TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

TurnKey FileServer: Customisation Tutorial

NOTE on 28 DEC 2012:

Since I upgraded to the new version of the TurnKey Fileserver (Debian Squeeze), a new version of this tutorial has been posted with *many* new goodies:

http://www.doxfordinether.co.uk/blog/home-nas-server-customisation-tutor...

The old link will no longer work.

Enjoy!

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Hello all!

As a way of saying 'Thank You' to the TurnKey community, I have posted detailed instructions on my blog today about installing and customising TurnKey FileServer in a home environment. This home NAS tutorial contains instructions on setting up:

- UPnP Media server (Mediatomb)

- LAMP server with phpmyadmin

- SSH2 secure key based authentication

- Dynamic IP monitoring and auto emailing if/when server IP changes

- and much more... please read the full article here:

http://www.anuvratshanker.com/blog/content/turnkey-fileserver-home-nas-c...

I hope this will help others; comments and feedback welcome.

Thanks again for this excellent project, and for enhancing the valuable collaborative spirit of open source!

Liraz Siri's picture

Dedicated MediaTomb appliance or adding UPnP to TorrentServer?

I read your tutorial and this has to be the most complex TurnKey customizations I have seen documented yet. Sweet! Thanks for sharing.

Unfortunately for the average user, following your instructions to get a working MediaTomb appliance would probably be an intimidating endeavor. That's exactly why we created TKLPatch. So technically savvy people like you could share easily-replicated customizations with less technically savvy users. Also, having pretested configurations would make it much easier to add a MediaTomb type appliance to the library officially. I haven't tried MediaTomb myself yet but I've gone over the docs and it looks like a wonderful piece of software.

I'm curious, how do you use UPnP? I haven't used UPnP myself but I found a nice list of UPnP clients/servers on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_UPnP_AV_media_servers_and_clients

It's especially interesting that UPnP support is now integrated with Windows Vista and above. Mainstream Linux support seems to be lagging a bit.

My conclusion is that TurnKey support for UPnP would be a great idea but I'm not sure whether a dedicated MediaTomb appliance would be the way to go or maybe perhaps add UPnP support to the TorrentServer appliance.

What do you think?

PS: Sorry for the late reply, releasing TKLBAM sucked up all our energies last month.

Jeremy's picture

MediaTomb has potential

I have had a play with MediaTomb and think that it has potential as a TKL appliance. I originally set it up as a media sharing centre, with the hope that it would work cross platform on my home server setup (Win, Linux and Wii). Unfortunately it didn't play nice with the Wii (although it apparently works well with PS3 & Xbox). I got it working with XBMC on both Linux & Win XP but it was a little clunky and TBH sharing folders via Samba is a much better solution (which can be added to the library in XBMC just as, if not more, easily). Perhaps I was doing something wrong, but I found the web interface quite useless (clicking on a file would download it over http rather than play it, I couldn't work out how to get a file to play via streaming without using a uPnP client - or 'copy link' from web interface, then 'open url' in VLC). I never actually tested it by playing a file with Vista (WMP11) but Vista automatically found the server no worries. Apparently the software to make Win XP behave the same as Vista in this regard is available, however I tried and couldn't get it to work.

IMO MediaTomb is very useful for streaming media to uPnP hardware eg some DVD/PVR/Media-players and some game consoles such as PS3 & Xbox. Otherwise, I think there are better ways to access media from another PC. In fairness though, that was one of my intial dabblings into Linux so there may well have been something I totally missed. Also I haven't had a good look at doxford's tute but I don't recall it being too hard (and that was pretty much my first ever Linux server project - FYI it was built on TKL Core from memory, back when I first discovered TKL).

I'd be inclined to release a basic MediaTomb appliance but with Samba file sharing also. If you do end up integrating MediaTomb into another appliance (eg torrent server), I think you should also release a vanilla version (ie both a torrent server with AND without MediaTomb).

MediaTomb thoughts

Hi Liraz & JedMeister,

Thanks for your comments.

As mentioned in my tutorial, I wanted to use MediaTomb to connect wirelessly to my Nokia N810 hardware, which it does very well indeed. The N810 is in turn wired to my Sony hi-fi system - therefore I am able to receive music wirelessly from my server to N810, and onto the hi-fi system for excellent sound output.

As JedMeister points out, accessing MediaTomb from a Win/Lin PC does not always work as desired. VLC is able to 'stream' content well, but some other media players seem to download the file locally before they can play them.

I will look into how to create a MediaTomb TKL patch, but for non-technical home users a TKL appliance with out-of-the-box MediaTomb would be super. Reading around the net, I know for sure that there is good demand for such appliances from end users.


Jeremy's picture

Sounds like in your usage scenario MediaTomb is a winner.

I never considered using MediaTomb to stream music (only movies) but its good to know that works too. I think purely for people who wish to stream to their game consoles there is potential for this to be useful. I'm sure there are other usage scenarios too. From memory the tute I originally used included something in the backend of MediaTomb to convert incompatible files (ie that the uPnP device couldn't handle, to something they could) on-the-fly (although I never tested that functionality in real life).

As for a patch, the idea of a TKLPatch is to automate the inclusion of specific components into a TKL server appliance. You develop a patch which is to be applied to a specific TKL ISO (eg Core although could be any of the range). Idealy (hopefully) Alon and Liraz think the patch has enough merit and they will include the appliance in the next release (as an ISO/VM image/etc). In the meantime (and even if they don't include it) other users can relatively easily apply the patch to the appropriate ISO and create the appliance as you originally intended it. Neat huh!?

There's plenty of info floating about here on the forums or the documentation is quite good.

Status of MediaTomb appliance

I just came across this thread. I'm trying to put together a home media and file server and TKL looks like the ideal solution for me but UPnP support is a must. I'm one of those users for whom the installation of MediaTomb described in the tutorial looks a bit daunting and I was wondering whether the appliance you talk about has been developed or is about to be developed. If it hasn't, is there an easy way to use TKL to stream media content to a PS3 or dlna enabled TV set? Thanks for the great software.

Jeremy's picture

Unfortunately it never got off the ground...

So unfortunately TKL don't have an 'off-the-shelf' solution to fulfill your needs. If you want to try to follow the tutorial though I'm happy to try to help you - I'm fairly handy with Linux :)

Media Tomb should install pretty easy...

TKL as media server

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for responding so quickly. One thing one must make sure before committing to a project is that it has a good community behind it and I can see this is the case with tKL.

Thanks for your offer. I will try to install Media Tomb when I have a little more time and if I have a problem I'll post a question here. One thing, though, after I sent my message I continued to browse through the forums and I found this more recent post:

http://www.turnkeylinux.org/forum/general/20111015/updated-dlna-media-se...

which appears to be a follow up of this one:

http://www.turnkeylinux.org/forum/general/20110617/thanks-your-great-work

The last post in the thread is from February 2! so it's nice to see that there are people working on making TKL a better server for multimedia content. What is more attractive to me is that I see it mentions PS3 server. I own a PS3 console and in fact I have used PS3 server successfully to stream media from my desktop computer. I don't know Media Tomb but PS3 server is also an open source project and it has a pretty good following.

Now I'm trying to decide which route to take. In that thread there is also mention of building an appliance but apparently this didn't come to fruition, either. As I noticed, though, the last post is very recent so maybe there is hope. I don't know if Alex Basset will read this thread but if there is someone that has tried this solution, I would appreciate knowing a bit more about how it works.

I would prefer it if it is packaged in the form of an appliance but maybe, Jeremy, I could also use your help if in the end there is no appliance and I try to install it on my own.

Anyway, thanks for your help!


Jeremy's picture

Nice feedback, thanks! :)

Alex's TKLPatch definately looks like a winner! I have read many good things about the software it uses (Serviio). The unfortunate thing though, is that Serviio isn't open source (it's free just not open source) and the TKL core dev team are committed to 100% open source so it seems unlikely that they will accept it as an official appliance. That's why I suggested PS3 Media Server to Alex (it's open source). Serviio streams fine to PS3 too AFAIK.

But all is not lost... Because Alex has made the patch you can relatively easily use it to build the appliance (not quite as easy as downloading the ISO, but much easier than following instructions to build from scratch). I would've already done it and have the ISO ready to download from the TKL Community SourceForge site but same problem (only open source is allowed on SF). It may seem a little daunting to the uninitiated but applying a TKLPatch is pretty easy (although a little convaluted). If you would like to try that (probably your easiest path TBH) then I am happy to help you out with that too. Just start a new thread (I'll see it and post back to you there).

When you say you'd like to know more about how it works, do you mean the patching process? Or his server specifically? If you mean the patching process I suggest you start a new thread (as I said above - while the conversation is relevant here that's ok, but best to start a new thread if the subject matter is drifting). If it is directly in relation to Alex's patch feel free to post on his thread. I'm sure he'd appreciate the feedback.

Continuation of "TKL as media server"

Hi again Jeremy (and thanks again for your help).

I'll do as you suggest. I'll find some time this weekend to install TKL (I still have not done that yet) and then try to build the appliance via the patch. I agree, it would be nice if all software involved were open source. I'll use the one based on Serviio until a complete open source solution is available. I think it will be soon :-)

I'll start a new thread if I come across any problem or just to comment on the success in building the appliance. Actually, I'm going to start a new thread right now because I have a couple of questions that are not directly related to the main topic of this thread.

Thanks for everything and keep up the good work.

JM

UPNP Support

Just to thank the OP for the great tutorial.  I have decided however to go with UShare as my UPNP solution - also supports DNLA for iTunes-friendly devices and much easier to configure - just do dpkg -reconfigure ushare after install and you can enter the folder you wish to share - doesn't get easier than that :)

Alex Bassett's picture

I have had a look at ps3

I have had a look at ps3 media server and when i have a few spare hours to sit down and read through the pages that i have downloaded I will make a concerted effort to make a patch ,hopefully early April.

I will update the serviio patch when tkl updates to 12.04 as I like the way it works with my samsung tv .

As i have never used media tomb I will take a look there as well to see if i can offer any help if required.


Great!

Great! I'm looking forward to testing your patch. This is the only area that I don't have well covered with TKL. Thanks Alex.

Alex Bassett's picture

I have updated serviio to

I have updated serviio to 0.6.2 + webui here : http://www.turnkeylinux.org/forum/general/20120424/serviio-062-webui-update

 

Ps3mediaserver patch can be found here: http://www.turnkeylinux.org/forum/general/20120410/tklfileserver-ps3medi...

 

At the moment I am looking at Lximedia centre which has a web interface ,is open source and may work inside a tkl appliance. So still work to do and i will keep you all posted .


Adding features to turnkey fileserver

Hi All,

I'm planning to use turnkey fileservers in our MS Domain.  Can I easily customize each server to accomplish the following:

-use one namespace

-to be a distributed file system and replication

If so, can you provide any documentation or helpful links?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Jay

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