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Welcome, This is my User Page. I will be using it to document my thoughts, and my setup of Linux MCE so that others can learn from my methods (read: mistakes). If you can help out at all with the problems, have any suggestions, or just want to chat, please leave me a message on my discussion page!

Linux MCE Build


My parents wanted a media solution for their living room. LinuxMCE seemed to be the easiest (and cheapest!) choice. So I dived in head first. I turned their old Desktop PC into the Core, and then purchased a media director for the living room. When my parents got their home built I suggested that they get Ethernet cable installed throughout. It is run to the bedrooms, living room, and office; then terminated at a console in the basement. So I won't be trying anything silly like wireless MD boot. It should be a straightforward "simple" LinuxMCE install. Unfortunately I have 0 to no Linux experience. It's not like I didn't do my research; it just turns out that I wasn't to doing the right research.


They were trying to get away from a large amount of hardware in the living room, and had some space considerations too; so I decided to build my first Mini ITX system. In Hindsight that was probably not the best, but it hasn't turned out too bad yet.


As I said earlier, I turned their old Intel-based Desktop into the Core. It is running on:

  • A Pentium D
  • Asus Board with integrated NIC and audio
  • 2GB RAM
  • 320GB HD with the OS
  • Nvidia 7900 GTX (used to be a 'gaming' PC)

This wasn't quite adequate for a LinuxMCE Core, so I added the following components:

  • 1TB HD for media storage
  • PCI 10/100 NIC

I installed the PCI card in XP beforehand to ensure it was working. It worked great, and I could access the internet through it (I wanted to ensure that worked since I meant to use it as the external NIC). Booted a Kubuntu live CD to install the brand new 1TB HD and ensure the drive didn't have any problems before continuing.

I might add some more RAM in the future depending on how I think it is performing.

Media Director

  • ZOTAC GF8200-C-E AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard
  • AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX250OCGQBOX
  • Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 Desktop Memory

I assembled it all in a tiny Rosewill case so that it can sit nice and (unfortunately not so) quiet under the TV.


My parents took my advice when they got their laptop, and grabbed themselves a (Gigabit Ethernet) wireless router. I've disabled DHCP on it, and am using it as an Access Point and switch. So my network topology looks like:

Cable Modem --> Core --> AP / Switch --> MD


Everything on the Desktop had been backed up or transferred to my parent's laptop, and the (soon to be) Core was sitting in the linen closet under a pile of towels. Data retention was not an issue; so the DVD installation seemed like the best (and easiest) choice.

I put in the DVD and selected the 320GB HD for the install, Entered my password, and watched it do its thing. I was very excited when the AV Wizard came up without a hitch. After completing the setup, I went first to the Web Admin to check the network settings and enable net booting. I switched the NIC assignment, and thought I would be good to go. Then I realized that I didn't have Web access. ... On to Troubleshooting

It turned out that I needed to leave the IP assignment as default for the core for the internal IP. There are some hard-coded values that rely on this assignment. For some reason this also affects the External IP. Once I set it back to default I was good to go.

My MD was not net booting, and after talking with TSCHAK, I found out that I have to upgrade to 0810. My MD needs the forcedeth driver and this is, quote: "severely broken in 0710."

The Change to 0810 has been less than smooth. I had success installing a clean 0810 kubuntu intrepid release (from the 0810 alpha 2 page). I upgraded successfully (aptitude update & dist-upgrade), and downloaded the install scripts.

I thought that the install scripts worked fine, as I was able to run all three, and got the AV wizard after restart. But then I got another error ... On to Troubleshooting again.

Thoughts and Links


[RESOLVED] No External IP on Core(almost)

My the External IP is not showing up in the Web Admin (it is showing correct MAC), but does show up (with an external IP) under ETH0 in the KDE network config. I can't access the internet. Booting a live kubuntu distribution allows internet access.

My Configuration. The same information shows up in the Web Admin.

This is what I have read or looked at:

Here is some Data I've collected:

  • Check out the screen shot
  • ETH0:
    • RealTek RTL-8100B/8139D
    • External Card (could not verify with ethtool -p eth0 10 ... "Operation not supported")
    • Driver: 8139too
dcerouter_1:/usr/sbin# ethtool eth0
Settings for eth0:
       Supported ports: [ TP MII ]
       Supported link modes:   10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
                               100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
       Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
       Advertised link modes:  10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
                               100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
       Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
       Speed: 100Mb/s
       Duplex: Full
       Port: MII
       PHYAD: 32
       Transceiver: internal
       Auto-negotiation: on
       Supports Wake-on: pumbg
       Wake-on: d
       Current message level: 0x00000007 (7)
       Link detected: yes
  • ETH1:
    • Internal Card (verified physically)
    • Driver: sky2
dcerouter_1:/usr/sbin# ethtool eth1
Settings for eth1:
       Supported ports: [ TP ]
       Supported link modes:   10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
                               100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
                               1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full
       Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
       Advertised link modes:  10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
                               100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
                               1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full
       Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
       Speed: 1000Mb/s
       Duplex: Full
       Port: Twisted Pair
       PHYAD: 0
       Transceiver: internal
       Auto-negotiation: on
       Supports Wake-on: pg
       Wake-on: d
       Current message level: 0x000000ff (255)
       Link detected: yes

I needed to be on the correct subnet (80) ... I didn't realize that this would be such a big deal, but changing back to for the internal IP of my Core solved this problem. A little counter intuitive in my opinion, but it solved the problem.

Thank you to colinjones from the forums for the help on this one!

Kernel Panic on MD netboot

My Media Director is showing Kernel Panic on boot with the same error as in this fix, but that looks like it only works for builds in which the architecture in both systems are the same :( ...

So, it looks like I'll need to get the forcedeth driver according to this: (which I ran on a live distro)

ethtool -i eth0:
    driver: forcedeth
    version: 0.61
    bus-info: 0000:00:0a.0

Thanks to TSCHAK I now know that forcedeth is "severly broken under 0710" ... so I'll need to upgrade (reinstall) with 0810.