Using Fedora Linux as Video Server for iPad
The Christmas holidays are an ideal time to catch up with recorded videos which were waiting for some time to be watched.
However, the video’s are stored on my NAS which already is connected to a Fedora 25 VM. I set out to see if it would be possible to view these videos from my iPad.
First the (libvirt-based) VM: 1 Logical CPU, and 2 GB ram were allocated to it, with a standard install of Fedora 25 Server.
Now for the selection of the video server software:
Given that I wanted to play my videos on as many devices as possible (especially the iPad), I wanted the video server software to support UPnP and/or DLNA.
The first two options Google came up with were: the well-known Video/Audio Server Kodi (https://kodi.tv) and the less well-known miniDLNA, for which installation instructions were found at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MiniDLNA
First attempt was to make Kodi work due to the very nice user interface. However no luck. Despite activating UPnP and DLNA in Kodi the Video Server could not be found by the iPad.
On the iPad side the following Video apps were tried: PlugPlayer and Infuse. Neither was able to detect Kodi. To make sure that the firewall on the Fedora server did not interfere I stopped firewalld. Still no luck.
The Next attempt was with miniDLNA. For the attempt I followed the recipe for an install in my home directory using the above link.
The install went smooth since a miniDLNA rpm for Fedora 25 is present in the RPMFusion-Free repository.
The only things I needed to adapt in the minidlna.conf file from the above instructions were the following:
– the locations of my Video files.
– the user under which miniDLNA runs (my own account).
– the friendly_name of the Video Server
– set enable_tivo=no, since I do not use it.
After starting succesfully I checked the logs and found an entry with a WARNING:
inotify.c:198: warn: WARNING: Inotify max_user_watches  is low or close to the number of used watches  and I do not have permission to increase this limit. Please do so manually by writing a higher value into /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches.
After increasing the value to 65536 (from 8192) no further log entries with this warning were found.
Succes on the server side!
However now on the iPad side… to my pleasant surprise both PlugPlayer and Infuse detected the miniDLNA video server right away. And the Videos showed up on the iPad crisp, clear and stable.
Btw. If anyone has a suggestion how to make also Kodi work, I’m still interested (I can be reached at email@example.com).