Linux Presentation/Media Distro

edited November -1 in Development

Recently it has crossed my mind to have a linux distro designed solely for presentations.

Why? It would be light weight and focused primarily on the task of presentations. Media is resource intensive and although size of media formats can be small, the demand for higher quality seems to be driving video, audio, image sizes upward (HD).


  • Support for multiple screens
  • Multiple foldback support
  • Dual feed outputs, maybe to have separate presentations in a lobby or outside the building eg. Announcements
  • Support for audio and video capture
  • Internet support for live streaming
  • Live stream capture
  • Supports OpenLP :-)

I am no programmer, but this seed of thought might inspire those among us. With that said it just crossed my mind that we could possibly do this with a minimalist K/Ubuntu install and add as necessary. The reason said linux is because we want something unhinged on any private or more recently anti-gospel companies. Any thoughts guys?


  • edited January 2012


     This sounds like an excellent challenge for anyone who is a Linux enthusiast.  My comfort is in the Windows OS but the idea of building an OS specifically for church presentation has crossed my mind.  As the original comment suggests it should be presentation focused for Audio/ Video but light weight enough to operate on older hardware.  Often churches make do with donated second hand computer systems with minimal processors and RAM (we use an older laptop that was donated to the music ministry)

    I am sure others would be interested in a customized install of an OS.  But like myself are not familiar enough to understand how to do it.

    Is anyone up to the idea or can point some of us in the right direction?


  • edited January 2012

    As Raxtone is not a programmer, neither am I, but I will say this is a great idea, and Johnwh hit the nail on the head, most churches don't have really good computers equipment.

    Our first computers came from a local college, P3's, with 256 meg of memory, some of them are still in use, one of them by the assistant pastor.  Currently for media we have a computer with a sempron processor, socket 754, pretty outdated but works.

    Believe it or not OpenLP 1.9.8 works pretty good on this, with window's XP, I couldn't imagine the preformance with a basic Linux build specifically for media :-).

    As to the developers of this Software, Great Job, keep up the good work

  • edited January 2012

    There is a guy who is trying to set up an OpenLP Live CD running Linux, so that you can have an "out of the box instant presentation" PC. We haven't seen him in a while, but I'll alert him to this post when I next see him.

  • edited January 2012
    Some of this is built-in to any modern distro now, dual monitors, via xorg & some decent video drivers, audio capture & streaming can be done via pulseaudio, which is what most current distros tend to use.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "Multiple foldback support"
    Dual feeds is something I have not considered personally, that's a good feature request.

    Raoul is right about a OpenLP Live Distro in the works, I've been working on one Derived from Debian Linux, Trying to keep size & system resources to a minimum.
  • I'm in the planning/research phase of a project for a network presentation appliance based on TurnKey Linux and OpenLP.  I'm trying to figure out how to handle multiple presentations running on different screens yet have some synchronization between presentations.  Also want to be able to capture OpenLP output and stream via DLNA to compatible devices.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • Dude4Linux "I'm trying to figure out how to handle multiple presentations running on
    different screens yet have some synchronization between presentations."

    This is not a feature of openlp.   Openlp would have to be altered quite a bit to support that.  Openlp only has one item displayed at one time.  Running different presentations on different screens you are talking about major alterations to the service manager design(to support more than 1 item displayed at the same time) or running many copies of openlp and adding some form of control sync to the service managers.  Neither is impossible but is a lot of work.

    "Also want to be able to capture OpenLP output and stream via DLNA to compatible devices."

    Even just streaming a Linux desktop this mostly does not work.  Yes a few hacks made it kinda work.  But its only kinda works.

    Issues. Each DLNA device caches a different amount of file before starting to play.  So you might have 30 second lag or worse.   DLNA really is only stable if sending a known length video.  In fact doing the stunt where you have put in a long play time some DLNA devices will either lock up when they see too long or lock up if the video disappears before end appears.   If you want to be under thousands of complaints follow this path of using DLNA.

    I know this is limiting HTML 5 is most likely the best option at this time. + FreeRDP server + is most likely best for streaming openlp as it is.   Not going to be that effective and is going to be problematic on Turnkey virtual machine installs due to requiring real video card a lot.

    Do look at development branch web remote code.  Currently in development does not stream video files or audio.    It does send still shots of the presentations and the text of the songs and bible entries.   Yes openlp is web controllable it just not web displaying perfectly.

    Even just html 5 is limiting for keeping sync.   WebRTC most likely would be the best for video and audio to maintain sync.

    Yes I know what I am suggesting basically limits you to like Android devices, chromebooks, pc's and some smart tvs(ok there are tones of these).  Its will still a lot of work rewriting and improving openlp stage view(openlp current display what is going on in web browser).   At least this option it either works right or not at all.   The DLNA it sometimes works and sometimes does odd nasty things.

    WebRTC and HTML5 you would mostly likely have to pre presentation transcode the video and audio streams on a turnkey Linux running in a virtual machine that does not have access to a GPU to assist in the video processing.   Same would also apply to going DNLA.  Running properly as a turnkey linux behavour of openlp has to be altered.

    WebRTC and HTML5 both should allow smaller and more effectively compressed than sending DNLA.  Lot of the interface of openlp is html already.

    Dude4Linux I am sorry to say what you are proposing is quite a major project.   Yes I would love to see it but I don't have the time todo it.

    Dude4Linux DNLA biggest reason why it not going to work is control is wrong end.  Even chromecast.  DNLA says the client device is in control of playback.   You are doing a presentation you need server in control of playback.

    Notice than on chromecast netflix is using a websocket (yes html5 stuff) to allow broader controls.

    DNLA is basically a square peg being used in a round hole.  Yes its a good media server protocol with clients requesting to play different items.  DNLA a completely horrible to useless solution for true streaming.

    Sorry for having to rain on your idea Dude4Linux.  Its better now then when you have spent hours and found how what DNLA is.
  • edited October 2013
    Why not just make an android app and use the minipc's hooked directly into the projector's hdmi slot. This would get away from much of the technical things. I understand you have an android app but why not just port openlp or slim it down to run as an android app. This makes perfect sense. Then one could control the presentation with a touch screen, which is perfect for small congregations that have one person who is the sound person, projector person, and preacher... :)

    Something like this would get the job done! Not only can a small church save on hardware but it greatly expands portability and control. I think a openlp distro of linux is going backwards when everything else is going toward small devices. 
  • flipg40 the snag with your idea is the fact android devices mostly don't do duel screen(the hdmi out shows what is on the touch screen).  Previewing and testing media before it goes live is a little hard with this kind of limitation.

    Openlp already has a android control application but its really not suited to testing videos and sending them to what it controlling.

    Master/Slave or Slaves configuration would be good in the case of android.  1 device to control 1 device or more connected to displays.

    rk3066 can run Ubuntu.   The problem is the single monitor on it.

    Sending sync data is vastly more compact than sending the video stream.

    flipg40 final thing that is hard is all the dependencies openlp needs.  Like Libreoffice to display powerpoint and other things.

    I see nothing that cannot be done but doing all the alterations would be a lot of work to get android version working well.   Taking a Android device that can be converted to a Linux can give better results.   Yes some android devices support HDMI out and panel being different screens when converted.

    Yes the Ubuntu/Tizen phones and tablets might be the ideal solution for Openlp long term.   Issues with android defaults itself are a problem.
  • I'm looking at this idea of a Linux distro with presentation only installed too,  If anyone has got anywhere with this let me know,  I'm looking at using a mini iso of Ubuntu as a start.
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