Amahi Over The Internet

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Amahi Over The Internet

Postby Drumplayr » Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:49 am

I'm not going to get detailed here... just a quick how to.

If you love your Amahi server like I do, you'll really like it across the Internet.
If you don't know what Amahi is, it's a "Home Digital Assistant", or a home server. The nicest thing about Amahi is that they have gone through great pains to make it easy to get installed and easy to use. You can visit http://www.amahi.org for info.

First let's talk about your IP address. If you have a static IP address, I assume you know about how it works and can skip this section. If you're like me, you have a dynamic IP address (it changes from time to time). I have a dynamic DNS account. I subscribe to a service that will discover what my IP address is and assign it to a URL like user.linux.com. It detects when my ISP changes my IP address and updates accordingly. You will need the same. !!!Make sure they support wildcards!!! If not, this won't work. So now you have your dynamic DNS account and let's say it's called user.linux.com.

You probably have a router/firewall on the edge of your network. You will need to make an entry to forward all traffic on port 80 (http) to the private IP of your Amahi server. Some devices call this NAT, some call it port forwarding. Check the documentation on your device on how to make this happen.

To make the necessary changes in Amahi very easy, you will need to go to the app section and install Webmin. Read the instructions on how to set it up. Most of the apps in Amahi are one-click-installs. Webmin is one of the few that has a couple extra steps.

Go to your webmin web page. On the left side, click servers, then Apache Webserver.
For every app you have installed in Amahi, you'll see a Virtual Server. Look for the app you want to access across the Internet and click on the globe.
Now you are in the Virtual Server Options page. Click on Networking and addresses.
The only thing you need to do here, is add the URL that you are going to use with your dynamic DNS account in the Alternate Virtual Server Names box. The address you see there is internal to your network. Don't change it or delete it. Just go to the end of the line, press enter on your keyboard for a new line, and add your Dynamic DNS address. This is where the wild card comes in.
For example. If you want to access your transmission app, and your dynamic DNS name is user.linux.com (from the example above), then the URL you add in the Alternate Virtual Server Names box is transmission.user.linux.com. Click the Save button. Click the Apply Changes link in the upper right hand corner.
Now go to your neighbor's house and navigate to http://transmission.user.linux.com.
If you want to access your Tin Can Jukebox app from work, go back to Apache Webserver, find the jukebox virtual server, click the globe, click Netowking and Addresses, add the URL jukebox.user.linux.com in the Alternate virtual server names box, click save, click apply changes. Next time you feel like rocking out at work, navigate to http://jukebox.user.linux.com.

This will work for almost every app in Amahi. There are some apps that have special set ups. You can still make them work but it will require a little more advanced setup. It might be good for another tip in this new forum! :D

=- Thomas
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Postby Rhakios » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:45 am

This bit is missing from the above:

Do you charge for apps?
Yes. As Amahi became more and more popular, we asked the community and brainstormed how to get Amahi supported in a way that works for all.

Eventually we decided to put more effort behind Amahi and embark in an adventure to make Amahi more successful and reach farther. We decided to offer services that the community requested and charge for them, in addition to the free services we have offered for a long time (VPN, dynamic DNS, server alerts and more).

After a lot of discussion with the closer community we also decided to make a few apps available in the Amahi App Store for a small one-click install convenience fee.

The expectation is that at any time, about 2/3rds of the apps will not have this one-click install fee, and the others would have it. As for the fee, we asked and what emerged was that people felt happy to go for something like USD 99c to a few dollars.

This fee is not paying for the app, but for all the work that goes on to make it all available in something as simple as one click.
Bye, Rhakios
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Amahi Over The Internet

Postby Drumplayr » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:42 am

I must be grandfathered in because I have not been charged for any apps. I do remember discussing fees with the developers but I didn't realize they started charging for some of the apps. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
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Postby paulm » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:21 am

I've been running an Amahi server at home for the last year or so. Its not a bad system, but it does have a few problems - DNS/DHCP resolution is sometimes very odd, and some apps don't install properly.

I've not been charged for any apps either, but I'm still on Amahi 5x/Fedora 12, which is pretty well unsupported now. I don't have any great interest in going to Fedora 14 and the most recent Amahi, given the current model. Apart from anything else, most of the network services offered are really more aimed at Windows machines, and I don't run any Windows machines.

As a result, I've almost finished phasing out my Amahi box. Instead, I'm using SMS (http://sms.it-ccs.com/index.html). It requires a fair bit more work (the documentation is not very well organized, and things have to be set up either completely manually or with Webmin), but, unlike Amahi, if it blows up, I can repair it, and I do get to make changes much more easily. Adding extra applications takes a bit more effort, but (IMHO) its worth it - I've learnt a lot more about server setups in Linux playing with it than I ever did with Amahi.

:) Its also Slackware-based (which suits me, since I'm a Salix user for desktop and laptop machines), so its nice an light - much more responsive than Amahi. And, since I already build Slackware compatible packages, I can easily build extra packages for it as well.....

Paul
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Postby LeeNukes » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:59 am

Worth me swapping out my CentOS setup at home?
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Postby paulm » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:58 pm

LeeNukes wrote:Worth me swapping out my CentOS setup at home?


:shock: This is getting a bit OT, but....

If you have a functional CentOS server, probably not. If you're starting to build a server, probably (IMHO).

Pros: light, quick to install, good range of server packages supplied, easy to add extras. Slackware based, so pretty stable, but more recent software than anything CentOS ships with at the moment.

Cons: a bit lacking in security out of the box, documentation is scattered and not very complete, needs a better way of handling new configuration files. It looks pretty much like a one-man band, which may have consequences concerning updates, but the Slackware base means it should be easy enough to generate your own updates should it be necessary.

:) Maybe we should move to the Discussion area for follow up on this one.

Paul.
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