Making a tv box

I wanted a simple box for playing videos, the PC was originally installed with Ubuntu so I kept this and did an apt-get dist-upgrade to the latest version after modifying the repositories.

su root
to become root user.

Use the following command to create a new user
adduser tv

It doesn’t let you create an empty password if i remember so use vi /etc/passwd look for the user you created and remove the ‘x’
in between two colons, to remove the password.

vi /etc/groups – look at the lines where an existing user on the system are and add ‘,tv’ to them. This only has to be done for the audio group as far as i am aware, if this isn’t performed no audio access will be granted for the user.

echo “vlc -I http -f /fileshare/movies/*” > /usr/local/sbin/playmovies
The directory specified above would be where movies ripped from your DVDs are stored. This makes VLC run in full screen and launches its http server to remote control what it plays.

Make the file executable
chmod +x /usr/local/sbin/playmovies

Add /usr/local/sbin/playmovies to your startup programs list

Remove the gnome panels and I set the background colour black.

I then did
apt-get remove gdm
to remove the login screen

Follow this to make the system login to gnome without a password.
Where it says type startxfce4 use startx instead.

You can then control the VLC client via a webpage at http://yourip:8080 where you can choose which movie to play fast,forward etc. It can be opened on a PocketPC which is cool.