Ubuntu Media Center PC

I finally had it with Vista on my media center PC. Slow startups, it never saved my resolution for the TV correctly, and frequently locked up while loading videos. It’d been a while since I tried Ubuntu (normally I use Fedora), so I decided to load up Jaunty and see how it worked.

First, the bad. It did not load the accelerated drivers for the Intel onboard video. While it sucks for 3D, it was more than enough to run XBMC smoothly under Windows. Under Ubuntu, videos would play fine, the interface was just dog-slow. I could’ve researched and fixed the problem, then I remembered I had an old GeForce 4 that Vista didn’t support. I slapped that in there, loaded up the nVidia drivers, and XBMC ran smooth as butter.

Now, the good. Wireless. Freaking amazing, I did not expect it to work right after an install with a Linksys WUSB54GSC I had, but after logging in, I was presented with a list of wifi networks, and connected to mine with no problems whatsoever.

There was some Samba weirdness. For some reason, it initially only showed my other Windows PCs, and my OpenFiler server didn’t show up in the Network list at all, even though they were all in the same workgroup. Changing my workgroup settings seemed to fix that.

On the whole, I’m very satisfied with how XBMC on Ubuntu turned out to be.

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