Browsing posts in: linux

mythTV on gentoo

Getting mythtv to work is the final step in a long range of sub-applications that need to work first. Amongst these are:

One is mysql. Emerge mysql does the trick, but then
/etc/init.d/mysql start
told me that I still needed to run a script. The ebuild doesn’t do this for you. After this the mysql server started, and running the client (also called mysql) with the simple test command ‘show databases’ showed everything was fine.

For the pvr350 (or pvr250 card) you’ll need ivtv ( So first
emerge ivtv
Getting the pvr350 card to work needed some tweaking as well. The “default” kernel doesn’t add tuner.o in the modules directory. Reason is that the BT848 is not included as a module. Reason for this is that the i2c bit-banging interfaces are OFF. These deep-dependancies can be a pain in the ass.

to fix this:
genkernel –menuconfig all
Then when the menuconfig screen appears, i went to character devices->i2c support
turned the bit-banging interface.
Then to the multimedia video section and turned the BT848

To load the whole ivtv section during boot, i did
echo ivtv >>/etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.4

Also some settings in the modules.conf are needed, but in gentoo you normally generate this file and put stuff in /etc/modules.d
After emerging ivtv, the file ivtv is already in /etc/modules.d, but it needs some tweaking.

Using modprobe tveeprom, found out that my tuner is type 5, so:
#alias char-major-61 lirc_i2c
#add above ivtv lirc_dev lirc_i2c
alias char-major-81 videodev
alias char-major-81-0 ivtv
### modprobe tveeprom geeft: tuner=philips FM1216 idx=21 type=5
options ivtv debug=1 ivtv_pal=1 tuner=5
options tuner pal=1 type=5
options saa7127 enable_output=1 output_select=0 pal=1
options msp3400 once=1 simple=1
add below ivtv msp3400 saa7115 saa7127 tuner
# add above ivtv lirc_dev lirc_i2c
# add above ivtv ivtv-fb
post-install ivtv /usr/local/bin/test_ioctl -d /dev/video0 -u 0xff

lirc is not functioning now, so that has to be done later on.

getting the gentoo live-cd to work

The gentoo manuals are great, taking you step-by-step through the whole process. Following this, i first needed their live-cd for booting this old pentium 166mhz. So i burned the live-cd 2004.2 iso (the minimal one).

Watch out that you burn this one as an ‘image’, so do not create a cd with the iso file on it as this does not work: you need to have a bootable cd. I used nero with the ‘burn image’ menu option. Just select the iso file and go.

With the freshly made cd I tried booting the old pentium system. It did not boot. So, was the bios set correctly? yes: bootorder CDROM,A,C That was not the issue. Maybe the cdrom was too old and dusty.. after all, the system was 8 years old. So I installed another cdrom in the system. no luck, but I found out that a fedora or redhat boot cd DID boot! So there is something wrong with the gentoo disc, as it does not boot in older systems. I made 5 copies of the CD just to be sure, but none of them would boot the old machine.

UPDATE: I did a gentoo install using the fedora boot disk – just boot the fedora boot cd in ‘rescue’ mode and start installing gentoo the moment the bash prompt is shown. Googling for other gentoo installtion info, I found out that knoppix (linux-on-a-cd) is also a good way of starting the gentoo installation, and maybe toms bootroot (linux-on-a-floppy, might work for the older (386 and like) pc’s, although I did not try this (yet!).

UPDATE2: There is a new experimental minimal-cd available which fixes this problem.

Tired of fedora/redhat? The gentoo case

After using redhat for quite some years i decided to give gentoo ( a try. The main advantage is their impressive package system called ‘portage’.

The drawback of the redhad distributions is that you always need the correct rpm if you want to install something, and at the end you always end up compiling it from source using a tarball because the right rpm (or srpm – source rpm) does not exist or is outdated or your redhat version is not recent enough / compatible or whatever.

I have tried to build mplayer on redhat 8 for instance. First i spend some time figuring out all the dependencies, then figuring out all versions that work (or not) together with mplayer, or with each other. It took me a few hours to get this all working, which is all wasted time. With gentoo, each application/package has a team of people (called the “herd”) maintaining the installation scripts (the “ebuilds”) of the package. Entering “emerge mplayer” on a gentoo system will do everything to generate an mplayer for you. When emerge is done, you can start using mplayer.

The Via Epia M10000 with Nehemiah cpu

Great stuff coming from via nowadays. I am experimenting with those via boards for a while now, and they are fun! Why buy a noisy, expensive 3Ghz intel or athlon, when all you need is a 600Mhz pc. On top of that, it does not need a fan, so it’s completely silent.


One of the boards are build into a cubid case, which is about the size of a car radio. I am preparing this one to be used in the car. (the cubid has an external adapter on 12volts and an internal dc-dc converter into atx and disk voltage levels) This is the first epia project. It uses a M6000 epia board, and the thing is called tutuut. Main goal is a 160Gb car mp3 jukebox, but watching divx in the car would be nice too) Tutuut is currently running redhat8, but will be converted to gentoo or fedora core2 soon. Specs:
EPIA M6000 600Mhz cpu (fanless)
256Mb ram
160G seagate disc (seagate discs are very silent!)
Cubid 3688 case, 12volt input, dc-dc converter on board, fanless.
The cubid case does not support 3.5″ harddiscs out of the box, but with a little effort it fits.


The other board is an epia M10000. It is build into a travla C137 case, which makes this a perfect fit as a tv-settopbox. A bit larger than the cubid case, but it supports one pci-slot with a pci-riser/corner card. The pci card in this case is a hauppauge pvr350, as this should be a linux-tivo box. It and has the option for a 3.5″harddisc standard (without drilling holes..) .
This machine is called montevideo, and is supposed to run mythtv ( , as this seems to be the best free tivo system at the moment. (in comparison with freevo, the other contender). The microsoft multimedia centre is not considered, as anything running on windows needs a 6Ghz processor to start with, and they cannot be bought as yet.