HTPC + Backup/NAS + MS Windows Access

I’m starting on a home project where I’d like to combine a home theater PC and backup/NAS. I plan on using a standard openSUSE 12.2 distro, maybe SLES 11.2. I’m going to need MS Windows machines to read/write to the data partition. The data partition will be two 2TB drives mirrored, totaling 2TB of drive space. What format should the 2TB data partition be? I’d really like to avoid a format that requires defragmenting, i.e. NTFS. What’s a good backup solution? I’m I going to need both SMB and Kerbros? The HTPC part is for home streaming of digitized media, web browsing, etc., no DVR/TV functions are planned.


So while I don’t want to rain on your parade or stop you from using openSUSE for any purpose you can conceive, let me tell you of my experience on the subject of using a HTPC. I have been maintaining one for several years until just a few months ago. The basic problem was the need to update your installation for security reasons. For Windows, the system would not stop working, but anti-virus updates can come at any time and really convincing Windows to not do it in the middle of a movie seemed to be problematic. So, I had a dual boot PC that also loaded openSUSE. The problem with openSUSE is that it too wants to do updates and those updates can kill your delicately setup audio if you are wanting 5.1 or 7.1 audio to a receiver. While I use openSUSE every single day, I don’t just turn it on and expect to pop in a movie and expect the audio and video to work correctly every time. openSUSE has been doing a major update every eight months or so and the audio system changed from alsa/xine to Pulse/gstreamer and the change has been dramatic. Only VLC has remained working for me with 7.1 audio and an optical connection. You do not indicate from where you live, but in any place in the US, you can buy a decent DVD player for under $100 and perhaps under $50 US. I see blu-ray players even for under $100, though I am not sure they are decent. But the jist of my message to you is while an HTPC can be a great project of love for openSUSE, in the end, a dedicated DVD player is much easier to use for you and your spouse and your children. You must trust me on this.

Thank You,

I understand what you’re saying and thanks. But, I’m tired of scratched DVDs, CDs, DRM media coming from multiple accounts from the same service (itunes), etc; also I’d rather not have a few hundred DVDs stored in the living room any longer. We had a Sony 400 disc DVD carousel, it was slow and cumbersome to search through. True HD quality is, currently, not important to me. I’ve also found a hack to get a Wii controller to act as wireless mouse. I usually only run security updates as alerts and choose when to instal them; I don’t bother with recommended updates unless it fixes something with which I have a problem. I plan on using VLC, partly because my DVD rips are ISOs.

Try this solution here HTPC and Backup. Looks like it and the links is close to what you need. Should work just as well on SUSE. Some stats from the site:

  • 4TB usable storage (6TB HDD - 2 HDD for RAID6).
  • XFS Filesystem
  • 317MB/s WRITES.
  • 300 MB/s READS.
  • A Wireless N card + 1GIG ETH in a bonding configuration. (Redundancy in case of failure)
  • Scientific Linux 6.1 (RHEL 6.1).

I suppose if you wanted a little more space out of it, larger hard drives would be the way to go.


I’ve always found HTPCs a bit of overkill. My simple setup is a NAS drive with DLNA media server built in.
Stream to a Buffalo media player that can handle almost any format thrown at it.