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What is GeeXboX ?

GeeXboX is a free embedded Linux distribution which aims at turning your computer into a so called HTPC (Home Theater PC) or Media Center. Being a standalone LiveCD-based distribution, it’s a ready to boot operating system than works on any Pentium-class x86 computer or PowerPC Macintosh, implying no software requirement. You can even use it on a diskless computer, the whole system being loaded in RAM.

Despite his tiny ISO image size, the distribution comes with a complete and automatic hardware detection, not requiring any driver to be added. It supports playback of nearly any kind of audio/video and image files and all known codecs and containers are shipped in, allowing playing them through various physical supports, either being CD, DVD, HDD, LAN or Internet. The internet has become a boon for gamblers, especially with casino non aams. Offering a wide array of games and bonuses, they provide convenient access to betting opportunities. With online platforms, players can enjoy their favorite games from the comfort of home, enhancing convenience and accessibility in the world of gambling.

GeeXboX also comes with a complete toolchain that allows developers adding easily extra packages and features but that might also be used to give birth to many dedicated embedded Linux systems.

Initial release of Enna: v0.4.0 (01/03/2010)

It was kinda hard and efforts were countless, but GeeXboX team is proud to announce the very stable release of Enna Media Center. After months of development, this brand new user interface finally has landed. Enna is available as a standalone application for all modern GNU/Linux based distributions (and already packaged for Ubuntu 9.10) and will, obviously, be part of GeeXboX v2.0 release. Speaking of which, the hardest part now being behind us, the first Alpha1 release of GeeXboX v2 is due to this month.

In the mean time, feel free to test Enna on your regular PC and we really hope you’ll enjoy using it. More information are of course available on Enna website.

Availability of GeeXboX libraries (12/13/2009)

Those of you who follow GeeXboX development carefully already heard about the project Enna . It’s a Media Center project, based on Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL), that has been developed by the GeeXboX team members. Enna is a standalone application, that can be run on any Linux distribution, GeeXboX LiveCD being one of them and that will be the major feature of upcoming v2.0.

As a convenience (and because some users do not want to use the LiveCD distribution), Enna will be made available for others than GeeXboX (first release is expected pretty soon). Enna being a graphical interface only, the team has developed many other libraries that are used by Enna and for which initial release just has been made:

libnfo : a small library used to parse and write NFO files. NFO files are XML files used to store metadata information on many multimedia files. It is massively used by other Media Centers, such as XBMC, which allow you unique metadata storage among your various Media Center applications.
libplayer : a multimedia A/V abstraction layer API. Its goal is to interact with Enna . libplayer provides a generic A/V API that relies on various multimedia player for Linux systems. It currently supports MPlayer, xine VLC and GStreamer only. This will allow future GeeXboX users to easily switch from one media player to another.
libvalhalla : a media scanner library, that stores various information in an SQLite database. It features many Internet grabbers that allows automatic download of covers, lyrics, informations on media files, tags retrival in video and music files and so on. Among them, we currently support Allocine, Amazon, EXIF information, FFmpeg, ImDB, Last.fm, local files, LyricsFly.com, LyricWiki.org, NFO files, TheTVDB.com, TheMovieDB.org and TVRage.com. It can of course be extended to support so much more.

All of these libraries just hit the 1.0.0 release and are available either under source format in their respective projects’ homepages but also have been packaged for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) users (but should work as well on Debian Sid) to try them out.

Also remind that these libraries are not meant to be GeeXboX specific. They are fully portable and can be used with many other projects.

As you may have understood, it is now possible for you to easily try out Enna before it gets officially released. However, and just for the most eager ones of you, you may appreciate the following screenshots of Enna .

GeeXboX 1.2.4: fix release (10/11/2009)

Some commercial DVD decryption bug having been spotted out on GeeXboX forums, we had to fix it through this minor 1.2.4 release. In the mean time, you’ll be pleased to hear that 2.x development branch has been greatly stabilized recently and we should be able to provide the first alpha release by end of year.

GeeXboX 1.2.4 (for x86_32 and x86_64 computers) is available right here and now!

GeeXboX 1.2.3: fix release (07/10/2009)

As it appeared that a nasty bug with some AC3 audio encoded files slipped through previous 1.2.2 release, here’s another minor release. No big changes here except from AC3 playback recovery.

GeeXboX 1.2.3 (for x86_32, x86_64 and powerpc computers) is available right here and now!

GeeXboX 1.2.2: features enhancement release (06/19/2009)

A few interesting patches recently having been commited to 2.0 development tree, people on forum asked for backport of these on stable 1.2 release. So did we, adding a new key feature, with multi-threaded video decoding support. Non IT people can see this as a way to finally make use of their brand new multi-core CPU systems providing parallelized treatment. And the results are pretty good, with a 1.8x video decoding speed boost on Core2Duo and 3.0x speedup with Core2Quad. It is now truely possible to actually decode 1080p HDTV streams on Linux.

As exciting as it may be, please however note that this is still an experimental feature (we’re probably the one of the first Linux distro to integrate it), that may cause undesired visual artefacts (in some very rare cases). In order to make use of it, you’ll have to explicitely enable it through ISO generator.

Detailed Changelog (relative to 1.2.1 release):

– Multi-threaded video decoding for MPEG-1/2/4 and H.264 codecs.
– Support for newly discovered DVD MovieProtect encryption method.
– Extended DVD CSS descrambiling capabilities.
– Removal of GOOM audio visualization (was causing too much troubles).
– Automount daemon enhancements.
– Upgrade of MPlayer and its set of codecs.

GeeXboX 1.2.2 (for x86_32, x86_64 and powerpc computers) is available right here and now!

GeeXboX 1.2.1: security-fix release (02/11/2009)

While working on 2.0 development, we managed to find a few major bugs in 1.2 release codebase. There were a major flaw in installator which may (in some cases) lead to destroy your HDD’s MBR while trying to install to a removable USB key plus a few minor bugs with EeePC 701 frequency scaling and parallel port LCD driver support.
It is highly recommended that you use this new version instead.

GeeXboX 1.2.1 (for x86_32, x86_64 and powerpc computers) is available right here and now!

GeeXboX 1.2: ‘Broadcast simultaneously one year in the future’ edition (01/31/2009)

Here we finally are. Today marks GeeXboX 1.2 release that was awaited for such a long time. This is a really important step for the project, being the very latest release from the 1.x series. The 1.2 took quite a long time to emerge but brought a lot of features, the most important ones being the x86_64 architecture support and the HDTV and widescreens optimizations through X.Org inclusion. We’ve also added a brand new tool, called Win32 installer that allows you installing GeeXboX to your current hard-disk without need of partitionning/formatting it again. Please feel free to browse Changelogs from all 1.2 beta releases for a complete list of changes.

So again, GeeXboX 1.2 is the last version you’ll see that relies on our original MPlayer OSD based blue screen user interface. Over the years (and especially last months), a lot of efforts have been made to work on the upcoming 2.x series, that will feature a complete rework of the UI, based on the ultra fast and shiny Enlightenment toolkit. We already have made very good progress on this nextgen architecture and the first 2.0-alpha1 release will probably be out in a few weeks for tests purpose.

Eager and impatient folks can have a look at exclusive screenshots of what 2.x interface will looks like. So just wait for a couple more weeks for this.



But let’s get back to 1.2. This is our very latest stable release and will stay so for quite a while, until 2.0 is fully ready for use. With this release, we’ve done our best to please everyone in order to provide you with best video playback experience and we hope it’ll keep on going.

Detailed Changelog (relative to 1.2-beta3 release):

System:
– Upgrade to Linux 2.6.27.13.
– Use On-Demand CPU frequency scaling policy.

X.Org:
– Upgrade X.Org ATI driver to 6.10.0.

Player:
– Fix VCD playback issues.
– Disable GOOM audio visualization, was sucking down CPU too much.
– Fix some TV card bad color effects.

Installator:
– Simplify installator partitionning step.
– Unify disk install, using GRUB on USB devices too.

Miscellaneous:
– Fix a mounting issue when 2 hardware devices have the same name.
– Add support for disks with no partition table (Ex: Win32 formatted USB keys).
– Add a Win32 utility that allows installing GeeXboX to your current hard-disk without need of partitionning/formatting it again.
– Add USB network drivers to emulate a NIC.
– Fix boot issue with several CD/DVD drives.

GeeXboX 1.2 (for x86_32, x86_64 and powerpc computers) is available right here and now!

GeeXboX 1.2-beta3 (12/28/2008)

Ok, beta2 was not the last one and here comes beta3 which is definitely candidate for 1.2 release. We’ve performed a huge amount of bug fixes in various area and were able to correct some long standing issues we had. Two major changes come with this release: a completely new automounter that now relies on D-BUS and HAL and the restoration of installer feature. So yeah, finally (it’s been time …), you should be able to install GeeXboX again, on both your HDDs and USB keys. Other parts of GeeXboX also welcomed a few changes, mostly regarding the player, that received a few fixes for AudioCDs, DVDs, AAC and RealVideo 9 playback.

Detailed Changelog (relative to 1.2-beta2 release):

System:
– Upgrade Linux kernel to 2.6.27.10
– Rework of installator, now works fine with both HDD and USB installs.

X.Org:
– ATI Radeon driver upgrade.
– ATI Rage128 driver addition.

Player:
– Updated MPlayer to r28184 (provides native RealVideo 9 / RV30 decoder).
– Use FAAD2 for AAC decoding (fixes many audio playback issues).
– Fix CDDA/DVD playback issues.

Networking:
– Add optional Samba server support.

Miscellaneous:
– Complete rework of automounter, now based on D-BUS/HAL.
– Mounted disks names are now much more eloquent.
– Fix some disc eject issues.
– Add optionnal disc images (.bin, .iso, .img, .mdf, .nrg) mounter.
– Restore the old menu font.

GeeXboX 1.2-beta3 (for x86_32, x86_64 and powerpc computers) is available right here and now!

GeeXboX 1.2-beta2 (12/14/2008)

Here comes GeeXboX 1.2 second beta release. Thanks to your feedback on forums, we’ve been able to iron out a lot of nasty bugs from beta1. There’s no major changes in terms of features but the distribution is now much more stable, which is always a good thing. Most of the corrections took place at the driver level, as many people encountered some issues with hardware support. The few PowerPC users that still exist will also be pleased to know that we’ve manage to resurrect the port to this architecture (latest release was 1.0, more than 2 years ago).

We truely hope it’ll be the very latest beta release before 1.2 comes out. In the mean time, just test this one out.

Detailed Changelog (relative to 1.2-beta1 release):

System:
– Upgrade Linux kernel to 2.6.27.9
– Massive firmwares support upgrades: fixes many driver loading issues.

Toolchain:
– Update uClibc to 0.9.30.

Ports:
– Restore PowerPC architecture support.

X.Org:
– Update X.Org server to 1.5.3.
– Add HAL support, X.Org now uses evdev/XInput to handle input devices: this provides a complete X.Org settings autodetection.
– Fasten X.Org startup.

Player:
– Upgrade MPlayer to r28089.
– Native RealVideo 10 decoder.

Video:
– Remove RadeonHD driver, use legacy ATI instead (should fix some X.Org ATI drivers issues).
– Upgrade Intel X.Org driver to 2.5.1

Drivers:
– Many UDEV related rules changes (should fix some legacy PATA devices driver loading issues).
– Fix LIRC Serial driver issues.
– Fixes some CD/DVD loading issues (bad fs was used on Video DVDs).

Networking:
– Restore UPnP feature.

Miscellaneous:
– Fix FBI Image Viewer loader.
– Various enhancements on info display menu.
– Many fixes to WebGUI.

GeeXboX 1.2-beta2 (for x86_32, x86_64 and powerpc computers) is available right here and now!

GeeXboX 1.2-beta1 (11/01/2008)

As usual, it took way longer than expected but there it is: GeeXboX 1.2-beta1. Why Beta release ? Honnestly, this version should now be pretty stable. However, too few tests have been done by users on forum recently and we wanted to confirm the good feedback we have before releasing the final 1.2.

So what has changed to take so much time ? As told at 1.1 release’s time, the major change is X.org inclusion. This was a lot of work but this allows GeeXboX to fully support wide screens and all of the new HDTVs monitors. Everything is autodetected and configured and it should detect the best resolution that suits your monitor. Along with X.org, come all of its video drivers. Say bye bye to VIDIX (as good as it was) and welcome XVideo. This brings video acceleration (but still no GPU offload) to nearly all video cards in the wild (whether it is Intel, nVidia, ATI, S3, SiS, VIA …).

Alos come many kernel and internal changes. The whole distributions is now modularized to best detect your hardware and load ony what is needed. Many drivers have been added and installation has been completely reworked for better usability.

This version also has been optimized for various platforms like EeePCs, EasyGate and bring official support of MacIntels computers. It also introduce a new port to x86_64 architecture which brings a small performance boost regarding to the 32bit edition.

Unless major bugs are encountered, you may expect the final 1.2 release to come pretty soon. In the mean time, the more you test this beta version and report bugs, the fastest it’ll be issued.

Detailed Changelog (relative to 1.1 release):

System:
– X.Org 7.4 inclusion (default, change it with generator).
– Support for SMP and multi-cores.
– Update to Linux 2.6.27.4.
– Update BusyBox to 1.11.3.
– Update to SysLinux 3.72.
– Use of initramfs instead of initrd.

Toolchain:
– Update to GCC 4.3.2.
– Upgrade uClibc to 0.9.30-rc3.
– Upgrade glibc to 2.7.
– Use glibc as a default when building with X.Org.

Ports:
– Port to x86_64 architecture.
– Port to PowerPC 64bit architecture.
– MacIntel support.
– Optimizations for EasyGate platform.
– Optimizations for EeePC 700.

Player:
– Update MPlayer to r27662.
– Enable ASS support.
– Add MonkeyAudio decoder.
– Add GOOM audio visualization.
– Fix for CDDA playback.
– Add TV selection menu.
– Add de-interlace filter for DVDs and TV streams.
– Use of keypad for DVDNAV controls.
– Add support for extended PLS netstream entries.
– Enhanced DVD Navigation Menu support.
– Fix somes issues with encrypted DVDs playback.
– Use per stream type configuration profiles.

Video:
– Add widescreens and HDTV screens support.
– Add X11 video acceleration for most graphic cards (Intel, nVidia, ATI, S3, SiS, VIA …).
– TV-Out is no longer available when booting with X.Org enabled.
– Some Intel VESA driver fixes.
– ATI VIDIX driver color fixes.
– Restore VIDIX support on PowerPC.

Drivers:
– X.Org hardware autodetection.
– Dozens of new WiFi, Ethernet, DVB … drivers supported.
– All drivers are now modularized (no longer built-in): only useful ones are actually loaded.
– Add kernel drivers auto probe and load mechanisms.
– Fix many PATA devices issues.
– Add support for 16bit PCMCIA cards.
– LIRC 0.8.4

Networking:
– Upgrade to Samba 3.0.32 (better support for MS Vista shares).
– Add support for Plan9 network shares .
– Add NFS v3/4 support.
– Add PXE boot from Samba.
– Allow for defining static samba mounts

Installator:
– Introduction of configurator: post-install reconfiguration utility.
– Use of libparted instead of old fdisk for disk partionning.
– Enhanced install to USB process.
– Provide faster boot methods for install to HDD.

Generator:
– Add HDTV (X.org) related new options and configuration settings.
– Add GOOM audio visualization settings tab.
– Add NFS shares configuration tab.
– Add static Samba shares configuration tab.
– Automatic packages download at ISO image compilation.

Miscellaneous:
– Add AppleIR remote support.
– Add X10 RF MCE remote control support.
– Add ACPI multimedia buttons handling.
– Enhanced system information menu.
– Enhance VESA boot menu.
– Enhanced Web interface and better browser compliance.
– Add optional support for Video Disk Recorder (VDR).
– Use FeH image viewer instead of FBI.

GeeXboX 1.2-beta1 (for x86_32 and x86_64 computers only) is available right here and now!

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