The Drought is Nearly Over: Amahi 6 Beta, Torrent of app updates!

Amahi 6 Beta

Recently leaked reports reveal that Amahi 6 is in Beta, with an impending release!

Today we are happy to announce the newly-renamed Amahi 6 Beta for your testing pleasure. This is Platform and Base system only, VERY FEW APPS are available at this time.  We are shooting for a mid-February full release, after the beta testing. Early users report good things about the new pre-release bits and it should only be a little bit longer till release!

Grab a Fedora 14 DVD (not the live cd!), set this url http://f14.amahi.org as a repo and you are all set to kick the tires! Please report your findings and feedback in this forum thread.

We will have a bug week starting this Saturday February 5th. Reply in the forums, or come to the IRC channel with your  favorite fixes and bugs we just *must fix* in this release:) … A link to a bug in the bug tracker is required to participate :)  … We will report what’s new in Amahi 6 in the full release announcement but you can take a peek.

DLNA, FTP, Updates, Lots of New Apps

Amahi is becoming a media server powerhouse. Three weeks ago we released an update to the Amahi DLNA server app (now at v0.92.2), which brings stability fixes and enhanced compatibility with Samsung devices like TVs and settop boxes. Our community submitted these fixes upstream and were accepted right away!

Some other media oriented apps that are in beta still are getting some much-needed attention like MediaTomb (a transcoding DLNA server), PS3 Media Server (a PS3 centric DLNA server), CouchPotato, (an NZB downloader) and Sick Beard (a PVR for newsgroups).  We also have one cloud sharing app called Tonido. Media sharing is akey aspect of Amahi!

Did someone say FTP? We had avoided FTP (a legacy, but resilient, way to transfer files within your network) for the longest time, due to the fact that it’s not secure and that FTP over SSH is supported by many clients. However, you wanted FTP, so now we have two FTP servers apps available in beta thanks to the hard efforts of sabat and Solar_: vsftp and Proftp. Contact them in IRC or the forums to help test them.  Thanks to user ksjuggalo for help in packaging vsftpd!

More apps? Check out our pipeline of new apps …  how about Monitorix to monitor your network, and your HDA? Or how about Kmotion, a nifty home surveillance app. For the hardcore in you, if you do not want to miss a beat in IRC, how about having your own IRC bouncer with ZNC? Or a nifty app to check on the real-time health stats of your system, Linfo.

Migration

Kudos to the Community

Kudos to the community at this time where we had a large influx of new users from Windows Home Server. The team has trouble keeping up (and keeping you up-to-date!)  with everything going on in AmahiLand! We are recruiting to add to our awesome team a passionate community manager with great knack for communication to help us bring news in a concise and fun way to you faster. Interested? Get in touch with the team! (team at this domain …)

We recently have experienced more than triple the usual activity, related to Vail Fail. Lots of great feedback and some well deserved criticism on how to improve Amahi (we hear ya!). If you have spent any time in the Amahi IRC Channel, no doubt you’ve seen a lot of statements like “I’m new to Amahi and Linux, how do I…?” or, “I want to migrate my data from WHS Drive Extender to Amahi and Greyhole.”  These questions, as well as, features, apps, and support requests have generated a flurry of development and community activity. To support this we count with an outstanding community sharing their expertise in the IRC channel, in the wiki, and in the forums. Help is always readily available. So fear not, we few, we band of intrepid explorers in the wonders of the home server are here to aid the newly converted! Welcome fearless brethren, welcome! Special thanks to those new users who hang out in #amahi to help other new users with their expertise, this is very useful!

Amahi Edge!

We had bigger plans for what we used to call Amahi 6. Today we are renaming Amahi 6 to Amahi Edge. In addition of networking improvements and fixes that we have not merged in yet, Amahi Edge is the release with the elusive new dashboard, with more performance and efficiency, a new disk wizard, widgets, gadgets, and other whizzbang tech based on Ruby on Rails 3.0.

Cheers!

The Amahi Team.

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29 comments

  1. Varun Feb 4

    You all need to be promoting the Express CD install much more. The fedora full install, removal, installation of Amahi route is really, really exhausting. I gave up halfway through the Amahi setup the first time because of the sheer time it took to download the f12 install DVD.

    Please, focus on the express cd as the de facto way of installing Amahi. Ease of installation is what’s going to increase Amahi usage more than any other thing you do. (C.f.: Ubuntu)

  2. Carson Feb 4

    Being a reforming WHS user, I’ve been very happy with Amahi so far. As a noob to Linux, there were some differences I’ve learned about this system, but it has been very stable, useful and much more extensible than WHS. I’m looking forward to the upgrades. Good job!

  3. James Feb 4

    I agree — the Express CD is the way to go and I will wait until that comes out before trying out this version.

  4. mon.capitaine Feb 4

    Been waitting for this release for some time – great to hear it’s in beta now. Will start installing right away. Amahi’s the best.

  5. platoon Feb 4

    When final release arrive, will there be possibility to upgrade from F12 to F14 with “yum upgrade” command?

  6. da9els Feb 4

    So sweet :-) Thanks for the effort!

  7. Andreas Feb 4

    I totally agree, focus on the express CD. I also believe this will help getting Amahi put there even more.

    All I use is the expressCD. Having the whole OS installed for a server is a waste of everything.

    MY other recommendation would be to make it not depend on the DNS to run on the amhi server so services run as server\application rather then application.server

  8. Mike Feb 4

    The express Cd is what hooked me. I hate having to install everything, then go back and remove things that are unnecessary after the fact. The express CD made things much easier.

  9. Mark Beasley Feb 4

    I agree on the express install. I would take it one step further with all of the problems with Windows Home Server. There is a great, but short lived window (no pun intended) to capture people who don’t like the situation with WHS. An express install with greyhole and a backup facility would be a killer. As evidenced on MS’s own Home Server Forum, there are several people looking for an alternative, but view any Linux type distribution as requiring a huge knowledge and conversion curve. The sentiment goes something like “If I can’t just buy a CD and put it in the machine to install, then it’s too difficult. It’s also got to be robust” The reality is that Amahi is just as robust and almost as easy to install.

  10. Robert Webb Feb 4

    Just curious. I received an email about the Beta 6 version and a link to this blog. I did an install on a VM so I could see what this version was like. Install wen fine however how do I get access to any of the apps? It says none are publicly available. If none are available then why even promote it to the public?

  11. Ian Vincent-Spall Feb 4

    Agree on comments above.
    With the dissapointment of the recent re-release of WHS VAIL 2011 you have a great opportunity here. It has to be EASY, SLICK and SAFE for ex WHS users to make the leap.
    Good luck.

  12. inquam Feb 4

    Express CD is the way to go. I tried the long route at first but it just wouldn’t work. But is this new release aimed at Fedora 14 only? 12 is being left? My install is from the currrent express CD based on Fedora 12. You should really implement some update feature that stores data in greyhole and the database associated with that (I use the MySql DB backend) and as many apps and settings as possible. Reinstalling everything would really suck.

  13. Peter T Feb 4

    I’m a Vail Fail convert, and I’m very pleased with Amahi. It’s doing almost everything I want it to do with aplomb. (Come on, Clonezilla!) I had no previous experience with Linux, but have some technical chops.

    Here’s some (hopefully constructive) criticism. :) What struck me about the Amahi install and WHS-DriveExtender-to-Greyhole conversion was how quickly things could go from simple to difficult. For example, the Fedora install was easy, and the Amahi setup itself was amazingly so, but as soon as anything went wrong (some things went wrong ;) the situation degenerated swiftly into the arcane. Troubleshooting always involved interesting command line work, and that’s not a problem per se, but advice, even in the wiki, could be contradictory or incomplete. (I think the opportunity to comment on wiki articles could be valuable to reflect different experiences/tips. The forums provide this kind of “not explicitly covered in the wiki” kind of info, but are not directly associated with wiki articles.)

    I learned a lot about Linux in a short time as a result. While that’s actually valuable to me as a developer, Amahi is not something I could recommend to less-technical friends or family. Yet. And maybe that’s fine.

    I look forward to the updates, and my hat (it could be a Fedora) is off to your hard work and craftmanship.

  14. Ben O Feb 4

    I love Amahi! But the Express CD was the gateway for me – now that I’m hooked, I’m willing to wrestle with full DVD installs, but if you’re looking to grow the community, keeping the Express CD working is pretty much mandatory.

  15. flipside Feb 4

    I tried version 5 and had issues with the. PC backup process on my 64bit win 7 pro box and gave up as im a bit time poor, I hope this is improved in 6 as I’d really like to find a install and go alternative to whs. I’m also now tied into a carbonite plan and with no Linux client it will be another year till I’m in a position to move but ill keep my eye in with this very promising project.

  16. dizzy1 Feb 4

    @andreas There is no way to keep the current functionality without dns.

  17. slm4996 Feb 4

    Thanks for all the love towards the ExpressCD! Don’t worry a new ExpressCD is in the works for all you daring alpha testers, no ETA just yet tho.

  18. Nitz Feb 4

    Where can I find info about PS3 MEdia server, I don’t see anything in the forums

  19. Sam_dal Feb 4

    Didn’t try the ExpressCD but installed Amahi using Fedora12 network install on a 2GB SSD first and then the rest on 150GB additional drive. So my server is neat and clean with no excess baggage (not even a telnet client). Got help from the ‘Self-install’ wiki page @ http://wiki.amahi.org/index.php/Self-install-existing. So probably if an ExpressCD combines these steps into one step and builds a neat little server then it will be great.

  20. cpg Feb 4

    Thanks for the very encouraging comments!

    Yes, we will emphasize the Express CD after the positive experience we have had with it.

    The only real downside we have experienced with it is a reduced coverage in hardware support, in particular networking.

  21. sundrop Feb 5

    Ive been right here all along for awhile. Myself using the Expresscd to install amahi. I had some bits of trouble, but a few moments in IRC and those troubles went away. I am at 22 days stable with a greyhole drive of 4Tb. I will continue to support amahi as it has done everything I need it to do and always adding extra’s in the way of apps. Thanks everyone for your hard work and dedication

  22. Mandros Feb 5

    Come one you Amahi devs, get working on the Express CD and rename it to Amahi System or something. Make it the standard way of installing Amahi. Quit the Fedora basis installation as this poses the biggest hurdle for new users to start with Amahi. Make it completely headless.
    And virtualization friendly.

  23. Varun Feb 5

    @cpg:

    Interesting comment you make about the reduced hardware support coverage. Just how large is Amahi? As a point of reference that a lot of people are familiar with, Ubuntu is able to cram a whole desktop and the associated hardware support into a 700MB CD reasonably well, running into limits only very recently. Surely as long as you focus on network and storage controller hardware the CD ought to be fine?

    But agreed on the limited window to get an easy to use system up for us refugees from Vail. I intend to use my Quattro-based MediaSmart until it dies and so I’m mainly playing with Amahi to become familiar with it, but if it remains very difficult in the future… I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do.

  24. Splinter Feb 7

    Amahi works really well, I’m using it as a file server and DLNA server mostly. The Apps management is fantastic, this is key to it’s success, I’ll admit some apps are not all that useful or well tended too. Videos on the Amahi server play very well on Logitech’s Revue/Google TV set top box. Also media plays well on Xbox 360.
    I highly recommend anyone thinking of trying it to jump in. I’ll assume with Amahi 6 updates will auto populate, which is great.
    My wish list
    expand/intergrate the media database & playing, it would be nice for Amahi to manage the media, with a type, comedy or action or cartoon as well as a short discription.
    Mail server, although google would never do anything bad with my mail information, I’d feel so much better having a simple to setup mail server out of the cloud in a box away from prying eyes.

  25. rembrandt Feb 7

    Please make the ExpressCD the standard way of installation!

    I used the full Fedora12 install first and failed reducing the system to a neat, small one afterwards. The ExpressCD was the easier way for me – even as i call myself a linux newbie.

    But one wish for a backup solution: Installing Dropbox on the headless system is still a problem for me. Could you please addan RSYNC-App for the backup purpose? Or is there a way to configure Dropbox by command line and conf-files?

    You are doing a great job!

  26. Zeiva Feb 7

    To me it looks like the killer feature of the “Express CD” is the ease of use it provides, not the size of the download. As such it should be possible to just take the increasingly popular route of “Express DVD” rather than CD. It gives you all the space you need for a solid base of drivers and packets while maintaining the easy installation path.

    And from a download size perspective I’m sure the DVD would not necessarily be astronomical in size. The extra space should just be there to provide the buffer needed for an uncompromising base install. Granted this supposes the Amahi devs have the time needed to craft such a disc. If not I say skip the slimming down part and just package everything neatly for an easy install with the full Fedora 14 DVD as the base.

  27. cpg Feb 8

    @Varun It’s not really the size of the download, but that the process of removing stuff sometimes causes some loss of functionality, like some drivers missing. We like to test with the full DVD first because it is easier and it’s something that is less time consuming than having to compose a DVD image for each test.

  28. cpg Feb 8

    @Nitz Follow the link in the article to the app. It’s early for this app, but you can come by http://talk.amahi.org and ask to see if you can be added as a collaborator to it for testing.

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