User Manual

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Revision as of 17:36, 10 November 2007 by Rwilson131 (Talk | contribs) (Setup Wizard)

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What is LinuxMCE

LinuxMCE is the only all-in-one open source solution that seamlessly combines:

Multimedia in LinuxMCE is always available to you and your family and if you have several homes, you can tie systems in each house together to act as one. Your media will follow you everywhere you go, it will show your videofiles on the nearest device.

Security is a big part of LinuxMCE, these functions can control and monitor sensors, video cameras. It can send you alerts to your mobile phone, it can also set your alarm based on different schedules and scenarios. It can even lock the door when you leave your home.

Telecom brings your family and friends closer, with LinuxMCE it's just gets better. LinuxMCE offers videocalls/conferencing, personal voicemailboxes for your whole family, it will also track and see if you're home and route incoming calls to the nearest phone or even your mobile phone if you're not at home.

Home Automation features of LinuxMCE are really neat, it can control lights, climate, where to play your music or video and also it turns your mobile phones into remote controls that can control your whole house.

Network Attached Storage can extend your core's storage with a NAS-device. LinuxMCE can recognize this and use the NAS for saving your files or reading from them, including your music and video collection.

Personal Computing can also be done in LinuxMCE, after all it's an ordinary PC with Linux running in the background, complete with Office-suites and all the programs you need for everyday use.

LinuxMCE is a complicated piece of software. Understanding the basics is very important to ensuring proper setup and ensures the user gets the results expected.

Here are a few pages with more detailed information on the abilities and components of LinuxMCE

What can I do with LinuxMCE

You can control your whole house with a mobile phone, a touch-screen tablet or a web-interface. A LinuxMCE system is like an appliance - not a computer. It is self-configuring, maintaining and updating. No technical skills are required to use or install LinuxMCE. LinuxMCE is above all simple. The devices are all plug and play. LinuxMCE is also an open platform, offering unlimited expansion potential, and requiring no special cabling. This is LinuxMCE: a complete, comfortable and secure solution for your home.


Network Attached Storage

You can extend your core's storage with a Network Attached Storage device, or NAS. LinuxMCE can recognize this and use the NAS for saving your files or reading from them (including your music and video collection).


  • Use Orbiters to arm, disarm, monitor sensors, and view video cameras.
  • Immediate notification of any alerts on your mobile phone with live video.
  • Auto arming/disarming of the alarm based on schedule or triggered events.
  • Mark rooms as off-limits to anyone but authorized persons.
  • The instant anything important happens at your home, such as a security breach, fire or even someone ringing the doorbell, your mobile phone will beep and show you a live video feed.
  • Because LinuxMCE is able to distinctly recognize each family member and determine who is coming and going, LinuxMCE can automatically turn the alarm off and unlock the door when it detects you approaching the house, and automatically lock and arm when everyone has left. You don't have to worry about forgetting to turn the alarm on.
  • Tell LinuxMCE that only certain people are allowed in certain rooms. When LinuxMCE detects the presence of an authorized person it will automatically shut off the alarm sensors in that room. It's fully automatic. If an unauthorized person enters, you will be notified on your mobile phone.
  • Tell LinuxMCE if you leave the children at home with a baby sitter. LinuxMCE will notify you whenever someone comes and goes from the house, and show you a picture so you can be sure there are no unauthorized visitors. You can push a button on your phone to turn on the surveillance cameras and check what's happening at any time.
  • Monitor surveillance cameras
  • Arm or disarm the alarm using the Orbiters
  • Arm or disarm LinuxMCE's alarm using proximity sensors
  • Automatically take pictures when sensors are disturbed
  • Have LinuxMCE notify me of security alerts


  • Effortless video conferencing - answer and dial just like normal
  • Tie all your homes together as one phone system
  • Always routes your calls to the extension nearest you
  • LinuxMCE automatically turns all your TVs into video phones. If somebody calls you from a video phone, it rings on the phones in the house just like normal. You can transfer the call to someone else, whether or not they have a video phone. You can still put the call on hold, and pick it up on your mobile phone or cordless.
  • With LinuxMCE, whenever you're on the phone, the nearest Orbiter will automatically show you pictures of each family member. If you want to transfer, or conference, just touch the person's picture.
  • If you have multiple residences, just tell your LinuxMCE rep to join them. LinuxMCE will automatically sense what home you're in. Anytime someone calls any of your homes-anywhere in the world-the call is automatically put through, unless you're sleeping. LinuxMCE uses voice-over-ip, so there are no long distance charges.
  • LinuxMCE's 'follow-me' keep track of what room in the house you're in, and your phone calls automatically ring on the extension nearest you.
  • LinuxMCE remembers who normally calls for whom and route the call automatically, based on the caller ID. When your daughter's school friend calls, it will automatically ring in your daughter's room if that's where she is - without disturbing anyone else in the house. If she's out, it will go automatically to her mobile phone if you wish.
  • As you add names to your personal phone book, be sure to check off which ones are priority people, like friends and family. When you press the button on your mobile phone to go to sleep, LinuxMCE adjusts your phone settings. Somebody who calls will automatically get voicemail, except for your priority callers who will be told that you are sleeping, and given the option of waking you. If they choose to do so, LinuxMCE will put the call through to the phone by the bed so as not to disturb others in the house.
  • Make phone calls using a VOIP provider. Currently the follow Providers are supported with minimal setup.
  • Make phone calls using a regular phone line (POTS), ISDN or T1
  • Do video conferencing

Home Automation

  • Your mobile phone turns into a remote control for lights, climate, etc.
  • Effortless, "follow-me automatically" automation
  • Self-configuring and maintaining. NO programming or tech skills needed
  • Home automation systems are usually controlled by a slew of expensive touch-screen tablets needed everywhere you want control. Only LinuxMCE turns your mobile phone into a comfortable remote, making the tablets optional.
  • Your mobile phone not only becomes more comfortable and useable than any type of remote control on the market, it works anywhere in the world you have cellular data coverage. Control everything, monitor your cameras, accept deliveries, etc. It doesn't matter if you're in the living room or in Lithuania. When you're at home, the mobile uses Bluetooth to communicate. When you're away, it automatically switches to the cellular network.
  • LinuxMCE can recognize each family member and automatically set up the room according to his preferences. Just keep your mobile phone in your pocket. It compares the relative strengths throughout the house to calculate exactly where each family member is. It works for your lighting, climate, media, as well as security settings.
  • With LinuxMCE, everything is plug-and-play, self-configuring, and no programmer will ever come to your home. All you do is go to a simple web site, and answer multiple-choice questions about your lifestyle.
  • With LinuxMCE, you get zero-touch automation. If you have a DVD you want to watch, just put the disc in the nearest media director. LinuxMCE will analyze what type of disc it is, and setup all your TVs and stereo equipment automatically. LinuxMCE will even feed the DVD Menu directly to the nearest mobile phone or Orbiter. You don't have to touch a single button.
  • Control lights/climate using scenarios
  • Control lights or climate with a floorplan
  • Adding support for home automation devices
  • What if you don't have a driver for my home automation device
  • Make things happen at sunrise/sunset
  • Make things happen when I enter a room
  • Have my lighting or climate settings follow me
  • Have external devices control LinuxMCE


Personal Computing

  • Have LinuxMCE's screen saver turn my regular TV off when there's no activity and back on automatically, like a PC monitor with power save
  • Browse web pages on the media directors
  • Browse web pages on the orbiters
  • Use open office on the media directors
  • Access a KDE/Gnome desktop on the media directors
  • Every LinuxMCE Media Director has a full computer built-in, and comes with a wireless keyboard & mouse so you can run all your favorite software. Today's high-def TVs are actually great for computing because of the fantastic picture quality. So, if you want to check the weather or the latest news, just hit a button on your mobile phone and the page will show up on the TV.
  • If you are a PC power user, imagine having a server running multi Intel Xeon processors and a 10 terabyte (10,000 GB) RAID 5 array. Plus, each Media Director incorporates a high-powered PC inside with the latest hardware, such as a 200GB hard drive, up to an Intel Pentium 4 at 3.06Ghz Processor with 2 GB RAM. And you just press 1 button to switch between Linux and Windows. The Media Director also has video outputs for computer monitors, such as VGA and DVI, and the latest audio/video sub-system for use as a high-end gaming platform.
  • When you have multiple homes with LinuxMCE systems, they can all be joined as one. Every LinuxMCE Core will automatically create a VPN (virtual private network) connection to the others. It's completely safe and fully encrypted. The benefit is that you can go from one house to another and know that you will still have access to all your files no matter where you are without the hassle of copying them.
  • LinuxMCE automatically creates a network share for each family member so you can put all your normal computer files there, too. You can access any of your files anytime, anywhere - LinuxMCE automatically creates a password-protected personal web page for each family member.


Picking The Right Components

The Core

Most important, is the "core". This is the main LinuxMCE server that runs all the applications. The commercial version uses a high-end server with RAID-5 storage. You'll probably be able to get by with a good Pentium 4, at least 80 GB of storage and two network cards (Gigabit ideally).

It would be best to use a dedicated core, which means you'll end up putting this computer somewhere out of the way and not connecting a monitor to it. If you are using only one computer for your system, then you've chosen the "hybrid" system, which means that your core will also be your media player. You'll definitely need a monitor or TV for this system!

Media Directors

Media Directors (MDs) can also be generic PCs, but are better when they have an output for a television set such as S-video or RCA jacks. Having a good sound card is also a good idea. The MDs play all your streaming music and video from the core, network attached storage (NAS), or any other MD in your home. Output to a TV and speakers for an awesome multimedia experience.

Below are some possible Media Director platforms:


Orbiters are high-tech remote controls. LinuxMCE provides for multiple orbiter options such as a generic PC, wireless tablet PC, PDAs, mobile phones running Symbian or Microsoft Mobile, or through a web interface that can be accessed by any computer inside your network or through the Internet. (The web interface requires user authentication, but currently not with SSL.)

Below are some possible Orbiter platforms:

Network Attached Storage

An alternative to having a lot of storage space in the core is to have a small hard drive for the core and store all your files on a network attached storage (or NAS) server. The Buffalo Terastation is 1.0 TeraByte RAID-5 and under $1K(US). Having a NAS will allow you to not lose your precious media files. You'll likely want the larger storage for your collection of music and videos. Keep in mind that your LinuxMCE system can also record TV shows (using MythTV) and video from your security cameras (using Motion).

Additional Devices

Optionally, you may want the aforementioned home automation devices for controlling your lights. Also, optionally, you may want security cameras, plasma screen TV, a streaming media music player such as the Squeezebox, an alarm system with a serial interface, etc. Some of these devices need another device called a gc100. This allows devices that communicate using a serial port (good alarm panels) or infrared (like your TV) to connect to the network and talk with your LinuxMCE core.

Location Considerations

Wiring Considerations

Once LinuxMCE is installed, just treat it like an appliance--plug it in, turn it on, and leave it alone. The great news is that don't need to install any software on the media PCs that will be used as media directors. You can leave whatever operating system is on there, such as Windows, untouched-they will do a Network Boot for Media Directors when you want to use them as a Media Director.

The only special requirement is that the LinuxMCE Core needs to be your DHCP server so that it can offer the plug-and-play and network boot services. You cannot have 2 DHCP servers on the same network (not easily at least). In our Core, we provide dual network cards one for the "external" network, where your internet is connected, and one for the "internal" network within the house, and into which all your devices are connected. This makes LinuxMCE act as a firewall, and allows it to co-exist with another DHCP server. If you have a DSL or cable modem that needs to be the DHCP server it won't be a problem--just plug it into the "external" port. LinuxMCE's DHCP server only operates on the "internal" one. However, if you have only 1 network card in the Core, you will need to be able to give it a static IP and disable the DHCP server in your DSL/Cable modem. Otherwise you will have to disable LinuxMCE's DHCP server and lose a lot of functionality.

Additional Hardware Resources

Hardware can be a difficult decision, but understanding exactly what functions are needed can greatly simplify this decision. You can review several wiki articles relating to hardware HERE

Setting Up The Hardware

There are many ways to install LinuxMCE, and lots of options for equipment. However, the key components in a LinuxMCE system are the Core (the PC acting as the master server), Media Directors (media PC's connected to your TV's), and Orbiters (remote controls-web pads, pda's, mobile phones, etc.).

I will use my own PC's

First a warning LinuxMCE is Linux-based, but don't worry. Sometimes drivers are not available for Linux as soon as they are for Windows. Particularly, if you bought some new, exotic hardware there may not be drivers. If you're looking to get some new hardware to run LinuxMCE you may want to check sites the following Locations:

If you already have the hardware it can't hurt to try.

You will need one PC to run the Core software. Although you could install the Core on top of your existing operating system, or build from source, it will be tricky and you will miss out on a lot of features. You really need to use our own distribution because, in addition to our own software, LinuxMCE also includes lots of other open source projects, like Asterisk, Firefox, Xine, VideoLan, MythTV, etc. We built "wrappers" for all of them which is how we get them all to work together seamlessly. For example, if you start watching a movie in 1 room, LinuxMCE will use Xine on that local media director. Use the orbiter to move that movie to 2 rooms, and LinuxMCE seamlessly detects the network capabilities (multi-cast switch, etc.), moves the video source to the Core using VideoLan, broadcasts to both rooms, uses VLC to do the rendering and changes the UI on the remote controls. If you use the vanilla packages from, say Fedora, none of that will work. Plus, a lot of LinuxMCE's more advanced, kernel-level modules, like plug-and-play, bandwidth shaping to ensure your phone calls are clear, network boot, and so on may not work on other Linux distributions and definitely cannot be done under Windows.

Note this PC should always be left on since it becomes the 'brains' for the whole house and all the other pieces won't function unless they can find the Core.

Special Requirement

There is only one special requirement. The Core needs to be your DHCP server so that it can offer the plug-and-play and network boot services. You cannot have 2 DHCP servers on the same network (not easily at least). If you have another DHCP server (like a cable/dsl modem), we recommend your Core have dual network cards: one for the "external" network, where your internet is connected, and one for the "internal" network within the house, and into which all your devices are connected. This makes LinuxMCE act as a firewall, and allows it to co-exist with another DHCP server. If you have a DSL or cable modem that needs to be the DHCP server it won't be a problem--just plug it into the "external" port. LinuxMCE's DHCP server only operates on the "internal" one. However, if you have only 1 network card in the Core, you will need to be able to give it a static IP and disable the DHCP server in your DSL/Cable modem. Otherwise you will have to disable LinuxMCE's DHCP server and lose a lot of functionality.

Adding Additional Hardware

You can also put other cards in the Core, such as analog phone line interfaces from for the phone system or analog video capture cards for surveillance cameras. You can put the PVR/satellite capture cards in the individual media PC's, or you can put several in the Core, which will share the video throughout the house.

Wherever you have a TV/Stereo you can use a PC or thin-client as the Media Director--it doesn't need to be on all the time and there's no software to install since they will network boot off the Core. Just be sure it has a good Linux-compatible sound card, a Linux-compatible video card, supports PXE network boot (nearly all recent motherboards do), and--optionally--a PVR card. To use the Bluetooth mobile phones as remote controls, add a USB Bluetooth Dongle for each media director (around $25). All the media directors will report the signal strengths of all the mobile phones--this is how the Core figures out what room you're in. Since all resources in the whole house are shared, you will be able to control any device in any room from anywhere--as long as you're within Bluetooth range of any media director (about 10m or 30feet), you will have control over everything in the house. You can also use low-cost network audio players, like the Squeeze Box, wherever you want to add music.

To control the system, you can use the PC's mouse and keyboard, or an infrared remote, or run the Orbiter software on your mobile phones, webpads and PDA's.

Also view our tested good hardware to see what 3rd party devices will work with LinuxMCE, like lighting control systems, cameras, alarm panels, etc.

A Dedicated Core

Connects to a Dedicated Core

The Core is the central point of the LinuxMCE system and runs applications and daemons needed for the other devices to exchange messages. A dedicated core will run all of the LinuxMCE components, it really means that the user will not be using the Core as a Media Director as well.. You'll need to use additional Media Directors to be able to play movies, listen to music and watch TV. This kind of setup is recommended when you have lot of extra devices, this way the back end applications will have full access to Core's resources. This method basically means your main server will be tucked away in storage closest and will not be used as a Media Director.

There is work currently on getting a Clean Core working, to further reduce the resource consumption of the Core.

A Dedicated Hybrid

Connections to a Hybrid Core

A "hybrid" just means the computer that is running is the "Core" software is also running the "Media Director" software-you use the Core as a Media Director. The only reason we don't recommend this in our high-end installations is because a computer suitable for a Core is usually a pretty massive box with major hard drive capacity and rather noisy, so it's shoved away in the wiring closet, rather than sitting next to a TV like a Media Director would. However, you can use a regular PC as the Core + Media Director (Hybrid) also. Just remember that it will need to always be on since the Core software is what controls everything in the house.

Be sure you complete the installation of your Core/Hybrid before trying to boot the media directors.

Installation of Software Components

There are currently two methods of installation. The DVD installation which only requires the downloading and creation of a single installation disk, and the 3 CD method which requires 3 disks, but offers more flexibility in installation.

DVD Installation

CD Installation

Setting Up LinuxMCE

Tell LinuxMCE About Your Home

Tell LinuxMCE about your home shows you how to use LinuxMCE to get all of the information about the current installaion. In about 2 hours you can have everything setup--the whole-house media server, full control all your lights, climate, and tv/hi-fi gear, the phone system, follow-me, everything. It's quick, painless, and non-technical.

Setting up your LinuxMCE system consists of 4 things:

  1. Providing some general information, such as what kind of network you have.
  2. Creating the devices (lights, tv's, cameras, etc.).
  3. Creating your scenarios. A "scenario" is a group of commands, or tasks, you want executed when you touch a button. Each scenario you create will appear on the Orbiters as a button. Scenarios are generally organized into 5 categories: lighting, media, climate, security and telephone. You can create, for example, a lighting scenario called "Entertaining" which turns on all the lights in the house and in the front yard. A button labeled "Entertaining" will then appear on the Orbiters in the lighting section--touch it to activate the scenario. Any scenario can do anything. For example, just because the "Entertaining" scenario is a lighting scenario doesn't mean the scenario only affects lights. You can make the scenario also play some music, and maybe open the front gate. You can use the "Advanced, My Scenarios" menu option for low-level control over a scenario, to make it do whatever you want. However the Wizard includes pages that make it very easy to create scenarios. For example, when you add a lighting scenario with the Wizard, it lists all the lights in the house and lets you pick the ones you want to change with the scenario.
  4. Creating event handlers. This is how you tell LinuxMCE you want it to do something in response to some event. For example, you want LinuxMCE to turn on the Front Porch light when a motion detector is tripped. Or you want it to play a loud message on the TV's when there is a security breach. Or stop watering the lawn after it rains.

The developers have tried to automate has much of the set up as possible with several scripts and wizards. See the different wizards below, and if the wizards are unable to set up the system properly then visit the admin website for many more options

  • To get started you will want to read the documentation on Quick Start Guide
  • You will need to know if your graphics card is capable of running the UI2 with masking or the UI2 with alpha blending prior to running the wizard. Please read Graphics Test for information on how to determine the capabilities of your current video card.
  • If you are in doubt or if you want to get a working setup quickly please select UI1 which will work on any video card supported by Kubuntu.


The Audio/Video Wizard is designed to allow for easy setup of components which allow the Core or a Media Director to output content to the connected display, which can range from a simple CRT, to HCTV with component and/or composite inputs.

Setup Wizard

The setup wizard is an automated series of screen which allows the user to enter information and devices that LinuxMCE will control. The Setup Wizard is broken down in to two modes: Media Player Wizard and House Setup Wizard. After selection of the Setup Wizard you will see an additional screen. If the audio and video are properly setup you should see and hear a video. If this is correct please select Next.

The next screen you will encounter asks which wizard would you like to start: House Setup Wizard or the Media Player Wizard. Please select the wizard you want to begin.

If you have not completed the House Setup Wizard then please start here first as you will need information input here in the Media Player Wizard

House Setup Wizard

Media Player Wizard

Using LinuxMCE Admin Website

Although there are automated wizards to assist in setup, the most robust system for setup is the LinuxMCE Admin Website. The user can create and modify any and all devices that LinuxMCE can control.

You need a web browser to configure your LinuxMCE system using the built-in LinuxMCE Admin Website Since the Hybrid + Media Directors have one built in, you can just click the "LinuxMCE Admin" website to bring it up directly on the Hybrid. Or, from any web browser in your home, go to the URL: http://myip/pluto_admin where myip is the IP address of the Core/Hybrid. Login then click Wizard.

Scenarios, Events & Security

In the Scenarios page, add the scenarios, or buttons, you want for each room. Like a Lighting scenario in the Bedroom called 'Go to sleep' which dims the lights, or a security scenario in the living to view a camera. When you do a 'quick reload router', DCERouter will automatically add Media Scenarios for each room for whatever media devices are in there. But your new scenarios are not visible on the Orbiter until you regenerate--see the note below in 'Using LinuxMCE with an Orbiter'. Next add Events, in other words, when something happens (a motion detector is tripped, the sun sets, etc.) you want LinuxMCE to do this (turn on a light). Also set security options, like how you want to be notified when something happens in the house. Each page has context sensitive help to explain everything. They will take effect next time you reboot or 'quick reload router'.

Configuring Myth TV

This section has been moved to Setting up MythTV.

Upload Your Media

There will also be Microsoft Windows compatible network shares on the Core or Hybrid (uses Samba) . There is a "public" share for putting all files that the whole family can share--movies, music, etc. And there is a private share for each family member. To access these network shares in Windows, choose Start, Run, and type \\ plus the IP address of the Core or hybrid.

For example: \\ Note that if you add new family members, their network share will not be available until after you reboot the Core/Hybrid. Once you copy your media into the appropriate folder, you can go into the LinuxMCE Admin Website, choose "Files & Media" and "Media Files Sync" to be sure your media is in the database, add attributes (artist, actor, etc.), and choose cover art.

Using LinuxMCE

LinuxMCE is a complicated piece of software, so proper understanding of each of the components makes for a better experience. CLICK HERE for a quick introduction and description of the terms needed to understand most to best use LinuxMCE.

Orbiter Interface

The Orbiter is quite simple to use, and all the screens are quite straightforward. Use the LinuxMCE Admin Website to configure your LinuxMCE system, including choosing the options on your Orbiter, such as lighting scenes, climate scenarios, and define what a/v equipment you want it to control.

Media Director Orbiter

Main Orbiter Screen

Orbiter is just our way of saying remote control. All the Media Directors run an on-screen Orbiter, like the one below. Choose options on the on-screen orbiter with a keyboard/mouse attached to the media director, or with an infrared remote control. The Orbiter software runs on Linux, Windows and Windows CE, and can also be run on webpads and PDA's. Either way, it works exactly the same.

In the lower right on the main obiter screen are the 'who' and 'where' buttons. This indicates what room you are in, or want to control, and which family member is using the Orbiter.

Touch either button if this isn't correct. Even if you are using an on-screen orbiter on the media director in the Living Room, for example, you can still change the location to the Bedroom. That means you would be using the Media Director in the Living Room as a remote control for the devices in the bedroom. Normally you don't change the location for an on-screen orbiter, since that device stays in a fixed place, but you do when you have a wireless web pad or pda you carry around.

Lighting Scenario Page LinuxMCE Admin Website

The icons on the left all lead to a maps, or floorplan, of your house showing your lighting, media, climate, telecom and security devices. Next to each of the floorplan icons are the scenarios for that category and the given room. In the scenarios section of the LinuxMCE Admin web site you create the scenarios for each room. You can have a lighting scenario called 'entertaining guests' that sets some lights, plays some background music, unlocks the door, and so on.

NOTE: Many orbiters have relatively slow processors (like PDA's and phones) and may be running on slow wi-fi connections. So, the orbiters do not retrieve the large, full-size graphics, scaling them, drawing the text, and rendering everything on the fly.

Rather all the graphics on your Orbiter are pre-scaled and pre-rendered by OrbiterGen. This means that if you add new scenarios or devices, or change floorplans or skins, you won't see them immediately on the Orbiter. You must go to the 'Advanced Options' page by clicking the LinuxMCE logo on the main menu, and choose 'Regenerate this Orbiter'. You'll be asked to wait about 60 seconds or so while the renderer creates new graphics, and then the Orbiter will reload.

Mobile Orbiter

Unless you turned off the "Auto Detect new Bluetooth Phones" option for the Media Director, compatible Bluetooth Mobile phones will automatically be detected when they are within range of any Media Director if they have Bluetooth turned on. A message will appear on all the Orbiters asking if it's a phone, and if so, to whom it belongs. Be sure you add your family members to the LinuxMCE Admin web site before doing this. Also, you may need to turn on the TV to see the message on the on-screen orbiter.

If you choose to install the software, the phone will beep. Just hit 'yes' to accept the software, and accept the default prompts.

The mobile orbiter works pretty much like a regular orbiter. The difference is that you don't usually need to worry about the "who" and "where" button. The "who" is determined when you chose to install the software. That family member is assumed to always be the user. And the "where" is automatic-whenever you come within range of a media director it will automatically switch to the correct location. You can press the button under the location if you want to control a location other than the one you are in.

Since the display is smaller, rather than showing all the scenarios on the main menu, you must first choose the category, like lighting, and then choose the scenario from the sub menu that appears. You can also hold the category to toggle 'follow-me' mode, indicated with a red F. So, if you hold down the 2 button, a red F appears for media. Now as you move around the house your media will follow you. All 5 categories have follow-me.

General Usage Pages



Controlling Equipment
Using Portable Media
Media Attributes





LinuxMCE Admin Website


If you don't know Linux at all, you can go into the LinuxMCE Admin Website and choose Outside Access, and check the box to get outside assistance from LinuxMCE. You will pick a password you will give one of our tech support staff. When you do, your system will make a secure, encrypted connection back to our support staff giving us temporary access to your system. The connection is closed as soon as you uncheck the box. Without checking that box, nobody at LinuxMCE will have any access to your system.

This troubleshooting guide assumes some basic knowledge of Linux. In LinuxMCE, everything is a device. In the LinuxMCE Admin Website, you can choose Devices, to see a list of all the devices in your installation. We recommend you don't make changes here - you can break things! The top level device is usually a computer, either the core or a hybrid or an orbiter. All the logs for the devices on that computer are stored in /var/log/pluto. You can ssh in to the core using the root password you chose, and from there, you can ssh to all the media directors-shared keys were automatically setup.

All current activity is logged in the file that ends in ".newlog". After a device crashes, its logs are moved into the ".log" directory. At bootup, all logs are archived into /var/log/pluto/archives.

All DCE devices are running in separate screen sessions. Type "screen -ls" to see all active screen sessions, and "screen -r PID" where PID is the id you saw in the -ls list to attach to the screen session. There is not much for you to do or see though since all the output on stderr and stdout is going into the logs. DCERouter is running the same way on your core or hybrid.

At bootup, all the scripts listed in the LinuxMCE Admin Website under Boot Sequence are run. If any programs crash, a core dump file is put in /usr/pluto/coredump. At each reboot, any core dumps are archived with the log files in /var/log/pluto/archives. A database dump/configuration snapshot are also put in each archive. Archives are deleted after 5 days.

If you're a programmer, you can also check out our Programmer's Guide. If you want to learn about writing DCE Devices, see the DCE.

Other Items of Concern