Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 30th Oct 2009 12:07 UTC
Linux I'm in a bit of a pickle here. I have an Atom 330-based tiny computer which I use as my HTPC. It performed its job fine running Windows 7 and Boxee, and over the past few months, it ran Mac OS X Leopard with Plex. Now, however, I want to try Linux as an HTPC operating system, but I kind of ran into a roadblock there with Ubuntu 9.10 - so the question is: what is a good HTPC Linux distribution?
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I can understand not wanting to run the latest Ubuntu or any of its derivatives due to the system lockup during the installation process, but looking at the postings, I'm puzzled why there's more discussion on the OS than on the media center application. Do we have "form follows function" bass ackwards? {:-)

Taking a different approach, have you considered MythTV? The full and detailed rich FAQ is at

From the FAQ, the following distros are supported:

1. Fedora. Jarod Wilson has written what is almost certainly the best guide to getting MythTV up and running and he's done it based on Fedora. Find out more here.

2. KnoppMyth. This is a version of Knoppix bundled with all of the stuff needed to get Myth up and running.

3. MythDora. This is a custom based version of Fedora that will install MythTV for you. Everything that you need is right on the disk along with some extras.

4. SuSE Offers an easy to use straight forward interface.

5. Ubuntu The latest releases of Ubuntu feature full support for MythTV. Its ease of installation and use has made it very popular among the LINUX desktop crowd.

6. Mythbuntu A modified version of Ubuntu comes with MythTV pre-packaged.

Also, focusing on the distro more than the application is discussed on the FAQ as well:

"This is one of the most hotly disputed topics on #mythtv-users (other than politics or religion). All Linux distributions that are capable of installing or compiling all of the prerequisites are usable. Asking for advice in choosing a distro is ill-advised as many of us have strong opinions based on our usage requirements, and these requirements will likely not match yours. However, Fedora and Debian are some of the most used, and easiest to work with."

As for feature set, take a look at It supports a number of plug-ins and themes. As for TV tuner reception and supported signals, the FAQ has this covered as well:

The Netherlands (Europe)

In the netherlands all alternatives work using a MythTV system. Following the tested setups.

* DVB-S = yes (Tested with CanalDigital)
* DVB-C = yes (Tested with Ziggo)
* DVB-T = yes (Tested with KPN digitenne)
* analogue = yes (Tested with Ziggo)

Great question and discussion starter Thom. Can we expect a write-up or comparison when you're done?

Best Regards.

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