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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Projects
Puppy for a VIA EPIA Multi-Media Linux Machine?
Moderators: Flash, JohnMurga
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r3bol


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon 02 Apr 2007, 11:30    Post subject:  Puppy for a VIA EPIA Multi-Media Linux Machine?  

I am very interested in one of the fan-less VIA EPIA Series http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/mainboards/ (or similar brand) mini-motherboards. I aim for it to be used for internet activities and as a DVD player.
I was wondering if puppy runs on these types of MMB and whether Puppy or other live distros made use of some of the MPEG acceleration features some of them come with?
Other distro considerations would be GeeBox and KnoppMyth (any other recommendations?).
The one thing that worried me was DVD playback. I noticed my encrypted DVD movies played a bit choppy in puppy, but non-encrypted played ok. I havent messed with any settings yet though so maybe I can sort that out.

Any advice for a noob is much appreciated.
Thanks.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11080
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Mon 02 Apr 2007, 13:12    Post subject:  

I think the VIA Epia has a hardware DVD decoder onboard, but I don't know if Linux uses it. It might be worth asking VIA. As popular as their Epia is with people who run Linux on it, they should be eager to make sure it works with Linux.
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pakt


Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 1089
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Mon 02 Apr 2007, 13:55    Post subject: Re: Puppy for a VIA EPIA Multi-Media Linux Machine?  

r3bol, you might try Minipup2.02R from this site: http://bexa.org/

It uses MPlayer instead of Gxine and works quite well with multimedia.

Paul

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r3bol


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon 02 Apr 2007, 14:28    Post subject:  

Thanks, just asked VIA about linux support. I'll try that other puppy version too.
I have been googling and found that checking DMA is 'on' could help with DVD playback. How do I check this in puppy? A forum search came back zero.

I thought this was interesting: GNU/Linux DVD Player Review

Last edited by r3bol on Mon 02 Apr 2007, 15:24; edited 2 times in total
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5263
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon 02 Apr 2007, 15:00    Post subject:  

Most EPIA's are equipped with the VIA Unichrome graphics chip, which features hardware-assisted MPEG2 decoding ... with the right drivers.
First you need the 3D Unichrome graphics driver installed and working - use MU's 3D Control Centre to install -
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=14463

Then you need a video playback application which supports the "XvMC" hardware-assisted feature -
MPlayer 1.0rc1 + XvMC http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=13216

Several forum members have Puppy installed on their Epia's with XvMC working.

Flash wrote:
I think the VIA Epia has a hardware DVD decoder onboard

No, the Unichrome's XvMC feature is not full hardware decoding, just hardware-assisted decoding.
Examples of full hardware decoding cards are the DXR2 and DXR3 products.
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pakt


Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 1089
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Mon 02 Apr 2007, 15:04    Post subject:  

Type 'dmesg | grep -i dma' in a terminal. You should see something like this:

ide0: BM-DMA at 0xbfa0-0xbfa7, BIOS settings: hda:DMA, hdb:pio

Paul

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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Apr 2007, 06:32    Post subject:  

dvw86 wrote a nice wiki page about Puppy + Epia ML8000 - http://puppylinux.org/wikka/MiniITX

And Minipup, which Paul mentioned, is currently being upgraded. It will include the latest MPlayer version with Openchrome-XvMC support.
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r3bol


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Tue 03 Apr 2007, 11:10    Post subject:  

sh-3.00# dmesg | grep -i dma
VP_IDE: VIA vt8235 (rev 00) IDE UDMA133 controller on pci0000:00:11.1
ide0: BM-DMA at 0xfc00-0xfc07, BIOS settings: hda:DMA, hdb:pio
ide1: BM-DMA at 0xfc08-0xfc0f, BIOS settings: hdc:DMA, hdd:pio
hda: 78242976 sectors (40060 MB) w/2048KiB Cache, CHS=65535/16/63, UDMA(100)
hdc: ATAPI 40X DVD-ROM DVD-R CD-R/RW drive, 2048kB Cache, UDMA(33)

Is everything I get back.
Quote:
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/MiniITX
Thanks for the link. I've seen that before, but completely forgot about it!
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pakt


Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 1089
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue 03 Apr 2007, 11:36    Post subject:  

Quote:
ide0: BM-DMA at 0xfc00-0xfc07, BIOS settings: hda:DMA, hdb:pio
ide1: BM-DMA at 0xfc08-0xfc0f, BIOS settings: hdc:DMA, hdd:pio

Looks to me your hard disk (hda) and your CD-ROM (hdc) both have DMA set Smile

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r3bol


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 45
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr 2007, 10:51    Post subject:  

If anyone else is interested, here is my reply from VIA...
Quote:
Dear Leo, Thanks for your mail. Our EPIA mainboards include a MPEG2 accelerator. In addition the EPIA SP, EX, NX, N and NL are including a MPEG4 accelerator as well. To use these features you have to use special versions of the Xine or mplayer. These can be downloaded for free at VIAArena.com. Since our drivers are precompiled for Fedora we also suggest using this distribution.

Best Regards,
VIA Technologies, Inc.
www.viaembedded.com
Should you have any query please email to embedded@via.com.tw
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lvds


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Posts: 315
Location: Near the window

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr 2007, 11:05    Post subject:  

tempestuous wrote:
...And Minipup, which Paul mentioned, is currently being upgraded. It will include the latest MPlayer version with Openchrome-XvMC support.


Hi,

Will this upgraded Mplayer still works on all others motherboards ? Or is it specially dedicated to a special brand motherboards ?

And which PET-PUP package are you using to do this (as i am also working on Mplayer problems on my side and need to upgrade a few things) ?

Best regards,
Laurent.

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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5263
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr 2007, 13:04    Post subject:  

Minipup will have ALMOST the same version of MPlayer that is already available as a dotpup here -
http://puppyfiles.org/dotpupsde/dotpups/Multimedia/Mplayer-1.0rc1/
The only difference is GTK2 compatibility, because Puppy's version of GTK2 changed from Puppy-2.10 onwards.
What does this mean ... don't install this dotpup on versions of Puppy earlier than 2.10. Or the gui will fail to launch.

lvds wrote:
Will this upgraded Mplayer still works on all others motherboards ? Or is it specially dedicated to a special brand motherboards ?

Yes, this MPlayer package has some specially enabled features, but remains compatible with all hardware regardless of whether that hardware supports any of these features.

Read the full explanation here - http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=13216
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DavidBell

Joined: 24 Nov 2006
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr 2007, 15:57    Post subject:  

I have two, an EPIA-V & an EPIA-ML.

Both work with Puppy except the EPIA-V has only one IDE slot and you have to have the the HDD & CD/DVD on the same cable. I find that you can only read one CD with this arrangement, to read another you have to reboot Sad At least that's the case with Puppy 2.12

On the plus side for the EPIA-V it has S-Video out which would be nice for a DVD player. There are a lot of models and you need to check which ones have the features/plugs that you want.

One other thing, again with Puppy 2.12, I find when you use Xorg any scrolling or screen updates makes the sound jump. It doesn't happen with Xvesa.

DB
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5263
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri 06 Apr 2007, 02:21    Post subject:  

It's true that Xorg consumes more system resources than Xvesa, but when it comes to media applications this overhead is worthwhile.
For media playback Xorg is vastly superior to Xvesa, especially when the correct "xv" video output option is selected in MPlayer.
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lvds


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Posts: 315
Location: Near the window

PostPosted: Fri 06 Apr 2007, 08:33    Post subject:  

tempestuous wrote:
It's true that Xorg consumes more system resources than Xvesa, but when it comes to media applications this overhead is worthwhile.
For media playback Xorg is vastly superior to Xvesa, especially when the correct "xv" video output option is selected in MPlayer.


ok thanks but which pack do i have to install: nvidia or unichrome ? ...i use a video on my motherboard and others computers have i945 onboard video chipsets (or is it 845... anyway it is the ones intel put on every motherboard Wink )

Best regards,
Laurent

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