Halloween scary: Amahi 6.2 is here, and Amahi 7 on the way!

Well in time for Halloween, we are happy to announce the release of Amahi 6.2!

This release brings mostly stability and bug fixes. We have included a handy introduction to Amahi shares (PDF), fixed issues with special usernames, fixed shares area permissions, and in some cases we fixed disappearing DHCP leases. See all the details in the release notes for Amahi 6.2. This is an automatic update* and it will be the last release before Amahi 7.

The Amahi on Ubuntu release has been very popular! We have beefed up Amahi’s underlying infrastructure in the last few months to support the growing load. Amahi Sync, our own cloud syncing and backup solution for premium users, has been enhanced to support the increasing load. Amahi has been growing faster than ever and we try to keep up!

There have been many apps that have been ported or needed reimplementation and the community of app contributors has delivered steadily, to the point that we have almost all apps running across all platforms. Kudos to bigfoot65, the Amahi AppMaster for managing it with diligence and persistence. Thank you!

There is also some new blood and activity in apps, like the popular ownCloud, OpenRemote, MediaRip, Status.net, ThinkUp, Multicraft (a new and nice Minecraft server) in close cooperation of several people in the community (bigfoot65, northridgegrp, sanfelix, Taapie, zombu2, others, …). We are overdue for a post on the latest apps …

On other news, development is well under way on Amahi 7, based on Fedora 17 (or 18). Amahi 7 is a major re-implementation of the whole Amahi platform, with modern technologies like Rails 3 and ruby 1.9. It should run faster and be able to do much nicer things. We cleaned up and put a whole new nice skin to the wiki! Amahi got a nice plug on the popular blog @makeuseof reviewing WHS alternatives. Recently, community member Al Jachimiak (aka M3n_tal), along with support from core team member Pat (aka repat), presented a session on Amahi to a capacity crowd at the Ohio Linux Fest and it was well received!

Are you interested in getting involved with the Amahi community? We have lots of projects that are busy and can use help to move faster, from writing more tests for Amahi 7, to helping with marketing, to design, to packaging apps, to help planning for the tester program, to running the IRC bot, to helping with app testing automation. Lots of interesting cool stuff in a nice community!

Come by the IRC channel and get involved! In the mean time, enjoy Amahi 6.2!

Amahi Team

[*] This release is for the Amahi on Ubuntu release only (Fedora 14 is in maintenance mode). If you have Amahi on Ubuntu 6.1, the update is automatic you do not need to do anything (your HDA should have it by now – check under Setup > Settings).

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New partner, Amahi 6.1 and the Ubuntu Alpha Zero release

Today we present you a few fantastic announcements: Amahi 6.1 release, a new Amahi Ready™ hardware partner, new app updates … and … the first, Alpha Zero, release of Amahi Ubuntu Edition! We’re excited about this!

App Store and Subscription Plans

First, an update on the transition from our former App Gallery to the Amahi App Store.  With all the feedback we got, we expect to more formally announce the App Store and it’s details soon. In the mean time, we started testing by adding a small one-click convenience fee to some of the more popular apps that the community feels would be worthwhile, generating revenue for the project. This is so far working well and we are getting both positive feedback and feedback on how to improve/tweak things.

We also started subscription plans, which have been well received. As it happens, one of the core team members (cpg) suffered a fire at home (no major casualties), now really coming to appreciate first-hand the need for off-site secure storage of critical files. Was this a message from above?

We are happy to report that after the initial spike in support load, this transition has been  successful and we thank you all for the great support shown! We look forward to improving features on these fronts soon!

New Amahi Ready™ Partner!

We’re constantly thinking of ways to create a successful ecosystem around Amahi. Today we’re happy to announce our newest Amahi Ready™ partner! / kosa crta / (“cosa cherta”) is a Croatian-region distributor of VIA Embedded ultra compact form factor, rugged and fan-less embedded systems. kosa crta recommends and ships Amahi Ready VIA M’SERV S2100 64-bit energy-efficient, large storage capacity, compact, low-noise mini server. Check out their special promotion to Amahi Facebook users! They have even created a few install videos.

Amahi 6.1

It’s been quite a while since our last blog post announcing Amahi 6.0. While we have been delinquent on the news,  there have been many developments within Amahi in a few areas! We have released Amahi 6.1 (technically, 6.1.1). If you have Amahi 6, the update is automatic by default, so you are probably enjoying this release already. Check out the Amahi 6.1 release notes. The big ticket items are stability fixes for the platform and apps, initial support for Ubuntu/Debian platform and right-to-left languages like Arabic (thanks to Abdulrhman Al-Khamees!) and Hebrew (Ashi Carmel!). Also included are Latvian (Ivo!), Croatian (Vladimir!) and updates to Russian and Finnish. Awesome job from the community!

Did Someone say Ubuntu?!?

We are also very happy to announce the amazing Alpha Zero release of Amahi Ubuntu Edition!

It’s been no secret that the desire for an Amahi Ubuntu Edition has been strong for a long time. Commitment was critical in the face of complexity. We slowly added support for Ubuntu for a while and now have Frans (aka eFfeM), a very dedicated developer who was willing to lead on this sizable task, taking time to understand the intricacies and leading it past the goal of an Alpha Zero release for testers!

A few people are rumored to be running Amahi 6 on Ubuntu in development mode and are starting to test the platform and even apps! If you like to test and report bugs, please install it and join us in debugging and improving it!

This has been a long road, and we have still quite a long road ahead. We’re calling it Alpha Zero for a reason :-)

Please join me in saying many thanks to the development team, especially to eFfeM, cale, SolaR and cpg for their contributions (if you see them in IRC give’em a hug or buy’em a beer)!

What’s up with Apps!? And the Express CD?

Our mothers used to say that “It’s the little things that make people happy” .. and we couldn’t agree more. Conversely, some little things are big when it comes to turn people off. When an app does not install or does not work well is a great turn off. This is a huge deal for Amahi, because we disappoint people when things do not work, and that makes them speak bad about their Amahi experience. It takes detailed attention from our contributors and our testmasters to validate and bulletproof apps.

Here is what we’re doing to be more efficient at validating apps: we keep track of failures and we try to tackle the top issues. We are working on automatic app testing, which will ease the job of the team and leverage the (so far dormant) tester program. Expect to hear some news on this front soon as we believe we have a lead for the tester program. By focusing the team we believe we can package and release apps faster.

What about the Express CD? Hmmm, yes … we produced one version (Alpha 1) that was a dud. It did not work well. We have another version in the works that is rumored to run well. Many thanks for the contributions in this area to Solomon (aka slm499) and Rod Waldren!

App Updates

We now have a few apps verified and live as one-click apps, like

  • A very very nice Tiny To Do app which is a slick and interactive to-do list manager
  • The all-new VNC (a remote desktop app), which works out of the box
  • The good old Gallery 2 and the brand new Gallery 3, the granddaddy’s of photo galleries
  • A nice file manager called eXtplorer
  • A crafty terminal emulator called MindTerm
  • Rnews, a nice RSS reader, for the power news users out there
  • .. and a hometown favorite … OpenVPN ALS, a web-based VPN (for experts only!)

Cheers and enjoy!

The Amahi Team

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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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