This site represent my small contribution to the Linux communty that has enabled me and many others to actually build a free, open-source home theatre PC (HTPC).
My experience is that while it is certainly possible to build a system capable of nearly whatever you want, there are still numerous pitfalls - and maybe more when using Linux than when using Windows :-(
Please note, that all this represents my knowledge as per november 2007 - things are likely to be changing fast :-)
I have been very impressed by the build quality of the Zalman case - except for the screws fastening the harddisk and the DVD chassis to the enclosure. Be very carefull not to ruin them when first detached - and replace them with an unbraco/torx/hex bolt as soon as possible. It is standard M3.
I have had an Silverstone enclosure before, and this is way better from a mechanical viewpoint!

But the drivers sucks! Even the enclosed Windows drivers is a disaster, just check the Zalman disussion forum ( US version here). Edit: The site seems to have shut down in January 2008 so writing to it has ceased - for the time being the archive does however work.. Their official support site is here
And Zalman has appearently succeeded in finding a touch panel and a remote control interface without Linux support - so do not expect any help from there. Further more, the unit comes in three versions. The first uses a completely different touch screen and remote control. This site is committed to revision 2 and 3, where only the LCD is different (disclaimer - I have the revision 3 and I have not tried this on revision 2, but this is how I think it is..). Owners of revision 2 should also check this description based on Ubuntu.

I am using the Debian distribution, but the methods should be usable on any Linux with appropriate minor changes.


General remarks when considering building a HTPC
General HD160XT hardware notes
Dual-screen X setup
Touch-screen driver
Remote control driver
Wireless keyboard
PXE network boot