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None of My Shit Works

Thursday September 7, 2023

I set up a Jellyfin server for my family. I was pretty hype about it. This wasn’t my first attempt to set up a little personal Netflix for them, and it wasn’t even my first attempt to set up Jellyfin specifically. I’m digging pretty deep into my memory, but I think this is a complete list of the devices I’ve attempted to set up for them:

  1. Half of a laptop running Ubuntu with a tiny wireless keyboard and mouse. I installed Kodi and connected it to my (shitty) file server. Nobody used it but me.
  2. A Raspberry Pi 2 running OSMC with a little remote. I figured the solution was making it invisible and not computer-like. Nobody used it but me. I think I corrupted the SD card and said fuck this.
  3. The same half of a laptop, this time running LibreELEC. I took all their phones and installed a Kodi remote. I may have also installed some jank shitty torrent streaming addon, the kind of shit that comes on “jailbroken” Fire Sticks. My mom tried to use it a couple times but sometimes I’d switch the input and it was frozen, or it couldn’t connect to the WiFi until I rebooted it. It mostly collected dust because I just used my own Kodi set up.
  4. Bonus: That same Pi 2 but connected to a CRT with an external hard drive. It was only loaded up with 4:3 content and it was meant to be left in the mountain house. They were blown away (there was no live TV there at the time) and they seriously fucking asked me “if it would be possible to set something like this up at home.”
  5. A Chromecast (the one that runs Google TV, aka Android TV but there’s 800% more ads and bloated shit) with Kodi installed using Jellyfin and TVHeadend under the hood. My dad had just cancelled cable service, so I naively thought that the TRUE and ULTIMATE solution was putting literally everything on one input, in one app. At this point I had noticed a pattern. Anything that involved pressing the fucking input button on the remote was doomed to collect dust, because apparantly you have to be a computer wizard to know what that button does. TVHeadend had a brutal memory leak or something because after a day or so my entire server would slow to a crawl, killing all channels on all TVs. I couldn’t listen to my dad say “BACK IN MY DAY YOU USED TO JUST TURN THE TV ON AND IT WORKED” anymore so I gave up on that. I gave up on all of it actually. I just set up Kodi for myself, grabbing the content over SSH.
  6. My sister asked if I could get her episodes disc images of Love Island Linux distributions. In one night I set up Jellyfin, Radarr, and Sonarr. Love Island proceded to ass rape my hard drive and my seeding ratio. Later I set up accounts for everyone else as well as Ombi, so they can all request things and further ass rape my seeding ratio.

That’s where I’m at right now. Sounds pretty good. Sounds like steady improvement. The thing is, at this point everyone is conditioned to assume that anything I set up is going to be jank bullshit that doesn’t work half the time or is insanely complicated. One time before putting a movie on, my girlfriend said in a bummed out voice “Is it going to work?” and in that moment I knew I was fucked. For the record, it fucking worked. That isn’t the point. Shit hasn’t worked enough times over the years that it’s considered the norm. I endlessly tweak settings and configuration files, spend hours making things “idiot proof”, and in the end I always think “Damn this shit is nice.” Then JellyCon fucking breaks and Batocera doesn’t remember the controller configuration. You just have to wait a little bit while the hard drive spins up and if it crashes just relaunch it and it’ll work the second time. I’m still working on that but also this thing and the other issue is a bug so hopefully it’s fixed in the next update.

So anyway I just realized that Radarr has been copying all the files it downloads into the movies folder instead of hard linking it because of a permissions issue. I instantly realized that this is a brutal can of worms that’s been opened, and I’ve spent most of my waking hours over the past 2 days changing permissions, moving directories, reconfiguring software, scanning files, etc. I had to resort to tech support through Discord. Vomit.

I think everything is 99% fine. I’m sure I’ll come across some other shit I can fix real quick but the major headache is over. Until the next major headache. I’ll leave you with a picture I drew on my fridge.

can u get all the halloweens


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