Decentralized server for holidays with Raspberry Pi


I don't know if I mentioned that I go on vacation to Girona (near Barcelona) soon and probably do not have WiFi wherever I go. I need a server with the following features:

  • Media Center to connect to the TV via HDMI/RGB.

  • Hotspot to connect remotely to the Pi from my iDevices (iPad, iPhone).

  • DLNA if I want to watch from my iPad some video through streaming.

  • Samba to download books or share from a HD.

  • To develop: Git, web server, MySQL and some other Framework.

I tell you my experience of how I've prepared a Raspberry Pi 2 using all the necessary software using as operating system DietPi. Everything in the next post.

htop on DietPi. Click to enlarge.

[ Ingredients ]

Speaking of hardware, the least I'll need this holiday to mount my own decentralized server is:

  • Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

  • HD 1TB + USB powered HUB

  • Wireless USB device (rt3750)

What operating system can I use to install and configure all the software with little effort?. As I said, DietPi is the right choice because it consumes very little resources and just install what you need.

I have many stacked boards in my house. I opted for the Raspberry Pi 2 because I need maximum compatibility with the operating system.

Now the software I'll need (The full list of packages you can install it can be found at

  • Kodi

  • MiniDLNA

  • Samba

  • LEMP: Nginx/(MySql)/PHP + Phpmyadmin

  • ALSA sound

  • Hotspot

I'll skip the part of the image burned on a microSD and run the software installation because it's quite easy. Let's look at the possible incidents that I have found in each case when using different programs.

[ Autologin ]

Well, this is a previous configuration more than anything to not have to authenticate in the system at each restart.

We create the file /etc/systemd/system/getty@tty1.service.d/autologin.conf and add:

ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty --autologin root --noclear %I 38400 linux

Now run systemctl enable getty@tty1.service and when restart, you don't have to type any user and password. Cool!

[ Kodi ]


When I want to see some multimedia content, simply write Kodi and, although it is the 15.2 version, it works perfectly. You can make boot directly from options dietpi-config > Autostart Options.

When you choose Exit from Kodi, the screen stays black. You must return to the first terminal typing ctrl+alt+F1

[ MiniDLNA ]


With Samba we'll not be able to play multimedia content with large size. To remotely view my tutorials/movies/tv shows I need DLNA support. MiniDLNA is the right choice and I have already used before, so it's just what I need.

We must copy the content we want to play in the folder that DietPi created in /mnt/dietpi_userdata (Videos, Pictures and Music). You can modify it in the file /etc/minidlna.conf. If the content you see on your device is outdated, you need to refresh the database server. Simply run the following:

minidlnad -R
service minidlna restart

[ Share files across the network ]

Nothing special. the user is root and password dietpi (is the same in almost all installed software). To access from my iDevices, I use the app File Hub or in the case of Android ES File Explorer. For multimedia files, my choice is VLC.

As bonus, I added at the end of the configuration file in Samba, which is located in /etc/samba/smb.conf, the following to access the folder where I store web developments:

   comment = www Share
   path = /var/www
   browseable = yes
   read only = no
   create mask = 0775
   directory mask = 0775
   valid users = root
   guest ok = yes
   writeable = yes
   public = yes

To activate the changes: systemctl stop samba-ad-dc.service && systemctl start samba-ad-dc.service

[ Web development with LEMP ]

I've installed LEMP (Nginx, MySQL, PHP). If you go to the url of your RPI, you will see that you get a very basic version of a html document sited in /var/www/html.

To edit databases, I use phpmyadmin.

[ Hotspot en DietPi ]

You can read my adventures with this here.

[ Last Words ]

Well, with all this ready, I can go on vacation and maybe I have time to enjoy the beach, the sun, the pool and tapas like the rest of mortals... See you soon!.

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