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#1 2013-01-06 08:36:08

qKUqm3wtY4
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From: San Francisco
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 60
Website

Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

I am building an AMD/ATI HTPC.  I just want essential tools.  I want to use my Android as the remote.  What should I add to this list of essential packages?

wireless_tools
wpa_supplicant
wpa_actiond
dialog
xorg-server
xf86-video-ati
lib32-ati-dri
mesa
alsa
alsa-utils
alsa-plugins
lib32-alsa-plugins
pulseaudio
pulseaudio-alsa
lib32-libpulse
fluxbox
ttf-dejavu
ttf-ms-win8
xbmc
steam

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#2 2013-01-06 18:58:23

qKUqm3wtY4
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From: San Francisco
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 60
Website

Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

Or perhaps I will get a Logitech Harmony remote.  I don't see any AUR package for this though.  Any thoughts?


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#3 2013-01-06 19:27:39

Šaran
Member
From: Bosnia
Registered: 2011-09-03
Posts: 407

Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

Why would you need such list? Just install everything that is necessary to make things work.
Maybe you don't need/want pulseaudio? You also need something to manage wireless - netcfg
should be more than enough. Make sure you go through xbmc pkgbuild and edit useflags since
there are lot of things you don't need and they pull in quite a few dependencies.
Harmony should work perfectly as long as you have IR reciever supported by LIRC.

Here is pacman -Q output from my Raspberry Pi used as XBMC mediacenter with base-devel, distcc and
XBMC (currently uninstalled) build deps so you know what to expect.

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#4 2013-01-06 20:56:46

qKUqm3wtY4
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 60
Website

Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

Šaran: Why would you need such list?
qKUqm3wtY4: I need such a list because this is my first HTPC, I am a noob, and I really only want the essentials.

Šaran: Just install everything that is necessary to make things work.
qKUqm3wtY4: I intend to do exactly that.

Šaran: Maybe you don't need/want pulseaudio?
qKUqm3wtY4: Oh, right!  I will have to research how to set ALSA to manage HDMI instead of integrated audio.

Šaran: You also need something to manage wireless - netcfg should be more than enough.
qKUqm3wtY4: Okay, this is good!  I woudn't have known that unless you told me.  This is good stuff.  Thank you.

Šaran: Make sure you go through xbmc pkgbuild and edit useflags since there are lot of things you don't need and they pull in quite a few dependencies.
qKUqm3wtY4: I have had to edit PKGBUILD once before.  Would you please explain what a useflag is?  What types of things might I not need?

Šaran: Harmony should work perfectly as long as you have IR reciever supported by LIRC.
qKUqm3wtY4: I was unaware of LIRC.  Now I am; thank you.

Šaran: Here is pacman -Q output from my Raspberry Pi used as XBMC mediacenter with base-devel, distcc and XBMC (currently uninstalled) build deps so you know what to expect.
qKUqm3wtY4: This gives me quite a bit of insight.  I appreciate it!

Šaran: . . . Raspberry Pi used as XBMC mediacenter . . .
qKUqm3wtY4: You have a Raspberry Pi!  Does it lag very often when playing 1080p?  Are there any complications with playing x264 (most of my media is encoded this way)?  I have been considering picking up a few of them for a few different projects.

Thanks for the reply, Šaran.

Last edited by qKUqm3wtY4 (2013-01-06 21:29:49)


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#5 2013-01-06 21:21:13

graysky
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Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 8,416
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Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

qKUqm3wtY4 wrote:

I have had to edit PKGBUILD once before.  Would you please explain what a useflag is?  What types of things might I not need?

USE flags are not an Arch-thing.  Perhaps you can simply comment out or disable unneeded configure options in the PKGBUILD's 'configure --x --y .. --z' section and adjust the deps accordingly.


CPU-optimized Linux-ck packages @ Repo-ck  • AUR packagesZsh and other configs

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#6 2013-01-06 21:36:36

qKUqm3wtY4
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From: San Francisco
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 60
Website

Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

graysky wrote:

USE flags are not an Arch-thing.  Perhaps you can simply comment out or disable unneeded configure options in the PKGBUILD's 'configure --x --y .. --z' section and adjust the deps accordingly.

Thank you for the link.  I think I am going to be learning a lot on this new project.  Cheers! smile


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#7 2013-01-06 21:50:29

Šaran
Member
From: Bosnia
Registered: 2011-09-03
Posts: 407

Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

graysky wrote:

USE flags are not an Arch-thing.  Perhaps you can simply comment out or disable unneeded configure options in the PKGBUILD's 'configure --x --y .. --z' section and adjust the deps accordingly.

I thought configure options are synonym for use flags. Thanks.

qKUqm3wtY4 wrote:

I will have to research how to set ALSA to manage HDMI instead of integrated audio.

This depends on video driver. Which card you will be buying?

qKUqm3wtY4 wrote:

I have had to edit PKGBUILD once before.  Would you please explain what a useflag is?  What types of things might I not need?

Step 4.1 gives you available options. For example, if you don't need Air Play support, you can add --disable-afpclient --disable-airplay --disable-airtunes to ./configure part of PKGBUILD and remove anything Apple or Air Play related from depends field.

qKUqm3wtY4 wrote:

You have a Raspberry Pi!  Does it lag very often when playing 1080p?  Are there any complications with playing x264 (most of my media is encoded this way)?  I have been considering picking up a few of them for a few different projects.

Most of the media I have watched was 720p x264 streamed from laptop by NFS and Samba and it played flawlessly, not to mention SD video. From what I have read any x264 encoded file should play perfectly.
Seeking sometimes froze playback, but I think that was fixed in latest firmware. My RPi isn't playing anything right now because XBMC PKGBUILD is broken due to some linking issuse, but if you need any particular file tested, send me an email and I'll try playback on 10 days old build.

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#8 2013-01-06 22:52:45

qKUqm3wtY4
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From: San Francisco
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 60
Website

Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

Šaran wrote:

This depends on video driver. Which card you will be buying?

I will be using this old uATX mobo I had lying around.  It has integrated ATI Hybrid CrossfireX graphics.

Šaran wrote:

Step 4.1 gives you available options. For example, if you don't need Air Play support, you can add --disable-afpclient --disable-airplay --disable-airtunes to ./configure part of PKGBUILD and remove anything Apple or Air Play related from depends field.

This is incredibly helpful.  I will be configuring this immediately.  Still waiting for my PSU to come in the mail, but while I am waiting I might as well get the software ready.

Šaran wrote:

Most of the media I have watched was 720p x264 streamed from laptop by NFS and Samba and it played flawlessly, not to mention SD video. From what I have read any x264 encoded file should play perfectly.

Nice.  This would certainly be a more power efficient option and it would free up my spare mobo for something else.  I think you've convinced me to buy a few.

Šaran wrote:

Seeking sometimes froze playback, but I think that was fixed in latest firmware. My RPi isn't playing anything right now because XBMC PKGBUILD is broken due to some linking issuse, but if you need any particular file tested, send me an email and I'll try playback on 10 days old build.

Thanks for the heads up about the PKGBUILD.  As far as file testing goes, I will take your word that it plays 720p.  Most of my files are 720p anyway.  I just figured that someday I will upgrade my tv and it would be great to not have to build a new HTPC that can handle 1080p.


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#9 2013-01-07 15:05:33

Šaran
Member
From: Bosnia
Registered: 2011-09-03
Posts: 407

Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

It seems there is no need for pulseaudio to play sound over HDMI. Just go through ATi wiki page, everything you need is there.
You listed steam in OP, but open source driver might not be enough to play. Valve recommends Catalyst 12.6, but it doesn't work
with Xorg-server 1.13. On the other hand, GPU accelerated video playback works better with open source driver which
is more important than gaming performance, right?
Also make sure you use xbmc-git PKGBUILD since Frodo has many improvements over Eden.
If you decide to use RPi as mediacenter, you could use Asus board (among other things) as server for XBMC library and on-the-fly decoding of the unsupported video if cpu has enough muscle.
I your TV supports CEC, RPi would eliminate need for IR or Android remote (BTW, I recommend Yatse). With CEC, you can control XBMC with TV's remote.

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#10 2013-01-08 09:07:57

qKUqm3wtY4
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 60
Website

Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

Šaran wrote:

It seems there is no need for pulseaudio to play sound over HDMI. Just go through ATi wiki page, everything you need is there.
You listed steam in OP, but open source driver might not be enough to play. Valve recommends Catalyst 12.6, but it doesn't work
with Xorg-server 1.13. On the other hand, GPU accelerated video playback works better with open source driver which
is more important than gaming performance, right?
Also make sure you use xbmc-git PKGBUILD since Frodo has many improvements over Eden.
If you decide to use RPi as mediacenter, you could use Asus board (among other things) as server for XBMC library and on-the-fly decoding of the unsupported video if cpu has enough muscle.
I your TV supports CEC, RPi would eliminate need for IR or Android remote (BTW, I recommend Yatse). With CEC, you can control XBMC with TV's remote.

Thank you a lot for your help and direction.  My PSU should be in tomorrow, so I will get started and post how it turns out.  I agree that video playback is more important.  Steam was just an afterthought.  There aren't enough supported games to worry too much about that at the moment anyway.  Regarding the RPi, does it have enough power to supply an external USB hdd with enough electricity to run?  If not, I will definately have to go the route you've recommended.  Thanks for the tips on remote controls as well!


I am a noob.  Ask me nothing.

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#11 2013-01-08 13:29:56

Šaran
Member
From: Bosnia
Registered: 2011-09-03
Posts: 407

Re: Help me gather the absolute essential HTPC packages.

It can't power HDD, so you'll need self-powered drive or powered USB hub (which can also power Pi itslef).
I'm powering mine with this hub.

Good luck!  smile

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