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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Holiday Present: performance improvements with a cheer from Amahi!

Today we are happy to introduce three things: A makeover for Amahi’s web site, a major performance improvement to Greyhole, the technology used in Amahi for Storage Pooling, and two important beta releases: the preview of the next major version of Greyhole and Mediatomb, an on-the-fly transcoding DNLA server!

First, check out the brand-spanking-new Amahi site: new logo, new overall look, better organization and navigation, and foremost, a much improved app store, one of our most frequent requests.

Many many thanks for the donations, for the reviews and the encouragement! We hope you like it!

New App Store

The biggest change is Amahi’s App Store, one of the largest of its kind!  We are adding more categories, a new slick page design for each of the apps, and on top of it all, it’s searchable.

The search box has already had over 1500 searches in just a few days! Welcome to the new Amahi App Store!  There are more features to come, … soon!

Greyhole Update

Today we have released Greyhole, 0.7.5. This new version, along with We would like to welcome a number of new users coming from the Windows Home Server world. We posted a migration guide by popular demand and it has revealed one weakness in the way we implemented Greyhole in Amahi by default.

Many WHS users with large existing data stores wanted to migrate their large collection of data, but the default Greyhole configuration in Amahi did not tolerate a massive migration well.  The load that the network copy created, especially on today’s fast networks, would often overrun the pace at which local data copying and replication takes place in Greyhole.  The cause of this bottleneck was a decision we made early on to use sqlite3, as a back-end for Greyhole out of a caution for reliability (something Amahi cares a lot).  The idea was to keep it as simple as possible, and not rely on another layer or dependency as a data management for Greyhole (MySQL).

As Greyhole was put to the test recently, it became clear that for performance purposes, MySQL was the much better choice.  Greyhole’s performance with MySQL is 330+ file transactions per second, an improvement over sqlite3’s 11 transactions per second.  Note that this is not data transfer rate but the rate at which file operations can be managed. Quite a staggering 30x improvement!

Today we’re releasing a new release of Greyhole (0.7.5) and a corresponding Amahi platform release (5.6.5) supporting Greyhole using MySQL as the back-end (though not by default yet). Also included are language translations for Russian and Swedish … thanks to our translations team!

Here is how to transition an existing system from sqlite to MySQL.

Two new Betas: Greyhole 0.8 and Mediatomb

Partly as a result of the performance analysis, we not have a new beta of Greyhole 0.8. In version 0.8, Greyhole now use spool files to log those operations. This is similar to how email servers work, and will makes Greyhole more efficient. If you crave the latest, the downloads are here: 32bit x86, 64bit x86-64, arm (for the plug computer).

For members of our beta program, check out Mediatomb, a UPnP/DLNA media server that works well with the Sony PS3. It can even transcode media on the fly, including many 1080p MKV streams! This is a very promising application, packaged by SolaR with great help from the community. Thanks!

For the latest from our community, we have ZNC (a personal IRC “bouncer” server), DaDaBIK, and for the true hacker in you Debian Lenny Network Installer. Lots of the community contributing apps!

Special Thanks

We would like to give special thanks to the team that helped us tune up the new site, provide feedback and polish things up!

Thanks to Guillaume and the small dedicated legion of recent Amahi converts for their enthusiasm and of course for a great effort in narrowing down this performance bottleneck and for providing a Greyhole migration script! Incidentally, Greyhole got a new web page too!

Happy Holidays to you if you are celebrating at this time of the year! Cheers!

The Amahi Team

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Themes, VoIP/PBX, Amahi 5.5 ready! And the winners are …

Fusion PBX

Wow! We are blown away with the innovative ways in which the community responded to the theme and app contest!

We got 9 new themes, which we are releasing live today (screenshots below) and we even have a top notch VoIP/PBX app, FusionPBX and a hot full-disk backup solution, Redo Backup, in progress!

Today we bring you this: The winners, the features, and … a new Amahi release!

Amahi 5.5!

Amahi 5.5 brings a guest dashboard for non-logged in users, a few fixes and some better networking and app support, along with Wake-on-LAN/WOL. Also included is an update in Greyhole with some bug fixes. Thank you for reporting and testing them!

And the Winners are …

Without further ado, look at the new features the new themes brought on: vertical tabs, mobile support, highlights in rows, nicely shaped tabs, … even an Easter egg in the theme! These innovations result in a smoother looking, cleaner dashboard, just another step forward in the evolution of Amahi.  Kudos to the individuals who contributed, you are another reason why the Amahi community is a great place!

The entries for the theme and app contest came from Florida, Indiana, Germany, Georgia, the Netherlands, Canada and Texas!

One of the biggest new features in a theme is Ben Wyatt’s Touch Theme that integrates mobile functionality, allowing for better control and improved rendering in iPhone/iPod/Android/WebOS devices. Check out our wiki for how to mod your Android based phone or iPhone to add VPN capabilities. What’s better than controlling your server from your phone?

Coming up!

What’s coming up? Amahi 6, with a whole slew of new features! Amahi 6 will leverage new features and advancements of Ruby on Rails 3.0 (released yesterday BTW). Amahi 6 will incorporate performance improvements, javascript helpers, cross site scripting protection, and very cool Amahi Gadgets and Widgets. More on this soon!

Enjoy the screenshots below, and congratulations to the winners and runner-ups! Can’t wait to see what you guys do with your new Plug Computer!


Touch

Touch Theme submitted by Ben Wyatt

Ocean Theme

Ocean Theme submitted by MartinF

OTH

On the Horizon submitted by slm4996

Celestial

Celestial Theme submitted by SolaR

Zombie Parade

Zombie Parade submitted by llamallama

Carbon

Carbon Theme submitted by MartinF

Shades of Grey

Shades of Grey submitted by slm4996

Chupacabra Theme

Chupacabra Theme submitted by the one and only Chupacabra

Colorus Theme

Colorus Theme submitted by Guillaume Boudreau

Sheeva Theme

Sheeva theme launched to kick off the Theme Contest

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Amahi 5.3: Storage pooling & replication, UI improvements, …

Konnichiwa!

The team has had a busy last few weeks with a small surge in growth from the FLOSS Amahi 5.3, Storage Pooling, Replication and Greyholeweekly interview and our award from Linux Format magazine, along with new features. We are proud to bring you Amahi 5.3! There are so many new features to this release that this announce should be for a 6.0!

First up, we have a wide beta release of a new disk pooling and replication technology brought by Greyhole! Amahi is the very first to integrate and release Greyhole widely and we’re proud of that. See the first of the two videos embedded below (less than 3 minutes)!

Then we have a new one-click automatic VPN tester in the Amahi control panel, a new VPN configurator for Mac OS X, deb packages for Ubuntu, plus dozens of new apps in our app store!

… and we have a little teaser video for you at the end of this post, for a new HOT app called Videos5 (also from the very prolific Guillaume, the author of Greyhole!), to encode and stream videos to your iPad, iPhone, Android devices and other HTML5-enabled browsers.   :)

Disk Pooling and File Replication using Greyhole

Disk pooling is the hottest new function to Amahi. Disk Pooling uses Samba to create a storage pool of all your available hard drives. It also allows you to create redundant copies (from 2 to whatever the max-number of disks you have in the pool) of the files you store. This can help prevent data loss if part of your hardware fails. Configure as many hard drives as you’d like to be included in your pool. You’re storage pool size will be the sum of the free space in all the hard drives you include. Your hard drives can be internal, external (USB, e-Sata, Firewire…), or even mounts of remote file systems, and you can include hard drives of any size in your pool. This is very exciting technology in Beta, so please use only with non-critical data. Hit the first video below for a short overview!

We’re Making Things Easier

  • Localization/translation improvements to 10 languages and new in this release we have the first bits of Japanese (Thanks Shingo!). This makes Amahi available in 20 languages!
  • New, much easier to install, Mac OS X VPN configuration package
  • Multiple UI improvements across the setup pages, for usability and consistency. See some eye candy
  • Installer improvements for stability and reliablity as well as usability (it suppresses some of the loud warnings)
  • App dependencies! One click installs all apps needed for one app to work!
  • A lot of updates related to building .deb packages for Ubuntu support (Thanks anzenketh!)
  • Improved calendaring, create an empty calendar on the HDA for an easy link to publishing or subscribing to calendars.
  • Get the details in the Amahi 5.3 release notes!

As usual, if you are on Amahi 5.x, you should have received Amahi 5.3 already via automatic update (unless you turned them off).

Cheers!

The Amahi Team

Video: Storage Pooling and Replication with Greyhole

Teaser for the Videos5 app in beta

Encode and stream videos to your iPad, iPhone, Android devices and other HTML5-enabled browsers.

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