What I want to achieve -

  • I have some videos on HDD which I want to access on other devices which are on the same LAN (Say smartphone or tablets)
  • Use the Raspberry Pi as a server to show the list of videos
  • User clicks on video he wants to see and then streams to his device. But he should not be able to download the video.
  • There can be upto 30 users who will be streaming the videos

What I have thought of so far -

  • Run Apache webserver on Pi and have a website and embed all the videos available for viewing.

Questions -

  • Is that the best way to go about this problem? Is there a better way to achieve this?
  • Can Raspberry Pi sustain streaming to so many users simultaneously?
  • Yes Kodi (XBMC) on rpi2 can serve HD video with NFS/SMB or UPnP enabled.from an external drive or NAS. via wifi or wired connection kodi.tv/download
    – Mapperz
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 15:38
  • 1
    Kodi(XBMC) does not help with the requirement to be able to stream but not download. But that said - unless you implement some sort of DRM scheme, stream==download.
    – Phil B.
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 15:40
  • @Mapperz I already have OSMC (Kodi port for Pi) running on my Pi, in this scenario I connect it to my TV, but I want the Pi to host it over network for other devices. So how would I go about accessing the files from a tablet when I run kodi on Pi?
    – bluefalcon
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 15:43
  • @PhilB. What if I embed the video in a webpage? Can it still be downloaded? The link will not be visible to the user..
    – bluefalcon
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 15:45
  • 1
    @goldilocks Sorry, had to run the other day and I didn't have internet access for a couple of days. I am not avoiding you! :) Yes, I understand what you are trying to say. The analogy sort of nailed it in. Oh btw, moderation is a tough and often thankless job :) Don't let stuff like this put you off..
    – bluefalcon
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


The easiest way to do this would be to use existing software dedicated to more or less this purpose. I think the major cross-platform protocol for such things is UPnP or DLNA, the latter being essentially an extension of the former.

In addition to Kodi, there are a variety of DLNA servers available for GNU/Linux; that is just one list and I am sure you can find others.

If you wanted to rig something up yourself instead, there is no end of approaches you could take. As per my earlier comments, there are a range of pretty much stock mainstream GNU/Linux distros for the pi -- the exact same OS's that account for (perhaps) most of the internet servers in the world, which would mean this question is more like, "What are all the possible ways of streaming video from an inet server?". It would make much more sense if you pick a methodology, any methodology, and then ask if it is feasible on the pi.

There can be up to 30 users who will be streaming the videos

If you really need to do that often (or even just occasionally), I think you will be better off investing in some heftier hardware than the pi.

All pi's have 100BASE-TX ethernet, meaning in theory up to 100 Mbps. Looking at this chart, one full HD stream is likely to be 5-10 Mbps. If, for sake of an arbitrary "reality factor", we halve the first number and use the high-end of the second one, you at best will be able to serve less than half a dozen people.


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