Category Archives: Software Installation

Mini How To…. Installing MINIDLNA in Ubuntu


Continue reading Mini How To…. Installing MINIDLNA in Ubuntu

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How to Install VirtualBox Guest Editions in Ubuntu Server 14.04


As I always forget how to do this in Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server, I wrote this brief tutorial to help me remember. It should work with any Debian based distribution.

Hopefully you will also find it useful.

Continue reading How to Install VirtualBox Guest Editions in Ubuntu Server 14.04

Install And Configure Nagios on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS


This is a great blog post on Unixmen about installing Nagios, an open source network and infrastructure software solution, on Ubuntu Server 14.04LTS. Not only does it cover the install but also a basic configuration for monitoring a networked computer.

http://www.unixmen.com/install-configure-nagios-ubuntu-14-04-lts/

If you do not know how to install Ubuntu Server 14.04.1LTS then read the following blog post on HowToForge

http://www.howtoforge.com/ubuntu-14.10-utopic-unicorn-server

If you have not got a spare computer lying around but have one with 4Gb of RAM, make it multi-purpose and install VirtualBox on it . Then install Nagios as virtual machine on Ubuntu Server under Virtualbox.

As with everything open source, the only cost is your time to install and your willingness to explore and learn.

Enjoy!

Installing Subsonic 5.0 on NAS4Free 9.2.x Embedded–PART 2


Installing Subsonic 5.0

Part 1 of this post can be found here

With the Subsonic Jail created, you now need to install Subsonic.

These instructions are based on https://lameguy.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/subsonic-install-in-freebsd-jail/

SSH into the Subsonic Jail by entering from Terminal

ssh root@xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

e.g. ssh root@192.168.1.55

Enter the root password and you should be taken to a command prompt for NAS4Free!

enter

jls

this checks your new jail, you should see something like this

clip_image001.png

Continue reading Installing Subsonic 5.0 on NAS4Free 9.2.x Embedded–PART 2

Dual Booting the HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15 with Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 13.10


The HP Sleekbook 15 was launched late in 2012 and if you get the Intel variant it comes with a 3rd generation Core ix processors (Ivy Bridge), offering good battery life for a 15.6″ laptop which is around five hours with average use or the AMD A series or processors. Graphics options are quite broad with either stock Intel HD Graphics 4000, AMD Radeon or nVidia GPUs. On some models there is even an option for a SSD drive although apparently you can’t install Ubuntu to thsi drive.

Much to my surprise you get s choice of pre-installed operating systems from HP:

  • Windows 8.x
  • Ubuntu 12.04LTS 64-bit – Certified by Cannonical, although this is only the Pentium Gen. 2 variant.

There are also touchscreen (Sleekbook Touchsmart) variants as well as 14″ screen versions making the model range quite extensive. Because all Sleekbooks are around 2cm thin, there is no room or a DVD drive and no external drive is supplied as standard. However, if you need one these are cheap to buy.

My own model is a Sleekbook 15-b052sa which was pre-installed with Windows 8 and uses a Intel Core i5 CPU (3rd gen) running at 1.7Ghz 8Gb RAM and now fitted with a 500Gb Seagate Momentus XT hybrid had disk drive replacing the stock 750Gb SATA drive.

As with all new computers they are supplied with the dreaded UEFI BIOS which adds aditional security to the computer whilst eliminating the traditional BIOS. For users of non-Microsoft operating systems and Microsoft ones before Windows 8 this has the potental of being an additional hurdle to jump. However, in reality this is not a deal breaker people make it out to be and is just different to the traditional way of installing an operating system with some additonal steps.

Continue reading Dual Booting the HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15 with Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 13.10

Getting Flash to Work Reliably in Linux Web Browsers


Whether it’s Firefox, Chromium or whatever flavour of web browser you chose to use in Linux, the ability to play back the ever prevalent Flash video content in Linux is at best an unreliable experience.

Adobe stopped developing Flash Player for Linux (now stuck on 11.2) over a year ago and advised everyone to use Google Chrome in Linux or forget Flash.

Nice idea, but the latest 64-bit version of Google Chrome  fails to install in Ubuntu 13.04 (64-bit) with a dependency error [Note: 16/05/13 workaround can be found here at OMG Ubuntu]and it’s not open source.

To install Google Chrome for Linux go here.

The open source version of Chrome (Chromium) suffers from the same Flash Player crashes as Firefox. Furthermore, Chromium in order to play Adobe Flash utilises NPAPI plugins which is not considered to be very secure!

However, all is not lost and it is possible to open Flash content within a web browser using the “Swiss Army Knife” of all things video, VLC.

Installing VLC

If you do not have VLC installed on your PC, then this can be either installed from your software centre or from the command line. For Debian distributions like Ubuntu you would enter sudo apt-get install vlc from Terminal.

One small VLC tip – set it to Allow Only One Instance, this will prevent multiple copies of VLC trying to play at once. To set this, from VLC select Tools > Interface and check the box as per the screenshot.

If you also wish to queue up one video after another, also check the box Enqueue files in one instance mode.

Playing Flash Web Content in VLC

To be able to play Flash Player content displayed in your web browser through an external program like VLC, you will need to add-in an extension:

In Firefox

Go to Tools > Add-Ons and search for Open With (current version is 5.3.1), select it and click Install

Now click on Extensions and select Preferences for Open With, the options screen will be displayed.

Change all options as per the screen-shot below and then click on Add.

This will open a new window in USR\Share\Applications, scroll down until you find VLC, select it and then click Open. It will now be added to Open With.

Now, go to a website which hosts flash Video, YouTube is a good starting point right click on a video and select the new menu option Open Link with VLC media player.

VLC will launch and the video will play.

What about playing Flash in Chromium?

Unfortunately, if you use Chromium Open With does not exist in the Chrome Web Store which is a shame as it works pretty well in Firefox.

 There is an App called Open with Other Apps, unfortunately this only works with OSX, it appears to work in a similar way to Open With, but I’ve not been able to get it to work in Linux. The developer of Open With on his website FAQ says:

Will you make a version for Chrome/Safari/XYZ browser? No. I would like to but their extension system isn’t currently capable of the things Open With needs to work.

You can use the app VLC for YouTube, but as the name suggests this only works with YouTube. 

Mini How To… Setting Up Samba (Windows) folder shares in Mythbuntu


In my blog post back in February I went through how to change the Storage Groups to a different drive/ directory.

What I didn’t explain was that by default the Storage Group directories are shared in Samba so that they can be accessed remotely over the network by other computers/ devices e.g. your network enabled TV!

The process is quite simple to do, and because Mythbuntu comes with Thunar as the default file manager, which is unfortunately totally useless as the Thunar Shares Plugin is broken from Ubuntu 10.10 onwards due to dependency issues, I’ll explain how to do this from Terminal.

From Terminal, go to the /etc/samba/ directory

cd /etc/samba/

Edit smb.cfg as sudo

sudo nano smb.conf

You will see something similar to the following:

[global]

workgroup = MSHOME

server string = %h server (Samba, Mythbuntu)

log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m

max log size = 1000

syslog = 0

panic action = /usr/share/samba/panic-action %d

dns proxy = no

security = share

[recordings]

comment = TV Recordings

path = /media/data/mythtv/recordings

public = yes

writable = no

create mask = 0777

directory mask = 0777

force user = nobody

force group = nogroup

Edit the path for the following shares:

[recordings]

[videos]

[pictures]

For example for recordings we change the path from

path= /var/lib/mythtv/recordings

to

path = /media/data/mythtv/recordings

Save the file:

Press CTRL-o

To exit

Press CTRL-x

Restart Samba

Either reboot the PC

or from Terminal enter:

sudo restart smbd

You will now be able to browse and play your MythTV recording as you did prior to changing the Storage Groups.

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GnomeBaker – Reliable CD / DVD Burning in GNOME


My Ubuntu PC is dual-boot (Windows XP / Ubuntu 10.10). It has a LG HL-DT-ST-DVD-RAM GH22N30 DVD burner which works really well under Windows using Nero Express, but does a great job turning out coasters (regardless of the burn speed) in Ubuntu using the pre-installed burner Brasero . It also takes about half an hour to turn out a DVD coaster and that was will the bulletproof burn feature turned off!

I’ve put up this this for a couple of years as my other Linux PCs running Kubuntu work fine with their DVD burners. They use K3B which in my view is the most rounded and user friendly Linux DVD burner available.

Over Christmas I seriously considered replacing the DVD burner with something else, after a firmware upgrade made no difference under Linux. Whilst I could have installed K3B in GNOME, my preference was to use a native GNOME DVD burning program as this ensures it is 100% compatible. I even tried the DVD burning capabilities in Nautilus but this turned out to be far too basic and I still had burning problems!

I remembered hearing about GnomeBaker a while ago, which seems to be a much underrated GNOME DVD burner. It exists in the Ubuntu repositories, so installation is really easy. To install from Terminal you just enter:

sudo apt-get install gnomebaker

or just search for gnomebaker in the Ubuntu Software Centre and install.

Once installed, I burnt my first DVD at 8x, no coaster to be seen!

Furthermore, it took under 10 minutes to burn a full DVD! Subsequent burns were also successful and fast. As it works like K3B and Nero, it is easy to use for anyone coming from Windows.

UbuntuGeek has done a very nice tutorial on using GnomeBaker, it can be found here.

The sad thing about GnomeBaker is that it is not the default DVD burning software in many Linux distributions. This might be because of its lack of development, the last release was in June 2008.

If it has any shortcomings then the absence of Universal Disk Format (UDF) support and a file size limit of 4Gb could be considered. However, software shortcomings are opportunities in disguise for software developers keen to cut their teeth on a new project.

So, if there are any software developers looking to take on a new project in 2011, then I think GnomeBaker is a worthy project for consideration.

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Installing Mythbuntu 10.10 with a Hauppauge Nova-T 500 PCI DVB-T card: PART 2 – Configuration


In part 1 of this tutorial we went through the process of doing a basic install of Mythbuntu 10.10. I’ve also covered installing Mythbuntu in Ubuntu 10.10.

As there are slight differences between the menus in XFCE (Mythbuntu) and GNOME (Ubuntu) desktops, Ubuntu differences/ specific instructions will have their text in a lovely brown Ubuntu colour!

In Part 2 we are going to:

  • Install additional proprietary firmware for DVB cards
  • Configure Mythbuntu so it works with the Hauppauge Nova-T 500 DVB-T card using Freeview (as I live in the UK)
  • Configure Mythbuntu to download the EPG via XMLTV using the Radio Times feed. In Ubuntu we will be using EIT.

Additional useful resources and where you should start looking if you get stuck:

Checking your hardware!

The Nova-T 500 DVB PCI tuner card is actually presented to the OS as a USB device, so doing a lspci in Terminal is not going to display the card!

To check the card is present enter in Terminal lsusb,

you will see something similar to the above if the Hauppauge card has been detected.

Add additional proprietary firmware for DVB

Click on Applications > System > Additional Drivers. The following menu will be displayed

In Ubuntu – System > Administration > Additional Drivers

Select Firmware for DVB cards and click on Activate

You will be asked for a password, enter your login password set when installing Mythbuntu. The driver will be installed.

You will then need to reboot the PC.

We now need to check that the firmware has been installed. In Terminal enter cd /lib/firmware/ followed by ls dvb-usb-d*. The following will be displayed

You should see listed a file called dvb-usb-dib0700-1.20.fw, this is the current version of the firmware which works. If you do not have this file then it can be downloaded and then copied to this directory.

The next step is to activate the Low Noise Amplifier, this will help boost the signal quality to do this edit as sudo /etc/modprobe.d/options. Do not be surprised if this file has no content!

Add the following line:

options dvb_usb_dib0700 force_lna_activation=1

Then save the file.

Whilst the latest 1.20 firmware resolves a number of problems, it also creates a problem in that the remote control functionality is broken (Nov 2008) and is still broken (Dec 2010). The Microsoft Media Centre (MCE) remote control and USB IR receiver do work and I’ll test these at a later date. In the meantime, you can use the keyboard.

Mythbuntu Control Centre (MCC)

Before we get started configuring the backend of Mythbuntu, there are a few settings I like to change in the MCC which is accessible by clicking on Applications > System > Mythbuntu Control Centre.

In Ubuntu – System > Administration > Mythbuntu Control Centre

By default (this should not be the default if using Mythbuntu in Ubuntu) MythTV Frontend automatically starts on system start-up. Whilst useful in use, it is a pain when you are trying to set things up so this is something I initially disable. To do this click on Startup Behavior and uncheck Automatically start MythTV Frontend.

Once set, click Apply.

An Apply Changes window will appear giving yo a summary of what is about to be changed. Click Apply.

You will be asked for a password, enter your login password set when installing Mythbuntu.

When this has been completed, click Quit.

General Backend Setup

This part of the tutorial is loosely based on this Mythbuntu Wiki page

We are now ready to configure the MythTV back-end. To do this , click on Applications > System > MythTV Backend Setup.

In Ubuntu – System > Administration > MythTV Backend Setup. You will be asked in a window titled Incorrect Group Membership to be added to the group "mythtv". You must click on Yes, enter your sudo password. You will then need to logout and then back in to Ubuntu for the changes to take effect.

You will be asked to confirm wither it is okay to close any running Mythbackend processes, click Yes.

In Ubuntu – You will be asked to Select your preferred language

If you get a message saying that Myth could not connect to the database, check that the password on the screen matches the one in /etc/mythtv/mysql.txt. If not change the on screen password to match the one in the file.

You will be asked for a password, enter your login password set when installing Mythbuntu.

The following screen will be displayed

Whilst in theory you can navigate using the mouse, the mouse pointer disappears when over the menu items which makes it rather difficult! So my preferred method is to use the cursor keys on the keyboard.

1. GENERAL

Select General and press Enter.

For our configuration, there is no need to change any of the settings, so press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

As I live in the UK, the Locale Settings page does need to be changed as follows:

TV format: change from NTSC to PAL

VBI format: change from None to PAL Teletext

Channel frequency table: change from us-bcast to eurpoe-west

In Ubuntu – change Your Local Timezone (for XMLTV) to Auto

The results should look like this screen-shot below

Press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the Miscellaneous Settings page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the EIT Scanner Options page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the Shutdown/ Wakeup Options page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the Backend Wakeup settings page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the Backend Control page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the Job Queue (Backend) page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the Job Queue (Global) page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the Job Queue (Job Commands) page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the UPNP Server Settings page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the Myth Database Logging page, so just press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

There are no changes to be made to the Mythfilldatabase page, so just press ALT-F on the keyboard to Finish and return the to main back-end set-up menu.

2. Capture cards

Select Capture Cards from the main menu. The following menu will be displayed:

Select (New capture card) and press Enter

Change the following settings:

Card type: DVB DTV capture card (v3.x)

DVB Device Number: /dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0

press ALT-F on the keyboard to Finish and return the Capture Cards menu, you new card will be listed and should look like

As the Nova-T 500 has two DVB-T tuners, we now need to repeat for the second tuner

Select (New capture card) and press Enter

Change the following settings:

Card type: DVB DTV capture card (v3.x)

DVB Device Number: /dev/dvb/adapter1/frontend0

press ALT-F on the keyboard to Finish and return the Capture Cards menu, you new card will be listed and should look like

Press ESC to return to the main menu..

3. Video Sources

Select Video Sources from the main menu. The following menu will be displayed:

Select New video source and press Enter.

The Video Source setup screen will be displayed.

Change the following settings:

Video source name: Radio Times 1

Ubuntu ONLY: For an unknown reason, the Mythbuntu install in Ubuntu displays a slightly different screen and only provided EPG data via the EIT data which is transmitted with the DVB-T signal! For this reason this part of the instructions will differ for Ubuntu. The Mythbuntu set-up uses XMLTV.

Change the Listings grabber to Transmitted guide only (EIT). Then select Finish.

Now go to step 4 Input Connections

In Mythbuntu:

Listings grabber: change to United Kingdom/ Republic of Ireland (Radio Times) (xmltv)

Tick the check box Perform EIT Scan

Then by using the TAB key select Configure and press Enter

The following will be displayed

Select UTF-8 (Unicode) by entering 0

You will then be asked to enter the directory to store the listing cache, we will select the default which is /home/username/.xmltv/cache. Press Enter to accept the default.

The following message will be displayed

Select Enable title processing (default) by pressing Enter

Now enter the first part of your postcode e.g. NW10 and then press Enter

In our particular case, as the tuner is a DVB-T card we are only interested in Freeview channels, so we select option 1.

The screen will then fill with messages and you will then be given the following option

As it is not advisable to go through the process of selecting each channel, one at a time type all and press Enter

At this point, after waiting a minute to make sure all 425 channels are processed, press ALT-F on the keyboard to Finish to return to the Video source setup window and then press ALT-F again to return the Video sources menu. Now press ESC to return back to main back-end set-up menu.

4. Input connections

Select Input Connections from the main menu. The following menu will be displayed:

Select the first tuner card, the select source to input menu will be displayed. We will change the following:

Display Name: Tuner 1

Video Source: Radio Times 1

The the screen should now look similar to the screen-shot below.

We are now going to scan for available Freeview channels. Select Scan for channels, the Scan Configuration window will be displayed

65436543

Press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page. This will take you to the Scanning page and MythTv will automatically start looking for channels based on the criteria set.

Once the scanning has completed, you will get a message similar to that below

Select Insert all by pressing Enter and then follow the on screen prompts.

Once this has been completed, you will be returned to the Scan Configuration screen by selecting ALT-F.

Now press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

On the Interactions between Inputs screen, press ALT-F on the keyboard to Finish to return to the Input connections screen. It should now look like

If you wish you can configure the second tuner by repeating the above instructions, but this time DO NOT Scan for Channels, just click NEXT and then Finish.

Otherwise press ESC to return to the main menu.

5. Channel Editor

Change the Sort… order to Channel Number

Change Video… to Radio Times 1

Then select Icon Download and press Enter

Repeat until you get to Finish.

Click Finish.Repeat until you get to Finish.

Click Finish.

and choose Download all icons

Once all the icons have been downloaded, you will be the option to associate icons with channels with no associated icons. Follow the on-screen instructions.

You will then be returned to the Channel Editor window. Press ESC to return to the main menu.

6. Storage directories

We are going to omit this step, so press ESC to exit the MythTV Backend Setup

When prompted reply Yes to populate the MythTV database. In our case this will go to tv_grab_uk_rt and pull down the TV listings, this may initially take some time to complete.

If you are uncertain whether anything is happening, open up a Terminal and enter top.

tv_grab_uk_rt will probably be listed at the top of the list using 99-100% CPU. This is normal! Also listed will be mythfilldatabase and mysqld. Once mythfilldatabase has completed, cpu will drop back and all three processes will drop down the list in terms of CPU usage. At this point the mythfilldatabase window will close.

Testing the Configuration

We are now ready to test TV reception.

Launch the MythTV Frontend from Applications > Multimedia > MythTV Frontend

From the menu select Watch TV.

All being well, you should now get a TV picture and its associated audio. In addition you should also briefly see the EPG guide information for the current program.

1

You can change the channel numbers by using the numeric keypad on the PC

Final Tweeking!

Video Card Drivers

Whilst the open source nVidea graphics card drivers are good, the proprietary drivers offer better performance so my personal choice is to install these at this stage. they can be added in the same way as the DVB driver was added earlier (Applications > System > Additional Drivers). I always use the recommended driver.

Note: You can also do this through the MCC in Graphics Drivers.

MythTV Menus

I personally don’t like the default menu scheme. If you feel the same or just want to see what is available, launch the MythTV Frontend from Applications > Multimedia > MythTV Frontend, and then select Utilities/ Setup followed by Setup. The select Appearance.

The default theme is Mythbuntu (Widescreen), my preference is MythCenter!

Press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

Select Utilities/ Setup followed by Setup. The select Appearance.

On the screen settings page, uncheck the default Hide Mouse Cursor in MythTV.

Press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page.

On the Localisation page, change Language to English (British), you also wish to change the following:

  • Date Format
  • Short Date Format
  • Time format

Press ALT-N on the keyboard to move to the Next page and then again.

Press ALT-F on the keyboard to Finish to return to the main menu which will now change to you preference.

MythTV Frontend Desktop

I like a desktop which reflects the purpose of the PC, the plain grey desktop which ships with Mythbuntu is very drab! so I use a Test card wallpaper taken from here and set this as my desktop wallpaper.

Secondly, I like having a few regularly icons on my desktop:

  • MythTV Frontend
  • Exit

For the MythTV Frontend, create a new launcher by right clicking on the desktop and choosing New launcher. Enter mythfrontend and you should get some options displayed. Select the first one, then change the icon for the launcher. I use the following icon

and then increase the pixel size to 175 so it is nice and large on the desktop.

Finally, I add the Exit icon to the desktop in the same way.

In part 3 of this tutorial we will look at recording Freeview programs and getting the remote control to work.

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Installing Mythbuntu in Ubuntu 10.10 with a Hauppauge Nova-T 500 PCI DVB-T


If you are already running Ubuntu or an Ubuntu based distribution like Kubuntu or Xubuntu, then you can add Mythbuntu as a package.

Installation

Assuming you are on the PC running Ubuntu on which you wish to install Mythbuntu and have a DVB-T tuner card installed, open up the Ubuntu Software Centre by clicking on Applications > Ubuntu Software Centre.

In the search box type myth, you should see the following.

Note: In Kubuntu you click on the K Menu > Applications > System > Software Management , select Get and Remove Software, click on Multimedia and enter myth in the search bar. Then click Find by name.

Assuming you want a all-in-one MythTV PC i.e. Frontend and Backend on one PC, You will need to install the following packages:

  • Mythbuntu Control Centre
  • MythTV Frontend
  • MythTV Backend Setup

Click on Install next to each package you are going to install and enter your superuser password. The package will be downloaded and installed.

As part of the MythTV Backend installation, MySQL Server is installed. You will be asked to set a password fro the MySQL root user

This is not mandatory and if you wish can be left as the default password.

We will leave it as the default, click Forward

You will then be asked wither other computers in your household will be running MythTV.

As this is the only PC, click Forward.

The installation will continue.

Once the installation has completed, close the Ubuntu Software Centre.

Now click on System > Administration > Mythbuntu Control Centre

The following window will be displayed

We now want to configure the Control Centre as follows:

Proprietary Codecs

Tick Enable DVD Support (libdvdcss2), click Apply and then click Apply again in the Apply Settings? window. You will be asked to enter your superuser password.

System Roles

Change the Backend Role from Secondary Backend to Primary Backend, leave everything else unchanged. Click Apply and then click Apply again in the Apply Settings? window. You will be asked to enter your superuser password.

You will then be asked to configure Mythweb

Leave as per the defaults and click Forward, the changes will then be applied.

Plugins

Add the following plug-ins:

  • MythVideo
  • MythWeather
  • MythMovies
  • MythMusic
  • MythGallery

Click Apply and then click Apply again in the Apply Settings? window. You will be asked to enter your superuser password.

Services

Enable the following optional services:

  • Samba Service
  • VNC Server

Note: Depending on your network, you may prefere to use NFS over Samba.

Click Apply and then click Apply again in the Apply Settings? window. You will be asked to enter your superuser password.

Once completed, click Quit.

MythTV is now installed.

In Part 2 we will configure the Hauppauge Nova-T 500 DVB-T card and will follow the same instructions used for Mythbuntu, as both installations are now the same.

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