Craving speed? Announcing Amahi 7, faster, more polished

Craving speed for your home server gear? Today we’re very happy to announce the availability of Amahi 7!

This has been a much anticipated (and delayed) release, in part because we re-implemented virtually the whole platform to use up-to-date technologies. It’s also our biggest release ever.

Want the goods? Click on the image to get started. For some juicy goodies/extras, keep on reading at the bottom.

Here are some new features in this release:

  • Express DVD “headless” install, with a built-in streamlined installer. On modern systems the install can take less than 7 minutes
  •  Faster, more polished dashboard thanks to more efficient modular code for reduced size and increased speed
  • One-click option to enable/disable each of the DNS and DHCP servers separately
  • Support for vertical-tabbed themes
  • Much improved HDA search, to locate your files more easily
  • One-click permission “repairing” for all files in a share

Pro features for advanced users and developers:

  • Developer-friendly advanced settings to easily use RSA keys for password-less access (via SSH). Use your system like a pro.
  • New plugin system, where plugins can be very easily developed. We’re very excited about this one!
  • Increased transmission speeds to our  Amahi Sync service.  Sync your files faster!
  • When a user is made admin, that user also becomes sudo-capable at the system level
  • Toggling of disk temperature readout between degrees Centigrade and Fahrenheit
  • One-click selection of the upstream DNS servers to OpenDNS, Google DNS or custom
  • Easily change the DHCP lease time
  • Easily change the gateway IP address

Here is some new technology packed in the release:

  • Switch to a much smaller footprint DHCP/DNS server (called dnsmasq)
  • Samba 4.0, the latest in stability and most compatible file sharing support
  • Use Ruby 2.0, which is substantially faster than the previous version of Ruby we used in Amahi 6
  • Based on Fedora 19, with support for the latest hardware (incl. EFI systems)
  • Recent Linux 3.10 kernel, efficient, mean and lean with and support for systems with low memory
  • Using a recent stable yet fast and mature version of Ruby on Rails with the delightful Slim template engine
  • Recent Greyhole release (0.9.31), with improved stability and performance (not integrated yet, see FAQ’s below)

This release has been possible through the effort of many users in the community, who patiently helped test various aspects of the platform, helped with apps, packaging the release, etc. Special kudos go to @bigfoot65 (Rod, our testmaster), @inquam (Daniel), @northridgegrp (Ken), @repat (Pat), @slm4996 (Solomon), @stgfoo, @mattman, @effem, @dnfalk, @totss and a few others! Thanks for your dedication and patience!

We hope you enjoy it, go download it now!

To celebrate the release, we have prepared some goodies!

  • A brand new videos area we unveil today with some screencasts to help in installing and using Amahi. Enjoy them! We hope to develop more soon
  • In that area, a screencast with an Amahi 7 install overview video. Thanks to @cmfisher for getting us started is this direction!
  • A 10% discount on the Amahi Shop, discount code AMAHI7
  • A nice printable disc cover for the Express disc!
  • A bunch of frequently asked questions for Amahi 7 just below

Enjoy and share!

The Amahi Team

FAQs about Amahi 7

  • Is there an upgrade path from Amahi 6 (on Ubuntu 12.04) to Amahi 7 (on Fedora 19)? Unfortunately there is no upgrade path at the moment. Not only the OS has changed, the whole Amahi platform has been re-done. We always go for stability. If your system is running reliably (as it should), there is no urgent need to upgrade. If you really want to run the newest, the best way is to cleanly take your data drives out, reinstall and add the data drives back in
  • Are there apps available? Yes, a few, but we’re verifying them for Amahi 7 as fast as we can
  • Will I be able to install the apps that I purchased before from the Amahi app store? Yes, assuming they are available (see above)
  • This is an Express Disc headless install (without desktop). Will there be a desktop install method for Amahi 7? Probably. We did not get to it yet, but if you want to try it, these instructions will probably work. When we do, we will announce it and also document it in the docs site. We
  • Is Greyhole storage pooling available? Not yet, but we expect to have it running shortly. In the mean time, the Greyhole package is available and you can install Greyhole by hand.
  • Will Amahi 7 be available for ARM? We expect Amahi to be available for certain ARM platforms in the future. We’re looking for developers for this release. Join the mailing list, stop by the IRC channel and get involved if you are interested!
  • Wait, are you abandoning Ubuntu? No. We plan to support the next Ubuntu LTS (Long-term Release) when it comes out unless something unforeseen or some needed features in the system are missing.

 

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Amahi 5.4 and the Express all-in-one CD! All aboard!

We’re happy to announce Amahi 5.4 today!

Along with it, we also are happy to announce the Amahi Express CD!

Faster than Superman can rescue Lois Lane, the Express CD downloads and installs in minutes and gets you the most stable Amahi HDA ever.

Too bad you can’t install one AT THE OFFICE

Amahi 5.4 brings top notch stability improvements as well as UI improvements in looks and speed:

  • The installed applications show first on the apps tab so that it loads much faster
  • The servers tab is no longer an advance setting. It’s directly under Settings now, easy to reach
  • The default workgroup is now set to WORKGROUP, for easier interaction with Windows clients
  • … and more! See the 5.4 release notes for the details.

Amahi 5.4 should be now on your HDA, automatically updated!

Without further ado (drumroll) we bring you the …

Amahi Express CD

Installing faster than a bullet

The Express CD is an all-in-one, up-to-date, Amahi CD, for headless install, derived from Fedora 12. It’s the fastest and simplest way to install Amahi by far to date!

  • Express: it will automatically WIPE OUT your entire first drive for you (unless you chose the expert option).
  • Headless: there is NO desktop after install. This means faster and meaner, no wasted resources on graphics.
  • All-in-one: all the packages are included, much less downloading needed.
  • Up-to-date: the latest upstream updates from Fedora and from Amahi at the time the CD was pressed are included right in!

The development team got this down to about 400 MB, or about 10 times smaller than the regular install! Download, burn and share with some friends! 😉

Still need a desktop after all of this? We’ve got you covered with the desktop packages after you install.

When you stop by the community channel or the forums please take a minute to thank Solomon (slm4966) and the testers team for the hard work in putting this Express CD together and testing it!

This is expected to be our last release on Fedora 12 and the last in the 5.x series. Can’t wait to see the new goodies in 6.0!

Cheers!

The Amahi Team

Credit iwalk.jp and tharrin @ flickr

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Amahi 5.0 goodness! … in time for the Holidays!

Amahi 5.0

The Holidays are nearly upon us and here is a little Amahi magic for you!

The anticipation has been building and you guessed it from the title: Amahi 5.0 is here!

Simultaneously, we are very happy to announce:

  • A partnership with a leading cloud VPS provider, RimuHosting!
  • A beta service tailored to Amahi users, the Amahi Custom DNS!

What’s new in Amahi 5.0

  • Available natively in in 18 languages! Awesome community job!
  • Amahi in the cloud! This release has support for VPS servers (Virtual Private Servers). Today we are announcing a partnership with a cloud computing provider!
  • Major performance and memory improvements, providing a much faster web interface and a 30% smaller memory footprint
  • Based on Fedora 12, with optimizations for Atom processors built-in, preliminary support in SAMBA for PDC (Primary Domain Controller) with Windows 7 clients and much more
  • Completely revamped web-based installer
  • Users are more easily and securely setup now, the with password-protected pages and admin users
  • Brand new architecture, with future growth in mind, supporting more types of apps, and more importantly, bring us closer to supporting Ubuntu and other platforms. Over 100+ apps are working in this release out of the gates!
  • … and a few more goodies … see below for a link to the release notes (with the list of all 18 languages supported), more details, and screenshots!

This is a massively excellent release, if we can say so! Not only Amahi provides the largest repository of web apps available (not to mention easiest to install!), we have a great community, 14,000+ strong!

This is the fastest we have adopted a fresh release of the base Linux platform. Fedora 12 was barely released 3 weeks ago, and it has proved to be a solid release! Thanks go to the community for the contributions and testing to make a solid Amahi 5.0 release possible in such a short turn-around time! Keep on reading …

Amahi in the Cloud!

Many of you have written us about the need to more easily deploy your own server in the cloud, to share your data centrally, for business use, or to host your own apps from it.

Today the Amahi community is happy to announce our partnership with two leading VPS providers to help you deploy Amahi in their cloud servers.

RimuHosting is a leading VPS provider with data centers in London, Dallas and Australia. RimuHosting has been a hosting provider for Amahi for a while, doing a brilliant job. They are known for their reliability and fantastic customer service. Use the Amahi link to order and be sure to ask that they set up a Fedora 12 Amahi server for you in the comments section of your order, giving them your install code. They will do the rest!

An alternative in testing/evaluation is Linode,  a VPS hosting company built upon one simple premise: provide the best possible tools and services to those that know what they need — better hosting. Since Linode is currently working on the Fedora 12 offering, ask our support team how to get an image of Amahi for Fedora 12 on a Linode!

Amahi Custom DNS

We are also very excited to introduce a service in pre-launch stage tailored to Amahi users: Custom DNS!

What is it: it’s a custom DNS service for your domain.

What does it do: Amahi Custom DNS makes your domain and any number of subdomains you want, point to your HDA

What is it useful for: It is useful for hosting your own applications, regardless of your IP address changing. You can also customize any number of other features in your DNS (e.g. to host your own email). We will be announcing more about this when the service launches.

How can you get it: at the moment, we offer this service in pre-launch mode to interested users at a promotional discount of $35/6months. Get it now!


Send us an email at support at amahi dot org with any questions and feedback of features you would like in Amahi Custom DNS.

Outstanding Community Effort!

Thanks to the contributions and testing done by the Amahi community we can release this in such a short turn-around, with so many features, and in so many languages! More details on the release in the release notes.

Special thanks go to rampage537 and bigfoot65 for testing the platform and the apps and not let anything get by them, making Amahi solid! Special thanks also go to the many users that contributed in a number of ways: pjcrux, marcelv, bk, bdfoster, JCLeftie, robbiet480, JanJacobs, moredruid, rgmtt, Mr_Orange (come back safely!), (we probably are forgetting a few!) … and last but definitely not least, special thanks to the many translators in the translation team, who did an excellent job!

So Get Crackin’ and Happy Holidays early from the Amahi Team!

A Note on Upgrading from Amahi 4

Because this release comes with so many improvements for future scalability, we do not support/recommend upgrading from Amahi 4.x (Fedora 10) to Amahi 5.0 (Fedora 12). We strongly recommend a fresh install after backing up your data.

Fedora does support updating directly from Fedora 10 to Fedora 12, however, this is not well tested by the community and our experience indicates this can have lots of technical issues. If you decide to test this update path, please report your results in the forums.

Screenshots!

[photo credit by electricnude @ flickr]

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Amahi 4.0 is alive! PDC, Router Control, … and more!

The Amahi team is happy to announce a major new release of the Amahi platform!

A little while in the making, with stability and usability in mind, it brings the goal is a little closer:

          Making Home Networking Simple!

In just a handful of weeks that the app gallery has been open, we have reached close to 50 apps live, over 25 apps are in beta, with over 12.000 app installs to date.

Version 4.0 of the Amahi platform (for Fedora 10 only) hit the wires yesterday. It brings support for Primary Domain Controller, a new module system to remotely control your router/firewall, ability for apps to create their own servers and shares, and more!

Read on for all the details, but before that … A Call To Action!

We get feedback that we need more marketing! We’d like to ask you, our user community, to help publicize Amahi and this new release, with your friends, in your favorite forums, in twitter (yes, we’re @amahi!), in Facebook/MySpace/FriendFeed/etc. and any other forums you like!

If you know any blog, magazine, user group or media outlet that would find it of interest to interview or otherwise report on the latest from Amahi, get in touch with the team or the community!

Now let’s get right to the new features!


Improved Dashboard and Setup

Our dashboard and setup pages have changed. The Dashboard can handle many more applications and it looks better. Under Setup, there is now a new Settings tab for controlling advanced settings and router control. There are also user interface improvements in it. When installing an application, the special instructions for that app are shown immediately.

With Advanced Settings enabled, a few other options for more sophisticated features show up under the Shares tab and the Applications tab. Router control is also under settings, as an in-development feature (shows up under networking when it’s enabled).


PDC
Welcome to the home domain
One of the most demanded feature included in this release is that you now have the capability to run your HDA as a Primary Domain Controller (PDC).

PDC allows your HDA to control the features and application permissions your users may be granted access to in their computers, with the use of a single username and password combination. It also does things like mapping/mounting all the common shares automatically. This is why it is regarded as more of an “enterprise” feature.

This is especially beneficial to small businesses, home offices, and (sophisticated) parents!

Read more on how to use the Amahi PDC feature (note that it requires the pro/business versions of Windows).


Router and Firewall Control

This feature allows you to remotely control your router or firewall from the HDA setup pages. This feature is modular (if there is a module for your router/firewall, you can control it from your HDA, with no need to forward ports manually through VPN, etc.).

This feature is under development. Popular requested modules are open-wrt/dd-wrt and UPnP.

Help us out on this feature! It only involves writing some ruby code to interface the more popular routers and firewalls.


New Application Features

Applications may come with their own server and their own share. This is so that, for example, a bittorrent downloader can put files in its own share, and run as it’s own server, and be controlled by the user! A few apps already take advantage of this, like of the most popular apps, uShare and Transmission. More will take care of this going forward, which makes things easier to use and set up!


Servers
Servers Panel

A new section under Applications allows control and monitor the various servers running in your HDA, such as uShare, DNS server, DCHP server (a long requested feature), VPN server, etc.

This means you can now more easily monitor and easily control what’s happening. Remember it’s your network! Run it like you mean it!


What else is going on, you ask?

A few popular applications are out, including one, eyeOS, which is an entire Operating System in your browser, yes you read that right!

In the development front we have …

The Ubuntu port of Amahi is in development under the guidance of @kprav33n. This is very exciting. We will need testers for the Ubuntu port pretty soon!

The Fedora 11 update is now under way, with at least two F11 machines running in testing. Fedora 11 was announced in May and it looks stable.

servertweetAnd a little native app called ServerTweet that sends alerts on disk and bandwidth usage, programs running, temperature levels via Twitter is also nearing release. Pretty cool!

Big thanks to our community and our testing group. This update went very smoothly!
We are well on our way to developing the next platform thanks to the community members Rampage537, BK, cpg, GeraldW, pjcrux, Bigfoot65 and others for the help and support!

OK, OK, we will do more frequent (and smaller!) updates! :)

Carlos
for the entire Amahi Team and Community

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