1

I've a standard Raspbmc setup with a media drive connected via USB to the Raspberry Pi.

Is there a way to use Raspbmc to serve the media from the drive to laptops on the local network? You can't browse to the Raspbmc as it returns the standard interface.

Would VLC be an option, or maybe installing XBMC on the laptop itselves?

3

You should be able to set up a Samba Server on the Raspberry Pi which would be able to host your content to the other computers on your network.

You should only need to make minimal changes to the /etc/samba/smb.conf in order to set up network shares. According to this source the default config looks like the following:

[global]
    workgroup = WORKGROUP
    usershare allow guests = yes
    security=share
    follow symlinks = yes
    wide links = yes
    unix extensions = no
 [pi]
    browsable = yes
    read only = no
    guest ok = yes
    path = /home/pi
    force user = pi
[devices]
    browsable = yes
    read only = no
    guest ok = yes
    path = /media
    force user = root

If you want to create a new share, just create a new section following the format for [pi] or [devices] and changing the path to point to the directory containing your files. When you get it set up you will notice that the share name will be the same as the section name.

Heres a link to the Pi forms with people discussing the same setup.

0

You can connect through DLNA protocol from laptop DLNA clients to DLNA server installed on Pi.

You can look at those answers.

Using the Pi as a remote server via iPhone
How to Stream Media from Raspberry Pi to iphone/ipad/android?

Basically; - Install miniDLNA on your OS at Pi.
- Configure miniDLNA to point your media library on USB disk which connected to Pi.
- Install DLNA client on your laptop. (VLC supports with plugin i assume.)
- Search DLNA servers on your DLNA client
- Enjoy your config.

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