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one htpc, coming right up

So, how long does it take to build an HTPC with Gentoo, from scratch? How about, Gentoo + LVM2 + vesafb + bootsplash + nvidia + LIRC + mplayer + XvMC + IVTV + MythTV? All in all, about eight hours. I think that’s gotta be some sorta record.

Actually, just setting up vesafb plus splashutils took me about three hours. I haven’t played with that stuff in a very long time, and since I’m on amd64, I can’t use vesafb-tng. I did try uvesafb, but didn’t feel like experimenting to see if I could get bootsplash working as well, so just went with plain old vesafb at 800×600 instead. The end result is still really nice. From boot to MythTV’s main screen, the user never sees any text (BIOS is setup to display a VGA image on POST as well).

I mostly set it up again to see if I could do it again. I’ve already got my (original) mythbox in my bedroom, which is just a small Pentium4 with a small 250 GB IDE drive. This new one, though, this is my dual-core Athlon64 with 5 SATA harddrives, totalling 880 GB just for media files. I hadn’t played with LVM2 in a good long while either, and I was cautious since last time I didn’t have much luck. This time, reading the docs, it just clicked and made sense. The thing that always confused me was how the partitioning worked. Once you wrap your brain around the concepts, it starts to work.

I’m also running the latest MythTV that is 0.20, which needs to go real stable here anyway. I’m using 2.6.22 kernel and the 1.0.1 of IVTV which is supposed to have a lotta nice fixes. I’m just glad to see Hans finally got it into the kernel. Good work, man. 🙂 I love the new new MythTV themes in mythtv-themes-extra, too. I’m using a nice widescreen one and it’s gorgeous.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it for a while on and off, but I think that this time I’m going to actually write up a good Gentoo doc on how to actually do all the stuff in detail. I still can’t believe I set it all up so fast. I’ll have to post some pictures. 🙂