Nokia N95 and UPNP

Finally i got it….at first it was a mess, some explanations on what does what:

  • Media Server: it serves the content on the network
  • Media Renderer: it renders the content served by a media server

So I actually needed both on my gentoo linux.

Probably the easiest way to browse content served by upnp servers is djmount , it works as a FUSE file system ( that can be mounted by a normal user) and it looks for all the upnp devices in a network. It works very well even with content provided by Windows Vista (or better from the Media Player that comes with windows vista). You create a directory and simply “djmount it”, in that directory there will be other subdirectories , one for each media server you have in your network.

Easy and working but not that cool, I mean…all this new stuff and , in the end, I still have to browse directories. I’m not using these new things just because I don’t want to plug in an usb cable, I’m not that lazy. So I went searching in various forums another solution.

MediatombMy first choice as media server was ushare, somehow connected to the geexbox project but it had its limitation, one above all that it doesn’t read tags, so when you copy a music file to another device you must retag it manually. Another problem was the init script that didn’t work that well and I didn’t have time/will to fix it. Mediatomb seems the definitive choice to me, it seems a nice project, it reads metadata and has a built in sqlite backend. (you can use mysql too but i don’t have the server on my box). Mediatomb has a webserver you can connect to and you can add/delete content to your share and chose how to rescan your library , you can chose inotify on that ( if you are using beagle you should already have inotify in your kernel).

When it goes to the Media Renderer it seems that there is not much choice yet, but there is some and in particular there is gmediarenderer from the GNU guys. GmediaRender , as the names says, it’s able to render content served from a MediaServer, it needs gstreamer as a backend for all the codecs (it actually uses gstreamer to render the stream ). If you have gmediarender running you can simply go to your nokia N95 media player , chose a song and in options chose “execute on personal network” ( or something like that) and your computer (not the phone) will sound. You can do the same for videos or pictures.

RhythmboxWhat about coherence? I have it installed and the rhythmbox plugins actually works , I can see my N95 and browse its contents but you can’t (yet) make rhythmbox work as a MediaRenderer. Coherence is supposed to be a full UPNP solution with its server, renderer and controller but the people who develop it are very good in making Youtube videos but not that good to explain the world “how the hell that damn thing works”.

What is missing? On my nokia I can chose to copy or move stuff to my personal network, I can’t do it and don’t know what part of this upnp mess should provide this feature.

Debian 4.0 out

A few months ago Etch was freezed now it has been officially released as Debian 4.0

These are the release notes and among the new changes I found:

  • PHP5.x
  • MySQL 5.x
  • Apache 2.2.x
  • GCC v4.1
  • from XFree86 to v7.1


Fist of all install aptitude
apt-get install aptitude

I used to have Debian Sarge 64 that is a semi official backport , now Etch is shipped with amd64 architecture too so the backport is not needed anymore. Updating is not difficult , one should change all “sarge” to “etch” in /etc/apt/sources.list, mine look like this

deb etch main contrib non-free
#deb sarge-backports main contrib non-free
deb stable/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src stable main contrib non-free
deb-src stable/non-US main contrib non-free
deb etch main
deb-src etch main

the “www.backports” line is comments out because etch hit stable just today. Backports are binaries compiled for etch and shipped for sarge, sometime you can’t install a package because it misses a dependency but you can run it because it doesn’t miss any dependency while it runs, hence that backports that let me use the latest mldonkey with sarge for example.


apt-get update
aptitude -f --with-recommends dist-upgrade

Note that aptitude was used rather that apt-get dist upgrade because is known to be more strict on dependencies that apt-get dist-upgrade, installing aptitude here as docs say will bring in lots of other packages.
I hope that etch will be as good as sarge , for me sarge never hanged once in its life, the only problem I had was a that a couple of deamons used to exit silently after a couple of weeks running . Hopefully etch comes with a version of shorewall that is able to handle traffic shaping.

2 cents about gentoo : I love gentoo and I have no intention to change my desktop distro …but debian management is damn faster… I remeber last Gcc major upgrade , rebuilding the the system and then the world , emerge breaking during night, a couple of days compiling vs 20 min of debs fetching in debian.

Squid and Shorewall have new configurations:

  • Squid: ( ola ola Christian )delete these lineshttpd_accel_host virtual
    httpd_accel_port 80
    httpd_accel_with_proxy on
    httpd_accel_uses_host_header on
    and add this always_direct allow all.Now look for http_port X.X.X.X and add “transparent” the result should be something like this:http_port transparent
  • Shorewall: have a look at /usr/share/doc/shorewall/examples . Now the file “zones” must contain the firewall zone, there are no comments and no display any more so in the end you should find something like this:net ipv4
    loc ipv4
    fw firewall

    ipv4 is the default for normail traffic

Firefox 2.0

E’ uscito firefox 2.0 ieri…Firefox Logo

Mozilla Firefox Italia

Componenti aggiuntivi raccomandati

Caratteristiche nuovo Firefox

Fra le caratteristiche più interessanti per me:

  • Controllo ortografico
  • Titoli Live
  • Gestione dei motori di ricerca (magari con l’ordine)

Speriamo sia più veloce ma ne dubito…

Ice LogoPer linux le cose cambiano un po…

Recenti “litigi” sulla legittimità di alcuni aspetti grafici di firefox (firefox non puo essere distribuito con l’icona della volpe ma con una generica) hanno portato l’associazione GNU ad uscire con un fork chiamato IceWeasel.
Sarà più o meno la stessa cosa ma senza il nome “Firefox” e senza le icone ufficiali,in più sono state modificati la segnalazione bug e la finestrella delle estensioni,con IceWeasel si potrà cercare solo le estensioni con licenza gpl.
Ora litigano pure….bimbi