GeeXboX is concentrating on ARM devices


Leader of the project GeeXboX which offers a Linux-based media distribution, Benjamin Zores wrote in the his blog about new strategy of the GeeXboX. It’ll focus most of its efforts to support ARM devices. Especially OMAP3-based ones. That choice is conditioned by its rich media features – OpenGL compatible GPU and a 720p H.264 hardware capable decoding DSP, mature of SoC and big community.

Current development tree of GeeXboX is running fine on OMAP3 hardware. But there is a lot of improvements should be done to offer a full-features software for that platform. Moreover, it’s planning to design GeeXboX oriented board (based on ARM SoC, of course) and have a support of OMAP4 with architecture with 1080p-capable DSP.

Priority of GeeXboX to support of ARM architecture is a smart decision in my opinion. It’ll allow to build compact, quiet and inexpensive HTPC with 1080p compatibility using open platform and open source software.

Enna: new HTPC software from GeeXboX


Recently GeeXboX announced its new software for HTPC called Enna. It offers a standard set of functions such playback video and audio, showing photos from local drives, USB storage or network shares. However, there is one unique feature in the Enna. It’s a BookStore allowed to read your favourite eBooks from different Internet content providers. Also the new GeeXboX media center software comes with VDPAU supports which is very important for HD video fans.

Enna development team has a huge todo list which includes adding games, integration with VDR to watch and record digital TV, supporting UPnP and DLNA. Long-term plans include online services integration (currently there is no one, even YouTube), Instant Messaging, VoIP Telephony and Video Conference and TelePresence. Souns very promising. But we’ll see the progress this summer.

To install Enna under Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) just add GeeXboX repository to your apt sources list and use apt to get it. Also note that Enna is a part of GeeXboX distribution. Users of other Linux distributions can install Enna from the sources.

Final version of GeeXboX 1.2 is out!

GeeXbox logo

Finally the stable version of HTPC distribution GeeXBoX 1.2 was released. The size of its ISO is just about 20Mb! But that fact doesn’t impede to support a bunch of A\V codecs, TV tuners, Wifi, DVB и IVTV cards available in Linux kernel

The changes since latest beta are following:

  • Upgrade to Linux
  • Use On-Demand CPU frequency scaling policy
  • Upgrade X.Org ATI driver to 6.10.0
  • Fix VCD playback issues
  • Fix some TV card bad color effects
  • Add support for disks with no partition table (Ex: Win32 formatted USB keys)

The final GeeXboX 1.2 can be downloaded here.

By some reason GeeXboX is not so popular like VDR or MythTV in spite of providing more or less similar functionality. I suspect it’s because GeeXboX cannot be installed as application (if I’m not wrong). So, to play with it it should be installed as separate OS or under some virtual machine. Personally I didn’t test GeeXboX because if that. But from another point of view the 20Mb distribution looks very attractive to install it on HTPC if you like GeeXboX.