Introduction

One important task of an always running computer is to share files into your local network.

Especially, if you have several devices that are capable of playing music or video content from network sources. Minidlna https://wiki.debian.org/minidlna is a DLNA/UPnP compatible media server that covers this task.

Setup

In debian based operating systems, all you have to do is invoke:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install minidlna

After the installation you need to provide locations of the media that should be shared to the network by minidlna. If you mounted your media in /media/video for example, you need to set up this path accordingly:

sudo nano /etc/minidlna.conf

# Path to the directory you want scanned for media files.
#
# This option can be specified more than once if you want multiple directories
# scanned.
#
# If you want to restrict a media_dir to a specific content type, you can
# prepend the directory name with a letter representing the type (A, P or V),
# followed by a comma, as so:
#   * "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)
#   * "PV" for pictures and video (eg. media_dir=PV,/var/lib/minidlna/digital_camera)
your_media=/media/video 

# Set this to merge all media_dir base contents into the root container
# (The default is no.)
#merge_media_dirs=no

The service for minidlna is started automatically during boot. If you cannot see your shares, it may be a good idea to restart the service:

sudo systemctl restart minidlna.service

There are additional settings in the config-file that are worth checking. For example the frequency of media database updates.

You can now access your network share via your TV or VLC for example on any other device on the network. It will also show up in your network tab because it is broadcasting its address.