Diskless LTSP Frontend

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Contents

Introduction

This guide is based on Ubuntu 12.04 and LTSP 5.3.x. Please update it as needed with other Linux Distribution instructions.

Why Diskless?

This setup allows you to run a client frontend without a hard disk in it.

  • Saves you money
  • Possibly keeps the client quieter
  • Less heat generated.
  • The client OS is "read only", so you do not need to be concerned with system crashes.
  • Possibly less power used on the frontend. You may use more power on your LTSP server though.

MythTV Versions Supported

These instructions are valid for MythTV 0.25, 0.26 and 0.27. They should also be valid for future versions as long as LTSP 5.x is used. Refer to the section on upgrading MythTV.

Diskless Alternatives

This LTSP method gives you more flexibility and allows you to customize your frontend. You get to control when and what version of mythtv you upgrade to. You also get to use a "regular" linux desktop.

Conventions used with this guide

There are two main parts to this guide. One part has commands to install a 32-bit client, the other part has commands to install a 64-bit client. The final parts are for troubleshooting and maintenance updates.

There are many steps involved. This guide has been written this way so you can slowly work through the process of getting your client installed. Hopefully it will make it easier for you to customize your own LTSP client.

When you see this

 root@ltsp-server:~#

It means the commands should be executed on the LTSP server.

When you see this

 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/#

It means the commands should be executed on the LTSP server, but after you have run the chroot command ltsp-chroot. Chroot is type of isolated environment.

Assumptions

  1. Your mythtv server has an IP address of 192.168.1.100
  2. Your mythtv frontend is diskless, it will use a dhcp client address of 192.168.1.150
  3. You will create a new user called mythltsp
  4. Your mythtv server resolves DNS queries
  5. Your default router IP is 192.168.1.1
  6. Your mythtv server is not already serving DHCP
  7. You mythtv frontend has a mac address of 87:01:2a:ab:08:56


Install the LTSP Server Software

 root@ltsp-server:~# apt-get install ltsp-server-standalone

Configure DHCP

Dhcpd is used to provide the client frontend with an IP address.

DD-WRT

Note: You can also configure your main dhcp server to make your mythtv fontend boot. It is possible to do this with DD-WRT.

For DD-WRT you need something like this. Add this line to the Services -> Additional, dnsmasq options section on the router

 dhcp-boot=/ltsp/i386/pxelinux.0,,192.168.1.150

or this for a 64 bit client

 dhcp-boot=/ltsp/and64/pxelinux.0,,192.168.1.150

LTSP Server

Installing the ltsp server software will create a dhcpd config file /etc/ltsp/dhcpd.conf

If you already have dhcpd running, this new file will override it.


Script.png /etc/ltsp/dhcpd.conf
authoritative;

# This will be the subnet your client will use.  Your server must have an interface serving this range.
subnet 192.168.1.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 {

    range 192.168.1.150 192.168.1.200;
    option domain-name "example.com";
    option domain-name-servers 192.168.1.100;
    option broadcast-address 192.168.1.255;
    option routers 192.168.1.1;
#    next-server 192.168.0.1;
#    get-lease-hostnames true;
    option subnet-mask 255.255.255.0;
    option root-path "/opt/ltsp/i386";

    if substring( option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 9 ) = "PXEClient" {
        filename "/ltsp/i386/pxelinux.0";
    } else {
        filename "/ltsp/i386/nbi.img";
    }

  host mythfront {

    # tftp client hardware address, mac address of your LTSP client
    hardware ethernet 87:01:2a:ab:08:56;

    # Dedicated IP address for your LTSP client
    fixed-address 192.168.1.150;

    # Uncomment the line below if your client is 32-bit
    # filename "/ltsp/i386/pxelinux.0";

    # Uncomment the line below if your client is 64-bit
    filename "/ltsp/amd64/pxelinux.0";

  }

}

Restart DHCP

 root@ltsp-server:~# service isc-dhcpd-server restart

Build client settings

Script.png /etc/ltsp/ltsp-build-client.conf

# ubuntu-desktop and edubuntu-desktop are tested.
# Ubuntu 12.04 LTS working perfectly with Unity and Unity 2D.
FAT_CLIENT_DESKTOPS="ubuntu-desktop"

# This uses the server apt cache to speed up downloading.
# This locks the servers dpkg, so you can't use apt on
# the server while building the chroot.
MOUNT_PACKAGE_DIR="/var/cache/apt/archives/"


Script.png /etc/ltsp/ltsp-update-image.conf
#configuration file for ltsp-update-image
# Do not compress the client image. Comment out the line below to enable again.
NO_COMP="-noF -noD -noI -no-exports"

Set up Thin Client user

This account is created on your LTSP server. The LTSP client will use it to login.

 root@ltsp-server:~# useradd -m mythltsp -G sudo mythtv
 root@ltsp-server:~# passwd mythltsp

Update default mythtv configuration settings for your new user

 root@ltsp-server:~# su - mythltsp
 $ mkdir .mythtv
 $ cd .mythtv
 $ ln -s /etc/mythtv/mysql.txt mysql.txt
 $ ln -s /etc/mythtv/config.xml config.xml
 $ exit

Start of 32 bit LTSP Client Instructions

Create the initial client image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-build-client --arch i386

Boot the LTSP client

Try to login, if you get an error that gnome failed to load

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get install gnome
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# exit

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image --arch=i386

Reboot the LTSP client

Client boots and can now login. MythTV is not installed

Update repositories the client can use

 root@ltsp-server:~# cp /etc/apt/sources.list /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/apt/sources.list
 root@ltsp-server:~# cp /etc/apt/sources.list.d/* /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/apt/sources.list.d/

Install MythTV Frontend

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get update
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get install mythtv-frontend
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# exit

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image --arch=i386

Reboot the LTSP client

This time mythtv frontend will be available

Now configure the client

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot

Update the settings for your backend, DBHostName and DBPassword will have to be changed.

 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# vi /etc/mythtv/mysql.txt

This assumes you have a link from your local user home dir to the /etc/mythtv config dir

eg.

 /home/mythltsp/.mythtv/mysql.txt -> /etc/mythtv/mysql.txt
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# exit

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image --arch=i386

Reboot the LTSP client

This time, mythtv frontend should connect to the backend.

Enable auto login

 root@ltsp-server:~# vi /var/lib/tftpboot/ltsp/i386/lts.conf


Script.png /var/lib/tftpboot/ltsp/i386/lts.conf
[Default]
# Auto Login
LDM_AUTOLOGIN = True
LOCAL_APPS = True
LDM_SESSION = "lightdm-gtk-greeter"
#Disable screen going blank after a few mintutes
X_BLANKING=0

[192.168.1.150]
LDM_USERNAME = mythltsp
LDM_PASSWORD = mythltsp

Reboot the LTSP client

This time, mythtv frontend should automatically login.

End of 32 bit LTSP Client Intructions

Start of 64 bit LTSP Client Instructions

Create the initial client image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-build-client --arch amd64

Boot the LTSP client

Try to login, if you get an error that gnome failed to load

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get install gnome
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# exit

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image --arch amd64

Reboot the LTSP client

Client boots and can now login. MythTV is not installed

Update repositories the client can use

 root@ltsp-server:~# cp /etc/apt/sources.list /opt/ltsp/amd64/etc/apt/sources.list
 root@ltsp-server:~# cp /etc/apt/sources.list.d/* /opt/ltsp/amd64/etc/apt/sources.list.d/

Install MythTV Frontend

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get update
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get install mythtv-frontend
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# exit

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image --arch amd64

Reboot the LTSP client

This time mythtv frontend will be available

Now configure LTSP Client

Update the settings for your backend, DBHostName and DBPassword will have to be changed.

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# vi /etc/mythtv/mysql.txt

This assumes you have a link from your local user home dir to the /etc/mythtv config dir

eg.

 /home/mythltsp/.mythtv/mysql.txt -> /etc/mythtv/mysql.txt
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# exit

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image --arch amd64

Reboot the LTSP client

This time, mythtv frontend should connect to the backend.

Enable auto login

 root@ltsp-server:~# vi /var/lib/tftpboot/ltsp/amd64/lts.conf


Script.png /var/lib/tftpboot/ltsp/amd64/lts.conf
[Default]
# Auto Login
LDM_AUTOLOGIN = True
LOCAL_APPS = True
LDM_SESSION = "lightdm-gtk-greeter"
#Disable screen going blank after a few mintutes
X_BLANKING=0

[192.168.1.150]
LDM_USERNAME = mythltsp
LDM_PASSWORD = mythltsp

Reboot the LTSP client

This time, mythtv frontend should automatically login.

Optional: Install NVIDIA drivers

Note: if your main LTSP server is 64 bit and your LTSP client is also 64 bit this step will work. If your LTSP client is 32 bit you will need to work out how to install the 32 bit version of the nvidia driver.

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot

You must mount proc or you will get errors when you install the nvidia drivers

 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# mount -t proc proc /proc
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# nvidia-xconfig

Reboot the LTSP client

This time, the LTSP client should be using the NVIDIA drivers. If you can't see the edges of your screen, you have a condition called "overscan".

Edit /etc/X11/Sxorg.conf

Add this to the bottom of the "Screen" section. (The ViewPortOut section changes the resoluion sent to your screen. You may need to adjust these numbers for your screen)

   Option         "metamodes" "DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select +0+0,DFP-1: 1920x1080 { ViewPortIn=1920x1080, ViewPortOut=1820x1020+45+30 }"
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# exit

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image --arch amd64

Reboot the LTSP client

You should now see the full menus on around the edges of your screen.

End of 64 bit LTSP Client Instructions

Make MythTV Frontend Automatically Start

 root@ltsp-server:~# su - mythltsp
 $ cd .config
 $ mkdir autostart
 $ cd autostart
 $ vi mythfrontend.desktop


Script.png mythfrontend.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Exec=/usr/bin/mythfrontend
Hidden=false
NoDisplay=false
Name=mythTV frontend
Comment=Record, playback and watch TV.

Troubleshooting

Make MythTV use the full screen when it launches

There is a known issue with mythtv launching and not using the full screen. A Compiz bug that was reported here:

 http://code.mythtv.org/trac/ticket/9589

Run these commands to implement a fix

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# exit

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image --arch=i386

or

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image --arch amd64

Reboot the LTSP client

After the LTSP client has booted, login using the mythltsp user

Run the ccsm tool.

  1. Under CompizConfig Settings Manager, go to "Utility"
  2. Go to "Work arounds"
  3. Check "Legacy Full Screen" support.

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image

Reboot the LTSP client

Mythtv frontend should now use the full screen.

Maintenance Updates

Kernel Updates

If you apply a kernel update to your LTSP server you need to run this command to update your client

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-kernels

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image

MythTV Minor Updates

e.g. This means upgrade from 0.25.1 to 0.25.2

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get update
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get upgrade mythtv-frontend

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image

MythTV Major Updates

This means upgrading a full release. ie, from 0.25 to 0.26

On your LTSP server upgrade mythtv as "normal". For mythbuntu based systems use the Mythbuntu Control Center.

After you confirm your upgrade was successful update your client

Update repositories the client can use

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot

For a 64 bit client

 root@ltsp-server:~# cp /etc/apt/sources.list /opt/ltsp/amd64/etc/apt/sources.list
 root@ltsp-server:~# cp /etc/apt/sources.list.d/* /opt/ltsp/amd64/etc/apt/sources.list.d/

For a 32 bit client

 root@ltsp-server:~# cp /etc/apt/sources.list /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/apt/sources.list
 root@ltsp-server:~# cp /etc/apt/sources.list.d/* /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/apt/sources.list.d/

Upgrade the frontend

 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get update
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get upgrade mythtv-frontend

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image

General OS Patch Updates

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-chroot
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get update
 root@ltsp-server-chroot:/# apt-get upgrade

Create a new image

 root@ltsp-server:~# ltsp-update-image