Linux for my TV Pt 2: Planning for Success!

In a former life (last week), I would just go install the Ubuntu 10.10 disk I just burned and then hope it all worked. It probably would, but I think a little planning will save me some time in the end, and give me a more stable and usable environment. So without further ado, this is what I plan to do!

1) Where’s my stuff now? What do I need to save?

Private Files
Web Projects
Ancient Relics

2) What Version of Ubuntu to install?

I’ve been leaning towards 10.10 64 bit. I was a little nervous that the ISO filename said AMD, but it turns out that is just because AMD created the architecture that Intel ended up adopting for their processors. Now I just have to figure out what packages I need to install and make sure that they will all work with 10.10-64bit.

Update: At the very early stages of my research I came across lots of issues around flash plugins and 64 bit. Also, prevailing wisdom is that for day to day tasks, I’m not going to see much benefit of 64 bit.

3) What software do I need to run?

For this particular installation I only need media and internet viewing software, and web server / streaming apps. Since this is also the testbed for my developer rig, I wan to make sure the environment will support the adobe and office products I have to use for work. I’ll be trying to get these things running under Wine.

1) Firefox 4.0
2) Netflix Instant support
3) Blue Ray / DVD playing and burning software.
4) Music Player  w/ outbound streaming (network and internet)
5) Wine (to support windows applications: Adobe cs4, Office 2011)
6) Ruby/Rails 1.9.2/3.06

So far I have found out that one of my most important features, Netflix Instant, does not work on Ubuntu due to DRM issues (Read MS won’t give up the goods). This is pretty much a showstopper for Ubuntu as my HTPC OS. Here’s a nice long thread about Netflix Instant and Linux.

Firefox 4.0 is also going to take a little work, but nothing too ‘hacky’. It seems that the ‘powers that be’ have not released FF 4 into the ubuntu wilds yet, but you can install Firefox 4 on ubuntu with couple extra steps. At any rate, there isn’t any reason that FF4, the latest Chrome and other html 5 capable browsers won’t be up to date reasonably quick on ubuntu.

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