MiniMyth from minimyth.org
Hardware Requirements
General

Over the years, the computer industry has created a wide range of hardware. To support this hardware, Linux and Xorg include hundreds of drivers. These drivers take space, which is at odds with MiniMyth's goal to be small. In order to remain small, MiniMyth severely limits the Linux and Xorg include hundreds of drivers. drivers that it includes. As a result, MiniMyth only supports a limited set of hardware.

However, MiniMyth is constantly evolving. As I and others have had a need to run MiniMyth on new hardware, we have added support for this hardware to MiniMyth. What was once a distribution that ran only on the VIA EPIA M motherboard is now a distribution that runs on variety of hardware platforms. If you want to know whether or not hardware not listed here is supported, or if you want to request support for hardware not listed here, then let us know.

Having said that, you will be better off using hardware that is widely used by the MiniMyth community. After all, MiniMyth naturally gets better testing on this hardware.

Hardware Drivers

If your hardware is supported by the following hardware drivers, then it is likely that your hardware will work.

Linux AGP Hardware Drivers
  • amd64-agp
  • ati-agp
  • intel-agp
  • nvidia-agp
  • sis-agp
  • via-agp (deprecated)
Linux Ethernet Hardware Drivers
  • 8139too
  • atl1
  • atl1c
  • atl1e
  • atl2
  • b44
  • e100
  • e1000
  • e1000e
  • forcedeth
  • jme
  • pcnet32
  • r8168
  • r8169
  • sis190
  • sis900
  • skge
  • sky2
  • tg3
  • tulip
  • via-rhine (deprecated)
  • via-velocity (deprecated)
  • vortex
Linux IDE Hardware Drivers
  • ata_piix
  • pata_amd
  • pata_atiixp
  • pata_marvell
  • pata_mpiix
  • pata_oldpiix
  • pata_sis
  • pata_via (deprecated)
  • sata_nv
  • sata_sis
  • sata_via (deprecated)
Linux Sound (ALSA) Hardware Drivers
  • snd-ali5451
  • snd-atiixp
  • snd-ca0106
  • snd-cmipci
  • snd-cs5535audio
  • snd-emu10k1
  • snd-ens1371
  • snd-hda-intel
  • snd-ice1724
  • snd-intel8x0
  • snd-intel8x0m
  • snd-sis7019
  • snd-usb-audio
  • snd-via82xx
Linux Video Recording Hardware Drivers
  • b2c2-flexcop-pci
  • bttv
  • budget
  • budget-av
  • budget-ci
  • dvb-usb-dib0700
  • cs5345
  • cx18
  • cx25840
  • cx88-dvb
  • cx8800
  • cx8802
  • hdpvr
  • ivtv
  • msp3400
  • saa7115
  • saa7164
Xorg Video Hardware Drivers
  • geode
  • intel
  • nouveau
  • nvidia
  • openchrome (deprecated)
  • radeon
  • savage
  • sis
  • vmware
Motherboard

Motherboards evolve rather quickly. Therefore, it is hard to keep an up-to-date list of motherboards. In general, if the included drivers are known to work correctly on a motherboard, then the motherboard should work.

People have run MiniMyth on the following NVIDIA ION chipset + Intel Atom CPU based motherboards:

People have run MiniMyth on the following VIA chipset + VIA CPU based motherboards:

  • Commell LV-667 (deprecated)
  • VIA EPIA CN (deprecated)
  • VIA EPIA EN (deprecated)
  • VIA EPIA M (deprecated)
  • VIA EPIA MII (deprecated)
  • VIA EPIA N (deprecated)
  • VIA EPIA SP (deprecated)

However, since support for XvMC (including XvMC-VLD) will be dropped in MythTV 0.25, support for VIA chipset + VIA CPU based motherboards has been deprecated.

People have run MiniMyth on the following NVIDIA chipset + AMD CPU based motherboards:

People have run MiniMyth on the following Intel chipset + Intel CPU based motherboards:

CPU

The NVIDIA ION chipset + Intel Atom CPU (Central Processing Unit) based motherboards come with CPUs. Because of the NVIDIA ION chipset's hardware MPEG2, H.264 and VC-1 decoding (using VDPAU), all of these systems are powerful enough to handle most Myth HDTV (High Definition Television) tasks. At this time, I believe that the NVIDIA ION chipset + Intel Atom CPU is the best solution for those that need a small form factor solution.

The VIA chipset + VIA CPU (Central Processing Unit) based motherboards come with CPUs. Because of the VIA chipset's hardware MPEG2 decoding (using XVMC-VLD), all of these systems CPUs are powerful enough to handle most Myth SDTV (Standard Definition Television) tasks. However, regardless of whether you choose a slower model without a fan or a faster model with a fan, none of these CPUs is powerful enough to handle MythGallery image scaling or MythMusic visualizations well. In addition, on some motherboards the hardware MPEG2 decoder is not HDTV capable. Also, MythTV is not capable of HDTV playback on some (or all) motherboards that have hardware MPEG2 decoders that are HDTV capable. Because VIA has failed to provide the support needed to ensure that their video drivers support either VAAPI or VDPAU, I suggest that those who want compact, low power hardware select NVIDIA ION chipset + Intel Atom CPU.

If you plan to use an NVIDIA chipset + AMD CPU (Central Processing Unit) based motherboard, then you have more CPU choices. I have found that an AMD Athlon64 3200+ (Venice core) is powerful enough to play back 1080i HDTV without any MPEG2 hardware acceleration. Of course, it is more than powerful enough to handle MythGallery image scaling and MythMusic visualizations. You may be able to use a slower CPU. However, an ASUS A8N-VM CSM motherboard with AMD Athlon64 3200+ CPU is lower cost than a VIA EPIA SP motherboard, so I have never been motivated to find out.

If you plan to use an Intel chipset + Intel CPU (Central Processing Unit) based motherboard, then you have more CPU choices as well. However, I do not know what Intel CPU would be required for HDTV playback. In the future, when the Intel Core 2 solutions drop in price, I may get one. I like that the Intel graphics drivers are Open Source.

GPU

First, you should strongly consider using a motherboard with an integrated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). Today's motherboard integrated GPUs are more than powerful enough for a Myth frontend, and a Myth frontend system based on a motherboard with an integrated GPU will usually be smaller and lower power than one based on a motherboard without an integrated GPU.

Second, you should consider using a GPU with good, actively supported, Open Source drivers that are developed with the support of GPU hardware vendor. At the moment I believe that Intel and AMD are one and two respectively when it comes to supporting Open Source drivers. Unfortunately, support of hardware accelerated video decoding in their Open Source drivers is either in its infancy (Intel) or does not exist (AMD). Therefore, you need to ensure that your CPU can do the video decoding.

Third, if you must use a GPU that does not have good, actively supported, Open Source drivers, then use an NVIDIA GPU. They appear to have the best proprietary Linux drivers. In addition, they are the only proprietary Linux drivers supported by MiniMyth.

No matter which GPU you choose, make sure that it has Linux driver support. Just because some of a vendor's GPUs have Linux driver support does not mean that they all do. Some vendors drop support for older GPUs from their proprietary drivers or decide not to add support for newer GPUs to their proprietary drivers. In addition, Open Source driver development is often limited by the hardware documentation. As a result, Open Source drivers do not always keep pace with the fast paced paced hardware evolution.

For graphics support, MiniMyth uses Xorg along with the Open Source openChrome drivers and the proprietary NVIDIA drivers drivers. In order to keep MiniMyth small, a complete set of Xorg drivers are not included in MiniMyth. As a result, many GPUs are not supported. However, the integrated GPUs on the supported motherboards are supported.

Sound

First, you should strongly consider using a motherboard with integrated sound. Today's motherboard integrated sound is more than sufficient for a Myth frontend, and a Myth frontend system based on a motherboard with integrated sound will usually be smaller and lower power than one based on a motherboard without integrated sound.

For sound support, MiniMyth uses the ALSA. In order to keep MiniMyth small, a complete set of ALSA drivers are not included in MiniMyth. As a result, many sound cards are not supported. However, the integrated sound chips on the supported motherboards are supported.

Memory

MiniMyth was developed to run on a diskless computer. As a result, except when using NFS to mount the root file system, MiniMyth runs with its entire compressed file system resident in memory. In addition, even when using NFS to mount the root file system, MiniMyth does not use a swap file. Therefore, MiniMyth requires more memory than a typical Myth frontend.

How much RAM you need depends on things such as video output resolution, MythTV theme and music collection size. While some people have had success running MiniMyth with 256MB of RAM, I do not recommend it. For VIA chipset + VIA CPU based motherboards with video output at lower resolutions (e.g. 720x480), I use 512MB of RAM. For NVIDIA chipset + AMD CPU based motherboards with video output at higher resolutions (e.g. 1024x768 and 1280x720 and 1920x1080) and not using VDPAU, I use 1024MB of RAM. For NVIDIA chipset + AMD CPU based motherboards with video output at higher resolutions (e.g. 1024x768 and 1280x720 and 1920x1080) and using VDPAU, I use 2048MB of RAM. Since MythTV gets larger with each release, I would err on the side of too much memory in your MiniMyth systems.

It is not always obvious when a problem is caused by having too little memory. Problems such as the GUI hanging during or after prescaling may be caused by having too little memory. Problems such as the GUI crashing before or after watching a recording may be caused by having too little memory.

Remote Control Receiver

For remote control receiver support, MiniMyth uses LIRC. Since people use many different remote control receivers, MiniMyth includes all the LIRC drivers. Therefore, if your remote control receiver is supported by LIRC, then it should be supported by MiniMyth.

Of course, nothing is that simple. LIRC requires an 'lircd.conf' configuration file to map the signals received from your remote control by your remote control receiver to remote control key names. In addition, LIRC requires an 'lircrc' configuration file to map the remote control key names to MythTV, MPlayer and Xine commands. MiniMyth does not contain 'lircd.conf' and 'lircrc' configuration files for most remote control receivers and remote controls. However, MiniMyth does contain a generic 'lircrc' configuration file ('/etc/lirc/lircrc.d') that should work (though not optimally) with any 'lircd.conf' configuration file that uses the proposed LIRC name space. Therefore, for most remote control receivers and remote controls, you will need to provide your own 'lircd.conf' configuration file and you may need to provide your own 'lircrc' configuration files.

Personally, I use a Media Center Edition remote control receiver and remote control. As a result, the 'lircd.conf' and 'lircrc' configuration files for this remote control receiver and remote control are included in MiniMyth.

If you have 'lircd.conf' and 'lircrc' configuration files for your remote control receiver and remote control that you would like included in MiniMyth, then let us know the remote control receiver vendor and model, the remote control vendor and model, the 'lircd.conf' and 'lircrc' configuration files and (if you are using a remote control receiver that connects using USB) the output of the command 'lsusb' with the remote control receiver connected.

LCD and VFD

For LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display) support, MiniMyth uses LCDproc. Since people use many different LCDs and VFDs, MiniMyth includes all the LCDproc drivers. Therefore, if your LCD or VFD is supported by LCDproc, then it should be supported by MiniMyth.

Of course, nothing is that simple. LCDproc requires an 'LCDd.conf' configuration file that depends on the LCD or VFD. While MiniMyth does include a default 'LCDd.conf' configuration file that should work well for many LCDs and VFDs, MiniMyth does not contain specific 'LCDd.conf' configuration files for most LCDs or VFDs. Therefore, for LCDs and VFDs for which the default 'LCDd.conf' configuration file is not sufficient and no specific 'LCDd.conf' configuration file is included, you will need to provide your own 'LCDd.conf' configuration file.

Personally, I do not have an LCD or VFD since all my MiniMyth systems are hidden.

If you have an 'LCDd.conf' configuration file for your LCD or VFD that you would like included in MiniMyth, then let us know the LCD or VFD vendor and model, the 'LCDd.conf' configuration file and (if you are using an LCD or VFD that connects using USB) the output of the command 'lsusb' with the LCD or VFD connected.