GeeXboX 0.98.7: Digital Edition

This may be the first time that a GeeXboX release has been made without a player update… but hey, the enhancements were significant enough and so we bring you the new, fresh, version 0.98.7. GeeXboX now enters the “digital era” with a feature that many users have been waiting for : the DVB cards support. Basically you’re now able to use any kind (PCI or USB) DVB device (either Cable, Terrestrial or Satellite) that is support under Linux (see website for more info) with this release of GeeXboX. Due to the i802.11 official stack inclusion in Linux 2.6.14, we’ve also decided to bring you better WiFi chipset support with the introduction of Prism54G and Centrino drivers.

Unfortunately, many of the DVB devices and WiFi chips require those nasty proprietary firmwares in order to work correctly. That is of no concern however, as GeeXboX now comes with its own brand new firmware auto-loader. You’re even able to use the FLTK generator to grab them from the web for you and build an ISO that fits your needs. You can also use it to grab some more fonts or non-free codecs.

There’s also some bad news that will soon be a major problem. For various reasons, InTouch, our current sponsor that provides us a virtual server with free hosting services, will certainly have to discontinue this offer after the 1st of January. As a result, we’re currently looking for anybody that can help with mirroring solutions and/or grant us a new hosting service. After this date, we’ll probably lose our server and won’t be able to provide you with GeeXboX anymore. Our only solution will then be to buy a new dedicated server and host it with some provider. So, if you’re able to help us by providing a server or hosting for free, please contact us.

Last, but not least (and to end on a positive note), we’ve added the latest trend in network sharing protocols that is being supported in many new consumer devices : UPnP. With its support, the GeeXboX is now able to auto-discover UPnP Media Server devices on your Home Network and play media content from them. So, while waiting for the next MPlayer release, just sit back in your seats and enjoy the digital show 😉

Detailed Changelog (relative to 0.98.6 release) :

System :
– Linux updated to 2.6.14 version.
– Updated uClibc to 0.9.28.
– Support for FUSE (Filesystem In Userland) 2.4.1
– Support for driver firmware auto-loading. You can now use drivers that require an external proprietary firmware.
– Updated Syslinux to v3.11.
– Support for DVB cards.
– Added a DVB Free-To-Air channel scanner (at boot time for LiveCD, or when using installator).

Toolchain :
– New DEVTOOLS option at compilation, that adds many useful debugging tools for easier development.
– New UPNP option at compilation time to enable/disable building UPnP support.

Audio :
– Updated ALSA libraries and utilities to 1.0.10rc2.
– Fixes some PPC sound issues.

Video :
– Support for VESA with Intel i855 chips.
– Updated EM8300 (DXR3) drivers to v0.15.1.

Drivers :
– Added support for WiFi Prism54G cards (requires proprietary firmware).
– Added support for Centrino (ipw2x00) WiFi chipsets (requires proprietary firmware).
– Support for PCI and USB DVB cards (Satellite, Cable, Terrestrial) based on BT8x8 / CX88 / SAA7136 (AV7110) chipsets (some may require proprietary firmware).

Networking :
– Updated Samba to 3.0.20b.
– Added auto-discovery of UPnP A/V Media Server compliant devices.
– Added djmount 0.31 that uses FUSE to mount UPnP Media Server contents filesystem.

Generator :
– New MacOSX generator binary.
– Generator is now able to download extra firmwares/fonts/codecs for you (with MD5 sum check).
– Added an option to enable/disable UPnP support.

Miscellaneous :
– Updated LIRC to 0.7.3pre1.
– GeeXboX uShare UPnP A/V Media Server (for Linux only) is available to share content to GeeXboX through UPnP.
– Support for multiple gateways and DNS servers in network configuration file.
– Add sleep timer to automatically shutdown GeeXboX after a specified time.

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