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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:29 pm
Posts: 45
Location: London, UK
Just to add to this thread, I have been experimenting with running a Windows XP Virtual Machine on my Myth Box. This is simply so I can run "SK Jukebox" for my music (much nicer interface, but no Linux version) http://www.skjukebox.com/ Have a look.

I created the VM on a Windows PC using vmware server free edition (1.0.2)
Virtual disk = 4GB IDE, 200MB memory.

Then I copied the entire VM directory across to the Myth box, installed vmware server there, and hey presto I have a running windows session on Myth. Mapped the /myth/music tree into windows, and all my music appears in the VM. Audio works well, and the software actually runs fairly fast.

Next I installed vmplayer to try to get a simpler startup & shutdown. This actually removes the vm-server edition, and has seems to break my MythTV audio, but I will find the cause later.

Host is 2GHz Athlon Shuttle with 512MB memory.

I will post more details once I have the whole thing running including Lirc control, etc.

Rgds,
Pete


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 11:54 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 8:47 pm
Posts: 367
Location: Minnesota- Brrrrr!
If anyone has had success with VMWare ESX or has an idea how to bridge the video card to the ESX VM, I would be very interested in hearing about it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:35 pm
Posts: 3
I've tried to get started a vmware-player backend and frontend with the standard R5F1 iso (not the VM appliance image).

First VM:
- Runs backend off a vmware disk, as installed from the live cd

Second VM:
- run live cd, choose to configure and run as frontend.

It starts up but then says "Myth could not connect to the database. Please verify your database settings below"

So some of my settings were wrong. The problem is, even when I enter new settings, the system does then just freezes up (it seems) with the Tux-in-sofa picture.

Is this normal? If the settings are still wrong, I would expect this procedure to loop and I would return to the "Myth could not connect to the database." screen but Tux just sits there until I force-exit Fluxbox.

The VMs are running a network bridged with the host. I have no reason to believe the network is not working. The FE can ping the BE. (ran a shell off the live cd)

BTW, Is there any way to get a shell after booting into front-end (or back-end) mode?

Any help would be appreciated.

Sorry some of this is surely noob related but I just don't get the current behavior.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 729
Location: Philadelphia, PA US
You follow this guide for setting up your backend and frontend?

http://www.knoppmythwiki.org/index.php? ... nlyInstall

Quote:
BTW, Is there any way to get a shell after booting into front-end (or back-end) mode?


Yes ALT+CTRL+F1 ALT+CTRL+F7 to return to fluxbox window manager.

Or right click on the desktop and open and Xterm window.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:35 pm
Posts: 3
Quote:
You follow this guide for setting up your backend and frontend?

http://www.knoppmythwiki.org/index.php? ... nlyInstall


No actually I just dove right in and arrogantly assumed I would understand what was going on. Thanks for setting me straight. :P

There were some things like needing to enable networking on MySQL etc. that I would have expected to be part of the installation process. Even if this is a security "feature", it could prompt for it, rather than needing a "guide" for this.

I didn't get at first that the auto install made both a backend and frontend, of course because I was planning on making a backend install only, and run the frontend off the "live" cd, so that's again my fault. But I think it would make sense with 3 options for the install. Backend, frontend, or both. What do you think?

Oh and of course I saw that "tux-in-sofa" was just the fluxbox background - I assumed it was actually part of some mythtv app. lol Embarassing.

Of course there are always improvement opportunities so I'm not complaining. Just giving my initial perception of it all, in case it helps anyone.

Quote:
Yes ALT+CTRL+F1 ALT+CTRL+F7 to return to fluxbox window manager.


I can't make this work in vmware player since CTRL-ALT is already a special key. From what I gather there is a way to change this in vmware workstation though.

Has anyone managed to swap consoles in vmware player?

Anyway, got slightly better understanding now but I still have some issues with setup of mplayer and file types. Clearly myth is still a bit of a beast to set up properly, with plugins galore etc. But Knoppmyth makes it better.

The point with running virtual machines (two) was to get a feel for this before diving into a real project. Despite my troubles I heartily recommend it. Easy reboots and checking the status of each machine without moving between machines etc. Despite the VM, it's pretty quick overall since knoppmyth runs off a mounted iso instead of physical cd, etc. I'm doing it all on a windows host by the way (laptop).

I might return with more questions, or info. Thanks for your help.

Still wondering if anyone can manage CTRL-ALT-F1 though!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 729
Location: Philadelphia, PA US
Quote:
Still wondering if anyone can manage CTRL-ALT-F1 though!


Yes, I do it all the time. It got imprinted on my brain, but I think I hit CTRL, then 1 second hit ALT, then holding down F1. I do recall is tricky but can get it to work. Sorry became 2nd nature too me. If you find you are strugling with it too much just use PuTTy or SSH to console in from your VM host.

ifconfig will get you the IP,

You can always use xterm from the fluxbox desktop too, just use
Code:
su
to change to root when appropiate.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:35 pm
Posts: 3
spalVl wrote:
Yes, I do it all the time. It got imprinted on my brain, but I think I hit CTRL, then 1 second hit ALT, then holding down F1.


You're right. You need to do CTRL-ALT and then hold down the F-key for like a second before releasing, then VMware does the right thing! I thought I had tried everything.

spalVl wrote:
ifconfig will get you the IP,


But for that you need a shell :wink:

Anyway I did log in via ssh a bit, forgot about that.
Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:05 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Oregon, USA
spalVl wrote:
:oops: Sorry took me so long.
Updated the WIKI with a new VMware configuration. The old one got corrupted.

The new VM configuration includes 3 IDE VM disks (good for testing LVM)



The link on the WIKI seems to be broken again.
I get a 404 Not Found error from it:

http://knoppmythwiki.org/index.php?bina ... 3c6b70.bin

If someone could fix this that would be great.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:55 pm
Posts: 306
Location: CA,USA
I am a huge VM fan and am currently running XP on VirtualBox on my R5F27 system (and I am a huge KM fan also!). I have been adding to and tweaking my KM server as it is my main server and in fact the only server I want to run (I do not want to run more than one server for a few, and hopefully obvious reasons). However, the more I tweak it the more I fear I am moving away from the standard 'image' and the more difficult upgrades become. In addition, while I am upgrading KM it means all the other stuff running on the server will be out of action which is becoming less & less tenable. I also understand (and fully support) the ideal of KM being an 'appliance' and not intended to be tweaked as a general purpose server, hence the 'controversy' surrounding adding the core Arch linux repos to pacman etc. However the reality is I suspect most ppl are like me - they want to run a server to do a lot of things but don't want to run more than one server and this is where virtualization comes in. If I could install R6 in a VM instance on a big 'ole server I would be completely stoked. I could leave it fairly standard (i.e. not add a bunch of other server-type s/w to it) and still run a Windows instance on a separate VM etc etc. Plus my host OS would be 64-bit and take advantage of the dirt cheap RAM that is out there (which I can't do on my current KM server). So i really feel that this type of a setup is worth supporting. However, I guess the biggest problem is that there's no way to use PCI tuners, right? USB maybe, PCI deffo not. But maybe the HDHomerun would be an option?

Other thoughts?
Anyone agree with me on the merits of running KM/LH in a VM on a server as opposed to being the server?
Any problems I missed other than the tuner cards?

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Paul O'Flynn


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:47 am
Posts: 535
Location: Ottawa, Canada
I run my KM based master backend in a VM on my main server. It works very well and requires absolutely no changes to KM.

If you use VMWare then you can't access PCI based tuners directly. What I do instead is I have a minimal slave backend on the base OS which reports back to the KM based master backend for my PCI cards. This is simple enough yet gives me the benefits of a KM master backend.

Xen should be able to access the PCI cards as you can pass through these cards to a specific guest using some config files. I haven't done it but I have seen it done.

You should be able to access USB devices and you can certainly access ethernet devices such as the HDHomerun.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:55 pm
Posts: 306
Location: CA,USA
Fascinating stuff....

christ wrote:
What I do instead is I have a minimal slave backend on the base OS which reports back to the KM based master backend for my PCI cards.


So the FE is somehow managing/feeding the PCI-based tuner cards for the MBE? Do you mind expanding a little more on this? I didn't know that this was possible...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:47 am
Posts: 535
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Myth can support a network of backends as well as front ends. In most cases, people have combined backend/frontend implementations. The myth network centres around a "master" backend. All frontends connect to the master backend in any network. You can also set up other backends which report into the master as well (slave backends). This is not too badly documented at the mythtv site.

My main server is CentOS based and I run VMWare 2 on this. My master backend is KM5.5 and runs in a VM on this server. I have a slave backend implemented on CentOS which acquires mythtv rpms from atrpms. It is comprised only of the backend portion ("myth-backend" and its dependencies). In myth-setup on the slave you point the slave to the master and you install the tuner cards. These are then automatically made available to the master who in turn makes it available to the front ends.

I use all separate frontends (3 in total now) which connect to the master.

Because my master backend is KM, it comes bundled with a frontend and I use it through a VM window (from my desktop PC) to manage my library. However, playing videos would not work. If I want to view recordings from my desktop then I use mythTV Player (which works for windows).

That's the way I do it.

In theory, a slave backend can be combined with a frontend (which is the default bundle such as in KM) and then it can be woken up for recordings thus you do not need to leave it powered on. The mechanism used there is normally a "Wake On LAN" method. In this case you would configure the backend that is with the frontend machine to be a slave (as noted above). For me this is more complexity but I have seen others do it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:47 am
Posts: 535
Location: Ottawa, Canada
I should add that I use a common store for all of my media which happens to be on the base OS and is served to all other devices. These are all CIFS mounted and I maintain a consistant path for all frontends and the backends to see. So my KM based virtualized master backend actually takes a small footprint for disk and memory.

I put the mysql database on the master backend and all other entities in my myth domain refer to it there. In this way all of the critical pieces of myth are in the VM and I benefit from mobility, and snapshots, etc.

Doing upgrades is easy with VMs as well. I take a snapshot (and a backup). I then try the upgrade process and if it fails then I restore to the snapshot and try again. I found this very useful going from R5F27 to R5.5.

One thing I did in the VM which perhaps is not completely stock is for VMWare you should install VMWare-tools (simple to do) which then allows you to automatically & gracefully shutdown or startup based on what the host is doing.

Hope this helps spur some thoughts.

C


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 729
Location: Philadelphia, PA US
@christ.

I've been planning on virtualizing the Mater backend one day eventually and using a SAN/NAS type solution for media storage (FreeNAS, Openfiler or hardware like Drobo). Tough part is to getting it started. My wife is using MythTV to record every day and if I srew it up will be hell to pay.

Eventaully when MBE is virtualized will make software/hardware upgrades and testing a breeze with snapshots and other VM backup methods.

One day...


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:55 pm
Posts: 306
Location: CA,USA
christ wrote:
Xen should be able to access the PCI cards


I would love to use something like Xen, but don't these 'bare metal' implementations have extremely limited h/w support? Just out of curiosity I checked the NIC support of Xen - I have 4 different NIC chipsets here at home and none are supported (although I come very close with my NetXtreme BCM5782, Xen supports the BCM5780 (which might be good enough, who knows), note also that all of my h.w is old and thus I would expect it to be supported better).

christ wrote:
In myth-setup on the slave you point the slave to the master and you install the tuner cards. These are then automatically made available to the master who in turn makes it available to the front ends.


That is really interesting, I had no idea you could do that. So your slave BE records straight to the local store I presume? Then does the MBE reach out to the slave and retrieve the show from your slave over the network or somehow retrieving the file more directly from the host OS? Just trying to figure out if there are any network/traffic concerns here.

What about things like commercial flagging & other jobs? I assume all of that runs solely out of the VM (i.e. the slave does nothing but record)?

christ wrote:
I should add that I use a common store for all of my media which happens to be on the base OS and is served to all other devices. These are all CIFS mounted and I maintain a consistant path for all frontends and the backends to see.


Makes total sense - else you would probably need a 500GB+ VM footprint, half of which is empty at any given time etc...

christ wrote:
Doing upgrades is easy with VMs as well. I take a snapshot (and a backup). I then try the upgrade process and if it fails then I restore to the snapshot and try again. I found this very useful going from R5F27 to R5.5.


This is EXACTLY why I want to VMize my BE. Well, that and simple & quick full backups via snapshots.

spalVl wrote:
I've been planning on virtualizing the Mater backend one day


What exactly were you thinking of doing? As Christ points out, it will run in a VM today, only real issue is PCI h/w which can't be solved by anyone here..?

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