now.That’s after I manually mount HD2(bucket).

I have to edit the /etc/fstab file to automount HD2. So I opened a terminal and typed:
$ sudo gedit /etc/fstab

It looked like this:

After a lot of research on the net, I narrowed my entry down to this:
/dev/sdb1 /media/bucket ext4 rw,user,auto,exec 0 0
I got the /dev/sdb1 /media/bucket information from the disk utility at System > Administration > Disk Utility. I also had to create the mount point. I opened nautilus with root privileges:
$ gksudo nautilus
I then made my way to /media and made a folder named bucket.
My fstab file now looks like this:

I commented above my entry there at the end. It works. It is mounted when the machine boots and read write access for myself and other programs(mediatomb) is not a problem. I’m going to be doing this again real soon because this disk is trashed.

Ubuntu 9.10 serving the PS3… pt 1

Ubuntu 9.10 serving the PS3 and everything involved… pt 1 : MediaTomb
Ubuntu 9.10 serving the PS3 and everything involved… pt 2 : HandBrake
Ubuntu 9.10 serving the PS3 and everything involved… pt 3 : Mashpodder
Ubuntu 9.10 serving the PS3 and everything involved… pt 4 : cron

A PS3 for Christmas this year?… Lets get started. My original plan was to just feed some movies from a server/PC in my basement to the PS3 but things have changed. This will be a multiple part series so I’ll do the best I can to explain it. I’m doing this for my benefit, so I can set the whole thing up again once the next Ubuntu LTS comes out. If I can do this, most anyone else should be able to do this.

Parties involved:
Ubuntu 9.10
A couple of bash scripts

So in pt 1, I’ll be installing and setting up MediaTomb.

The PC involved/Hardware:
MB: Epox: EP 8RDA3+ Pro
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2Ghz)
Ram: 1.5 Gig
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti 4200

Installed from synaptic:(make sure these are installed)
mediatomb 0.12.0

The Idea here is to have Mediatomb serve up some video to my PS3.
The OS on the PC is Ubuntu 9.10 . I installed MediaTomb right from Synaptic. The version in the repo’s is fine. Once installed, go to Applications > Sound_&_Video > MediaTomb. That will launch MediaTomb in your default browser(Firefox). It should look something like this:

Now you need to add which folders you want Mediatomb to scan/serve. At the top of the Mediatomb page you have Database and Filesystem. Click on Filesystem. Now if you have specific folders that you have your media in(video/audio) then specify each folder. Lets say you want to scan the video folder in your home directory. Then under Filesystem, click home > Your_user_name > videos.

Now to start scanning that folder, you click on the plus sign with the little arrows going around it. It’s in the upper right corner of the MediaTomb page.You will now get this page:

I have selected
Scan Mode: Timed – I want it to scan in specific intervals.
Scan Level: Full – I want a full scan.
Recursive: Checked – I want it to scan all subfolders.
Include hidden files/directories: Checked – Yes I want it too.
Scan Interval (in seconds): 1800(default-30min)

Do this for each folder that you want scanned. Now you should be set. If your MediaTomb and PS3 are plugged into the same network and MediaTomb is running, the PS3 will see it and display your Video folder and it’s supported contents. Look around on the PS3 menu’s under Video. You’ll see the MT icon.

Next set up your config.xml file. The location of that file is:
I used gedit to open and edit the file. Type at the commandline:
$ sudo gedit /etc/mediatomb/config.xml
Read through the file. I added ogg support because the PS3 does not support ogg. I left comments in my file above the 2 changes I made for the ogg addition. Also for ogg support, install VLC. It’s involved in the transcoding. VLC is in the repo’s. And turn on transcoding. The transcoding change is also in red.

For preview/thumbnail support, enable ffmpegthumbnailer. Enabling ffmpegthumbnailer is also in red. Then install ffmpegthumbnailer if you haven’t already. I installed it using synaptic.

This is my current config.xml file. All my changes/additions are commented and/or in red. I was going to set up MediaTomb to auto start on start up but I appears that it does that automatically. Maybe because I also installed mediatomb-daemon. I’ve done nothing else make it do this… but I like it.

Part 2 will cover converting DVD’s with Handbrake and the file format for the PS3.

More on the way… I just have to remember what I did. I will rewrite this whole thing on the next install. This install was more of an experiment that worked.

*A little bit of confusion*
If you haven’t noticed, there are two different locations for the config.xml file. One is in your home directory. It’s hidden:
The other location is:
The version that I have installed uses the config.xml file in the etc/mediatomb location. This is also the config.xml file that is used during the auto start when Ubuntu boots. If you open MediaTomb from the command line, The config.xml file in your home directory is used. I’m not using that one. So, just open MediaTomb from the drop down menus and edit the config.xml file located at etc/mediatomb/config.xml and everything will be fine.

* I’m sure I’ve missed something. I’ll add them in and fix my spelling and grammar errors as I go.*

Update: This auto start thing isn’t 100%. I’ve had to reboot on more than one occasion to get it to start on it’s own. I’ll have to look into it more.

GNU / Linux and The Logitech diNovo Edge Bluetooth Keyboard

I took a gamble buying this keyboard because it’s not advertised as Linux friendly. Seems that I gambled and won.

I’m building a Computer for my mother. She has used web TV/msnTV2 for years. It was easy, straight forward, virus free and didn’t required maintenance. She loved it. After upgrading to the msnTV2 box and getting about 15 months of use out of it, the box died. Figures, 3 months out of warranty and it dies. Call MS support, they give me to RCA. They send me to the 3rd party warranty people and we are S.O.L. . Ok, screw it, I’ll just build a Linux box on the cheap and she can use that. Linux Mint is the distro for her. Everything works out of the box and it’s easy to use.

Anyway…..She needed a keyboard/mouse combo that can be used without the need for a table or tray to use the mouse. Something that could be used from the comfort of the couch. In walks the diNovo Edge.

Take it out of the box, plug in the usb blue tooth dongle, turn on the keyboard, hit the sync buttons and away we go. Works great. All the buttons work. All but 3 of the fn buttons work. And they might even work, I just don’t know what they do. (fn = home page, mail, media player controls and a few more) Very nice. The only problem is that when Mint6 is rebooted, the keyboard does not work unless you remove the usb blue tooth dongle, plug the dongle back in and re sync. After some searching on the net, I found the fix. Now this is on Linux Mint 6 which is base on Ubuntu Intrepid. You have to remove the package “Bluez”. Go into Synaptic and remove it. Now reboot. Plug the dongle back in and you should be good on every boot now. Apparently the dongle is a blue tooth hub and for the some reason the Bluez package interferes with it’s operation. I don’t pretend to know how or why it does or does not work, I just know how to get this keyboard/mouse combo unit working under this Debian based distribution.

The keyboard/mouse combo is nicely constructed, not flimsy and appears to have the full keyboard layout minus the number pad on the right. The mouse touch pad works about as good as a mouse touch pad can work. No problems there. The charging cradle is also a big plus. When you’re not using it, put it on charge. I’ve only been using it for a few days to test it out. Tomorrow it’s heading to moms house for install. I think she’ll like it.

Reviews of this board:

ExtremeTech , CNET

Update march 6 2010 : I just installed Linux Mint 8 on her machine with this same keyboard and the “bluez” package was not a problem this time. The keyboard is still going strong without a problem.