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Linux for Home Server Advice Required

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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December 2, 2011 8:06:04 AM

Hi all,


Hoping you can help me out?

I've been given an old HP PC that's next to useless, which i'm going to use as a home file server as my laptop HDD is filling up rapidly.

I'm looking at learning what Linux can offer me, and from what i've read most people seem to recommend a Linux distro for this purpose over Windows.

What i'm after is a little advise on weather Linux will work for me and my planned setup.

I'm looking to have the PC configured with 1TB storage space (to start with) for storing Photo's, Music, Films, and general documents/files.
This machine will be stored in garage, cabled in to my router.

I then have 1x Windows Laptop, a couple of iPhones, iPads and an AppleTV.

I would want to store my iTunes content on the server and point my iTunes installation on the laptop at that space so i can sync my ipads/iphones.

My main concern is that i would also like my AppleTV to pick up the content on the server, however to do that i would need iTunes running on the server.
Is it possible to run iTunes on Linux?

What distro of Linux would you recommend?
Can anyone see any problems here?
a b 5 Linux
December 2, 2011 9:04:42 AM

Apple don't make any version of iTunes for Linux, so you can't run iTunes on the Linux box itself. You should however be able to map a network drive to the Linux box or even serve up content via a web server running on the Linux box so there are still some options open to you.
a b 5 Linux
December 2, 2011 9:50:03 AM

You can install iTunes using Wine, but apparently functionality is pretty limited.

Without the requirement for iTunes I would have recommended FreeNAS (it's BSD based, rather than Linux, and none the worse for that). But if you need iTunes for the Apple TV (which I am not familiar with) then you are stuck with Windows or OS X. Trying to get a Hackintosh running (and keeping it updated) can be something of a pain, so it looks like you are stuck with Windows.
Related resources
a b 5 Linux
December 2, 2011 12:09:24 PM

I think this might be the way forwards...

http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/ATVFiles

Basically it's a plugin for AppleTV that allows you to browse your network for other media without the need for iTunes. Providing you ran SAMBA on your Linux/FreeNAS box it should work fine. The issue comes if Apple updates the device as this might break the plugin but it looks like development is still active and likely to get updates as and when this happens.
a b 5 Linux
December 2, 2011 12:10:10 PM

Windows would be easier than Hackintosh. Plus, Hackintoshes don't play well with old hardware.
a b 5 Linux
December 2, 2011 12:14:07 PM

Just to confuse the poor OP here there is of course another option, you can install the awesome XBMC on your AppleTV hardware. That turns the AppleTV into a device that can play just about all formats out there, gives you a great UI and removes any need to iTunes to access content.
December 2, 2011 7:16:18 PM

Thanks for all the help guys.

I may try and see what happens running iTunes in wine. All applets actually needs if for itunesnto be open, so hopefully that will be fine.

I'm not overly keen on running any 3rd party plugins on ATV. I did this with my original appletv and it just became awkward to update, navigate etc.
I would rather keep it to standard software so I don't have that headache.

I think it's just a case of try it and see what happens :) 
!