Wednesday 22 December 2010

HTPC project, part 3

Ahem, my mistake. I had thought that the one cable coming from the PSU must be the one to connect to the power fan contacts on the mobo. Actually that was the floppy disk power connector. Lucky I didn't burn the mobo.

After that little fix, the device started as expected. I quickly installed a minimal Ubuntu installation instructions provided by the XBMC Wiki. I installed OpenSSH and Samba straight from the installer because I knew I need them both. I am using the Intel GPU built into the i3 processor so I didn't need to install any drivers for that.

There were some minor issues because the instructions are for a bit older Ubuntus (including wrong apt-key values. The correct ones were easy enough to Google.

I also set a static address for the device for obvious reasons.

My hdd setup is like this:

On the SSD disk:
  • 256MB /boot,
  • The rest /.
The two 2TB disks have the following:
  • 8GB /swap on disk 1,
  • 8GB /var/log on disk 2,
  • 10 GB /home on disk 1,
  • 10 GB /tmp on disk 2,
  • and the rest is a RAID1 partition in /data.
Afterwards I thought maybe the /home and /tmp disks should have been bigger (50GB) just in case. The idea is that static stuff is on the SSD disk and variable on the HDD's. I don't anticipate I will save anything important in /home so no need to use RAID on that.

There are still some issues:
  • The power button doesn't turn the device off (and I did install upower).
  • Samba speed is not very good ( ~5MiB/s).
  • I have gotten the "*ERROR* EDID checksum is invalid, remainder is 143" two times. Looks like this has something to do with the Intel graphics controller. Lots of talk, no resolutions in the Linux world yet.
  • The remote worked as a remote after installing lirc but only until I rebooted. Now it acts like a mouse again. I chose "Soundgraph iMON Antec Veris" as the IR receiver and "None" as transmitter, these should be right. There are some odd debug lines in syslog that I have to look into later.
  • LCD is not working yet but it looks like there are solutions for this.
  • The Nexus case fan is way too loud for this application. I'll go buy a Noctua instead. Then I should be able to drop the speed of the CPU fan to a minimum - I tried this already and it's practically silent then. But I need to run it a lot faster if I want to avoid using the case fan.
There are things I still need to do, including:
  • Install the plugin that allows me to rip DVD's with this device.
  • Install autostarter stuff so that the device starts automatically to XBMC on boot.


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