streda 24. februára 2010

Getting things to work..

When picking the components for my HTPC, I was looking for information whether they work fine with GNU/Linux, preferably Ubuntu. After a few months of usage I can say everything works, sort of.

The first challenge was to get the proper screen resolution on my Samsung LCD via HDMI. After a few sleepless nights I learned I cannot get the maximum resolution (1360x768) via HDMI, only via D-sub. When connected via HDMI I only get 1280x800 and also a few pixels is missing on each side. So I needed to adjust the xorg.conf in order to see as much as I could. Also, when connected via HDMI, it is difficult to see red colored text when switched to console (vt).

The sound works fine. I am using either the TV speakers (via HDMI cable) or my Sony amplifier connected via regular analog card output. The problem with the sound was that sometimes the machine boots up with sound turned down. I needed to turn it up via alsamixer. This was a real problem, because regular user who booted up the PC and started XBMC could not hear anything. I think this was fixed by commenting out "mute_and_zero_levels" in /etc/init.d/alsa-utils.

The wifi dongle was very tricky to get to work right. Initially it connected to my WPA2 network fine, but after some time the connection quality was really bad and it stopped to work completely. The solution was to turn off power management for the wlan0 interface. I have switched from network-manager to wicd because of this.

I will save the TV card, suspend/resume and other annoyances for next blog :)

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