Shuttle XS35GS V3 and Mythbuntu 12.04

I bought the recently released Shuttle XS35GS V3 (also called XS35GTA V3) to use as a mythtv frontend. As usual, nothing works correctly first time round and there were a few things I needed to set up manually to get it working correctly.

1) I had problems with the onboard wifi - it would apparently connect then as soon as you tried to use the connection various errors messages would appear in the debug log.
Jul  5 10:37:18 bedroom kernel: [  157.712828] rtl8192c_common:rtl92c_firmware_selfreset(): 8051 reset fail.
Jul  5 10:37:23 bedroom kernel: [  162.696823] rtl8192ce:_rtl92ce_llt_write():<0-0> Failed to polling write LLT done at address 0!
Jul  5 10:37:23 bedroom kernel: [  162.696833] rtl8192ce:rtl92ce_hw_init():<0-0> Init MAC failed

So I disabled the wifi in the bios and used a USB wifi stick for the time being. I may end up installing a cable if wifi does not give adequate streaming performance for mythtv.

2) I connected the shuttle via HDMI cable to the TV, unfortunately no sound was transmitted initially. The shuttle model I chose has an ATI chipset, so I first tried installing ATI binary drivers:
sudo apt-get install fglrx-updates
After that I listed the drivers and played test sounds on each device with VLC until I found which one worked.
frankster@bedroom:~$ aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: STAC92xx Analog [STAC92xx Analog]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: Generic [HD-Audio Generic], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

VLC confirmed that the final device "HD-Audio Generic" is the correct one so the next step is to apply that setting inside mythtv. Unforunately the list inside mythtv is different to what I saw in the output of "aplay -l", but I worked out that mythtv describes it thus:
hdmi:CARD=Generic,DEV=0

3) Using the latest version of fglrx-updates (2:8.960-0ubuntu1.1) I found that switching the TV (connected via HDMI) off then on again caused the sound to stop working, requiring a system reboot. I downloaded the drivers from the ATI website and the issue was solved. The latest version at the time I downloaded was catalyst 12.6, which generated packages with a version of 8.980 (in contrast to the Ubuntu packages which are version 8.960).

4) The bios version that came with my device (1.00) had two problems. When requesting a restart, the machine would instead shutdown. Secondly the Ubuntu 64-bit installer didn't believe that 64-bit could be installed so I had to install 32-bit. (I'm about 90% certain that you should be able to install 64-bit on the Atom D2700).

I installed the latest bios driver (1.05) and this resolved the reboot issue. I have not attempted to reinstall since, so I don't know about the 64-bit installer issue.

Updated 19th August 2012

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7 Responses to Shuttle XS35GS V3 and Mythbuntu 12.04

  1. Martin says:

    What about the graphic card ? I'm interested by this shuttle but want to make sure it'll work under ubuntu 12.04 🙂

    • frankster says:

      The graphics card does work under 12.04 with the following caveats:

      1. using the open source driver, sometimes the colour displays wrong over HDMI.
      2. using the latest packaged binary driver packaged by Ubuntu (as of 15th Aug 12), the sound is lost when you turn off the TV, so I had to restart the box every time I turned the TV on. I installed the latest driver from ATI's website yesterday and that has solved the problem.
      3. There is noticeable tearing with the default config file generated by aticonfig --initial. I haven't tried too hard to fix this yet so I'm not sure if its a major problem or not.
      • Martin says:

        Hi !
        Thank you for the detailed answer !
        About the Wi-Fi chip, do you have some further info ? It is something I would need to work too...

        • frankster says:

          Someone else I spoke to about the wifi issue said:

          "Most kernels don't have firmware for this particular wifi yet. You can download the driver (as I'm not at home I'm not sure where), extract the package, sudo make, sudo make install and reboot. Wifi should work perfectly then. I did this several times."

          I haven't done any more work on the wifi chip so I can't vouch for the accuracy of his advice! I'll update this post when I've spent some more time on it.

          • Oddbjorn Bersas says:

            Hi there,

            I have been strugling with this one all afternoon. Hours with googling gave me the same pointers like lack of firmware in the kernel etc. I even considered to obtain version 1.0.9 of the BIOS (unofficial Shuttle release?) since it was mentioned somewhere that this version of the BIOS have a WiFi always on setting. But then, after reading about BIOS v1.0.9, I recalled an old friend of mine, rfkill.

            I'm currently running Fedora 17 on my XS35GS V3 (EU: XS35GTA V3), but it is no reason why it shouldn't work with older Fedora, like 16, 15 or 14 for that matter. Or other distros like Ubuntu, Suse, RedHat ...
            Anyways, what I did was simply;

            yum install rfkill

            and voila!, the WiFi was activated.
            You can list whether or not the WiFi is soft blocked by issuing:
            rfkill list wifi
            and block/unblock with:
            rfkill block wifii
            rfkill unblock wifi

            The driver Fedora 17 use for this WiFi chip is (lspci -kn):

            03:00.0 0280: 10ec:8176 (rev 01)
            Subsystem: 10ec:8175
            Kernel driver in use: rtl8192ce

            Before doing anything else give it a try. Worked for me 🙂

            Oddbjorn

  2. phsab says:

    Looks like you've been doing the same as I did. I run XBMCbuntu though.
    I've managed to resolve the tearing by setting it in the Catalyst Control Center. The only thing I still have to resolve is the fact that there is some slight stutter. Does that sound familiar to you?

    - Stu -

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