Interesting MiniPC with Linux

If you want remote gui, why not Vnc?

If you know cli then no need for gui at all. Just go with ssh


A. Hey, thanks. I never knew these existed. Your link is broken but I easily found them on Amazon and ordered one for under $10 -- will be here tomorrow. I can't resist playing so I already trashed 22.04 Desktop and installed 22.04 Server. I'll play with that a while then put Desktop back on.

Just curious, why even mess with desktop when you can go with less overhead by using server?

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Indeed it was. Fixed : hdmi dummy plug

Because I've always used Desktop and am familiar with it. Even though I use the command line a lot in Desktop, I'm not a CLI expert and going Server means giving up the GUI security blanket. Having said that, this is a case of setting up a simple appliance -- I only have to install Chromium and CDVR and then I'm set. So, I'm playing and taking it slow.

You should also look into installing webmin. It can give you that safety blanket as well. Helps a lot with creating shares and file permissions.


Thanks for the info and tip, but I don't think my use case needs that level of sophistication. It was really simple to get CDVR running on the base 22.04 server installation -- just installed Chromium then CDVR server. That was it: I could connect to the CDVR web interface and SSH into the server to perform updates. Totally anti-climactic.

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The RDP issue isn't Remmina, it's Ubuntu. RDP doesn't work on Ubuntu 22.04 without a monitor plugged in. Its a show stopper for me. I'm amazed how anyone could love Ubuntu with this big in it.

I'm also amazed it hasn't been fixed yet.

My solution was to buy one of those adapters on Amazon that tricks the computer into thinking there's a monitor connected. It forces 1920x1080 when I want 1920x1200, but it works.

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Webmin is AWESOME!!!

Just to wrap up my story. I finally received the HDMI dummy plug ordered (thanks ari_tafari). I reinstalled Ubuntu Desktop 22.04 and with the HDMI plug installed, had no problem establishing an RDP display session to the headless box. Once that was in hand I installed curl, chromium and CDVR server and transferred my CDVR system from my Shield to the ATOPNUC. CDVR runs perfectly on the box under linux and I now expect the couple bugs I experienced running CDVR server on the Shield will disappear. End of story.

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You are welcome. Glad it worked out for you.

One more addition. I was running CDVR from a 1TB USB-3 SSD and everything has been running perfectly on the ATOPNUC under Ubuntu 22.04. I read in the Amazon description that one could install a 2.5" internal HDD in the ATOPNUC but there is no documentation. There are a couple YouTube videos on how to add extra RAM or a larger M.2 SSD.

Turns out it is simple to add a 2.5" HDD to the ATOPNUC. You take the 4 screws out of the base and carefully pop the top off -- CAREFULLY there are 2 thin wires attached between the motherboard and the underside of the top (looks like heat sensors). There is a short SATA&POWER cable attached to the motherboard and screw mounts for a 2.5" HDD on the underside of the top. I put the cable onto a 2.5" SSD and mounted it to the case top with a couple screws. That was it. I popped the top back on and put the 4 screws back in and booted the box.

After formatting the new internal SSD, I transferred over the CDVR system from the UB SSD and pulled the USB drive. Everything works fine and I have a smaller footprint.

This is a really a slick little box for $90 and the perfect box for running CDVR Server.

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I just bought the bullet and got one of these.
Ive never used linux, but id like to gain experience and play around.
I plan on using this as a remote headless server at a relatives home. Im traveling there next week, but preparing as much on the machine at home where i have more tools available.

I also picked up an hdmi dummy plug thanks @kelson and @ari_tafari
Im planning on using vnc but have no experience with ubuntu and dont want to get burned in case i need to trick the graphics controller

I will wipe the os and reinstall @maddox thanks for pointing that out.

Assuming I can get channels dvr installed on this second server, id like to set it up with a spare hdhomerun so that i can tune OTA broadcasts and watch them remotely from my relatives place.

I dont need to be recording on this server, but it would be nice.
I do want to use it to watch OTA broadcasts.

I have a specific use case scenario Im trying to solve.

At my main location with my channels DVR i am behind a cgnat.. i have disabled remote access on that server, and have enabled the cdvr tailscale ip. This has been working fantastic for months.

On my second server in the other location im pretty sure they have port forwarding. Its a cox gateway. I will install tailscale on this server as well just in case.

@tmm1 if i set up this secondary server with remote access and only use it for live viewing, will this cause any issues with channels? Do i need a to set up second account, or can i share my account?

Here are the usage scenarios.

1: when im home channels accesses the main dvr and my clients are all on same network.
2: When im on the road, and i want to access my main dvr i would enable tailscale and access it as i do now by selecting “at home” . Channels seems to “remember” the tailscale ip, can this be changed later (see below)
3: when im home and want to access the remote server for OTA viewing, i would select “away from home” (as long as that gateway has port forwarding )
4: alternatively, if my relatives location is behind a cgnat, i would manually select “at home”, and enter a secondary tailscale ip address. Would this work? Can channels handle two servers running on two different tailscale ip addresses?

Any other potential issues?

And what if i did try and record , even by accident, from the secondary server, would it crash my main database?

For what its worth, i miss my old sling box.

You can do all of this without any problems. It will work better than you expect. Instead of enabling remote on the new server, just enable Tailscale on it. Set it up like a normal dvr with the hdhr. Now you can use custom channel source in your home server and import the m3u playlist from the remote server via Tailscale ip. This will allow you to watch, record, and integrate the remote hdhr channels right in your guide. No need to fiddle with changing servers to watch/record remote hdhr. The remote server relatives can record and they can only see their recordings and you will only see your recordings from your server. Basically two stand alone dvrs that share a single hdhr source.

When setting up I would also add Tailscale to the machine for remote access for administrative and maintenance, in addition to enabling Tailscale within the channel’s settings. Basically you will have two Tailscale ip’s. One for channels and the other for ssh like Termius app and VNC viewer app for remote screen viewing if you go with a desktop Ubuntu version.

Well this is very helpful and hopeful. Thank you for your insight.
I guess i made a mind exercise that was more complicated than it needed to be.

I was planning on installing tailscale on both the channels server via the integration, and another tailscale ip on the bare machine just as you pointed out for remote access.

So i need to install:

Clean Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS desktop
Chromium browser
Some kind of vnc server (any ideas)
Channels dvr

I already have a vnc client on my ipad and iphone for admin access remotely

Anything else?

Once again thank you for making this a little less complicated than it needs to be. Excited to try this out.

Ubuntu desktop has it built in. Once you enable Tailscale on iPhone just use your current vnc app

Also you really wont need vnc much at all. Settings for the remote dvr server can be accessed via browser and Tailscale ip address. Just save a bookmark to your iPad/iPhone home screen next to your Tailscale app icon.

For running updates and maintenance on the Ubuntu machine it’s easier to use cli and ssh with an app like Termius. Vnc is nice to have and worth setting up but as you gain more experience with Linux you will likely use cli and ssh more and more.

Anyone out there run into this “bug/feature”
Its the only hitch ive run into so far. Ive got a clean os installed, tailscale up and running, vnc and ssh working.
Nice little machine. Tomorrow ill install channels dvr on it.

In the meantime if anyone has a better workaround for this keyring issue id love to hear it.

My current workaround:
Ive had to use a blank password for the default keyring to get around this. However this leaves all other passwords stored in the keyring unencrypted..

Not an ideal solution

Here is how I have it set up on all my Ubuntu Desktop 22.04 machines to "fix" the changing RDP password problem when running headless.

  • Use the "Passwords and keys" app to create a new unprotected Password keyring called 'RDP keyring' with a blank password.

  • Unlock the 'Default keyring' and copy the 'GNOME Remote Desktop RDP credentials' entry from the 'Default keyring' to the new 'RDP keyring'.

  • Delete the 'GNOME Remote Desktop RDP credentials' entry from the 'Default keyring'. Now set a password for the 'Default keyring' to protect it and make sure it is still set as the default.

Well i got most of this working. @Rice Thank you for your suggestion regarding using 2 tailscale dvr integrations.

I can see the second dvrs m3u feed, and play the programs from the first dvrs guide.

However, the guide data isnt transfering through the custom channel. im only seeing the “placeholders” for each of the channels

Im probably doing something silly. Have you seen this on your setup?

@tmm1 If i go each dvr server individually by using the newly improved switching mechanism, each dvr has the appropriate guide data.