Archive for January, 2012

Add h264 support to ffmpeg on Ubuntu

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So, I’ve got a handful of Ubuntu machines.  I also have a bigger handful of DVDs.  I’d like to conver the DVDs to easier-to-store videos which can be accessed by MythTV, XBMC, my mobile devices, and whatever else easily.  The best broadly-supported format to do that in is h264-encoded mp4 files.  And DVD::Rip does a nice job of letting me use all 20 or so CPUs I have laying around, rather than limiting me to just one workstation.

Unfortunately, DVD::Rip uses transcode, which uses ffmpeg to do the encoding.  And Ubuntu’s ffmpeg, for whatever reason, lacks h264 support.  There’s a guid to rebuilding it which has you pull down the latest source for all the utilities from CVS, and make new packages which don’t work right and are a pain to maintain.  I, on the other hand, want to just take the Ubuntu package and add one compile-time option, so it’ll still work like the vendor-provided package.  After all, all I ned to do is build the exact same thing with the “–enable-libx264” option.  Here’s how.

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Making BackupPC work on Windows

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So, every time I set up a new Windows system to be backed up with BackupPC, I forget what I need to change.  Thus, a blog entry.

Windows XP:

  • Right-click on a folder somewhere in order to share it.  Probably the C drive.  There’ll be something indicating that file sharing is disabled.  Click through the network wizard thingie to enable file sharing.
  • Create a backup user.  I prefer to call the user backuppc.  Go to the admin tools and “user and groups” to create the user, and put the user in the Backup Operators group.  Set a password, and set the password to never expire + can’t be changed.  Use the same settings for the machine-specific config inside BackupPC.
  • In Administrative Tools, go to the Local Security Policy, and under User Rights Assignments, remove Backup Operators from the “Log On Locally” set (no reason for our remote backup operator to be on the log in screen). Also under Security Options, set “Network Access: Sharing and Security Model for Local Accounts” to “Classic – local users authenticate as themselves”.  The default is to access the machine as a guest after authentication, which is crazy to me (and breaks the ability for backup users to access all files in the C$ share).
  • Other minor things – validate that the firewall is set to allow file sharing services in.


smbclient -U backuppc \\\\yourwindowsmachine\\C\$