This article describes how to install and configure a DLNA server. This software is going to be installed on a home server. Just as a comment, this home server is a very low power consumption machine (Atom N550 board) running a very powerful OS: 64 bit CentOS 5.5.
We started with a brief comparison and testing of some of the most popular DLNA servers for Linux uShare, MediaTomb and MiniDLNA). That was not an exhaustive comparison, but just a few quick tests. After that quick preview, we finally decided to use MiniDLNA.
The authors of the MiniDLNA project offer a statically compiled version, which makes very easy to install the software. Download it, and optionally, you can make some changes to file permissions in order to keep them consistent with the rest of your system.
Let's assume that you downloaded the installation package on
Previously to the installation, we set root as the owner of the files (optional) just to avoid having an unreferenced owner, then, we unpack the software.
# mkdir /tmp/mini
# tar -xzf /tmp/minidlna_1.0.19_static.tar.gz -C /tmp/mini
# chown -R root:root /tmp/mini
# cp -r /tmp/mini/* /
The configuration is really simple. You have a self-explaining configuration file (
/etc/minidlna.conf) with a few options. Just indicate which interface are you running the service on, and the directory containing the media to share. In my case, these were the only changes I made, keeping the rest of the options with the default values.
The most difficult task is to configure the firewall (iptables, since it is a CentOS based server) properly. This home server offers public services to the outside. External services are separated from internal ones, being offered through a different interface. Even so, disabling the firewall is not an option.
First of all, we launch the service just to examine the ports that must be kept open:
# lsof -i4 -n | grep minidlna
minidlna 12964 root 8u IPv4 1155301 UDP *:ssdp
minidlna 12964 root 9u IPv4 1155302 TCP *:trivnet1 (LISTEN)
minidlna 12964 root 10u IPv4 1155303 UDP 192.168.1.8:37167
minidlna 12965 root 8u IPv4 1155301 UDP *:ssdp
minidlna 12965 root 9u IPv4 1155302 TCP *:trivnet1 (LISTEN)
minidlna 12965 root 10u IPv4 1155303 UDP 192.168.1.8:37167
minidlna 12968 root 8u IPv4 1155301 UDP *:ssdp
minidlna 12968 root 9u IPv4 1155302 TCP *:trivnet1 (LISTEN)
minidlna 12968 root 10u IPv4 1155303 UDP 192.168.1.8:37167
Ports ssdp (1900/udp) and trivnet1 (8200/tcp) are proper of this service. The other port (37167/udp) varies in every execution.
I recognize not being an expert setting firewall rules, but firewall configuration in CentOS in this case resulted to be a very frustrating task.
After almost two whole days spent reading threads, tutorials and comments about UPnP, SSDP, DLNA, multicast, routing and filtering, I finally obtained a firewall configuration that, so far, seems to work properly. Neither more permissive than necessary nor too much complicated.
Maybe due to my limited knowledge about iptables, I was not able to introduce these rules from the command line to behave as I expected, so, I had to edit, finally, the
/etc/sysconfig/iptablesfile in order to introduce these rules. I added two rules in the
RH-Firewall-1-INPUTsection, just before the
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -s 192.168.1.0/24 -d 192.168.1.8 -p tcp -m tcp --dport 8200 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -s 192.168.1.0/24 -d 188.8.131.52 -p udp -m udp --dport 1900 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-host-prohibited
The IP 192.168.1.8 is where the machine offers services to other devices in the LAN (192.168.1.0/24)
First rule allow computers on the LAN to access the server on the port 8200/tcp
Second rule allow computers on the LAN (including the same server) to access the SSDP service (1900/udp) on a fixed multicast address (184.108.40.206)
Restart iptables after these changes, and you will have a working DLNA server without compromising the security of your server.