Raspberry Pi-based home media server

Raspberry Pi-based home media server

For reading eBooks, listening to music, watching videos and photos.

I used a 16GB SD card to run Ubuntu server and to install packages, and attached an external USB stick to hold media files. I am running three services on my Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB version) for streaming (memory usage 17%; temperature ~ 64 °C):


Samba can turn your RPi to a network-attached storage (NAS) for holding files. So if the terminal device has media player or ereader apps installed, smb sharing will be sufficient and easy to achieve. Here is a turorial for installing and configuring samba.

I use it mainly for reading PDF eBooks.

Plex server

There are options for RPi to build multimedia center, such as Plex and Kodi, to stream both music and videos. I used Plex in the past and I will try it on my Pi 4. The installation is straightforward:

sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https
curl https://downloads.plex.tv/plex-keys/PlexSign.key | sudo apt-key add -
echo deb https://downloads.plex.tv/repo/deb public main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/plexmediaserver.list
sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install plexmediaserver

and then make the IP static

## Find out current ip
hostname -I
## edit cmdline 
sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt
# add line: ip=192.168.x.xx

And then go to https://192.168.x.xx:32400/web/ to config and add media files


It was reported that a Raspberry Pi 4 can handle about 4 or 5 simultaneous direct play files – and very low power consumption.

For music only, there are other options like subsonic, which might be good for RPi 2 and 3.

Calibre server

Calibre has powerful eBook management, although the UI of content server is very simple. It’s good for modern ebook formats, such as epub, mobi, azw3, etc. I can also access the server from my Kindle device, either to download or to read.


Z. Lu avatar
Z. Lu
Data science, bioinfo, scripting, parasites, retro, plain text.
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