Looking for best setup NFS for camper

I know nothing about the Elec series so I'll trust your knowledge there. I'm assuming openwrt performance isn't an issue due to low bandwidth on the WAN, running an Elec or whatever in a system container (like rkt or systemd-nspawn ) should give 100% performance, in a VM not so much. It's not clear if 4k video is really a thing in this context. If it is, you'd want to upgrade to something like an i3 or i5 based device perhaps.

You can run Kodi just fine from Debian itself which makes the nspawn idea work for sure. Not sure if you can get an rkt container for LibreElec as a whole. One thing I wouldn't do is run the media PC as a container / VM from an OpenWrt host.

I know why I never get anywhere with these projects. I've spent the whole afternoon just trying to find what a MT76 stick is and discover that it's a stick with a Microtel MT76-something- chip in it and while there must be a hundred versions of it listed in the wki, many of them are very expensive and the only one I can find on eBay that comes up in a search for my price range with a search of MT7610U is one that is not in the wiki list. So I can't even get started to figure out which one of these USB wifi modules that will be supported by OpenWRT. I only need something to broadcast in the camper.

Also I think the obvious snag with the Android devices is controlling the interface and since reading a detailed review just now of the MECOOL, and seeing that the remote responds to voice commands to Google, this leads me to believe that if Google commands work like they do on the typical Android phone, that disconnecting this device from a live Internet connection will leave it pretty much a door stop unless I added some type of blue tooth mouse or touch pad apparatus.

So while I do see me going somewhere with the espresso, I am struggling to think of any of the media player solutions that will work cut off from the mother ship teet, or which might be something I can manipulate with only a remote control.

MT76 is the name of the Mediatek MT76*2/7603(U)-drive
List of supported devices can be found here:

Again, you don't run Android if you use CoreELEC.
This pretty first the first line of text you'll see if you visit the page.
"CoreELEC is a ‘Just enough OS’ Linux distribution for running Kodi® on popular Amlogic hardware."

I should say I used the wrong three letter acronym above.

RKT is an application container system (for running single apps or a small number of apps in a container). The thing I was thinking of was a full system container which LXC/LXD or systemd-nspawn are best at. So substitute LXC or LXD above.

One month later progress report. First of all, anyone attempting this, please consider it is all a new career path, forget it and just buy some expensive commercial version of the above LOL.

I had all my hardware ordered and received right away. With the MeCool, one can spend a lot of time researching and trying to get things off the ground and it's much less straight forward than something like loading OpenWRT to a router. Turns out the MeCool M8S Pro W that I happened to order by accident has an internal memory chip that no driver is available for so I got off on the wrong foot to begin with. After much additional research I found a version of the defunct, no wait a minute it's not defunct, CoreELEC bootable SD image that would load on the device and serve as it's sole OS something that didn't make sense to me (SD as sole memory) and my thoughts were it was not a good idea but I was told not to worry about it. Additionally the main device control was now KODI and while it seems rather robust, the combo of this MeCool "not yet ready for prime time" Android TV boxes (compared to something like IrFanView running on a cheap Windows laptop) is just too slow to deal seriously when you compare a slide presentation like can be produced with a Windows laptop plugged into the TV HDMI cable instead. Looking at photos 2M and above range was too slow for a normal slide presentation and I'm not sure what is causing the bottleneck. First suspicion was the SD card of course but CoreELEC fans on the forum struck me down with that theory and from every angle that I brought it up. In contrast, the native firmware on the MeCool is not worth even addressing for my needs. I tried sending the MeCool box back to the seller but no luck so I'm stuck with more or less what seems a toy at least in the area of what I was primarily interested in, rapidly viewing photos from my camera on a larger screen TV without being forced to drag out and HDMI-connect a full size laptop.

Now I am down to working with a V5 Espressobin after avoiding the V7 that even though it comes with a case, was reported to overheat. So again I failed to properly research before purchasing the suggested Espressobin. In fairness the concept of such a powerful $50 device "had me" up to the point of discovering the Espressobin wiki that starts out will a full page of commands needed to be run from my own Linux on my Linux PC in order to begin by formatting the card and prepping it for use, I then continued my search of how to build the SD boot card in Windows but fell on an empty plate.

I have to say that with Linux or Apple, I'm pretty much in the same boat. While fans of both communities have told me that the platforms are obvious and given me great suggestions the past such as "just burn an xyz Linux disk and boot it from your windows PC", well I tried that for many years in the past and for years the disk would never boot on my laptop. Then once about 5 years ago I found a laptop and disk that booted together, then I was lost. With a Linux command line, how do I even know where my commands are writing to, where is my SD card in the vast open space of who the command is talking to? Now while I'm proficient on DOS and weaving out of being a semi-pro on Windows in past career endeavors, when faced with either an Apple or Linux laptop looking at me, I freeze like I've been shot with an ice ray gun..

If you want to build a firmware you need to either run some variant of Linux (Debian, Fedora, Alpine are known to work among a few other) or macOS. Most Linux distributions will install and boot fine in HyperV, Virtualbox and VMWare out of the box. @jeff is looking to provide a ready to run VM (see here: Available Decompression on Windows? )

Install prerequisites, a fairly up to date list can be found here for various distributions

Clone sources, run make buildworld and off you go

As for the box
Just burn the image to the SD card using Rufus
Copy and rename the corresponding DTB file for your device to the root directory (listed on site)
Possibly you need to add a config file for your remote
Insert card, boot to Android, open a terminal windows (enable debug mode), run reboot update and you're in. It will automatically boot off the SD card as long as you don't remove it on each power up.
There's little to no reason to install it on the eMMC storage.

Who says some topics are not timeless? I got no further last year on this project than getting Kodi up on the MeCool and I never got the OpenWRT server configured. And while storing my camper during the hot Texas summer last year I lost my MeCool which failed completely from the heat and so I recently started all over on this project. I bought one of the cheap Amazon sticks during Christmas and finally managed to get it unlocked and loaded with Kodi on a different themed main layout. So now I begin again on the server.

One of my objectives was to load a file system on the server and format the 4TB USB drive to where I could move my 4TB USB hard drive between OpenWRT espressobin and my windows machine. I never found a good driver for ext4 or btrfs for Windows. The ext4 showed promise but on Windows once I got the 4TB loaded with 500G, then the files appeared to continue to load on the drive but disappeared once I unplugged the USB drive and plugged it back in Windows.

So I am going to start over and try to make some headway as a positive spin to COVID. Maybe I'll search and see if Samba 4 ever became available for the espressobin without having to compile anything. Then I will also try to install the media server on OpenWRT and next step, try to figure out what I need to install on the firestick to get Kodi to look for a media server on my local network. Then if I am successful, I'll try to get Samba going so I can add files to the server from my Windows desktop.

Samba4 compiles fine and exFAT is still your best bet if you want cross platform support.

My experience was that I was NEVER able to copy my ~15 Gigs of music files to an SD card formatted exFAT on my linux machine. It would always bork and corrupt the entire filesystem. It seemed likely to be related to unusual characters in filenames (like foreign language characters like ñ or é)

IMHO Your best bet is to format the external drive as btrfs, and share it from the espressobin via Samba4, and copy the files over the network, abandoning the attempt to have the drive swap back and forth via USB.

I have never compiled anything and struggle with all things Linux but I love the features at the same time. Wish there was some miracle to better bridge the divide in our experience levels. I have worked my careerin the IT world on Windows and while Linux resembles the old DOS just enough to allow me to struggle through it, some suggestions about compiling code trip me and I am certain others, leave us dazed and confused.

There's also often a suggestion of just install a virtual machine on your Windows device and do this and do that. If you are running on seven year old hardware that would take weeks if not months to reconvigure and months to figure out how to install a VM on, all this becomes difficult.

I am happy to be a full-user of OpenWRT. I have VPN client machines and VPN servers working cross-country for great friends and relatives and I've made these set-ups work by simply taking other's work and copying and altering one thing at a time until I "sort of" get an ideal of that it's doing. I'm getting better at it and yet I still don't even come close to understanding routing tables and all the other complex things that go with this software. I guess I am just trying to get a little more out of the package than you can get without a full Linux and network expertise. I live at somewhere lost in the middle, and near the vastly deep water portions while just staying afloat area of understanding all this. That's why I appreciate all the details and hand holding anyone is willing to share.

Using Windows 3rd party software, I was somehow able to convert my 4TB drive to exFat and got the same thing. Every other time I unplugged the drive, I lost everything on it. It's a WD 4TB external USB drive.

Is espressobin firmware available with Samba 4 without me learning to compile? I think that is the best place to start.

samba4 is available in the package list of the current release version, it's just

opkg update; opkg install samba4-server;

Should I take my USB drive out of the case and hard-install it via SATA on the espressobin board? Or will it be able to stream OK using USB

It has a USB3 port, make sure you attach to that and have a USB3 external enclosure. With that, it should be fine. USB3 has more bandwidth than the ethernet, so it won't be the choke point.

Good luck with that in Windows :wink:

With what? copying from a windows machine to a linux share via samba works well.

OK, I got the firmware updated and ran the commands executed, thanks dlakelan. I suppose this is nothing to worry with: (??)

dbus[5003]: Unknown group "netdev" in message bus configuration file

All the 25 or so other companion packages installed with no error message.

Not if you want cross compatibility otherwise BTRFS should be fine. :slight_smile:

fwiw, It's even more simple nowdays (if you have the MeCool still around)
https://discourse.coreelec.org/t/how-to-install-coreelec/677 (terminal cmd works great)

About dbus, no idea what pulls in that as it's not a requirement by Samba at all.

You can run a media server on the stick if you want to access them from any other DLNA-enabled client, but for Kodi, I think it's best to just mount the disk as a Samba share. It's a lot more straightforward and let you export the database (e.g. Kodi info and images files) to each movie folder, which can be pretty useful if you happen to need to change the kodi device or reinstall.