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View Full Version : OT?: How to go about learning Linux for a music server



hunta
2005-04-29, 06:53
Firstly, apologies if anyone considers this an inappropriate place to ask for information. I'm really looking for pointers, rather than direct instruction.

I've got an old PC (AMD 1.8Ghz, 516 Mb) which currently has Windows XP installed on it, but I've not used it since I upgraded to a new box. What I'd really like to do, but don't know whether it's possible, is put a wireless network card in it and shove it (without keyboard, mouse or monitor) into a cupboard, close the door and leave it running as a music server.

Could a Linux installation do this, and if so could I control it remotely from my XP machine? If so, would anyone be able to recommend resources for me to start on the learning curve?

Many thanks in advance,

Andrew

Patrick Dixon
2005-04-29, 07:13
Yes you can do this.

I started by buying a Fedora for dummies type book with an FC3 DVD. Installation should be reasonably painless (mine was on an old laptop - so it wasn't).

Once you've got it up and networked, you can administer it all from a Windows pc through the network using ssh. You'll need to install something like PuTTY (for a command shell type interface) or CygwinX (for a graphical 'X' interface) on your windows pc. Note that you don't have to have X running on the Linux box to get CygwinX to work - so you can boot the server into runlevel 3.

The slimserver rpm makes installing on FC pretty easy.

max.spicer
2005-04-29, 07:19
I've got an old PC (AMD 1.8Ghz, 516 Mb) which currently has Windows XP installed on it, but I've not used it since I upgraded to a new box. What I'd really like to do, but don't know whether it's possible, is put a wireless network card in it and shove it (without keyboard, mouse or monitor) into a cupboard, close the door and leave it running as a music server.
Getting your wireless card working could prove to be the biggest challenge. Wireless is perfectly doable with Linux, and some cards are directly supported. However, for many you will need to use the Windows drivers via a tool such as NDISWrapper. This is not impossible by any means, but the learning curve could be quite steep for someone new to Linux. My best advice would be to do some research on the card to buy and therefore be sure that it will just work. I'm afraid I don't have any helpful URLs to hand, but Google will probably help.

Max

iwp
2005-04-29, 08:12
Getting your wireless card working could prove to be the biggest challenge.

For what it's worth, I struggled with wireless under Linux for some time. (This was made all the trickier for me because newer Linuces refused to cope with a very old wired ethernet NIC I had, and wireless was quite unstable with older Linuces - gah). I did get it working, but had lots of dropouts and general instability.

In the end I shelled out for a wireless bridge instead. The bridge sits as a client on the wireless network, and the Linux box connects via ethernet to the bridge. As it happens, my main Windows desktop is physically close to the server and also uses the bridge. This means that I have a wired connection between the Windows box and the server - which is handy if you're going to be moving large mp3s between them :)

dean
2005-04-29, 08:35
We bought a laptop here to specifically use for wireless debugging
under Linux. Dan, Vidur and I each spent quite a few hours trying to
bring up the wireless card that was specifically recommended for this
purpose.

Long story short, we couldn't get it to work. Took it back to Fry's
service department and at the very last moment, Vidur noticed a
little switch on the side of the computer that turns off the wireless
antenna. Comes from the factory OFF.

Sometimes it, just a little thing that'll get you.

That said, if it's possible, I also recommend an external access
point. It'll be nearly as cheap as an internal card and far more
flexible and easy to configure.


> max.spicer Wrote:
>
>> Getting your wireless card working could prove to be the biggest
>> challenge.

kefa
2005-05-07, 16:14
mate, this is exactly what I have done. An old-ish packard bell desktop now has fedora core 3 and slimserver running on with a negear wireless card. The monitor keyboard and mouse have all long since been packed away. The only button I touch is the on off button.

I ssh in to the desktop and run remote X apps (e.g. grip) from a separate laptop. The laptop is also useful for controlling the squeezebox when bored of using the remote control.

hunta
2005-05-10, 02:42
Another point to throw into the pot before taking the plunge - I'm currently using a Trinloc DAB decoder and DABBar to stream digital radio to the SB2. So far as I know, neither of these products have Linux versions of their software. Is it possible to run this sort of thing under a Windows emulator or something similar?

Many thanks.

lostboy
2005-05-12, 03:43
Not sure if you'll get the Trinloc/DABBAR to run under Linux, I haven't heard of anyone suceeding with this. However, all is not lost as you do not need to host the radio on the same box as slimserver. Just point slimserver at the URL for DABBAR and you can keep it running on your XP box. However this does mean that you have to keep the XP box on when you want to listen to the Trinloc.

My music server is a Win 2000 box, because that's all that will satisfactorily host my Psion Wavefinder, so I understand your issue.

Chris

Dave Smith
2005-05-12, 04:34
A good quick test would be to download something like Knoppix and see if it recognises your wireless card. It's Linux on a bootable CD and will (hopefully) give you a quick and painless indication of if your h/w will work.