Version 0.8.3 by Roberto De Leo


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MoviX is a streaming media-client software, based on a micro-Linux "live CD" distribution.
MoviX2 is basically the same thing but it does use X [so it is larger].
eMovix is a version which can be put on an removal Media together with media files.

MoviX allows you to build up a noiseless streaming media-client box, with CD/VCD/DVD support, TV-card-support, radio-support, slideshow-support, internetradio-support, MPEG-decoder-support, controlled by IR-remote control, mouse or keyboard.

MoviX is containing all the software to boot from

and starts a console menu from which you can play almost every of the audio/video files. The MoviX menu is written in Perl [easy to develope and customize]. Moreover, it supports TV-out for ATI, Matrox, NVidia, CastleRock, Savage and Trident cards. The MoviX menu is available in English, Italian, German, Polish, Portuguese and Russian. To set your favorite language you have to boot with the boot arg LANGUAGE=xx where 'xx' is the code of the country (e.g. "it" for Italy). Of course you don't have to use any boot arguments for English :-) To start with mplayer see start parameters. For bugfixes see News.

MoviX supported formats are all formats supported by mplayer <>, most noticeably DivX (not included because of legal matter), xVID and QuickTime but more in general any DVD, VCD, AudioCD, avi, mpeg, ogm, wmv, asf, fli and a few others. BTW, MPlayer reads also mp3 & ogg/vorbis files, so you can also use it to play music. Thanks to the 'fbi' application is also possible visualize the following images format: PhotoCD, jpeg, ppm, gif, tiff, xwd, bmp and png. MPlayer supports playlists so you can also use it to play in the order you want any number of audio/video files.

All relevant MoviX configuration files and scripts are in the src/movix folder from where will be automatically loaded in RAM at boot time, so if you want to make any change to them it is necessary to change those files on your boot device. If you make some nice improvement please let me have a patch!

MoviX Components

MoviX is all made from software already available on the net. Here is a list of the main packages I used:

  syslinux v2.08       <>
  bootsplash 3.0.7     <>
  linux kernel v2.4.22 <>
  slackware v8.1       <>
  mplayer v0.92        <>  
  fbi v1.28            <>
  Perl 5.8.0           <>
  Curses-UI 0.76_01    <>
  BusyBox 0.60.5       <>
  ALSA 1.0.0rc2        <>

All I did is just put these pieces of software together. From the Slackware CD, that uses SysLinux to boot, I extracted the ramdisk that I slightly modified getting rid of a lot of unneeded files and adding all possible audio modules for kernel v2.4.22 and of course the MPlayer. The menu has been written all in Perl using the nice Curses::UI module made by Maurice Makaay (now mantained by Marcus Thiesen).


The only thing you need to use MoviX is a software package to produce the bootable isoimage and one to burn the image on CD. On both Linux and M$ Window$ you can use mkisofs & cdrecord, that you can get from

Working copies of mkisofs.exe and cdrecord.exe are included in the file packaged by Christophe Paris and available for download in the usual MoviX download page

Window$ users may be interested in downloading the Win32 MoviX setup installer packaged by Clovis Sena ( that allow to build very easily MoviX ISO images to be burned later on CD with cdrecord, Nero or similar software.
There are also different Win32 setup packages recently built by Kangur, you can get them at
Of course it does not matter with which application you write the image on the CD, but you cannot make the iso image in the usual easy way because you want it to become bootable.

CPU: Only x86 compatible are supported, and only >= i586. It should be a P233 or larger. Depending of the CPU, a additional MPEG Decoder card, the videotype and size and the Network speed, the smooth playing of a streaming video is well. Keep in mind that everyone of the items can cause framedrops if to small.
Usually a 10 Mbit Lan, a 600 Mhz CPU, without MPEG Decoder card, can play a divx-video
640x480x16 well.
RAM: MoviX needs at least 64MB but it may work even with as low as 32MB if you have a Linux swap partition with >=32MB on your HDD.

NOTE: in order to keep MoviX working with as few as 64MB a few features may be automatically disabled by the movix script, namely:

Thanks to Marcus Thiesen, current mantainer of the Curses::UI package, finally MoviX supports mice!!!
Mice support is a new thing for MoviX and therefore do not get surprised if you meet problems with it, but most likely standard USB and PS2 mice should work fine. If you have a serial mouse then you most likely will have to use the boot arg 'MOUSE=serial'. WARNING: currently there is no way to have at the same time a remote and a mouse working at the same time.

All IDE controllers are supported. All SCSI controllers supported by kernel 2.4.22 are also supported. Be aware that some new IDE controller is known to be unsupported (e.g. SATA controller on Abit NF7-S MB) and this may cause MoviX to
fail booting.

It is not easy to say on which video cards MoviX will work. Cards brand that are generally known to work are:

but it is likely that the majority of video cards will work fine. Thanks to the kind donation of a H+ card by Ulrich Gierschner, I finally managed to produce working modules fot the DXR3/Hollywood+ cards. BTW, if you use the "aa" mplayer driver then MoviX should work no matter which card do you have. Ok, it is ASCII visualization but, what the hell, it works! :-) If your video card works with MoviX please let me know so that I can start writing a database of cards known to work.

DXR3 modules ( are not yet able to autodetect the specific chipsets used in the card (apparently there are many different combinations) so it is likely that your card won't work with the standard settings.
In this case go in the Edit->DXR3 menu and try different combinations of the parameters until your card is able to visualize anything. If nothing works drop me a note.

MoviX makes use of the ALSA sound drivers. A complete list of all supported cards with detailed info on each of them is available form the ALSA home page at
In case your card has problems with ALSA, you can still try the old OSS modules using the "OSS=y" option at the boot [after a very nice patch by William Daniau]. If you have more than one card on your PC, you can choose the one you want with the "AUDIO=n" boot arg, where n=1,2,... [0 is the default value]. Unfortunately there is no way to know which number will be assigned to each card so you'll have to make experiments :-)

If you don't get any audio from your digital output (SP/DIF), you can activate it through the mixer unmuting by hand the
digital audio channel (usually called 'IEC958 Output' or something similar). Just by pressing the 'm' key to mute/unmute a channel. You are advised to mute the PCM channel since you may get loud noises from the analog output while the digital channel is on!

If you have an ISA card, it may fail to be automatically detected. In this case try first of all to use the "DETECT=all" boot argument to let the system try all possible audio modules available. If you are brave enough :-) , you can boot with the "AUDIO=n" boot arg (so that audio is not loaded at all) and try to load by hand the right driver with "modprobe".
If nothing works, drop me a note and cross your fingers :-)

All cards supported by kernel 2.4.22 are supported.

Remotes support has been improved in this version. Tested working remotes are:

  1. Hauppauge remotes bundled with TV cards
  2. AS T Logitech serial remote
  3. Pinnacle PCTV (41 keys)
  4. Hauppauge serial remotes
  5. Abit - Tecram IR-mate 210
  6. Sigma RealMagic
  7. Grundig serial remote
  8. Kingman serial remote
  9. Toshiba remote

To make new remotes work with MoviX, a line must be added to the src/movix/ listing the model, the driver name, the device that lircd uses with it and the kernel modules needed to be loaded. This is necessary because unfortunately some serial remote uses the standard Linux serial driver while other serial remotes use the lirc's own serial driver and so on.

If you have a remote working on your Linux box, please help the project support new remotes sending directly to me or in the movix forums all data needed to activate your remote!

All relevant USB devices supported by the 2.4.22 kernel should be automatically used by the system.

All relevant FireWire devices supported by the 2.4.22 kernel should be automatically used by the system.

Installing MoviX on a CD

ISO package
Usually a few days after a new version is out I upload a .zip file containing a ready-to-be-burned bootable MoviX ISO image, so if you are particularly lazy you can get that and skip the rest of this section **unless you want to make any change to the standard settings** It is possible that you may modify the stabdard ISO package with the win32 utility WinISO ( The application is not open but it is free to us it to modify small ISOs.

Win32 Setup
Thanks to Clovis Sena & Kangur, all MoviX distros have now a Win32 installation file, so if you are a WinXX user you may use that file to create a customized ISO image and skip the rest of this section. You can get these packages in the usual MoviX download directory and at

Thanks to Pascal Giard there is now a GNU/Linux Perl GTK+/Gnome/GladeXML interface to help you create customized ISO images for [e]MoviX[2] in secs!

New MoviXMaker packages are available at

Custom setup for Win & Lin OS
If you are not familiar with the procedures to create a bootable CD, below you get step-by-step instructions for Linux & M$ Window$.

0. Let's assume your untarred MoviX package is in /usr/local/movix-0.8.1rc2/

  1. cd in the "/usr/local/movix-0.8.1rc2/" folder :-)
  2. There are a few packages you may want to download (I stopped including them in this package to make it as small as possible, but they are present in the ISO package).
     To "install" the packages, all you have to do is copying the archives in 
     the src/mplayer/codecs directory. 
     Do not unpack the files, just copy the whole archive(s) you want to use.

     Here is the list:
      - Win32 codecs
      - QuickTime6 DLLs
      - RealPlayer9 codecs
      - RealPlayer Win32 codecs
      - XAnim DLLs   

  3. If you want to be able to play your DVDs, you probably need to include the
     libdvdcss library.

     DISCLAIMER: the libdvdcss library makes use of the DeCSS algorithm, 
     that has been declared illegal in some country (e.g. USA and Germany),
     so before adding it I suggest you to make sure it is ok to use it 
     in your country.  I am in no way responsible of what you put in your MoviX version.

     Because of the extremely unclear status of the legal matters about DeCSS 
     I can't even provide a link for those who legitimally can make use of it, 
     but nevertheless all you should do is going in your favorite search engine,  
     look for the package named libdvdcss-1.2.6-1.i386.rpm and copy that package 
     in the src/movix dir. (

  4. If you speak french, italian or spanish you may replace all txt files 
     of the src/isolinux directory with the corresponding files of the 
     boot-messages/fr or boot-messages/it or boot-messages/es directories.

  5. If you know what you are doing, feel free to modify the configuration files
     in src/movix :-)

6. Create the .iso file running


or in Windows:


     depending on the degree of Micro$oft-ness of your OS :-)
     The scripts output the iso image in /tmp/movix.iso or
     c:\temp\movix.iso respectively. 
     Edit the scripts if you want to change this setting.

  7. Write the iso image with any package you like. 
     E.g. with cdrecord you'd write something like:

     cdrecord dev=0,0 -v -eject /tmp/movix.iso

If everything went fine, the CD you produced should be a bootable CD and it will automatically boot and start the MoviX menu. NOTE: if you are a window$ user, you probably want to use Christofe Paris scripts! Read above about how to get them.

Installing MoviX on a HD partition

There are two ways you can install MoviX on a HD: you can either install MoviX in a partition all by itself ("MoviX partition") or, if you do not have any empty partition, you can install MoviX within a Linux or Windows partition.

When MoviX is installed in a "MoviX partition" or in a Linux partition then you can boot MoviX directly from your bootloader (e.g. LILO, Grub or the WinXP boot loader), or in other words you can boot directly your PC in MoviX without passing through another OS.
When MoviX is installed in a Windows partition instead then you have to boot first with DOS or Windows and use LOADIN.EXE to switch to MoviX. Read below for all details.

MoviX partitions
If you have a partition you want to dedicate to MoviX (e.g. a spare old HD) then you can install automatically MoviX in it by using the '' script in the 3rd console.

The '' script is not able to partition or format your HD so be sure to have at least a formatted partition in your HD. Since MoviX uses the syslinux package to boot from HD, MoviX partitions *must* be formatted in FAT16 format (the new FAT32 format used by Win98 will not work).

The simplest case is when you have a HD you want to dedicate to MoviX: in this case you can use a single partition for the whole HD and the '' script will make the HD bootable.

If you install MoviX on a HD where other OS are installed then '' will make that partition bootable and you will have to add a line to your bootloader config file as if the MoviX partition were a DOS partition. I tested this with LILO (the LInux LOader) and it works fine, if you test it with the WinXP bootloader pls post a sample config file in the MoviX Help Forum!

Linux partitions
If you have a Linux box installed on your PC, chances are you use LILO as a boot loader.
Starting from v0.8.1pre1 MoviX is able to boot from HD with LILO if you append to your /etc/lilo.conf file an entry similar to the one you can find inside the package file extras/hd/linux/lilo.conf.movix

All you have to do is copying the content of the 'src' directory of this package in some directory, e.g. under /movix/, and adjust accordingly the lilo.conf.movix 'image=' and 'initrd=' entries.

Moreover, you should modify the variables MD, MP and MF so that they contain respectively the hd number [0 = 1st disc of the primary IDE channel and so on] and the partition number corresponding to the partition containing the movix folder and the actual name you chose for the movix folder [if you called it /movix/ you don't even need to modify MF at all].

Thanks to Balazs Barany now there is also a grub.conf.movix sample equivalent of the lilo.conf.movix file for those of you grub-lovers.

Windows partitions
To boot MoviX from WinXX you need the loadlin package by Hans Lermen ( Since the loadlin.exe binary is very small I included it in this package inside the extras/hd/windows/ folder.

All you have to do is copying the loadlin.exe file in some directory included in your PATH (e.g. in c:\windows\command), copying the content of the 'src' directory of this package in some directory, e.g. in c:\movix, moving the extras/hd/windows/wininit.gz file in the c:\movix folder and copying somewhere, say in c:\movix, the extras/hd/windows/movix.par file (give a look to the file to verify that the data inside it correspond to your setup!).

At this point, boot your PC in DOS mode, open a MS-DOS prompt shell, cd in the c:\movix folder and run the command

c:\>loadlin @movix.par

Booting MoviX from the Net

It is not clear whether this feature is really useful but I used it to test MoviX on a discless EPIA board and so why not to explain how to do it? :-)

0. a PC with a NIC where to boot MoviX ;-)

  1. a dhcp server [look in extras/net for a very simple dhcpd.conf sample]
  2. a tftp server [I use the hpa tftp server:]
  3. a nfs server [you need to export the server movix dir]
  4. the pxelinux.0 from the SysLinux distro (included inside extras/net of this package) if you have a PXE compliant NIC or a initrd.nb file (read below how to generate it) if your card is not PXE compliant
  5. a file called 'default' where the boot options will be kept - you will find
    a sample copy of it as extras/net/default in the movix tarball

0. create the /tftpboot dir and run the tftp server so that it serves files from there

**WARNING**: tftp daemons can be run in two ways: in one they *need* an absolute path of the packages to download; in the other they *need* a relative path, relative with respect to the base dir specified, e.g., in the command line. THIS MEANS that you *have* to use either an absolute or a relative path for the 'filename' field in dhcpd.conf according to how your tftpd is configured!

  1. create a /tftpboot/movix directory and copy there the contents of the 'src' dir of this package
  2. create a /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg directory and copy there the extras/net/default file
  3. start your daemons, boot your client and cross your fingers ;-)

Creating a initrd.nb image to boot from the net

You do not need this if you are lucky enough to have a PXE compliant NIC. If you don't but you have a linux installation then follow this short instructions:

0. go to the and get a bootable floppy image

for your NIC (you'll find instructions there on how to do that)

  1. download & install the latest mknbi package from the web site
  2. use the included script to produce an initrd.nb
  3. set up everything as explained in the previous section using in the dhcpd.conf file the line relative to the .nb image rather than the the pxelinux.0 one
  4. boot your client from the rom-o-matic floppy you prepared

Booting MoviX from the Net with TFTP

Setting up a NFS is the easiest solution but you may not like it for security reasons (even though a firewall may fix these problems) or simply because your server is not Unix. In this case you can still boot MoviX thanks to a patch by Balazs Barany! All you have to do is following the instructions above and then:

a. create a tarball with just the dirs movix and mplayer (e.g. "tar -cvzf mymovix.tgz movix mplayer") NOTE that the tarball *must* contain the 'movix' and 'mplayer' dirs in its root.
b. put the tarball somewhere under the /tftpboot directory (e.g. /tftpboot/movix/mymovix.tgz)
c. add the boot arg 'MD=/tftpboot/movix/mymovix.tgz' to all boot labels in the 'default' file

WARNING: for the variable 'MD' it holds the same warning made above for the 'filename' dhcpd field: the path must be either absolute or relative according to how your tftp server is configured! At the boot the MoviX scripts should be able to find the tarball, download it and untar it.

Booting MoviX from the Net from a Windows TFTP server (PXE)


  1. Get latest MoviX 'Source .gz' package (
  2. Get TFTP software (
  3. Get Cygwin for gzip and tar commands (

Setting up TFTP

  1. Unzip the software to a directory (e.g. 'TFTP')
  2. Start the application ('tftpd32.exe')
  3. Click on settings (bottom) and set
  4. Configure DHCP settings on the 'DHCP server' tab

Setting up the TFTP files and directories

  1. Copy files from Movix directory 'extras/net' to new TFTP directory 'pxelinux.cfg'
  2. Additionally copy 'extras/net/pxelinux.0' directly to TFTP root
  3. Copy directories from Movix directory 'src' to new TFTP directory 'movix'
  4. Edit file 'TFTP/movix/isolinux/movix.msg' with Wordpad and add the full path, so the content should look like '[strange character]movix/isolinux/movix.lss'
  5. Do the samt to 'TFTP/pxelinux.cfg/movix.msg'
  6. Zip and tar the movix directory, Cygwin example:
  7. Add the full paths to the boot options in 'TFTP/pxelinux.cfg/default' and set the IP to your DHCP servers IP, e.g. the first option should look like this:
  8. Edit files 'movix/isolinux/movix.msg' and 'pxelinux.cfg/movix.msg' to add the full path there: '[strange character]movix/isolinux/movix.lss'

    label MoviX
    kernel movix/isolinux/kernel/vmlinuz
    append initrd=movix/isolinux/initrd.gz ramdisk_size=13000 rw root=/dev/ram0 LABEL=MoviX video=vesa:ywrap,mtrr vga=0x314 MEDIA=net MS= MD=movix/movix.tgz

Now the directory structure should look like this:



Boot up your PC and enjoy... ;-)

Installing MoviX on USB Pens & CompactFlash cards

Starting from this release, a script has been added to let you install MoviX on your USB pen or CompactFlash card with no hassles. MoviX distro size varies from ~20MB to ~30MB depending on how many codecs you decide to include in the src/mplayer/codecs directory, so you need for it a USB pen/CompactFlash card with >=32MB. You can install MoviX simply going in the 3rd console and running the script

If you still prefer to do everything by hand, in next two sections you'll find the instructions to install the MoviX files by hand.

Installing MoviX on a CompactFlash card

Starting from MoviX 0.8.1pre1 it is possible to install MoviX on Compact Flash cards. The installation procedure differs slightly according to whether the card is connected to the PC through an IDE interface or a USB one. In the last case, follow these instruction and then go ahead and follow also the ones in the next section ("Booting from a USB pen").

Making the card bootable
You need to use SysLinux to make a card bootable. You can get the SysLinux package from It contains the syslinux executables for both Linux and WinXX.

Linux Instructions
To make bootable your card, just run

syslinux /dev/XXX

where XXX is the card partition [not the device! For example, if the card device is /dev/sda then the partition is /dev/sda1].

Windows Instructions
I don't know for sure, but I think that it should be something like

syslinux X:

where X is the device letter associated to the card. If you try it out please report!

Copying the right files in the right place

1. mount the card with something like: [don't need to do that in DOS ;-) ]

mount /dev/sda /mnt -t vfat

2. copy the extras/flash/syslinux.cfg file in the flash card
3. edit the card syslinux.cfg and change the MD variable so that it

      corresponds to the flash card number as an IDE device [e.g. if you have 
      two IDE HDs then Linux will see your card as IDE device 2, while if you 
      have no HD then the flash card IDE device will be 0].

4. create a 'movix' directory in /mnt with

mkdir /mnt/movix

and copy all 'src' files there with

cp -R src/* /mnt/movix/

5. move a few files in the flash card root:

mv /mnt/movix/isolinux/kernel/vmlinuz \
/mnt/movix/isolinux/initrd.gz \
/mnt/movix/isolinux/*txt \
/mnt/movix/isolinux/mov* \

8. now you can boot from the flash card and enjoy ;-)

Installing MoviX on a USB pen

Starting from version 0.8.1pre1, MoviX is finally able to boot from USB pens! These same instructions are also good [I hope!] for booting a CompactFlash card from a USB interface.

The instructions to install MoviX on a USB pen are the same as for a CompactFlash card except for the fact that to boot from a USB pen (or CompactFlash card with USB interface) you have to use the extras/usb/syslinux.cfg file rather than the one found on the extras/flash/ folder.

Booting from USB though requires sometimes some extra wizardry. I myself have been able to boot my EPIA M-10k from my USB stick only after Pascal Giard sent me this very precious link I suggest you to read carefully:

The main info I extracted from there is that on some MB you have to enable the USB Keyboard support in your BIOS or no USB will be able to boot, and moreover that it is better to insert the USB device when the PC in not only turned off but also unplugged or the BIOS may not detect its presence and so it won't be able to boot.

Following these directions i was able to boot from EPIA board (very slowly unfortunately because he has a USB 1.1 pen). But we didn't succeed with other MBs that, in principle, are supposed to boot from USB devices (Roberto: Asus A7V-E, Pascal: Asus A7V-X), so do not expect 100% chance of succeding: evidently USB boot is not very mature yet.

There's an easy way to bypass all this: the next MoviX boot floppy will be able to look for USB devices and boot from them, so if your BIOS won't let you boot the good ol' floppy will fix this :-) Pls report any suggestion or success/failure about USB boot!

Start Parameters

While booting MoviX you have several Start Parameters: Keep in mind, that the syntax "MoviX ..." must be used.

boot: MoviX ACCEL=no AUDIO=1 REMOTE=logitech

Boot with the default label, do not rescale the video, use the second audio card and a Logitech remote:

BOOT Parameters
MoviX This is the default label and should be able to select automatically the best mplayer options for you video card. It makes use of the SuperVesaFB driver and will let you change resolution "on the fly".
Fixed-resolution vesaFB modes. Try this if the default label give you a blank screen.
FB This uses the Linux FrameBuffer driver specific for your card (if any). It is usually faster than the generic fb above but it works on fewer cards.
vesa This driver should work with most cards around but most likely the MoviX menu will mess up soon and you'll have to reboot often. Use it as a last resource.
TV TV Using this option, the code needed to activate your card TV-out is automatically used by the script. Supported cards are Ati, Matrox, NVidia, S3 Savage and Trident. Probably also Voodoo and other cards work but I do not know, so let me have some feedback!
NVidiaTV This is a label like TV, but it's especially meant for NVidia cards. Please give us feedback if it doesn't work with your card.

The cle266 chipset is automatically dedected. To boot with a label different from the default one, just write the label at the boot prompt and press ENTER. There are also three extra labels that can be useful too when you forget a MoviX CD in your drive:
hd disables the CD and boot from the HD
floppy disables the CD and boot from the Floppy
SLOW=n CD/DVD drives are now slowed down by default to reduce thei noise use 'SLOW=n' at the boot if you experience boot problems

Thanks a lot to Christophe Paris for this nice suggestion, I use it many times a day.

There are also a few boot parameters you can use:
acpi=off Turn off ACPI support. ACPI is a PowerManagement software especially useful on laptops to avoid discharging your battery in just a few minutes. HOWEVER ACPI is still buggy and IT IS KNOWN TO HANG the boot on some machine, so if you can't boot your MoviX copy try first of all to turn off the ACPI. KNOWN BUG: owners of VIA MBs MUST turn ACPI off or most likely nothing will work!!!
MOUNT=n Do not let the movix script to mount your HD partitions.
DMA=n Do not try to activate DMA on CD drives. Use this if during the boot process your CD seems to cause a mess of error messages.


Force MoviX to use hardware, software or no rescaling.
DETECT=all Use the old hw detection method, i.e. try all possible modules until the right ones are found. Use this if your audio card is not detected by the default method.
OSS=y Use OSS audio modules instead of the new ALSA (use this if your audio card is not detected even with DETECT=all)


If you have more than one card and get no audio from your speakers, then probably MoviX choose the wrong one. Try "AUDIO=1" to use your second card and so on. Use "AUDIO=n" to skip audio autodetection if you need to load audio modules by hand.(0=first card)
USB=n Do not activate USB support.
LANGUAGE=it Set the menu language. It works for: it, de, po, pt, ru, en is default.


Set keyboard layout to either one of: de, es, fr, hu, it, nl, no, pt, po, ru, us (default)
IEEE1394=n Do not activate IEEE1394 support
REGION=NTSC Either one of: NTSC, NTSC-J, PAL, PAL-B, PAL-M, PAL-NC, PAL-60, PAL-M60 or SECAM. This is needed if you use the "TV" boot label unless you have an Ati card.
Specify your TV card type if autodetect fails (0=first card)


Specify your TV tuner type if autodetect fails Check for a complete list of cards & tuners. (0=first card).
SCSI=tmscsim Force MoviX to load the SCSI module.o module (e.g. "SCSI=tmscsim")
REMOTE=hauppauge REMOTE <model> Tell MoviX to initialize your remote. Models currently supported: hauppauge - TV card Hauppauge remotes haupserial - Hauppauge serial remotes hauppauge2 - Hauppauge serial remotes logitech - Logitech serial remotes pctv - Pinnacle serial remotes abit - Tecram IR-mate 210
MENU=mplayer Start automatically the MPlayer menu after the boot.
splash=verbose Do not hide kernel boot messages.
TELNET=y Turn on the movix telnet daemon at boot time WARNING: this is a security hazard, usi it only in within a secure network since everybody will be able to log as root on your PC!
IP=<> Set your IP number by hand (pointless if there's a DHCP server in your network)
DNS=<> Set your DNS IP number by hand (set to GW if omitted) (pointless if there's a DHCP server in your network)
GW=<> Set your Gateway IP number by hand (pointless if there's a DHCP server in your network)
splash=verbose Do not hide kernel boot messages. (or press ALT-F2/ALT-F3 while booting)


Customizing the default boot parameters

Boot Label:
If you want to boot by default with a boot label different from MoviX then you should edit the src/isolinux/isolinux.cfg file and modify its very first line.

Boot Arguments:
If you use often certain boot arguments, you can avoid having to digit them at every boot writing a file called 'bootrc' containing all your args one per line and putting the file in the src/movix/ directory. E.g. if you use always "ACCEL=no AUDIO=1 REMOTE=logitech KB=it" then you can use the following file:

<--------- bootrc sample -------------------->


< ----- end of bootrc sample ---------------->

Boot args passed at the boot prompt have higher priority than the ones written in the bootrc files, so in the few cases you don't want your default options you have a way to override them.

Configuration File

Starting from MoviX 0.8.0, it is possible to load/save from/to floppy a movix configuration file containing all possible parameters that you can set from the MoviX menu.

The name of this file is 'movixrc'.
Writing it by hand is not trivial and it is highly discouraged. The best way to generate is using the "Edit->Save config" menu of MoviX: once you find your favorite configuration, save it on a floppy and either use the floppy every time to load the config file using the "Edit->Load config" menu or burn a new MoviX CD after putting the movixrc in the src/movix/ directory. This way, the movixrc file will be automatically loaded at boot time by the movix scripts.

You can also save audio mixer settings to floppy in the same way you save movixrc. To load automatically this settings when MoviX start, just put asound.state from the foppy (or your favorite GNU/Linux distro) in src/movix/ and burn a new MoviX CD.

BEWARE: if you use such a "customized" MoviX CD in a different PC, remember to remove the movixrc using the "Edit->Remove config" menu or there will be an inconsistency between MoviX config data and the actual Hardware of the PC and therefore much likely MoviX won't be able to do much.

MoviX Menu

If the menu starts, you can safely remove the MoviX CD and use the console menu to load&play any DVD/VCD/Audio CD/file you want.

DVDs: IMPORTANT DVD NEWS *** Because of the DeCSS legal problems, no MoviX distro can read crypted DVDs unless you add by your own the library to the distro. Read above what to do if in your country is legal to use the DeCSS algorithm.

Starting from v0.8.0, thanks to a very nice patch by Max Weninger, the DVD menu will automatically look for the movie track among the [usually many] DVD tracks and will at the same time fill the "DVD tracks" menu with a list of all tracks available. All audio and subtitles available languages will be also shown so that you can choose your favorite ones.
To avoid having to chosse over and over the same audio/subs language you can set default ones in the "Edit->DVD" menu. Moreover, the "Play->DVD" selection will automatically play the longest DVD track, usually the one you want to see :-)

The same DVD mechanism has been imported to VCDs/XCDs/AudioCDs, so that now after loading their TOC you can choose which track to play.

CDs/HD Partitions
Starting from MoviX 0.8.0, it is possible to play the whole content of a CD/HD Partition with the "Play->CD" and "Play->Partition" selections. Using this options, the movix script will automatically search the drive or partition for audio/video files and will play them all as a playlist. Once the playlist starts, you can use the MPlayer menu [see below] to navigate through the audio/video files contained in the drive/partition.

Starting from MoviX 0.8.1pre2, this option allows to visualize all images under some directory chosen by you. A Dirbrowser menu will let you choose a dir and each picture file under it will be visualized by the 'fbi' binary with a temporal distance of 5 seconds. Starting from MoviX 0.8.1rc1, the following checkboxes appear in the Dirbrowser window:

  1. Random: Shuffle the files before playing them
  2. No subdirs: Do not play files contained in subdirectories (by default the system will look recursively in all subirs)
  3. Loop: Play all files in an infinite loop

Put in a Number -> to go direct to an image.

SlideShow background music
If you want to have some music in the background, choose the first option of the Play->SlideShow menu and select any audio-only file. That file will be automatically played in the background on any SlideShow until you will select "use no bkgd" from the same dialog window.

Playing Files
Starting from MoviX 0.8.0, when you choose a file in a folder containing subs and no sub file with the same name is found, then an extra file chooser will automatically appear to let you choose a subtitle [just press <Cancel> if you don't want any].

MPlayer menu
The MPlayer binary contained in MoviX is compiled with support for the new neat "menu" feature of mplayer: pressing "m" while mplayer is showing any video you should be able to access mplayer's native menu and navigate mplayer options directly from inside mplayer! This menu is also accessible from the MoviX menu presssing 'F4' or by a remote control.
NOTE that MoviX can also boot automatically in 'MPlayer menu' mode if you use the boot arg 'MENU=mplayer'.

There are 3 consoles active, you can choose which one to go pressing ALT-F<n>, where n can be 1, 2 or 3.

console 1 (default): is the one with the MoviX menu. When/if MoviX menu crashes, it is restarted automatically so you don't have anymore to launch the "movix" command. If you need a shell go to console 3.
console 2: here you find the alsamixer, in case the mplayer volume keys do not raise the volume enough or if you want to adjust bass/treble or other things.
console 3: here you'll find a shell in case you want to run anything [like nvtv].

If you find the volume too low even when mplayer's volume is at its maximum value, just change console with ALT-F2, set all volumes with alsamixer and go back to the original console with ALT-F1.

You can play video/audio playlists with mplayer opening them through the Play->File menu.
The mplayer included in this version is able to use playlists with the following extensions: pls, m3u, asx, txt, list.

If you have an ethernet card then MoviX will automatically try to use its dhcp client (the 'pump' binary) to connect to a dhcp daemon; in other words, the DHCP boot arg is not needed anymore.

If you are not connected to any DHCP server then you can configure by hand your card setting the LAN parameters from the "Edit->MoviX Options" menu

After that you can either enter an URL through the Play->URL menu or use a playlist you load from a CD or a HD partition through the Play->File menu. I included two examples called hardhouse56k.pls and hardtrance56k.pls [thanks to Richard Didd for these playlists!] in the movix dir of the MoviX CD.

Net volumes
You can also mount remote nfs or samba [e.g. windows partitions] volumes accessing to the mount menu from the Play->Net menu.

After you mounted the volume, it should automagically appear in the partition list and that way you can play any audio/video file from it like if it was on your machine.

Internet Radios
Starting from version 0.8.1rc2, under the Play->Net menu you will find two submenus for SHOUTcast ( and ICEcast ( radios.

After selecting a genre, movix will download all related stations (up to a maximum of 20) and will start playing the first one by default.
To access the other stations use either the keys '<' and '>' or the 'Jump to' function of the MPlayer menu.

Subtitles character sets
You can select/change the MPlayer character set and its properties from the Edit->Subtitles menu.

Adding Subtitles character sets
To add a new character set to the MoviX ones, just add a new TrueType file (lower-cased!) or a MPlayer fonts dir under the src/mplayer/mplayer-fonts dir. The new set will be automatically added by the script to the subs font list.
If you want to use it as default, just set it as default in the movixrc configuration file in the way explained above.

MoviX Menu fonts size
Starting from this version, you can select/change the MoviX menu font size from the Edit->MoviX menu.
This is particularly helpful when you use the TV-out, in which case you want to maximize the font size, or when you want to use the ASCII output, in which case you want to minimize the fonts size.

Finally an Edit->TV menu is available and can be used to choose your country's Chanlist and/or your area's channels. Up to now the only local channels list available are the ones of my area, namely the island of Sardinia (Italy). Just send me your own area's to have them added to the distro!

The format of the local area channels is the xawtv format, and to generate it it is enough using the 'scantv' utility under Linux as explained by Balazs in the following forum thread:

I included in MoviX the Balazs script that converts the widely used (under Unix) xawtv format in the MPlayer's one, so that to add your own channels it is enough adding a xawtv file in the src/mplayer/tv_channels/ directory, burning a new CD and select the new list from the Edit->TV menu.


The program 'scantv' is now available in MoviX. You can use it to generate your own xawtv channel file going in the 3rd console and running something like the following:

scantv -o mychannels.xawtv

Once you have the file, you can give it a try copying it under /tmp/tv_channels/
and restarting (not rebooting!) the MoviX menu and choosing your new file from the Edit->TV menu.
If the file works fine post it on the MoviX 'help' forum and it will soon be included in the distro.

Piloting the MoviX menu from remote computer

For several reasons it may turn out to be useful to access a 'MoviX PC' from a second PC.
You can do this booting the 'MoviX PC' using the boot arg 'TELNET=y' and logging as root (just press RETURN at the password propmpt from the second PC using any 'telnet' application.


Doing this is of course **extremely** dangerous if you do it in some open network since anybody can log on your machine as root and destroy all your data!!! Currently it is meant only to be used in closed 1-1 networks; running it elsewhere you use it at your own (high) risk.

Automatic mount of Net volumes

If you happen to mount the same few net volumes every time you boot the system with MoviX, you can make MoviX mount them automatically at the boot just filling up two files and burning a new MoviX CD with them inside.

The files are found in src/movix/nfsVolumes and sambaVolumes and contain self-explanatory examples that should be enough for you to understand how to add your ones.

Customizing the MPlayer menu background image

The background you see while playing music or when you switch to the MPlayer menu pressing F4 is simply an audioless avi. In the new 'background' dir you'll find a few possible replacement for the default file.
Currently the following ones are included:
1. coresis.avi - The very first bkgd used in MoviX
2. black.avi - A totally black bkgd for discreet people :-)
3. dxr3.avi - An example of bkgd that may be useful for DXR3/H+ users since it contains a list of relevant MPlayer keys.

To use them, simply replace the default file included in the src/movix/ dir with your favorite one. Thanks to Balazs Barany, you can now also produce very easily an avi bkgd from your favorite picture through his simple Web form at the address . If you want to replace it with your own background you have just to replace the file src/movix/ with your own.

There are shortcuts 'd','v','a','c' to MPlayer to play respective DVD,VCD,ACD,CD from the first drive. This can be useful for DXR3/H+ users with slow CPUs since the menu uses way too many resources.
There is also added Prefs->Aspect menu to MPlayer to allow dynamic selection of the screen size (BEWARE: does not work with the 'fbdev' vo driver unless ':vidix' is also used [i.e. with ATI or Matrox cards, not cle266])

Eventually it will be possible to do that through some web page, so stay tuned!

Customizing the MoviX menu background image

You can replace the standard mega-penguin MoviX menu background with any picture you wish.
Assuming you use MoviX at 800x600 you must do the following:

0. use some app (e.g. gimp) to rescale your pict to 800x600 and

save it in jpg format

  1. overwrite the file src/movix/bootsplash/bootsplash-800x600.jpg with your jpg
  2. burn a new MoviX CD :-)

If you want to replace the background at each rez, just repeat this operation for all rez supported (just give a look to src/movix/bootsplash/). Of course you can use different picts at each rez if you like!

Save parameters

After customizing your MoviX configuration you can save it on your boot device with Edit-> Save configuration.

Using the MoviX menu with a remote control

Starting from v0.8.0rc2 thanks to the blackkane suggestions in the Help Forum the MoviX menu can be controlled through a remote. Here's a list of the remote keys currently supported (for hauppauge remote):

VOL+ -> right arrow
VOL- -> left arrow
CH+ -> up arrow
CH- -> down arrow
TV -> Escape

The Escape key is particularly useful to bring the menu to its starting status. KNOWN BUG: for some reason at the first start the MoviX menu piloted by irpty fails setting the right size, but this may be a problem only in case you need to use a filechooser.
Nevertheless, it is enough to restart the interface with using the Quit->restart option to restore the normal status. Using the menu with a remote is well worth this little bug, but of course I hope it will be fixed soon.


TV-out should work fine on all Ati, Matrox, NVidia and S3 Savage video cards. EPIA-Boards TV-out from CLE266 cards are also supported. It is likely that it will work also with other cards, like for example with the Voodoo cards, but I am not 100% sure about that. If you manage to use the TV-out with other cards please let us know.

The simplest way to use TV-out is:

Following this procedure, most video cards will activate TV-out automatically.

Ascii Art

MPlayer allows you also to watch a movie encoded in ASCII characters thanks to the nice AA-lib ( Unfortunately watching a movie using the "aa" driver messes up the screen so after watching a video you have to close the MoviX menu and restart it launching the "movix" command.

Supported Audio/Video formats

I am not at all an expert in this so I cannot be very precise about this. All I know is that you should be able to play most of the DivX files around and more in general any AVI, MPG file, QUICKTIME, ASF and WMV should be ok. About video files, all MP3 and OGG/VORBIS files should work.

If you have examples of such files not working with MoviX please let me know.

Activating S/PDIF audio with VIA EPIA Mainboards

You can get interesting info from the following links:

The following instructions (thanks a lot to LeeLooB for providing them!) are specifically for EPIA M6000 boards but most likely they work for most VIA EPIA MBs:

1.) Install Movix
2.) Jumper the EPIA M6000 board to S/PDIF-out (Manual, page 2-18 / shorten 3-4) 3.) Connect the EPIA compsite-port to your amplifier's / receiver's coax-port 4.) Activated the coax-port in your amplifier / receiver (if necessary) 5.) enable iec958-output in movix:

Known bugs

Owners of VIA motherboards must use the "acpi=off" argument or most likely MoviX will behave erratically.
To avoid having to write that arg at every boot you can add it to the isolinux.cfg file.
For example, replace the line

append initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=13000 rw root=/dev/ram0 LABEL=MoviX video=vesa:mtrr vga=0x314


append initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=13000 rw root=/dev/ram0 LABEL=MoviX video=vesa:mtrr vga=0x314 acpi=off

Please use the newly created NVidiaTV label and give us feedback. It's been tested with NVidia GeForce 2 MX400 and NVidia GeForce 4 MX440.

Audio cards seem to have each one its settings for activating digital audio, so most likely we need your help to get the right settings for your card if it does not work "out of the box".
The first thing to do is going in the 2nd console and activating the digital output channels by hand.
You can also get insights on how to activate your card digital output from the following howto for VIA cards:
Don't forget to post a message on the MoviX forums with your findings!

Yes, I know, but there are a few solutions for this:
1. find a fix and send it to me ;-) [my favorite!]
2. do not use 'fbdev:vidix' but rather 'vesa:vidix' or 'sdl' or anything else
3. use the MoviX menu rather than the MPlayer menu

Want to help?

There are literally tons of feature that may be added to this menu. I will never have time to add them all and in the future I will not have so much time to spend on this projet, so if you like it and want to help improving it just drop me an email!


I want to thank the great guys at for making the logo for the MoviX project.
I also want to thanks my friend Andrea Assorgia for all his encouragements and good advices about making MoviX and for actually having suggested the name of the project. Special thanks go to my brother Vincenzo that bought me a very fast CD burner speeding up a lot the development of this package!
Finally I want to thanks Robos for his interest in the project and for suggesting me the best way to develop this menu.


responsible Publisher: H. Schebler 2004-03-01