Set up a multipurpose home server

Data Diviner

© Lead Image © Maxim Kazmin,

© Lead Image © Maxim Kazmin,

Article from Issue 202/2017

Install a home server to make your data omnipresent.

These days a server isn't something that you'll find only inside a corporate environment. With the proliferation of computing devices inside a typical home, it makes sense to create your own always-on server for your household. You can use your home server as a central media hub to stream videos, music, and pictures to other devices connected to your network. Another popular use for such a server is as a dedicated seed box for downloading and seeding content (legally, of course) such as Linux ISOs or software from the Internet Archive.

Amahi [1] is a free, open source home server solution based around Fedora Linux. It's flexible and customizable, easy to install, and has lots of pluggable apps that you can install with a single click to extend the features of the server to suit your needs. For example, Amahi includes a DLNA server and several streaming servers to broadcast all kinds of multimedia to compatible players and devices. It also includes Greyhole for pooling disks into a unified network storage medium that you can then use to create shares that can be accessed via the Samba protocol and even used as a network backup target. Amahi also comes with a free dynamic DNS name that you can use to access your files from anywhere on the planet.

Amahi has modest hardware requirements, which is why it's often touted as a solution for putting an old unused computer back into active duty. It can manage a small network from a computer with a 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM. Deployments on larger networks where multiple users are shuttling oodles of data running several different apps will require a multicore processor with at least 4GB of RAM and ideally multiple hard disks.


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