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  • Distro for linux PC in living room

    hello

    I will be building a PC in an HTPC case that will be connected to a receiver + home theater + 4K TV via HDMI. I will be using this for playing local media files (movies, TV series, music) as well as streaming media from the Internet. Also I want steam installed to occasionally play a game with a controller from the couch so would like to be up to date with graphics drivers.

    The CPU will be ivy bridge i7 3770k, Z77 mobo and 8GB RAM (cause I already have these), will purchase some AMD graphics card for it.

    Would appreciate your recommendations and experiences regarding suitable distros for this purpose.

  • #2
    Debian testing Xfce is the best for all usage. Burn the netinstaller to a cdrw or usb memory:
    https://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
    Choose Debian Desktop and Xfce in the installer. Use the Whisker menu plugin along with the Weather plugin and remove the original applications menu. You can configure Xfce freely, so make it suitable for your liking.

    Install the latest firmware-amd-graphics Debian package from:
    https://packages.debian.org/sid/firmware-amd-graphics
    If your can not boot to the desktop, commands for the Linux rescue mode (select it from the Grub) or the installer media Rescue mode chroot:
    apt-get install wget
    wget ftp.de.debian.org/debian/pool/non-free/f/firmware-nonfree/firmware-amd-graphics_xxxxx_all.deb
    dpkg -i firmware-amd-graphics_xxxxxx_all.deb

    With Synaptic install gdebi. With Gdebi you can install downloaded .deb packages easily. Give the root password when asked. Install sudo, build-essential, kernel-package, qt5-default, qt5-qmake, qtbase5-dev, qtbase5-dev-tools and pkg-config packages too. Add yourself to sudoers:
    su
    adduser username sudo
    Logout and login to make sudo to work.

    Latest amdgpu firmware:
    https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux...it/tree/amdgpu
    Latest mesa:
    Oibaf PPA (use latest ubuntu version packages):
    Oibaf ppa

    To remove ppa drivers,get apt-purge from ubuntu and type:sudo ppa-purge repository_name

    PPAs with Debian,use case B: http://www.webupd8.org/2014/10/how-t...ebian-via.html

    Latest Amdgpu kernels
    https://cgit.freedesktop.org/~agd5f/linux/

    Use the command: git clone -b drm-fixes-4.15 git://people.freedesktop.org/~agd5f/linux

    The kernel configuration file of Debian Official kernel are available in /boot, named after the kernel release. Copy the .config file to the linux directory. Connect all your devices and run the command: make localmodconfig. You can use the command make defconfig too for creating initial .config file.

    Use the command: make xconfig and check that you have enabled: Reroute Broken IRQ, Virtualization KVM, AMD IOMMU, and 1000Hz CPU timer, I also disabled Swap, Kernel Debug, CPU Freq scaling , Cpu handling in Acpi, Used Bios to control CPU and devices. In the drivers->graphics->amdgpu enable cik support for a gcn 1.1 gpu and si support for a gcn 1.0 gpu.

    Configuring wifi: https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Wifi

    Patches for Ryzen cpus:
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/gr...v4.13%2B.patch

    To prevent random kernel lock ups, enable RCU_NOCB_CPU and boot the kernel with the rcu_nocbs=0-X command line parameter. X is the cpu thread count -1.

    Create debian kernel package:
    export CONCURRENCY_LEVEL=2 or use -j 2 with make-kpkg (number of threads in your cpu)
    fakeroot make-kpkg --initrd kernel_image

    Add kernel_headers to the fakeroot command if you need headers.
    Install the kernel package with Gdebi.

    if you want to use hdmi audio type aplay -l to see your hdmi audio card and deviceid. With command aplay -D plughw:card,deviceid /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav you can test which one outputs audio.

    Set hdmi audio output as default, use the aplay -l command and create ~/.asoundrc, an example of my RX560 system:
    Code:
    pcm.!default{
         type hw
         card 0
         device 9
    }
    Use default audio device with vlc.

    To make a custom kernel to boot, add a line to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules:
    unix
    And run: sudo update-initramfs
    Reboot.

    How to install Steam:
    https://wiki.debian.org/Steam

    wine-staging gives fps boost with the help of the cpu.
    https://wine-staging.com/installation.html

    My computer has the following audio cards: 0=Loopback , 1=HDMI, 2=Generic .To make a Alsa loop back device (looprec) after removing and killing pulseaudio:
    sudo apt-mark hold pulseaudio
    sudo leafpad /etc/modules-load.d/modules.conf
    snd_aloop

    Set the default audio output:
    sudo leafpad /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf
    defaults.ctl.card 2
    defaults.pcm.card 2

    [email protected]:~$ cat .asoundrc
    pcm.!default {
    type asym
    playback.pcm "LoopAndReal"
    capture.pcm "hw:2,0"
    }
    pcm.looprec {
    type hw
    card "Loopback"
    device 1
    subdevice 0
    }


    pcm.LoopAndReal {
    type plug
    slave.pcm mdev
    route_policy "duplicate"
    }


    pcm.mdev {
    type multi
    slaves.a.pcm pcm.MixReale
    slaves.a.channels 2
    slaves.b.pcm pcm.MixLoopback
    slaves.b.channels 2
    bindings.0.slave a
    bindings.0.channel 0
    bindings.1.slave a
    bindings.1.channel 1
    bindings.2.slave b
    bindings.2.channel 0
    bindings.3.slave b
    bindings.3.channel 1
    }


    pcm.MixReale {
    type dmix
    ipc_key 1024
    slave {
    pcm "hw:2,0"
    rate 48000
    period_time 0
    period_size 1024
    buffer_size 4096
    }
    }

    pcm.MixLoopback {
    type dmix
    ipc_key 1025
    slave {
    pcm "hw:Loopback,0,0"
    rate 48000
    period_time 0
    period_size 1024
    buffer_size 4096
    }
    }

    Test the .asound file with the command aplay -L. Reboot after changing the .asoundrc file.
    Last edited by debianxfce; 12-10-2017, 12:49 PM.

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    • #3
      Debian is very bad choise, specialy for gaming on linux.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ROKO__ View Post
        Debian is very bad choise, specialy for gaming on linux.
        No arguments given. we have several Debian testing Xfce gaming pcs.. Maybe you are some beginner who can not even install Steam, see Debian wiki how to do something.

        In gentoo you do not have even working drivers.
        Originally posted by ROKO__ View Post
        So, its not good.. Input lag, sluttering, choppy. Just terrible expiriance.
        Last edited by debianxfce; 03-02-2017, 11:11 PM.

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        • #5
          so that have been on ubuntu, maybe tomorow i will try on gentoo.
          And please stop flaming I know that you are debian fanboy.
          And if i am a beginner how i install gentoo ?
          There is something releated to Debian, Ubuntu systems, for this terrible lag, framedrop and sluttering, or even in mesa. I cannot be sure. And specially for input lag.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ROKO__ View Post
            There is something releated to Debian, Ubuntu systems, for this terrible lag, framedrop and sluttering, or even in mesa. I cannot be sure. And specially for input lag.
            Maybe you tried Debian stable and Ubuntu lts. Ubuntu is based on Debian testing and unstable. Debian testing (it is a rolling distribution) has the latest xorg server 1.19 while ubuntu and Debian stable has 1.18. When using rapidly developing open source drivers, you need to have the latest everything.


            There has been handful of times when drivers has not been working with my new Amd gpus. Instead of whining in forums I do bug reports. Amd has fixed bugs that I have found in the latest amdgpu driver stack in a couple of weeks.
            Last edited by debianxfce; 03-03-2017, 02:53 AM.

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            • #7
              i just test ofcourse with ubuntu 16.10 and Debian 8. But i wouldn't gonna use them, they lacks flexability.
              And specially Debian lacks a lot of software which is available in ubuntu for example. I can test your suggestion on seperate partition, but as i said no flexability in Debian, and this is not stable distribution with unstable and testing packages. Gentoo Unstable is a bit stable than Debian Stable.

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              • #8
                yeah thats good. i do reports too.
                But forum conversation is good too, for users expiriance.
                If you discover some issue, you can ask at the forum.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ROKO__ View Post
                  i just test ofcourse with ubuntu 16.10 and Debian 8.
                  Do not use "stable" distributions, they have old and buggy xorg server, kernels and Mesa. Debian is currently in version 9, see:
                  https://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

                  and because of GCN 1.0 gpu, you need to make a custom kernel when using the amdgpu kernel driver from here:
                  https://cgit.freedesktop.org/~agd5f/...-next-4.12-wip

                  For Mesa you need this:
                  https://launchpad.net/~oibaf/+archiv...aphics-drivers
                  Last edited by debianxfce; 03-03-2017, 03:10 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ROKO__ View Post
                    Debian is very bad choise, specialy for gaming on linux.
                    No wonder, you tried very old Debian 8. Debian testing Xfce is a rolling release distribution so Debian testing is a totally different thing.

                    Now Oipaf ppa has the new disk catching patches and I test them. Tell us when your computer is working with gentoo;-)
                    Last edited by debianxfce; 03-03-2017, 03:59 AM.

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