Meet the ECOPC N.1: Amahi pre-installed, 1000 likes on Facebook!

Today, as we’re going through what we hope is the last week of testing for Amahi 6, we’re happy to announce the Amahi Ready™ program for hardware vendors and our first partnership in this program, by way of Evo Technologies, a Korean manufacturer of eco-friendly computer systems.

This is the first partnership for an off-the-shelf system with Amahi pre-installed, something that has been in big demand among Amahi users.

So if you’ve wanted to buy Amahi pre-installed, Evo Technologies is shipping the first system worldwide today. Meet the ECOPC N.1!

Green. Silent. Small.
The N.1 uses 10~11W at idle, 16W at full CPU load with 2.5″ SSD (18W with 2.5″ HDD) and less than 1W at standby. It uses about 90% less power than standard PC. It saves on electric bills and reduces the environmental impact of CO2 emissions. The N.1 can be operated with a small fan, or totally fanless, therefore you don’t need to worry about a fan failing. No fan means no noise!

Facebook Likes, UPSs, FlexRAID and WOL, Wiki improvements

What an amazing few weeks we had. Amahi’s Facebook page has been abuzz with all sorts of suggestions and discussions. Everything from an energy saving feature, flexraid, UPS integration, and Wake-on-LAN (WOL) were discussed!

The Race to 1K and redesigned Facebook page!

The race to 1,000 Likes is on! Who do you know that could use Amahi? It’s our new goal here at Amahi, WE NEED 1,000 fans! So go out tell a friend or two, whether they have our platform installed or not, to jump on Facebook and Like us! So while you’re there check out the redesigned page! We like the increased fluidity of the page and how it feels more like a personal users page!

WOL, FlexRAID and UPS Integration

Amahi is all about variety and choice. Many people do not know much about using Wake-on-LAN (WOL). WOL is implemented for devices with DHCP leases and Static IPs, under Setup > Networking. This was introduced to Amahi last year, and you can “wake” devices remotely with it. Great for the highly resourceful user!

FlexRAID is a highly scalable and smart storage system currently in beta that turns independent hard drives of various sizes, makes, and models into storage pools and storage pools into storage clouds.

Amahi Energy Saver is a project to make devices more energy-efficient. This project got an update and has a determined leader (hi jackrock!) and looks like it will be nicely integrated with Amahi! It’s in alpha, however, we hope to take it a step further to make energy savings part of the Amahi platform.

Recently we’ve also had an update on how to integrate a UPS with Amahi. Ghuiber’s efforts are documented in the Amahi Wiki under UPS setup.

Wiki Upgrades

If you followed those wiki links above you will have no doubt noticed the huge improvements in how the wiki looks and feels, with great looking templates for code, links, and easy to use notices. The speed at which the wiki changes is quite remarkable! And the amount of spam we get now in it has been curbed down big time. Take a moment to thank people improving the wiki and especially our wiki czars, smystaki and bigfoot65, for making all these great documentation improvements possible!

You told us what you think

Our goal with Amahi is to provide an easy, reliable, and expandable software platform for all of you.  We’ve asked the Facebook followers this: “What do you use Amahi for?”,  the answers probably seem familiar to most of you:

  • Media Server
  • VPN Server
  • File Server
  • App Server

Cheers!

The Amahi Team

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Security advisory: shares could be writeable when not meant to

No sooner we called this week “bug week” in our recent post … we found a somewhat serious bug in Amahi, the first in years. That is not what we meant by bug week!

The bug in question is that under certain conditions, users who should not have write permissions to a share could potentially write to it. It was fixed within minutes of being reported and the fix is available for the Amahi 6 beta. Fortunately there is an easy work-around for everyone else.

Who is Affected

If you set permissions to per-user access control to shares, you could be affected. If you did not turn off global writeability to the share before enabling per-user share control, you are affected.

Here is how it may happen: When a share has the “All users” and “Writeable” selected (which is the default) and the admin wants to manage per-users permissions and to give some users either read-only or no permissions, All users is unchecked. If Writeable is not unchecked first, users can still write to the share.

Typically one would click on All users to unclick it, to show all the users to control their permissions individually, without clicking on Writeable. Then manage the different users permissions. In this situation, the share would still be writeable to all users.

The Workaround

Fortunately, there is an easy work-around: unclick Writeable to before clicking on All users to manage their permissions individually. So, if you were affected and you had per-user permissions, you do this:

  • check All users to enable all users access
  • uncheck Writeable and then check All users again. All should be good then!

We have released and tested a fix for the Amahi 6 Beta release. You can see the details of the bug in our bug tracker.

Thanks go to Jimmy Hosio for hunting down this issue and to Bogdan (aka megabitdragon) for very quickly helping verify the fix!

Cheers!

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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WHS Vail Fail, Drive Extender, Greyhole and You

Check out what we have for you, a

Drive Extender migration guide

It’s a guide and a comparison of WHS’s Drive Extender vs Greyhole, the Storage Pooling technology built in with Amahi.

It’s things like this that highlight the importance of open source.

Microsoft has discontinued Drive Extender in the next version of Windows Home Server (WHS), nicknamed now #VailFail throughout the social networking sites. If this were open source software this simply could not have happened. Someone could simply fork the project and continue on – let the best code flourish!

This action riled testers, caused  thousands of angry and rude complaints, with many users now looking for a WHS alternative.

Amahi, with it’s implementation of Drive Pooling based on Greyhole, could be an ideal alternative for many.

We have not considered Amahi to be a competitor to Windows Home Server. For one, it’s not backed by a well-heeled corporation like Microsoft. However, many people have, and that’s OK. Just look at what some users have been saying about Amahi and Greyhole vs. WHS:

“[..] I am a freelance cameraman, video editor and photographer, I make high demands on reliability, usability and performance. WHS never cut it for me and the Drobo, which served me well for the past year, has a shockingly lacking performance [..]” —Axel Segebrecht, UK

“[..] So far I am extremely impressed. I have come from 4 reinstallations of WHS … From what I have seen Amahi is rock solid [..]“  –Ben Quittner, Victoria, Australia

“[..] I was an early adopter of Windows Home Server but wasn’t happy with it. It was “delicate”. Issues appeared on a daily basis and it didn’t “play well” with the non-Microsoft computers in my house. [..]” —Richard, Calgary, Canada

There are many more! See them at the Amahi testimonials page.

How You Can Help

At Amahi we care deeply about reliability. A home server has to be very reliable. Amahi is being used by thousands of users daily, most of them 24×7. Many tell us the reliability of Amahi is second to none, and much better than many routers or NAS devices. There was a lot of effort poured into the reliability aspect of Amahi from the very beginning.

Although many people in the community have worked hard to shake bugs out of Greyhole, one of the things that we know we have to do is knock out the more obscure bugs in it. While we have found and fixed a lot of the critical bugs, every software system has tougher bugs lurking. These are usually harder to expose and even harder to catch!

So, if you are interested in helping take Amahi and Greyhole to a whole new level, you can help with the Greyhole grinder initiative.

Reminder: Follow Amahi on Facebook and Twitter

Oh, and a reminder, Amahi recently got a fancy new “official” Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/amahi

So go ahead and “like” Amahi there to follow developments in Facebook. Your response has been great (about 400 fans in just a week or so!). You can also follow us on twitter.

Cheers!

Pic by: moparx

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