I have been working to set my Raspberry Pi 2 as a media server in which I can stream files from a USB drive connected to my RP over my network to devices. I haven't been able to find an article or guide to setup a simple media server.

How is it that my router can provide media server capabilities, but the RP appears to be a rather difficult contender? Does anyone know of any good articles? I just want to be able to stream files from a USB HDD connected to my RP, over the network, to devices... Not just Windows specific.

Thank you!

  • Do you mean files sharing with something like samba (using CIFS) so that Windows PCs can access them? Or using the media server capabilities of an application like vlc that can do all sorts of thing (if you can get it configured correctly). The pulse-audio sound system can do related things particularly on Linux units (like the Raspian distribution used on the RPi) but again, configuration can be a b*****, um, tricky...! 8-).
    – SlySven
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 4:30
  • 2
    Look up DLNA.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 10:26

2 Answers 2


You have a wide array of options here, but I'll sum up a few

  • install miniDLNA to stream using this protocol (see if your clients can handle this)
  • install samba to share files to your network easily
  • install NFS to easily mount the drive as a network device on other machines in your network
  • install owncloud to have your own private "cloud"
  • install a web server to host your files

PS: for samba an nfs performance increases it can help to overclock your pi


You can set up your raspberry pi as a samba server by following this article. This will allow your raspberry pi to function as a NAS(network attached storage). Once you have this set up, its just a simple matter of accessing the raspberry pi from any other device to gain access to all the files in your external HDD. If you intend to connect your raspberry pi to a T.V and watch all your media through the T.V too, I would recommend you use openelec. It can be installed through NOOBS. It offers a very simple way to get kodi on your raspberry pi but if you intend to do other more complex functions this OS would not be suitable.

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