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.


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.


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

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).


  • 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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