The Lazy Blogger

Completing my Pi powered personal (Media) cloud


By Sumit

In my previous article I had mentioned how I setup a Samba based file server using my Raspberry PI to share media across my computers in my home network. It works fine, but still it’s not really streaming the media and I figured out that I still couldn’t use my media via the XBox because XBox doesn’t work with Network shares unless they are over UPnP. So the next quest was to setup a UPnP server on my Pi.

Turned out to be really easy thanks to MiniDLNA. This article has all the steps if you need Samba+Transmission (Torrent Client)+OpenDNS.

Setting up MiniDLNA Only

I already had Samba installed so I skipped that step and just installed MiniDLNA. Also I didn’t need it over the web, so I didn’t need Transmission or the Torrent Client, most of my media are training videos that I download from their respective sites. I setup MiniDLNA only and used nano as my editor (yeah, still no good with VI)


sudo apt-get install minidlna


sudo nano /etc/minidlna.conf

While updating the minidlna.conf file you have the option of specifying Video/Music/Pictures folders. I already had my media split up in those categories so I used those configurations.


Give it a friendly name to identify over the network



Hit Ctrl+X and say Yes when asked if you want to save the changes. This will get you out of Nano. Now restart the service


sudo service minidlna restart

Force it to rescan for a good measure (though if you are patient enough this might not be necessary


sudo service minidlna force-reload

Once you are done reloading, give it about 5 minutes, yeah, walk away from your terminal.

Enjoying your Media

After MiniDLNA is done scanning the folders are you good to go.

From Windows 8

If you have connected to a ‘Private’ network, Windows will automatically look for Media servers and you should see the Name you gave above (MediaPi) in my case:


You can select it and open it in Windows Media Player, or directly open Windows Media Player and start playing from it directly


From XBox

Just start your ‘System Video Player’ App (NOT XBox Video).


The Friendly Name should popup automatically assuming you are on the same network


From iOS

Well iOS doesn’t recognize UPnP and DLNA devices out of the box. But fear not, there is an ‘app for that’. Yeah, cliché I know. Most app players cost a bit of money, but I found ‘Fresh Player’ to be a usable application. Interestingly I can’t connect to the MediaPi at the moment with it, so it may not be the most ‘reliable’. I’ll update once I find a decent player.

Well, that’s a wrap for the day! Things you can do with this tiny $35 computer is simply amazing! The fun continues!