[mythtv-users] Mythbackend on VMware Server with DVB-tuners

Fredrik Hallgarde mythtv at tedde.nu
Fri Apr 29 12:35:09 UTC 2011


If anyone else is considering running a Mythbackend as a virtual machine
my experiences could maybe be useful.

VMware server 2.0.2 is a very capable type 2 hypervisor (installed on
top of another OS, such as Linux).
It provide full virtualization of a machine allowing you to run a
completely different OS, kernel whatever in the VM. It provides
USB-passthrough of USB2-devices as well as serial devices.

I was able to use a Hauppauge Nova-T 500 (PCI) in the VM using the fact
that the Nova-T 500 (at least earlier models) are in fact a USB-bridge
with two soldered usb-tuners on. I experienced some stability issues,
see below, but overall the tuners seemed to work fine.

Passthrough of USB-Serial devices can be done at the USB-level or
Serial-port level, i chose the latter as it seemed more stable. Serial
blasters based on bit-banging will not work but true rs-232 devices
seems to work fine.

Unfortunately VMware server has not been kept up to date which means
there are several issues related to running it on newer Linux
distributions such as Debian Squeeze. Issues included glibc version
conflict with tomcat, I had to adjust the memory allocation to tomcat
and support for firefox in web management gui is none-existant = I had
to use Internet Explorer. The management interface did not feel stable
and I could not be bothered to eliminate all the issues.

Some say that its overkill to run virtualization at home
I have to disagree as it allows me to keep a Mythdora 10.21 installation
(2.6.27) while experimenting with newer kernels and mythtv-versions
(without using more hardware).

All in all, a virtualized backend, even with PCI/USB tuners, is possible
but personally I would prefer some other solution than VMware Server (I
will try out VMware ESXi).


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