Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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13 Best Linux Media Server Software for Making a Home Theater PC

Everyone likes to watch movies, share images, listen to music, etc., actually. You, me, and everyone have a wide variety of those media files in our collection in a physical drive or any third-party server. In this case, a physical drive may be crashed, and you may lose all the valuable files, or a third-party cloud-based server may restrict the ultimate access or provide limited sharing options. So what’s the best solution for storing all those favorite media files but without much hassle?

In this situation, Linux Media Server software can help you to set up a cost and resource-effective media server, which ultimately lets you watch or share or listen to all the media files from a remote location on Smartphone or desktop. Your friends and your family can all have access to the media files through a secured network protocol locally or remotely.

Best Linux Media Server Software

In this article, I will share a list of the 15 Best Linux Media Server Software, which is not in any specific order. Remember, you need to have a system running lightweight Linux ( preferable to save resources) or a cloud server and one suitable media server software that suits your requirement best when you set up any media server.

Resource Link: Best Linux Software: Our Editorial List of Essential Linux Apps

I will help you choose the best Linux media server software or any video streaming server software by reviewing a set of various free and open source media server software.

1. Kodi – Home Theater Software

Kodi is one of the best free and open source media server software available in the market. It offers an intuitive graphical user interface with lots of customization options. Kodi is an all-in-one entertainment software center that supports all the major OS, including Android, Linux, Windows, iOS, and macOS.

XBMC – Kodi Media Center

It supports a web interface, and functionality can be increased with the help of add-ons. Kodi creates a sustainable network where you can store all the media files and share or enjoy those with friends and family from a local computer or network server.

How to Install Kodi on Ubuntu Linux

You can easily install Kodi on Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based on other Linux distros by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kodi

2. Universal Media Server

Universal Media Server is a free, cross-platform, and open source media server software for Linux, Windows, etc. It focuses on system stability and a wide range of file compatibility.  This home media server software comes with a nice and clean web interface and easy subtitle integration.

Universal Media Server
Universal Media Server

Download Universal Media Server

3. Plex – Media Server

Plex is a secure and powerful media server software for Linux, Windows, macOS, and many other OSes. This home media server software comes with lots of amazing features which is very easy to install at the user’s end.

Plex – Linux Media Server
Plex – Linux Media Server

Plex supports almost all the major file formats and offers an easy-to-use interface. All the access to the accounts is encrypted and lets you have full freedom of what to share and watch. It also supports cloud sync and gives offline access to media files.

Download Plex

4. MythTV

MythTV is a free and open source media server software for all the major OS, including Linux, Windows, and macOS. It has a built-in UPnP support for sharing multimedia content.


Download MythTV

5. Subsonic – Personal Media Streamer

Subsonic is a solid, feature-rich, and secure home media server for Linux, Windows, macOS, etc. It supports all the major file formats and offers a collection of 25 supported apps that help to stream music and movies into various types of mobile devices. It’s highly configurable and supports secure SSL connections.

Subsonic – Personal Media Streamer
Subsonic – Personal Media Streamer

Download Subsonic

6. Serviio

Serviio is a java based free and cross-platform DLNA media server for Linux, Mac, and Windows. Like any other Linux media server reviewed here, it also streams various media files and supports local and online content.

Serviio - Home media server
Serviio – Home media server

Download Serviio

7. Madsonic – Music Streamer

Madsonic is a well-known, secure, and open source media server software for Linux, Windows, and other Unix-based systems. This media server software is developed by using Java. It offers Madsonic API for the developer to make their own add-ons and scripts. Madsonic is basically a music streaming software with some unique features like jukebox functionality, Chromecast support, etc.

Madsonic – Music Streamer
Madsonic – Music Streamer

Madsonic Download

8. Emby – Open Media Solution

If you search for a powerful, cross-platform, and simple to use media server software, then Emby can be the best choice. You can run this neat and clean media server software on a machine running Linux, macOS, Windows, etc. It offers a web client for browser-based access on various mobile devices or simply uses the emby TV app.

Emby – Open Media Solution
Emby – Open Media Solution

Once you get settled installing emby media server software, it will be very easy to manage personal videos, music, images, etc., via an easy-to-use and intuitive graphical user interface. It also syncs media files on mobile and cloud sources seamlessly.

Download Emby for Linux

9. Gerbera – UPnP Media Server

Gerbera is a unique Linux media server software that comes with a set of tools and features, allowing you to customize and set up the home media server as you just need. It let you get metadata from various file formats and allow you to playback media through UPnP. There are lots of plugins and scripts available which let you flexible transcoding of various media formats.

Gerbera – UPnP Media Server
Gerbera – UPnP Media Server

How to Install Gerbera – UPnP Media Server in Ubuntu

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stephenczetty/gerbera
sudo apt update
sudo apt install gerbera

10. Tvmobili – Smart TV Media Server

Tvmobili is a cross-platform and lightweight media server software for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. This software also runs on low-end devices and demand very fewer resources. Embedded and ARM devices are also well supported. It offers easy server configuration and supports full 1080p high definition.

Tvmobili – Smart TV Media Server
Tvmobili – Smart TV Media Server

Download Tvmobili for Linux

11. OpenELEC – Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center

Unlike any other Linux media server, OpenELEC is a lightweight and secure Linux OS which lets you set up a high performed and configurable Linux UPnP server using Kodi. It’s basically a foundation hub. On top of that, you can run Kodi media server software.

OpenELEC – Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center
OpenELEC – Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center

OpenELEC is an all-in-one solution for managing and browsing media files, including movies, music, audiobooks, TV shows, etc. Moreover, you can also record your favorite TV series for watching afterward. The overall performance and functionality can be increased with the help of Add-ons.

Official Documentation of How to Install

12. OpenFlixr – Media Server

OpenFlixr is an energy-efficient, secure, and automated home media server software. It takes the help of other media server software to get its full capability. Like, it uses plex for managing music, movies, images, etc. It provides a browser-based reader for comics and ebooks using Ubooquity.

OpenFlixr – Linux Media Server
OpenFlixr – Linux Media Server

Download OpenFlixr

13. OSMC – Open Source Media Center

OSMC is a free, open source, and featured rich media management and streaming server software for Linux. It’s based on Kodi and supports all sorts of media files. It’s easy to set up and provides a nice-looking GUI with a variety of sharing protocols.

OSMC – Open Source Media Center
OSMC – Open Source Media Center

Download OSMC

#Honorable Mentions

1. Obmin – HTTP File Server for GNU/Linux

One of my Google+ friends has requested to check Obmin as a media server software. I have a look and found that this piece of HTTP file server software is under heavy development and doesn’t offer many features right this moment. But it has the possibility to become a good choice for file sharing and media servers shortly.

Obmin - HTTP File Server for GNU/Linux
Obmin – HTTP File Server for GNU/Linux

Obmin is easy to install and multiplatform HTTP transfer protocol available everywhere in Linux, OSX, Windows, Android, iOS so. Moreover, it supports various Linux desktop environments like Gnome, Mate, KDE, LXDE, XFCE, Unity, and much more.

Download Obmin

Final Thought

At last, it’s an obvious question of what’s the best Linux Media Server Software? Choosing the best Linux media server software is like what tools and features you are searching for.

The answer to this query heavily depends on few things like the types of device you want to use, types of user you are (newbie or admin), types of file format you want to run (video or audio or both), easy web interface, transcoding, metadata scraping, media recording facility, etc. All those matters will help you to set and get the best Linux media server software.

If you are a newbie, then I recommend using Plex and Kodi if you are an admin, which provides lots of tools and features for a home media server. Moreover, OpenFLIXR is worth trying. Besides Plex, Kodi, or OpenFLIXR, all other media streaming server software is also worth understanding which one is best and fulfills the demand.

Did you like this list of Linux media server software? Did l miss any other best media server software in this list? Let me know in the comment section. Share it with your friends and family on social media. Thanks for the time you spent here.


    • I wouldn’t say that they missed out. It works amazingly…when it works. Right now they pushed an update (10.7.0…) and now the web server doesn’t work right (You can’t play videos…), Live TV EPG is broken badly (As in it won’t fetch even though you’re logged in), and LiveTV playback is fried extra crispy.

      In short, they pushed an update out and broke all the key functions while “fixing” things in the product. Seems to be a regular case and instance with *EXCUSES* handed out by the people working with the project.

      They could be the #1 item on the list…but they won’t likely ever BE it.

  1. Total newbie here. What is a back and and why is it needed? Can I use any of the media center software as a stand alone? I appreciate your patience and for helping me out.

  2. You have Media Portal on the list, but even though it is open source, it has never been available for Linux. It’s purely a Windows based client/server system.

    Also, you leave out MythTV, the grandfather of all Linux based home theater/PVR software.

    • Thanks for the comment and correction. Yes, you are correct that MediaPortal is for only Windows OS. I have removed MediaPortal and added MythTV instead.


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