Setting Up MiniDLNA on the Raspberry Pi

In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to set up MiniDLNA (ReadyMedia) on your Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi MiniDLNA

MiniDLNA is a piece of server software that implements the DLNA/UPnP streaming protocols. The software also goes by the name ReadyMedia.

These protocols will allow your Raspberry Pi to stream media files such as music, pictures, and videos over your home network.

You can use any client that supports the DLNA protocols to stream media files from your Raspberry Pi. An example of some clients that support DLNA is Kodi and the VLC media player.

Using MiniDLNA can be a lightweight alternative to running software like Plex on your Raspberry Pi.

Equipment List

Below is a list of equipment that we used to set up MiniDLNA on the Raspberry Pi.

Recommended

Raspberry Pi

Micro SD Card

Power Supply

Ethernet Cord or WiFi dongle (The Pi 3 and 4 has WiFi inbuilt)

Optional

Raspberry Pi Case

For this tutorial, we will be assuming that you are running the Raspbian operating system. We tested this tutorial on a Raspberry Pi 3 using Raspbian Buster.

Installing the MiniDLNA software on the Raspberry Pi

In this section, we will be walking you through the process of installing the MiniDLNA software to a Raspberry Pi.

This process is relatively straightforward and should only take a few minutes to complete

1. Before we install MiniDLNA, we should first ensure that our Raspbian installation is entirely up to date.

We can update both the package list and all the installed packages by running the following two commands.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Depending on how long it has been since you last ran an update, this process can take some time.

2. Once the update has completed, we can now proceed to install MiniDLNA on our Raspberry Pi.

Because MiniDLNA is available as a part of the Raspbian repository, we can install it by using the command below within the terminal.

sudo apt install minidlna

Once the installation process has completed, we can now proceed to configure it for our media folders.

Configuring MiniDLNA for your Media Files

Before we begin this section, you should already have your media set up somewhere. That can either be on your Raspberry Pi’s SD card or an external hard drive.

In this section, we will be showing you how to configure MiniDLNA so that it will share the data available in your media folders.

1. Begin modifying the MiniDLNA configuration file by using the following command on your Raspberry Pi.

sudo nano /etc/minidlna.conf

2. Within this file, we need to find the following section. This section is where we will be adding each of our folders that we want to scan for our media.

# * "A" for audio (eg. media_dir=A,/var/lib/minidlna/music)
# * "P" for pictures (eg. media_dir=P,/var/lib/minidlna/pictures)
# * "V" for video (eg. media_dir=V,/var/lib/minidlna/videos)

3. Below this section, we need to add our folders that we want MiniDLNA to serve files from.

The format for specifying a media folder is the following.

media_dir=[TYPE],[PATH]

For [TYPE], we have three different letters that we can use. Each letter specifies a different media type.

  • The letter A for audio files
  • P is used to specify pictures
  • Finally, V is used for folders containing videos

For example, if we had a folder called /mnt/mediaDrive/ that contained a folder for our music, pictures, and movies, we could add the following into the configuration file.

media_dir=A,/mnt/mediaDrive/audio
media_dir=P,/mnt/mediaDrive/pictures
media_dir=V,/mnt/mediaDrive/videos

4. The next thing we might want to configure is the name our DLNA server presents to its clients.

We can change this by finding and changing the following line.

Find

#friendly_name=

Replace With

friendly_name=PiMyLifeUpMiniDLNA

5. You should now have finished configuring your MiniDLNA server on your Raspberry Pi.

You can save this file by pressing CTRL + X, followed by Y, then ENTER.

6. As we have made changes to the configuration of the MiniDLNA software, we will now need to restart its service.

We can restart the MiniDLNA service by making use of the following command.

sudo systemctl restart minidlna

If you don’t restart the MiniDLNA service, none of your changes will take effect.

7. At this point, you should now be able to see your Raspberry Pi’s MiniDLNA server pop up on your various devices.

Checking the Status of your MiniDLNA Server

In this section, we will show you how to quickly check the status of your MiniDLNA server through its web interface.

1. To start this section, we will need to find out what the local IP address of our Raspberry Pi is.

There are various ways to get your Pi’s local IP address, but one of the easiest ways is to run the following command on your Raspberry Pi.

hostname -I

2. With your Raspberry Pi’s IP address, you can go to the following address in your favorite web browser.

Make sure that you replace [IPADDRESS] with the IP you retrieved in the previous step.

http://[IPADDRESS]:8200

3. Once you load up the page, you will be greeted by the following page.

This page shows you the number of files available in your media library, as well as a list of all the currently connected clients.

Raspberry Pi MiniDLNA Status Page

At this point, you should now have successfully set up the MiniDLNA server software on your Raspberry Pi.

If you have run into any issues with setting up the software, feel free to drop a comment in the section below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *