Linux NAS media sharing with DLNA: ReadyMedia/minidlna

As part of my low power mini Linux NAS project, I wanted to be able to share photos and videos simply to other devices on the local network, specifically a TV (it’s nice to be able to browse photos there).

Requirements:

  • Runs as a service on a Linux server (no GUI)
  • Simple to configure (so I can forget about it)
  • Works with a Samsung Smart TV

I can live without transcoding and fancy stuff, so after looking at Servio (full-featured, nice – tested it on Windows too) and ushare (looks good but less maintained currently),  I came to the conclusion that ReadyMedia (formerly minidlna) looked like the simplest and best solution. (It’s incidentally developed by Netgear for their ReadyNAS products)

Installing ReadyMedia/minidlna on RHEL6

Unfortunately, (due to some of the media libraries it depends on not being available in RHEL/EPEL, presumably due to patent or licensing issues), ReadyShare is not available in the “usual” repositories such as EPEL. However, I found a package over on the li.nux.ro site which I’m not familiar with. The version wasn’t current, and a couple of things needed fixing (including the init file), so I updated the package and rebuilt – the built packages are below:

Configuring ReadyMedia/minidlna

Configuring ReadyMedia is extremely simple – it suffices in the first instance to just define where your media are located with one or more media_dir directives:

media_dir=P,/path/to/Pictures
media_dir=A,/path/to/Music

I also set friendly_name (to specify a name that will be shown up on other devices) and shrank notify_interval (to try to pick up newly-added files faster).

Then, start the service (service minidlna start) and browse from another device on the network that supports DLNA (e.g. TV). Works!

2 Responses to “Linux NAS media sharing with DLNA: ReadyMedia/minidlna”

  1. Remco says:

    Thanks Tim! Very useful to deploy on several servers. Don’t understand why minidlna is not included in EPEL or Fedora by default (if it would be licensing issues, there would be more vendors in trouble).

    • Tim Jackson says:

      Fedora has a more conservative approach to packages with – for example – contents that might fall under some patents. However this is just pure speculation as I can’t find a definitive bug or reference about it.

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