Control LinuxMCE using other types of mobile phones

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Revision as of 14:25, 17 January 2008 by Matthew (Talk | contribs) (Cleanup, link to mobile Orbiter, obsolescence warning)

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This article needs to be updated to current LinuxMCE version functionality

There are 2 ways to control LinuxMCE using your mobile phone. The first is using Bluetooth, the other is by WAP.


This works only when you are near a media director. Your cellular service is not used; the phone doesn't even need to be activated. Using Bluetooth the phone makes a very comfortable remote control, and can be used to control your media just like a normal remote control. However this Bluetooth control requires LinuxMCE's mobile orbiter software to be running on the phone. When you leave the house, the mobile orbiter software switches from Bluetooth to using your mobile phones data services, so you retain control whether you're in the home or not. The mobile orbiter software right now only works with Symbian Series 60 phones, although a version for Microsoft smart phones is expected in September, 2005.</p>


The second way to control LinuxMCE with a mobile phone is using the phone's built in web browser (or WAP). This works on any phone that has a browser built-in. It uses the data service from your mobile phone provider, and gives you control anywhere you have mobile phone service. With this web page you can monitor the cameras in your home, control the alarm system, execute scenarios, and so on.

The only challenge here is that the phone needs to make a connection to the web server running on your core, and many residential ISP's (dsl and cable modem providers) block incoming web connections because they don't want their customers to run a web server from the home. Another possible obstacle is that many residential ISP's do not give you a static IP address, making it difficult to reach your home network from an internet connection on the outside. There is a solution for this. You have 4 options:

  1. If you have an static, externally accessible ip, then in Wizard, Security, Outside access check the box "Allow outside access to the website on port 80". Then in your phone's browser go to <your_ip_address>/pluto-admin/check.wml Enter the username, phone #, and the mobile phone's number. The mobile phone's number is used as a callback number to broadcast your voice through the house. If your ISP blocks port 80, you can check "Allow outside to the website on port" and choose another port. Then change the URL to: <your_ip_address>:port/pluto-admin/check.wml . Note though that some mobile phone companies do not allow connections on ports other than 80.
  2. LinuxMCE will soon have an optional service that provides a secure tunneling through our server to your home. This will work around any issues. The service will be available soon.
  3. If you're technically inclined, you can also use another Linux machine that does have a routable IP. There, you'll have to create a file "check.wml" which uses 'curl' to access the wap page from the core, like this:
    Header( "Content-type: text/vnd.wap.wml");
    print $Message;
    function queryServer($params,$url)
    $defined_vars = get_defined_vars();
    $user_agent = @$defined_vars['HTTP_USER_AGENT'];
    $ch = curl_init();
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $serverAddress);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, $user_agent);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER,1);
    $result=curl_exec ($ch);
    curl_close ($ch);
    return $result;
  4. If you are stuck with a Dynamic IP (one that changes when you reset the router or your dialup DSL) then you have one more option. Register a free account with and install a small utility (available for Linux as well) that will update your Dynamic IP on a user set interval to a Static DNS obtained from their server. Then follow step 1 and type in the Static DNS that you registered with at

Once you have WAP access to your LMCE Core, you can use [WAP/GPRS Settings the mobile Orbiter[/url], or your own WAP pages that you create.