Working on themes

We’re excitedly working towards adding themes to the HDA!

There are two parts to it, one is the theme themselves and the other is the theme engine.

We’re working on the theme engine (under Ruby on Rails, of course) and it’s working in a test HDA!

In parallel we’re developing one new theme. Check it our in Flickr!

Can’t wait to release it!

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Filing Bug Reports

There is a new way to file bugs for the HDA. We have put it all over the wiki, however, searching in this site does find an old post that takes one to the old help desk. Now, we don’t want that :-)

We LOVE bug reports and we have switched to SourceForge.

One of the best features is that you can submit a bug report anonymously, i.e. without registering to SourceForge.

Please use it! :-)

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Amahi Newsletter No. 3 – Backups, Outlook

In this newsletter

  • HDA Install Counter: 17 installs and counting!
  • Backups with the HDA
  • Microsoft Outlook Compatibility
  • Application Ideas


This newsletter focuses on some of the Amahi Linux Home Server applications that we’ve released over the past few weeks.Amahi Linux Home Server

But before that we’d like to take a moment to celebrate that we have crossed past our recent target of 15 installs and we’re at 17 installs at the moment! We want to get to 20 for next week! To keep tabs on the number of installs, check out the automatic install counter!

A great deal of our time goes to ease installation – where the HDA comes up fully function at the first try. Our last three installs have been with virtually zero incidents! That means we’re going BETA!

Tell your friends! If you know of someone who would like the Amahi Linux Home Server, we’re entering a beta phase now, and we’d like to get more and more users. Thanks for making use of the HDA in your home network and for telling your friends!

We have received nearly a dozen logo submissions from the call in our previous newsletter! We will post them in our wiki soon! Logo submissions are always welcome!

Back to the HDA apps. While we’re working on new applications, we would like to highlight a few of our applications.


PBA Backups in the Amahi Linux ServerHave you ever had that dreaded feeling that you may have lost a hard drive that you haven’t backed up in a while or that the system may be infected with a virus? You may have your music collection, your financial information and files or worse, your precious family photos and videos.

You have two very simple ways to do backups in your HDA.

If you use Windows Vista, it comes with a straightforward way to backup your files (not the OS) regularly to the HDA. To use it, go to the Backup and restore Center (Start -> Control Panel -> Backup & Restore). In it, you can do configure settings to make Vista do backups to your HDA daily, weekly or monthly. All you have to specify is that you want to backup to the network, e.g. to \\hda\files\backups. The first time it will back up all your files. Subsequent backups are incremental: only what changed since last backup is saved. We’re looking into how to use the HDA as backup device for the Apple Mac.

The other simple backup method is the Personal Backup Assistant (or PBA). PBA helps solve some of the backup headaches – you can now backup any of the computers on your home network onto the Amahi Linux Home Server by simply booting over the network. It does full-disk backups, including OS and all! It’s not unlike Norton Ghost, but open source, and better :-)

  • No software to install. Comes preinstalled in your HDA.
  • Fast: backing up and restoring entire drives at record speeds
  • Complete: PBA saves your entire disk image, including operating systems and any data partitions
  • Efficient: PBA makes use of on-the-fly compression to minimize the disk usage of backups in your HDA

For more details, explore the Amahi wiki and add your own comments, feature requests and notes and suggestions for other users.

Microsoft Outlook Calendar Support

Outlook supportOutlook is a pervasive email and scheduling application from Microsoft. Our users have requested the ability to sync their Outlook calendar with their Amahi Linux Home Server Calendar. With Outlook synchronization, users can now display their work calendar for everyone at home providing a true representation of their schedule. Our synchronization keeps the Outlook calendar titles and details private, for those majority of users that use it at work but like to share their schedule at home.

This feature also keeps with our motto of keeping things simple by not requiring any software at all. If you use outlook, you all ready have what you need to share your schedule with the HDA!

Get all the details about Outlook synchronization support in the Amahi wiki.

Amahi Home Server Application Ideas

Amahi Linux Server IdeasThe Amahi team would love to hear from you on your experiences with these new applications. If you have an idea for an application, please let us know and we’ll make it happen. We have received several ideas and at least two of them have made it to the HDA quickly!

For the latest and greatest, check out our home page, our blog and our wiki, with the latest technical details. For those with a day-to-day interest of Amahi Linux Home Server news, the mailing lists (the amahi-devel in particular) are the best resource.

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Ruby on Rails and Apache

Wow, today I got to look into configuring a new HDA to the latest and greatest.

The problem is that the Ruby on Rails web server picture is really fragmented.

I ended up screwing up the site:

mod_fcgid: read data from fastcgi server error.
Premature end of script header: dispatch.fcgi

I am growing desperate, as I did the same things in another machine, and it work. The only difference was that the broken machine is an x86-64 machine.

Anyway, anyone know how to fix the above??

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Amahi Newsletter No. 2

In this newsletter

  • Our new name, web site, blog and wiki
  • Amahi logo contest


Our apologies for this belated newsletter! We’ve been working hard to make our home server easier than ever to install and implementing various new and exciting features. There’s also a new name for what we’re doing as well as an exciting logo contest.

New name

In addition to all the new cool features we’ve been adding to the home server, we took some time to think of a new name for the project. We believe we’ve got an excellent name:


Along with the name and domain, we worked on a putting together new home page, which we’re still working on, a brand new wiki and new dashboard and new apps (and bug fixes, yes :-) ).

I know what you’re thinking – Amahi, what does it mean? It’s a question we get very often :)

Amahi is the word for home server used in Klingon on Star Trek. Interesting uh? You would have thought some Star Trek fan would have taken all the web sites with Klingon words already! Just kidding … :)

There is no English meaning for Amahi that we have found. There’s a theory it means “sweet” in ancient Japanese. Here is what our friend Aiko had to say on her research:

Amahi does not mean much in the real world now.

However, I did check out Kojiki definition … Just like flowers on trees (konohana), the lives will be limited in the most beautiful choices. That is what konohananoamahinomi means.

There is a theory that amahi could mean sweet.

Amahi has a fresh Hawaiian vacation feel to it and is refreshing to simply say it as we’re working hard on our Amahi.

Let us know what you think of the name. Send us feedback by posting comments, sending us email or just calling us to say hi and chat!

We have to thank a number of friends for helping with all this!

First Zuning for helping in finding the domain name and for
donating it!

Others, like Guy, Aash, Tim, Roland and others deserve lots of
praise for helping putting all this together! Thanks guys!!

Logo contest

Now that we have decided on Amahi as the name of this project, we need a new logo. You may have already noticed that we have a logo that has replaced the now retired HomeHDA logo. We’ve decided to run a logo contest!

Simply add comment to this post or contact us with logo images or sites or ideas that you would consider fitting or suitable for the project. The winner will get a free t-shirt with the logo on it! (Please provide all submissions by July 25th.)


In our effort to convey to all of you, our users, what we’ve been up to and the exciting new features we’re implementing for you, we’ve decided to create shorter, more to-the-point, newsletters and distribute them weekly. This week we simply wanted to give you an update on our name and start the logo contest.

Our topic for next week is Applications – specifically new applications for the Amahi Home Server including Backups, Photo Sorter, Outlook Synchronization and others. Stay tuned.

For the latest and greatest, check out our blog and our wiki, with the latest technical details. For those with day-to-day crave of Amahi server news, the mailing lists (the amahi-devel in particular) are the best bet.

Feel free to contact us with ideas, suggestions, feedback or simply to say hi!

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