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I have a NAS running Ubuntu Server 18.04 with minidlna. Minidlna has been unmaintained for a long time and now it kind of sucks. I read that 19.10 has an integrated dlna server, but I couldn't find any instructions on how to use it on Ubuntu Server without a GUI. I'm willing to upgrade to a non-LTS version if it gives me a better DLNA experience, but I'd like now if and how it's possible to use that feature without a GUI.

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The DLNA server in question is Rygel, which is part of Gnome, which Ubuntu uses. Normally that might suggest you might need Gnome (and a graphical server), but you can —as far as I can see— run this headless, from a command line.

sudo apt install rygel  # double-check what this is going to install before saying yes!

Then edit /etc/rygel.conf or ~/.config/rygel.conf based on man rygel.conf to set your settings. The main one you'll want is the uris setting, to define where your media is stored.

uris=/data/my-films;/data/tv-recordings

Then just run rygel. You'd probably test it at this point before adding a systemd service to keep it alive.

  • Thank you! This is what I was looking for. I checked it and it doesn't install a graphical server. I'll try it out. – Andreas Hartmann Feb 10 at 21:12
  • I have to wait for it to process my huge library. It's also present in the 18.04 repositories, so I don't have to use a non-LTS version on my server which makes me happy. Only thing is I'll need to manually add it as a service. – Andreas Hartmann Feb 10 at 21:27
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Install 19.10 Desktop, a suitable host because "the base of both server/desktop is the same, difference being only packages installed.".

Install your preferred NAS package(s).

Done.

  • Sorry, but running a graphical server, as well as a remote desktop application on a headless machine just for that is pretty horrifying. – Andreas Hartmann Feb 10 at 21:19
  • It would totally work, but that's not how servers are supposed to be used. – Andreas Hartmann Feb 10 at 21:20

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