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Live video streaming with free tools (A Gruesome Orgy Of Yak Shaving!)

Friday 26 January 2018, 17:07

I recently set up my own server for streaming live video over the Web. That was complicated and difficult, and although I found some useful resources on the Web, none of them were complete and many of them were out of date. So here are my notes on what worked, both for my own reference and in the hope they may be useful to others.

Technologies covered here, more or less in order of signal flow from the origin of the video content to the viewer's screen: OBS Studio for generating the video signal; FFmpeg for encoding it; OpenSsh for securely transmitting the signal to the "repeater" machine that serves it to the users; HLS stream formatting; the Apache Web server; and the VideoJS HLS Javascript-based video player for displaying the stream in the viewer's browser.

These notes are current as of late January 2018. Pay attention to the date on these notes or any other information sources about this topic, because the relevant technologies change over time and there's a lot of outdated information out there.

Installing Slackware on a Dell Inspiron i3162-2040

Wednesday 15 November 2017, 12:52

My venerable Asus eeePC netbook finally gave up the ghost, and I replaced it with a Dell Inspiron i3162-2040. Here are some notes on what I had to do to get it up and running with Slackware Linux, both for my own future reference if I ever have to reinstall from scratch, and to help others who may be facing a similar adventure.

Arch installation thoughts

Tuesday 3 April 2012, 20:19

I had a request for some comments on Arch Linux, now that I've been using it a few days, and in particular the question of whether it is easy to install.

Switching to Arch and XFCE

Tuesday 27 March 2012, 12:32

I am, as the title implies, switching my home desktop system from Slackware Linux and KDE to Arch Linux and XFCE. You may see some minor disruptions here (in particular, the astrological chart generator may be down or unreliable) for the next few days. The switch is a pretty big production; I've been using Slackware for most of the last 20 years, and KDE for most of the time I've been using Slackware, and because I've been doing continuous incremental upgrades instead of full reinstalls, some parts of my system actually are that old.

There was no one big annoyance or disaster to make me want to switch, but my dissatisfaction with KDE has been gradually increasing for the last few years, and I decided it would be better to switch in a controlled way when I'm not fighting a fire, rather than wait until some kind of disaster forces me to switch under pressure. I'm still basically satisfied with Slackware, and I could have continued to use it, but I tried doing a similar KDE to XFCE switch on my laptop first to debug the process, and found that doing a complete reinstall of the underlying Linux distribution really makes the desktop change a lot pleasanter. Given that I'm doing a reinstall of the core Linux system, it seems like a good opportunity to also do the switch to Arch, which has some advantages over Slackware.