[mythtv-users] Diskless

Richard Scott richard at rhysmission.co.uk
Wed Jan 31 12:43:13 UTC 2007

I'm also running a diskless FE (M9000 ITX board in a Tranquil T2e case).
Completely silent. It's also a slave backend (has a PVR-350 for
recording from my Sky satellite receiver). I did have to add a 'proper'
network card from Intel to replace the onboard one - otherwise the box
hard locked when recording.

I'm not sure which distro you're running, but there seem to be problems
with the latest kernel (2.6.18) on FC5.  It doesn't seem to be able to
mount the client-specific directories properly.. Works fine with the
2.6.15 kernel though.


-------- Original Message --------
From: Rich West <Rich.West at wesmo.com>
To: Discussion about mythtv <mythtv-users at mythtv.org>
Subject: Re:[mythtv-users] Diskless
Date: Wed Jan 31 2007 00:19:48 GMT+0000 (GMT Standard Time)
> Andrew Wilson wrote:
>> I run a diskless frontend on an epia m10k with 512MB RAM. It works
>> just fine. Root filesystem is on the network. The server is a low
>> power Maxtor Shared Storage - similar in concept to Linksys NSLU2. It
>> boots the frontend using the excellent dnsmasq server for dhcp and
>> hpa-tftpd for tftpboot - took a while to get this going, but now it is
>> flawless. The frontend power button is ACPI'd to suspend to RAM, so it
>> 'boots' in about 5s unless I need to power off. Frontend draws about
>> 3W when suspended - which is about the same as when it is OFF but
>> still connected to the PSU... Shocking!
>> The backend is a cheap (20!) compaq small form factor office pc which
>> lives in a cupboard. It has 256MB RAM a pair of (cheap) DVB-T cards,
>> and a small disk for OS and swap, though I've not needed the swap and
>> I could probably boot this over network as well. Recordings are stored
>> on a NFS mount on the MSS.
>> The Maxtor box runs cool, draws about 7W and is on 24/7. It also has
>> the task of waking the backend when a recording is imminent. The
>> backend draws about 25W when on, and the frontend draws about 30W. I
>> also have a belkin wireless adsl router which draws about 17W. In
>> theory the MSS could do this job as well, but to be honest I've not
>> tried, and I don't really have time.
>> Everything works OK. The network is wired 100 base tx, not even close
>> to being saturated. When HD-DVB comes along I'll probably need to
>> upgrade the frontend, but hey I'll need to upgrade my TV first! The
>> network should still be OK, and the backend should be fine as all it's
>> doing is copying a still fairly low bitrate data stream from a PCI
>> card to Ethernet.
>> One problem I have is that it seems to be impossible to do wake on lan
>> from suspended (S3) on the backend, probably due to 20th century
>> hardware. So the backend does a normal shutdown when it's idle.Still
>> it boots up mysqld and mythbackend in about 30s which isn't bad. It's
>> just a shame that the frontend is ready before it.
>> What would be REALLY nice is to run a kind of boss backend on the MSS
>> which knows nothing about recording TV, but can serve mythweb and
>> recordings to the frontend on demand. Then I would not have to wait
>> for the real backend to wake up. This should surely be possible in
>> 32MB RAM, though maybe a full MySQL database is too heavy for this
>> task. Perhaps I could do some sort UPnP thing for this, and not bother
>> with a myth frontend. I do all scheduling though Mythweb anyway, and
>> the frontend is only used for viewing recodings.
>> Hope this helps you see what's possible,.....
> Wow, definitely.  I'm amazed at just how many people do this, and the 
> varying methods in which they use it.  Actually, I shouldn't be so 
> surprised with the flexibility of MythTV and Linux, but still... :)
> I have taken a dump of the root filesystem of the only FE that I can 
> tinker with without having my family lynch me and placed it in an 
> NFS-exported area on my main file server.  I've also tweaked the tftp 
> config so as to have a file for this particular MAC address.
> I haven't begun to test anything yet, but a couple of questions come to 
> mind:
> How accurate is the wiki on this topic?
> What, if anything, needs to be done to the NFS root volume's /etc/fstab?
> Thanks!
> -Rich
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