Running minidlna on Ubuntu

I have a dumb TV. It’s still quite nice, just no streaming anything to it. I am in the process of picking a device to do the streaming and want to have a folder on my Ubuntu PC that holds the media.

I installed a service called minidlna which is supposed to allow streaming of media. However, it didn’t like the permissions on my chosen folder.
The path is /media/jw/DRIVE2/general.

I had a few problems setting it up:

jw@FooPC:~$ sudo service minidlna restart
* Restarting DLNA/UPnP-AV media server minidlna
[2014/07/23 21:03:30] minidlna.c:594: error: Media directory "/media/jw/drive2/general" not accessible [Permission denied]

I first pointed it to a folder in my home folder and it liked that just fine, but not the 2nd drive that holds the media.

So I tried setting the user as me in the conf file and in the default file. But eventually I had to set the user as “root” to make it work.

The service is controlled by 2 files:
/etc/default/minidlna (sets WHO the service runs as)
/etc/minidlna.conf (sets WHICH FOLDERS to use AND who is using the service)

Here is how to set up the folder locations in the minidlna.conf file
(I didn’t find the A,P,V part very useful, but show an example of how it is used.)

# Specify the user name or uid to run as.
# If you want to restrict a media_dir to a specific content type, you can
# prepend the directory name with a letter representing the type (A, P or V),
# followed by a comma, as so:
# * "A" for audio (eg. media_dir=A,/var/lib/minidlna/music)
# * "P" for pictures (eg. media_dir=P,/var/lib/minidlna/pictures)
# * "V" for video (eg. media_dir=V,/var/lib/minidlna/videos)

Now we set up the minidlna file:

sudo gedit /etc/default/minidlna

# User and group the daemon should run as

I restarted the service and this time there was no error about permissions.

sudo service minidlna restart

I’m probably going to get a WD TV Live box and see if that can see the media share. I’ll update as I go.

I did get the WD TV Live box and love it. I’m able to stream movies and pics from my computer to the big screen, and it comes with apps like Netflix.

Update 2019:
Got the newer Roku Ultra for ease of use, and future-proofing with 4K.