Set up a DLNA Server in a Minute

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Nov 29, 2012 GMT
Dmitri Popov

DLNA provides a hassle-free solution for sharing digital media between devices, and you can put this technology to good use on your local network. Install DLNA software on a server on your network, and you can easily access photos, videos, and music from any device that has a DLNA client on it. Using the minidlna application, you can turn any Linux machine into a DLNA server in a matter of minutes. Here is how to do this on Debian and Ubuntu. Since minidlna is available in the official software repositories of both distros, installing it is a matter of running the apt-get install minidlna command as root. Once the package has been installed, open the minidlna.conf configuration file in a text editor by running the nano /etc/minidlna.conf command as root. At the very least, you need to specify two things: paths to directories containing digital media and a descriptive name for the DLNA server. On my Raspberry Pi, I store photos, videos, and music in separate directories on a USB stick, so my minidlna.conf configuration file looks like this:
 

media_dir=P,/media/usb0/photos
media_dir=V,/media/usb0/videos
media_dir=A,/media/usb0/music
friendly_name=Raspberry Pi DLNA server

Next, you should generate minidlna's database. To do this, stop the minidlna server with the /etc/init.d/minidlna stop command, then issue the following command (both commands should be run as root):

minidlna -R

Start then the minidlna server using the /etc/init.d/minidlna start as root, and you are done. Unfortunately, minidlna cannot update the database automatically, so you need to do this manually every time you add new media files.

To access digital media served by the DLNA server, you either need a DLNA-capable device or to install a DLNA client software. On Linux, you might want to give eezUPnP a try (see this article for more info), while the AnDLNA app can come in handy for accessing media files from an Android device.

Comments

  • comments

    Hello,

    I'm using minidlna for a while, and found out that new media added will be served wihtout the need to restart the service.
    Another tip, I found the android app BubbleUPnP it's great not only for DLNA, but for other streams.

    Best regards.
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