I recently got some new hardware and wanted to setup a video streaming server in my home. There are a lot of choices out there, for example check out the wiki page “How to Select a Proper Technology for HD Video Streaming in Home Networking Environments”. From that article:

This emerging “connected home” ecosystem comprises a variety of connectivity technologies – including Wi-Fi, Ethernet and MoCA – as well as a host of different file formats and potentially incompatible software applications that can lead to consumer confusion. With potentially so many ways to implement the sharing of digital video throughout the home, there could be nearly as many ways for users to experience incompatibility and frustration. In order to reduce confusion and to enable as seamless a user experience as possible, devices need to inter-operate transparently.

The key means for enabling these connectivity technologies to work together is to bring together proven and established network and multimedia standards into a single consistent and reliable framework that serves developers, consumers and service providers alike. To this end, Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) has developed robust, technical guidelines defining device classes and networked home use cases which, when built into digital TVs, STBs, Blu-ray players, mobile handset, personal media players and other devices allow high-quality streaming of multimedia content over wireless and wired connections.

The paper also included a pretty good table of all the guidelines from the DLNA, from the paper:


DLNA uses UPnP for a lot of it’s functions, so I decided to setup a UPnP capable server to stream my media. I was then checking out the wiki page “Comparison of UPnP AV media servers” to see a list of UPnP servers. Of course, I wanted to choose a media server with the most functionality. Here are the ones that stood out:

I then wanted to check out what other people were setting up, after doing some googling around, I found the following:

I also wanted the package to be included in ports (just for management’s sake). I checked out ports:

elatov@freebsd:/usr/ports>find . -iname 'ps3*'
elatov@freebsd:/usr/ports>find . -iname 'plex'
elatov@freebsd:/usr/ports>find . -iname 'mediatomb'
elatov@freebsd:/usr/ports>find . -iname 'minidlna'

I couldn’t find ps3mediaserver. I did find this how-to: Plex on FreeBSD?, it doesn’t looks there is support for that yet. So I was thinking either MediaTomb or miniDLNA and since MediaTomb had better transcoding capabilities, I decided to go with that. Here are the steps I took to install MediaTomb on my FreeBSD machine.

1. Install MediaTomb from ports

Let’s get this started:

elatov@freebsd:~>cd /usr/ports/net/mediatomb/
elatov@freebsd:/usr/ports/net/mediatomb>sudo make install clean

The compile went for a while, since it needed to install ffmpeg. I wanted to include every possible encoding/codec, just to make sure I can play everything. Here is how the config looked like for mediatomb:

elatov@freebsd:/usr/ports/net/mediatomb>sudo make showconfig
===> The following configuration options are available for mediatomb-0.12.1_8:
     SQLITE3=on: sqlite3 support
     MYSQL=off: MySQL support
     JS=on: JavaScript (SpiderMonkey) support
     LIBEXIF=on: libexif support
     TAGLIB=on: taglib support
     FFMPEG=on: ffmpeg metadata extraction support
     FFMPEGTHUMBNAILER=on: ffmpeg thumbnailer support
     EXTERNAL_TRANSCODING=on: external transcoding support
     CURL=on: curl support
     ID3LIB=off: id3lib support
     LIBEXTRACTOR=off: libextractor support
     DEBUG=off: debug build
===> Use 'make config' to modify these settings

And here is how my ffmpeg config looked like:

elatov@freebsd:/usr/ports/multimedia/ffmpeg>sudo make showconfig
===> The following configuration options are available for ffmpeg-0.7.13_6,1:
     AACPLUS=off: AAC support via libaacplus
     ALSA=off: ALSA audio architecture support
     AMR_NB=off: AMR Narrow Band audio support (opencore)
     AMR_WB=off: AMR Wide Band audio support (opencore)
     CELT=off: CELT audio codec support
     DEBUG=off: Install debug symbols
     DIRAC=off: Dirac codec support via libdirac
     FAAC=on: FAAC AAC encoder support
     FFSERVER=on: Build and install ffserver
     FREETYPE=on: TrueType font rendering support
     FREI0R=on: Frei0r video plugins support
     GSM=off: GSM codec support
     LAME=on: LAME MP3 audio encoder support
     OPENCV=on: OpenCV support
     OPENJPEG=on: Enhanced JPEG graphics support
     OPTIMIZED_CFLAGS=off: Use extra compiler optimizations
     RTMP=off: RTMP protocol support via librtmp
     SCHROEDINGER=on: Dirac codec support via libschroedinger
     SDL=off: Simple Direct Media Layer support
     SPEEX=off: Speex audio format support
     THEORA=on: Ogg Theora video codec support
     VAAPI=off: VAAPI (GPU video acceleration) support
     VDPAU=off: VDPAU (GPU video acceleration) support
     VORBIS=on: Ogg Vorbis audio codec support
     VO_AACENC=off: AAC audio encoding via vo-aacenc
     VO_AMRWBENC=off: AMR Wide Band encoding via vo-amrwbenc
     VPX=on: VP8 video codec support
     X11GRAB=off: Enable x11 grabbing
     X264=on: H.264 video codec support via x264
     XVID=on: Xvid MPEG-4 video codec support
===> Use 'make config' to modify these settings

The compile was successful so now it’s time to enable the service.

2. Enable the MediaTomb Service to Start Automatically

I added the following entries into the /etc/rc.conf file

# Enable mediatomb

I rebooted and the MediaTomb service was up and running

elatov@freebsd:~>ps auxww | grep media | grep -v grep
mediatomb  1189   0.0  0.9  74732  22276  ??  Ss    9:05AM   0:00.24 /usr/local/bin/mediatomb -i -d -c /usr/local/etc/mediatomb/config.xml -l /var/log/mediatomb.log -u mediatomb -g mediatomb -P /var/mediatomb/mediatomb.pid
elatov@freebsd:~>sudo /usr/local/etc/rc.d/mediatomb status
mediatomb is running as pid 1189.

As you can see it was running as the mediatomb user and group. I like security, so this was perfect. Also checking out the logs, I saw that it started up successfully:

elatov@freebsd:/var/log>sudo tail -5 mediatomb.log
2012-10-07 09:05:30    INFO: Configuration check succeeded.
2012-10-07 09:05:30    INFO: Initialized port: 49152
2012-10-07 09:05:30    INFO: Server bound to:
2012-10-07 09:05:31    INFO: MediaTomb Web UI can be reached by following this link:
2012-10-07 09:05:31    INFO:

3. Go to the Web Management Interface for MediaTomb and Add a Folder Where Your Media is Stored

Open up a browser and point it to http://IP_OF_MEDIATOMB_SERVER:49152. Here is how my browser looked like:


From here you can expand your file system and add a directory which will be served by the UPnP server and you can set it be scanned for new media at your desired frequency. Here is how my folder looked like:


That should be it for the MediaTomb Setup.

4. Enable Multicast in your OS

UPnP relies on multicast and IGMP to discover devices and to serve up files. Multicast is mostly UDP so it makes sense for streaming video. From the MediaTomb Documentation, here is what is necessary:

4.1. Network Setup Some systems require a special setup on the network interface. If MediaTomb exits with UPnP Error -117, or if it does not respond to M-SEARCH requests from the renderer (i.e. MediaTomb is running, but your renderer device does not show it) you should try the following settings (the lines below assume that MediaTomb is running on a Linux machine, on network interface eth1):

# route add -net netmask eth1
# ifconfig eth1 allmulti

Those settings will be applied automatically by the init.d startup script.

You should also make sure that your firewall is not blocking port UDP port 1900 (required for SSDP) and UDP/TCP port of MediaTomb. By default MediaTomb will select a free port starting with 49152, however you can specify a port of your choice in the configuration file.

I wanted to make sure FreeBSD was capable of handling Multicast traffic. Another person was wondering the same thing. From the FreeBSD forum: UPnP Setup- ifconfig allmulti Crashes Network:

As you can see, the MULTICAST flag is set, but not the ALLMULTI flag. That’s because ALLMULTI is the linux equivalent of MULTICAST.

So if you have the MULTICAST flag set on the interface you should be all set. I checked out my interface and it indeed had the flag set:

elatov@freebsd:~>ifconfig em0
em0: flags=8843<up ,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
    ether 00:c0:9f:41:c5:fa
    inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
    inet6 fe80::2c0:9fff:fe41:c5fa%em0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x1
    nd6 options=29<performnud ,IFDISABLED,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
    media: Ethernet autoselect (100baseTX <full -duplex>)
    status: active

I also wanted to make sure I have the correct routes in place to allow for IGMP traffic and I did:

elatov@freebsd:~>ifmcstat -i em0 -f inet
    igmpv3 flags=0<> rv 2 qi 125 qri 10 uri 3
        group mode exclude
            mcast-macaddr 01:00:5e:7f:ff:fa
        group mode exclude
            mcast-macaddr 01:00:5e:00:00:01

5. Make sure the appropriate ports are open on your UPnP Server and Client

From MediaTomb FAQ:

The UPnP protocol players use to find media servers relies on the IGMP protocol, which uses multicast. Be sure your firewall is allowing IGMP join requests from any IP address, and general IGMP traffic destined for broadcast addresses. For example, using iptables on linux and assuming eth1 is the interface MediaTomb is listening on:

# Special case to allow source for UPnP to use IGMP to
# register clients with media servers and routers.
iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -s -d -p igmp -j ACCEPT
# Any firewall code to limit eth1 input traffic to the appropriate IP subnets
# must come AFTER the above special case.
# UPnP uses IGMP multicast to find media servers. Accept IGMP broadcast packets
iptables -A INPUT -i eth1 -d -p igmp -j ACCEPT

My FreeBSD machine had no external facing ports to the internet, so I actually didn’t have a firewall running on it. But if I did, I would run pf and set the following rules by converting the above iptables rules to pf rules:

# allow Multicast traffic
pass in on em0 inet proto igmp to allow-opts
pass in on em0 inet proto udp  to

Taken from “Using OpenBSD with VDSL” and this as well:

# allow UPnP traffic
pass in on em0 from any to keep state

Also from the MediaTomb FAQ page:

make sure that your firewall is not blocking the server, port 1900 has to be open as well as the port on which the server is running (i.e. web UI port), both TCP and UDP

And here is an example for iptables from “Configure IPTables for DLNA with Plex

iptables -t filter -A INPUT -i eth0 -d -j ACCEPT
iptables -t filter -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 49152 -j ACCEPT
iptables -t filter -A INPUT -i eth0 -p udp --dport 1900 -j ACCEPT

Converting that to pf, we would get this:

# Allow SSDP (used for UPnP Discovery)
pass in on em0 proto udp from any to any port 1900
# allow Mediatomb Web Interface
pass in on em0 proto { tcp udp } from any to any port 49152

Since I didn’t have a firewall on my FreeBSD machine, I didn’t have to set that up. Next I needed to open up the necessary ports on my laptop, which was running Fedora 17. I shut down the my firewall:

[elatov@klaptop ~]$ sudo service iptables stop
Redirecting to /bin/systemctl stop  iptables.service

Then I installed upnp-inspector:

[elatov@klaptop ~]$ sudo yum install upnp-inspector

Here is the installed package:

[elatov@klaptop ~]$ rpm -qa | grep upnp-ins

I then started upnp-inspector and I saw the following:


So I was able to see the MediaTomb Server just fine. YAY! While I launched upnp-inspector, I also fired up tcpdump in back ground to see what kind of traffic was going through:

[elatov@klaptop ~]$ sudo tcpdump -i wlan0 udp or igmp and not udp port domain -nn
tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v or -vv for full protocol decode
listening on wlan0, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 65535 bytes
13:45:42.294794 IP > UDP, length 94
13:45:42.294854 IP > UDP, length 94
13:45:42.295553 IP > igmp v3 report, 1 group record(s)
13:45:42.296502 IP > UDP, length 291
13:45:42.396308 IP > UDP, length 300
13:45:42.497342 IP > UDP, length 343
13:45:42.598989 IP > UDP, length 357
13:45:42.699595 IP > UDP, length 355
13:45:43.019552 IP > UDP, length 291
13:45:43.120488 IP > UDP, length 300
13:45:43.221411 IP > UDP, length 343
13:45:43.322406 IP > UDP, length 357
13:45:43.423473 IP > UDP, length 355
13:45:43.517630 IP > igmp v3 report, 1 group record(s)
13:45:46.381568 IP > igmp v3 report, 1 group record(s)
13:45:47.039584 IP > igmp v3 report, 1 group record(s)
16 packets captured
16 packets received by filter
0 packets dropped by kernel

Checking out the same thing on our FreeBSD machine, I saw the following:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo tcpdump -i em0 -nn ip net or ip net or udp and not udp port domain
tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v or -vv for full protocol decode
listening on em0, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 65535 bytes
13:49:08.165626 IP > UDP, length 94
13:49:08.165999 IP > UDP, length 94
13:49:08.166315 IP > UDP, length 291
13:49:08.166499 IP > igmp v3 report, 1 group record(s)
13:49:08.266548 IP > UDP, length 300
13:49:08.367545 IP > UDP, length 343
13:49:08.468631 IP > UDP, length 357
13:49:08.569623 IP > UDP, length 355
13:49:11.000750 IP > UDP, length 291
13:49:11.101542 IP > UDP, length 300
13:49:11.202540 IP > UDP, length 343
13:49:11.303613 IP > UDP, length 357
13:49:11.404592 IP > UDP, length 355
13:49:12.328086 IP > igmp v3 report, 1 group record(s)
13:49:14.276460 IP > igmp v3 report, 1 group record(s)
15 packets captured
155 packets received by filter
0 packets dropped by kernel

So we can see that first, UPnP discovers on UDP (SSDP) then we get an IGMP ( packet to join a group and then the UDP/multicast traffic for the rest. Once we are done, we get a IGMP packet to leave the group.

So the FreeBSD machine was handling the multicast traffic just fine. I also confirmed by checking the netstat command:

elatov@freebsd:~>netstat -ss -p igmp
    56 messages received
    2 membership reports sent

We were definitely processing IGMP packets, and I wasn’t dropping any packets:

elatov@freebsd:~>netstat -ain -f inet
Name    Mtu Network       Address              Ipkts Ierrs Idrop    Opkts Oerrs  Coll
em0    1500        23423     -     -    18012     -     -
lo0   16384                0     -     -        0     -     -

From the above tcpdump I saw that the server responds on a random UDP port above 30,000. I actually found an Fedora forum that talked about this: “allowing xbmc to discover upnp mediatomb through iptables firewall”. From that forum:

I find that xbmc upnp client needs to receive a udp reply after broadcasting ssdp to search for upnp devices. How do I limit the reply udp port or let the firewall allow it without opening all the udp ports?

I have iptables firewall on the xbmc client machine set up to only allow udp port 30000-59999:

-A INPUT -p icmp -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m udp -p udp --dport 30000:59999 -j ACCEPT
... other rules ...

I started iptables back up and added the rule to my iptables rule-set:

[elatov@klaptop ~]$ sudo service iptables start
Redirecting to /bin/systemctl start  iptables.service
[elatov@klaptop ~]$ sudo iptables -I INPUT 14 -s -m udp -p udp --dport 30000:59999 -j ACCEPT

I fired up upnp-inspector and was able to see the mediatomb server still. I then saved the iptables setup:

[elatov@klaptop ~]$ sudo /usr/libexec/iptables.init save
iptables: Saving firewall rules to /etc/sysconfig/iptables:

6. Install XBMC and Add a UPnP Library from the MediaTomb Server

The install is pretty easy:

[elatov@klaptop ~]$ sudo yum install xbmc

After it’s installed you can just launch it by running xbmc from the command prompt/terminal. Once it’s launched it will look something like this:


Next, enable the built-in UPnP client from XBMC. Go to System -> Settings -> Network -> Services and Check the box that says “Allow Control of XBMC via UPnP”. The GUI looks something like this:


The settings are described in “Settings/Network” of the XMBC web site. From the site:

Share video and music libraries through UPnP Enables the UPnP server; this will enable you to steam media to any UPnP client.

Allow control of XBMC via UPnP Enables the UPnP client; this will enable you to steam media from any UPnP server.

Lastly add a UPnP Share by going to Videos -> Files -> Add Videos -> Browse -> UPnP Devices. From there you will see your MediaTomb Server. It will look something like this:


After you have added your share, you can go back to Videos -> Files and your share will be there. There are actually many other UPnP clients out there, I just heard of XBMC before and decided to try it out and I actually really like it. Here is a link that talks about other Media Centers.