From LinuxMCE
Jump to: navigation, search

This page introduces you to the different components of a LinuxMCE system and what you can do with them.

The LinuxMCE system

See User Manual#The LinuxMCE system section: This section introduces you to the components of the LinuxMCE system and explains what each system component's role is. Once familiar with the system as a whole, you'll be able proceed to the tutorials section to learn how to choose your hardware, then install, configure, and use each of the system components.

LinuxMCE terminology

LinuxMCE uses a planetary system terminology to refer to its components. The original project, PlutoHome, used the celestial body Pluto and its orbiting moons as an analogy, and named its components after them. LinuxMCE grew from it and kept the terminology.
This section introduces you to the terminology used when refering to LinuxMCE components. For a brief definition of the names of celestial objects, see Astronomical bodies defined

Composition of a LinuxMCE system

LinuxMCE enables various hardware devices to operate together as a system. At the heart of the system lies a server called the Core, which coordinates the interactions of all the hardware components that make up the system.

A LinuxMCE system is made of the following components:

  1. The Core
  2. Media Directors
  3. Orbiters
  4. Security
  5. Home Automation
  6. Telecom
  7. Network Attached Storage (NAS)

The Core

A Core is a single dedicated PC acting as a server that interacts with all the components of the system. It is the heart and brain of the LinuxMCE system. You can read more about it on the Core page.

Personal Computing with the Core

LinuxMCE is running Kubuntu Linux, complete with Office suites and all the programs you would need for everyday Personal Computing. See details on Personal Computing with LinuxMCE.

Media Directors

A Media Director (also known as a Media Station or Media Manager) is a system running LinuxMCE that is connected to a TV or sound system to deliver music and video. In your entertainment area, it serves as the player for media that you watch on your TV, or listen to on your sound system. The Media Director in a LinuxMCE system is hooked up to a TV or stereo, and becomes an integrated media player, PVR, video conferencing station, intercom, and, a monitoring and control portal for everything in the home. All Media Directors work together seamlessly as a whole-house solution offering the same convenience throughout the house.

To learn more, read Media Director.


Orbiters are remote controls. An Orbiter is a LinuxMCE interface device running our intelligent control software. It can run on a variety of devices ranging from mobile phones (Android/iOS/Symbian), to PCs, including PDAs, tablet PCs, laptops, and any web browser enabled device.
The purpose of an orbiter is to send commands to devices in the LinuxMCE system.
To learn all about it, read Orbiters.


Security is an integral part of LinuxMCE. Security functions include light control, surveillance camera monitoring, and motion detection. Events can be triggered based on detected motion or various sensors. LinuxMCE can send alerts to your mobile phone, set your alarm based on different schedules and scenarios, and even automatically lock the door when you leave your home. Find out more on the Security page.

Home Automation

The Home Automation features of LinuxMCE attempt to be as convenient as possible and energy-efficient. With Home Automation you can control lights, climate and even the whereabouts of music or video played in your home. Many devices, including mobile phones, can be turned into remote controls for your entire house.

More about Home Automation


Telecom is integrated into LinuxMCE in a sophisticated fashion. The VoIP system provides great flexibility. Each member of your family may have his/her own personal voice mailbox. You can permit the system to keep track of where you are in the house and route incoming calls to the nearest phone in your home, or to your mobile phone if you're not at home. Incoming calls will automatically pause any playing media, in the area you are in, allowing you to take calls without you missing a moment of your media experience.

More about Telecom

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

You can extend your LinuxMCE system's storage with a NAS device for your music and video collection. LinuxMCE can automatically use designated devices for storage requirements including PVR functions and general media storage for audio/video/photos.

When you connect a NAS to the network LinuxMCE will automatically recognize it and ask you how to integrate it into the system. See Network Attached Storage

What can I do with LinuxMCE?

Following is a list of things you can do with LinuxMCE. Each link goes to a how-to page which has 3 parts:

  1. How to set it up
  2. How to use it
  3. Where to find the source code (and how it works)

The list is not complete, and many of the topics do not yet have documentation. Not all documentation pages have screen shots and pictures. Feel free to add your own documentation to the wiki.

Most of the articles reflect tested procedures (even if the documentation is not written). Items in italics describe modules still in development or that have been only partially completed. Items with an * have been coded, and should work, but have not been fully tested.

Note: This is an introduction article only. The complete list of articles is found in the Tutorials Category.

Also see the Usage Intro.

See Tutorials Category for more.

Building a new Home around LinuxMCE

Linux MCE is the ultimate smart home. With proper planning, a new construction home can integrate LinuxMCE as the brains of the house.

In the past, a Home Entertainment Center would house a Home Theater PC. With LinuxMCE, the Core server and all communications hubs can be kept in a separate area. This makes home construction easier, allows centralization of data services, and allows for updating the home automation and multimedia system without altering the Home Entertainment Center in your living room.

More about Home Construction using LinuxMCE