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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.

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.

GeeXboX 2.0-alpha2 release (03/13/2010)

It's already been one month since 2.0-alpha1 release so here's alpha2. This release fixes a lot of bugs that have been encountered by our users on this first 2.x series preview.
  • Normalize LIRC configuration by providing generic binding for each and every remote control.
  • Initial port to ARM architecture: stay tuned, it's gonna be awesome news soon :-)
  • Restoration of UPnP/DLNA feature with a brand new stack.
  • Restoration of internationalization support.
  • Upgrade of nVidia drivers: proprietary, legacy one and addition of Nouveau.
  • Add Kernel Mode Settings (KMS) for ATI/Intel/nVidia drivers.
  • Upgrade to Linux 2.6.33 kernel.
  • Fix LiveCD and Win32 installers, you can now install GeeXboX to disk again.
  • Fix OGG files playback issue.
  • Upgrade Enna to future upcoming 0.5.0 release, including hundreds of bug fixes and new features such as Weather enhancements, GeoIP localization, UPnP support, SHOUTcast and Podcast streaming.

Generator is still not yet ready for prime-time but we're working on it. That said, feel free to download this new 2.0-alpha2 release. It had been made available for i386 and x86_64 computers. The light and full sources of this release obviously are available too.

You can also install it without further disk partitionning through the Windows installer.

GeeXboX 2.0-alpha1 release (02/14/2010)

This has been announced for years but we're finally stepping forward to the so long awaited for 2.0 release of GeeXboX. Today, we're proud to let you have a first try at this new version, based on the Enna Media Center application that we have developed.

Enna is a standalone application that one can use on any Linux distribution (soon to be available for MacOSX and Windows users, who knows ...) that replaces the old and dying MPlayer OSD interface we've been using for so long. The GeeXboX distribution you all know about will then become the Enna Live-CD project, but with all optimizations, configuration and tweakings that one may be able to do on his regular computer.

With Enna, GeeXboX now looks promising again, with this new shiny look and feel interface. Also being much more nicer, Enna allows us to add so many new features that you all were waiting for (check out the Enna website for that) so future looks bright again.

Also, Enna has been designed to be simple and intuitive to be used. It can be controlled either through keyboard, mouse or remote control. Mouse support is quite new in GeeXboX but its usage is kinda trivial. As for keyboard, we have tried to make usable with as few keys as possible. As a result, one can control Enna the following way:

  • Arrows: used to navigate between the different menu lists.
  • Enter: used to validate your selection.
  • Backspace: used to cancel or browse back to previous menu.
  • Escape: if you ever wanna stop Enna (and shutdown GeeXboX as well).

Enna Music Menu Enna Photo Wall Enna Video Info

As you might have understood, Enna and GeeXboX v2.x design is the result of years of development and deep architectural changes. Things now are getting stabilized but we're still lacking of manpower to enhance it the way we'd like it to be. So if you're a Linux developer, feel free to join our team. If you're interested in GeeXboX v2.x architecture, you'd be glad to know that it was presented to FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting) a week ago and both slides and video are available.

We all hope you'll enjoy this first alpha release of GeeXboX 2.x series. Though, keep in mind that, as the name suggests, it's an alpha version only. This means that unfortunately, it still suffers a lot of bugs and many regressions towards 1.x series. The availability of final stable release over requires you to test it the most you can, reporting any trouble one can find.

As a consequence, some stuff are already know to be broken or missing:
  • Some features are disabled, including TV and netstreams support.
  • Generator needs a huge rewrite and will be part of alpha2 release only, sorry folks.
  • Audio OGG files are seen as video files (!!) and playing them back results in a black screen with uncontrollable Enna (you've warned).
  • The framebuffer-based console mode has been disabled until being fixed. HDTV mode only (i.e. using X.Org server) is supported in this version.

On the bright side, new features have been added or enabled by default:
  • The proprietary nVidia video driver has been integrated. Every nVidia GPU should now be supported. With those cards, Enna should also be using its OpenGL rendering engine, providing a smooth rendering.
  • The VDPAU hardware decoding engine has been integrated. If you're the lucky owner of an nVidia card higher than GF8800 series, than you should be able to decode MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (i.e. DivX), H.264 and VC-1 streams using your video card, offloading your CPU. This of course includes ION-based Set-Top-Boxes that are now able to decode 1080p videos.
  • For non-nVidia users, the multi-threaded decoding feature now has been enabled by default. MPlayer will then uses all of your CPU's cores to do software video decoding.

In order to allow us to enhance GeeXboX to our users' configuration, we've also setup a statistics utility that provides us with some information regarding your hardware configuration. It has been enabled by default but we know that it can be intrusive for some users. So if you're not willing to provide these info (CPU model, amount of memory RAM, video board type, and such ...), you can disable it by adding nostats to the boot command-line.

That said, feel free to download our new 2.0-alpha1 release. It had been made available for i386 and x86_64 computers. The light and full sources of this release obviously are available too.

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.