Alright, I have my HTPC rearing to go and this is a call to arms.
I am running windows 7 and I need help to remedy this situation - turn this machine into a dual boot system.
Here is my build
* THERMALTAKE LANBOX LITE PIANO BLACK VF6000BNS
* ASROCK 780G MAINBOARD
* AMD ATHLON II X2 2.8ghZ SOCKET AM3 BLACK EDITION CPU @2.8GHz
CAPABLE OF 3.1GHz at STOCK VOLTAGE!
* 4 GB G.SKILL DDR2 800 MHz DUAL CHANNEL RAM
* RADEON 3450 HTCP PCI-E 2.0 VIDEO CARD CONFIGURED FOR HYBRID
*750 GB SATA 2 4.5MS HDD
*LG 22X SATA DOUBLE LAYER DVDR/RW CDR/RW MULTI WRITE BURN PROOF
LIGHTSCRIBE OPTICAL DRIVE
* THERMALTAKE DUAL RAIL, DUAL FAN, POWER SUPPLY UNIT
*ROSEWILL ALL IN ONE MEDIA CARD READER WITH FRONT USB 2.0
*WIRELESS-N PCI NETWORKING ADAPTER
Plus a external HD connected USB and a 500GB PATA drive enclosure connected via firewire or USB.
I want to delve into Linux for the first time (played with it before once or twice but never ran a system) and want a true HTPC distro to run boxee on.
So the question is: What is a good HTPC Linux distribution?
From what I see in the forum, Ubuntu (9.10?) is popular but is this a true htpc solution?
My needs are as follows:
1. The Distro must be able to handle Boxee VERY WELL. Obviously.
2. The Linux distribution for this machine must be able to share its drives easily with the Windows machines in my network, with as little hassle as possible.
3. I would prefer NTFS-write access to its internal and connected drives since I download on my main desktop, occasionally, and then transfer them over the network to the drives. (legaltorrents + miro)
4. Nice looking, perhaps skin-able and well refined interface. (this is something i will be staring at a lot)
5. Would be nice to be able to run a few emulators to play games. Zsnes and the like.
6. Internet telephony -[would be nice, but a must] I will be ditching my voip service and finding something new, even if its gotta be magicjack, but a seamlessly integrated soft-phone HTPC solution would be AMAZING, especially something that allows BYOD (bring your own device) - If it lets me use skypeout or google voice thats good. I would, of course, prefer some method of turning off the HTPC and retaining phone service.
In my attempts to find something i found LinuxMCE, which can do ALOT but i dont think it can Run Boxee. Can it? Also its a bit ugly as a front end but seems functional.
Also i found ELEMENTS OS:
Looks neat. But early, very early. Anyone try it??
There are also various mythtv+Linux distros but i dont need a PVR i dont know if they play boxee.
Or i am doomed to windows media center.
A fate worse then death.
(actually, I have not tried the Windows 7 MC since my PC has not arrived but i would still like a linux solution)