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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    9

    From Vortexbox to Snake-oil - my experiences

    Hi all,

    I just migrated from a Vortexbox to a Snake-oil server and thought that I would share my experiences. Seeing that they are both Linux based system this would be the best place.

    A bit of background, I've been using a Squeezebox system for just over 10 years now. On my main system a Squeezebox 3 which was replaced by a Squeezebox Touch when these were released. For my bedroom / alarm clock I use a Squeezebox Radio. While getting used to the system I just used my iMac with some local storage. But as I wanted to run a server independently from my main computer I quickly buit a little M-ITX Atom330 based server with a 1,5 Tb hard drive. I used Vortexbox as OS to run this server.

    Fast forward to now, after 6 years of nomadic life traveling the world I returned to my apartment in The Netherlands. I took my little server out of storage and it worked right away. However I wanted to try some of the new uncompressed streaming services and subscribed to the 120 day Tidal promotion (only 4 Euro!). Unfortunately the older version of LMS on my Vortexbox could not stream Tidal in flac, only mp3. That kind of defeated the purpose. And due to the old version of Vortexbox I could not upgrade LMS.
    So i needed to upgrade Vortexbox by making a back-up of my music collection on an external drive, fully re-install a new version of Vortexbox, and restore the music collection. I had already been through this once on an earlier upgrade and thought that:
    a) It was a bit of a hassle.
    b) I didn't like the idea of working both disks hard at the same time when copying a lot data with my whole music collection between the two. Seems a unfortunate time if the disks die during this. This now more then ever with both my server disk and back-up disk being about 10 years old.

    So I decided that I preferred to have my OS on a SSD disk (cheap as chips for a small one) and keep the existing Vortexbox drive with the music storage on there. This would also allow easier upgraded or changes of the OS without needing to touch the music strorage. After checking an good OS to run LMS (no need for a player) out I felt that:
    > Vortexbox development, support, and community seemed less active than in the past. Also setting up a 2-disk install looked quite complicated.
    > Daphile, but it seemed a rather closed system.
    > The various raspberry Pi based solutions, but with an otherwise working Atom server I saw no need to change that, also understanding that the Atom330 is somewhat beefier regarding processing power.
    > Snake-oil seemed to offer a good mix of active development, out-of-the-box functionality but tweakable, easily upgradable, and not too difficult to configure in a 2-disk setup.

    So I have just migrated and all went pretty smoothly. Some of the hick-ups I encountered:

    1) The Atom board I have in the server (Intel D945GCLF2) has issues with booting from USB. So needed to pull an old Windows XP (!) laptop from a box of old computer stuff to burn a snake-oil CD, only computer I had with an optical drive (except the Atom server itself).

    2) Ensuring that the server boots up from the SSD not the harddrive with Vortexbox. That can be set quite easily in the BIOS but for my system required a monitor and keyboard to be connected.

    2) Mounting the Vortexbox storage. This is an LVM partition so can't be mounted from the Snake-oil GUI. With these instructions it was quickly solved:https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-moun...n-command/

    3) Sharing the mounted Vortexbox LVM partition on Samba. These instructions helped:
    https://vitux.com/how-to-install-and-con...on-ubuntu/
    I still have some issues with not being able to create or write on the mounted LVM partition over the network, so I probably need to work on the permissions.

    4) Getting the 'Material' skin working on LMS. The solution was a newer version of LMS than the currently installed 7.9.0, so after activating Snake-oil I 'dropped' LMS 8.0 in the install interface (so cool!) and that upgraded LMS.

    So, RESULT!

    > I have an up to date LMS. With 8.0 the seamless integration between your Tidal collection and local music collection is really cool.
    > I can stream Tidal in flac from my new Snake-oil server to my SB touch and my audio system. I love exploring music, and having a massive collection at your fingertips. Now if the Tidal plug-in would just support hi-res flac streaming in LMS.... After the Tidal trial I'm going to try Quboz and compare.
    > An added benefit from using the SSD for the OS and LMS install is quicker boot times, but especially quicker searching and browsing in your music collection. Do a search in iPeng and the results including artwork pop up as you type. Didn't have that before on a spinning/platter disk.

    Remaining issues:
    As stated I need to sort the permissions so I can write/change in the Vortexbox storage over the network. The main issue I'm looking at is how to turn off my server. I used the 'Server Power Control' plug-in for that, but using that on Snake-oil seemed to break the system (syntax errors in sudoers) so I did a fresh Snake-oil re-install after that.

    In terms of features Snake-oil seems to offer most that Vortexbox did, with the exception of the automated CD-ripper. I never used it but it makes it a great all-round music server. But I believe it is in the roadmap for Snake-oil.
    Last edited by bolle; 2020-05-21 at 16:23.

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