FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we have received over time. Please contact us if you find that some need clarification, updating, or you find there is some question missing.
- Requirements 4 questions
- How is Amahi pronounced?
- What is an HDA? What does it stand for?
- Where is the Amahi data stored?
- Does Amahi support RAID?
- Does Amahi support Ubuntu?
- Does Amahi support wireless networks?
- Is the HDA supposed to be the DHCP/DNS server for my home network?
- Do you support CentOS?
- Do you support iTunes?
- Do you have a UPnP or DLNA server? Xbox, Xbox360 or PS3?
- How do I download Amahi?
- What are the system requirements to install Amahi?
- What does Amahi mean?
- Why do I have to sign up? What do I get for signing up?
- Does Amahi require to be running as a DHCP server?
- Does Amahi provide NAS funcionality?
- How do I install Amahi?
- Privacy: Does Amahi have any connections to the internals of my network?
- Is Amahi supported in my language?
- Does Amahi work with the Smoothwall firewall
- Why do I need an Install Code to get my server installed?
- Does Amahi come fully loaded with the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySql, and PHP)?
- What is this error about? "There are no applications available at this time"
- I used the wrong domain name for the install ... Any way to reinstall with the name I really want without doing a full reinstall?
- I did not receive an activation email!
- How hard it is to convert from WHS to Amahi?
- Why do I need to register?
- Do you support Fedora 14?
- I cannot login!
- How do I get Amahi Credit
- Do you support Fedora 15?
- When I subscribe to Amahi plans or buy apps, where does the money go?
- How do I do an email change?
- How do I change my password?
- Is using an SSD for Amahi beneficial?
- Can I change my nickname?
- Is Amahi Credit refundable?
- Does Amahi support ZFS?
- I cannot sign up -- I'm told I may be a spammer!?
- Which version is developed for which OS?
- What is Expertitis syndrome?
- Does Amahi provide a firewall?
- I'm not receiving the activation email! Help!
- Does Amahi have touchscreen support?
- Do I really need the HDA to be in a static IP address?
- Can I use a domain that does not exist in the internet for my home network?
- What happens if I pick a domain that already exists in the internet?
- Can I use a top-level domain?
- What home domain should I pick in my HDA configuration?
- What static IP address should I chose for my HDA?
- What are my Network Gateway Settings?
- Can I change my home domain once my HDA is installed?
- The installer recommends having a swap partition. What should I do?
- Does Amahi support LVM?
- hda-install: command not found - what gives?
- Do I need to change how my HDA is plugged into the router?
- Can I set up Amahi to boot headless?
- Update for new HDA Apps (or no apps available)
- Can Amahi be setup as a Virtual Machine?
- HDA specific URLs are not working
- I am using a proxy, however I cannot retrieve the repository RPMs
- Is it best to allow the system to update before setting up my HDA or should I setup first?
- I see a problem with 'yum lock' being present when I try to install, help!
- Do you support 32-bit systems?
- Do I need a client for the Amahi dynamic DNS?
- Does Amahi support installing on the secondary network adapter? (eth1)
- I can't sign on into my HDA!
- The applications do not work! It takes me to home.com!?
- What is the recommended OS drive partition layout for my HDA?
- What's the ideal configuration for a system that WILL use Greyhole mirroring?
- What's the ideal configuration for a system that will NOT use Greyhole mirroring?
- Help, I cannot access http://hda after installing
- Do you charge for apps?
- Does the one-click fee for apps get shared with the app contributors?
- Does the one-click fee for apps get shared with the app authors?
- If I pay the one-click fee for an app, do I have to pay for it app again?
- What about reinstalls and updates to one-click fee apps?
- Can I test a one-click install fee app?
- If I cannot use the app, can it be refunded?
- How quickly will Amahi release app security updates?
- Subscription Services 1 questions
- Usage - general 3 questions
- Usage - networking
- Can I have the HDA give static IPs for specific machines?
- Didn't I use //hda from my Windows window to open the files in my HDA??
- I want to add a printer to my HDA and make it a printer server, how do I do it?
- Can I disable the DHCP server in my Amahi HDA?
- How do I setup port forwarding in my router?
- My computers disappear from "My network places" after 10-20 minutes!
- Does Amahi work under a VLAN environment?
- My router does not let me disable DHCP! What can I do?
- I cannot access my HDA or my apps! Help!
- Usage - file sharing
- How do I configure file sharing for windows/mac machines in my network?
- The Samba configuration utility is not installed
- Do i have to use a prefix on the username to log in to my HDA?
- Do the Amahi shares have quotas?
- If I change where a share is, does the content get moved or stay where it is?
- Is it possible to map a network drive for a hidden folder?
- What transfer speeds should I expect?
- Usage - VPN 1 questions
- Amahi Sync 3 questions
- Running your HDA 4 questions
- App Packaging 3 questions
- PCs with an x86_64 processor
- As of Amahi 8 we only support 64bit platforms. this included most if not all INTEL or AMD processors.
- Support for 32bits, marvell and other platforms have been dropped.
For the Operating System, we recommend the default, ext4, which is a native Linux file system.
For mounting drives with your data, we also recommend ext4. However you can use many other file systems, like FAT and NTFS. These may come with some loss of functionality like permissions, file sizes or journaling.
HDA stands for "Home Digital Assistant." - Like a PDA, but for the home.
We came up with the term HDA to describe what the Amahi Linux Home Server aims for. Something as simple to use as a PDA, for the home and home networking.
/var/hdaon your system.
- Repo issues were similar (they vanish, introduce issues with caching, etc. This is subtle, hard to explain and hard to manage at scale.
- We could not easily patch upstream, it was impossible to get the attention of anyone in the Ubuntu community, whereas in the Fedora (and CentOS) communities, they were open to receiving patches and we had multiple times where we contributed releases to packages that we had patched for our community, sometimes in record times.
- At some point we volunteered to maintain some packages that were edgier and we had expertise with and we did for a long time (passenger).
- The Ubuntu community have little interest in the Linux community at large, whereas the Fedora/CentOS community have more of a leadership position.
- Ubuntu has much less (if at all) mature (and degree of commitment) to ARM, which is something we're interested in for migrating to more power efficient hardware platforms
- The RPM system is, in the end, more mature and better documented than the APT system. More professional and better documented wins. We thought APT packages would be more polished, but in fact were harder to maintain.
- Our Ubuntu developer realized all these things and how hard it is to do in that community. He had a change in life situation and had to slow down. Later when he came back, he realized Fedora (and maybe one day CentOS) worked better for Amahi.
- CentOS is permanently behind, by its very nature. This is good, in the name of stability. By the time CentOS rolls around to a new version, Amahi would have been stuck in old libraries and packages for a long long while.
- We have tested CentOS (5 and later), however, it needs a lot of packages and infrastructure dependencies to make it work. There are dozens of small details that break apps in subtle ways, which makes it hard to support it thoroughly. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye: package names are slightly different, deps are just a little different, some files have different paths in CentOS, ....
- There is limited support for non-x86 platforms. We would like to at least not loose ARM.
- CentOS's focus seems to be enterprise-centric, so, many multimedia and other leading-edge libraries and packages are either not there, very old, or have subtle issues. Amahi has to walk a like between being stable and being up to date and on the leading edge. It's not a great alignment of interests with CentOS.
- Finally, the CentOS community is ... in short ... not friendly. The Amahi community tried to interact with them and they are very abrasive. Their focus is IT and stability and not modern libraries and stacks like Ruby on Rails, etc. The Fedora and Ubuntu communities are more welcoming to Amahi. We also have been able to maintain some packages for them.
- Use your HDA's DHCP and caching DNS server: This is the recommended configuration to have the all the features of the apps that come with Amahi.
- Use only your HDA's caching DNS server: To do this, change the DNS that your router gives out in the DHCP requests (or change your clients) to your HDA's IP address. By pointing your router DNS to the IP address of the Amahi HDA you will get a lot of
the functionality all of the machines in your
network that use it.
With this setup, everything will work, except:
- Assigning of static IPs in your network settings will not work
- Network booting your systems from your HDA will not work.
- Automatic DHCP naming of machines in your network will not work (the Amahi DHCP is configured to automatically allocate DNS names for machines that request their name via DHCP).
- Your Amahi HDA-provided domain will not work inside your own network. This means short URLs will not work in this configuration. Please use the long form url (with the full domain name you chose for your network).
- No change in DHCP or DNS in your router: You can use the desktop in your HDA and do most every features on your Amahi HDA, as the HDA will use its own DNS server. Other machines in the network will not take advantage of most features in the the Amahi HDA. They will probably see the file server in the HDA, though it may only be accessible with an IP address, not a name. The AmahiiTunes server and UPnP server may be visible to clients, however, this is not tested/supported.
Smoothwall is not available as a one-click install today.
In the future, it may be packaged by someone in the community, however, our philosophy is "It's your box!" so you can definitely go into your Amahi HDA and install it.
The one suggestion is to use eth1 for the WAN device, and that will probably make installation in Amahi easier.
The majority of Amahi apps are LAMP apps. So, all the components to run LAMP apps are present in Amahi from the get go!
In addition, Amahi provides a most excellent development environment for LAMP as well as all the other major frameworks like RoR (Amahi itself if built in RoR), Python, etc. etc.
Wether you do it as a hobby, for learning or professionally, Amahi is a great development environment for the most up to date technologies.
This error is an indication of two possible things: a) your HDA does not have network connectivity b) you installed an unsupported version of Amahi.
If you have network connectivity, it may be that you installed a version of Amahi that is too old or too new. Amahi usually stays a bit behind new major releases, due to stability considerations and also due to the development team being small.
» I used the wrong domain name for the install ... Any way to reinstall with the name I really want without doing a full reinstall?
There is no good way to do this, unfortunately, so it's not officially supported. The domain information gets populated all over the place in configuration files as your HDA gets used. The best solution is to reinstall.
However, if you just installed and have no apps installed or have not done much, you can probably get away with it by doing these steps, only for advanced users:
- Uninstall all apps and themes
- Create a new profile in your control panel with the same settings, but with the new domain. This will give you a new install code.
- In your HDA, bring up a terminal with root access (or ssh into your HDA if you do not have console).
- Remove a file with this:
- Run this command:
hda-new-install -f NEWINSTALLCODE(replacing the NEWINSTALLCODE with your new install code you obtained above)
Again, this is not really fully supported.
Amahi emails are sent with dual signatures. Most likely the email was sent out successfully. Here are some ideas and how to re-generate the activation email.
- Did you check your spam folder?
- Did you accidentally delete it?
- Does your provider reject emails with unique links?
If you would like to re-send the activation email, you can do so by entering your email in the forgot password page and your will receive an email with your activation link (or your reset password link if you somehow already activated).
Otherwise please contact support for help.
If you are using the same hardware, the best way is to simply copy the data out to an external drive or some other storage, then install Amahi fresh and copy the data to it, via USB or network.
If you are using different hardware, the best way to do this is by installing Amahi then copying the data over the network.
There are two main username systems related to Amahi:
- The user (or email) in amahi.org and it's password. This is reset via email. This username is not case sensitive, though the password IS case sensitive
- The user in your server and its password. Fedora asks you to make one user during install and after that, that same username is used to fully create the first user in Amahi. These usernames and passwords are case sensitive.
These are two different systems. Your server is your server and cannot be reset by anyone but you, being logged in.
What you say can be interpreted as saying that one does not allow you to get into the other, which is right.
- One of the main priorities is to make Amahi self-sustained. We have mostly reached that stage, where we can pay our bills every month.
- Another priority is provide enough value to be able to hire the Amahi team full-time.
- Other priorities are to foster open source apps and support worthy projects and organizations aligned with Amahi's goals.
Generally, Amahi is meant to be long running. In that sense, it's power efficient to be in SSD. However, having only one SSD drive is not that efficient if a bunch of other disks are also spinning in the system. They have to be power-managed for the system to be efficient. If the other drives are green and power-managed so that they are efficient, then an SSD will play well.
The second point is speed. Generally, booting will be much faster with an SSD OS disk. Hower there will be limited benefit from SSD if you have enough memory to hold Amahi and the OS. Since Amahi and Linux is meant to have a fairly small memory footprint, this is not a high bar. Since Amahi is not meant to be rebooted often, having an SSD is of limited value for making a speedy boot.
Overall, it's nice to have SSD if you can afford it. It will become more and more affordable over time, so it's clearly the future!
Amahi provides mobile apps for streaming content in your server. These apps are operated from phones or tablets, using their touch screen.
Amahi provides mobile apps for streaming content in your server. These apps are operated from phones or tablets, using their touch screen. There are also other mobile apps that can be used with Amahi, like Samba clients or even things like the VLC player. In addition, Amahi is meant to be used via a web browser. If you use that browser from a device using a touch screen, it's largely transparent.
The Amahi server (and the hardware) do not require a monitor, except during the initial installation. This is known as a "headless" server.
- Don't use a dynamic DNS domain. These are really for use externally, not in your home network! (besides, you get a free, zero-configuration dynamic DNS address externally with your Amahi HDA install)
- Don't use the same domain you get your email at*.
- Don't use a long domain. Shorter makes your networking simpler.
- Do feel free to use a vanity domain or one that does not exist on the Internet at large
home.comfor your home DNS domain. That means your machines at home will be part of this DNS domain. For instance, if you have an iPhone and a vaio computer, they will come up as
vaio.home.com. Note that this choice has no bearing with things as seen from the outside of your home network. From inside, you will "own" that domain in your network and will not be able to see anything from that domain outside of your network. So we recommend you choose a domain that you
- Don't care about seeing it from your network*, and/or
- Does not exist
10but anything up to
99should do. We do not recommend using IPs
100and above because that's the range that the HDA uses to give out dynamic DHCP leases. We may change this in the future to make it more flexible.
ipconfig /allIn Mac OS X, go to System Preferences, Network, and look in the Router field. In Linux, we don't have to tell you :-)
routeand look at the Gateway column for the default route.
yum -y install 'hda-app*'
service httpd restart
yumto install the Amahi Linux Home Server and you are behind a proxy, you may need to set the proxy specifically for those programs.
rpm, you will need to use the options
--httpproxy HOSTand maybe
yum, you may have to do
/etc/yum.confor from the command line before using
yumby hand. See this article to learn more about
yumand proxy servers.
killall -HUP yum-updatesdIf that does not work, the big hammer approach may:
killall -KILL yum-updatesd
When the applications are installed, most of them also install a DNS name, which we usually call a "short name", like
http://blog, also aliased to your full domain, like blog.home.com.
If you click on one app link and it does not work, most likely, your client is not using your HDA for DNS.
To do that, you can force your client to use your HDA for DNS, or, more easily, you can turn off your router's DHCP server and then restart your clients.
You can also release and renew the lease if your client if you know how do do that. In Windows, you type in a command window:
ipconfig /release then
For simplicity sake the system OS partitions are: 1) /boot 2) swap 3) / (root)
- boot should be 500MB
- swap should be 1 to 2 times the size of your RAM
- root should be at a minimum 10GB
- the partitioning process at install will try to create a large /home. We do not recommend that. For Amahi, the large content is best served in /var/hda/files
LVM is optional, but not required. The Amahi team does not recommend LVM in general because the complexities introduced exceed the value introduced.
For those with the desire to mirror with greyhole, you "should" have 3 minimum partition mounts as follows ...
- /var/hda/files (with Greyhole ON, this is known as the LZ -- landing zone -- and this partition doubles as storage for shares that you choose NOT to enable with Greyhole)
With Greyhole ON, these 2 drive## partitions point each to a physical drive and are used by Greyhole to mirror selected folders that are greyhole enabled.
Note that partition 1 above, does not need to be on a separate drive, but it is beneficial.
It should also be noted that if doing this in a virtual-machine environment, much of the physical concepts above, go out the window.
- If you ever intend on using greyhole, you should mount shares within the /var/hda/files directory. Individual drives still benefit from being mapped as /var/hda/files/drives/drive00, /var/hda/files/drives/drive01, /var/hda/files/drives/drive02 etc..
- If you decide against ever using greyhole, your storage drives/partitions may mount anywhere, but it's advised to follow as similar structure as above
- Do not mount data storage within the OS drive mount points (/boot, swap, /, /home, etc)
You achieve that by stopping all other DHCP servers (typically one, in your router) and then restart the network on your client. For example, you reboot it, or just stop WiFi (or unplug the network cable) and start it up again.
This will ensure that your client uses your HDA for DNS.
Yes! This is an advanced feature that technical users love.
Generally, there are a lot of security issues one has to deal with if you want to host your own apps. Amahi cannot possibly help with that beyond warning about that.
At any rate, you can see how to host a web site in our wiki.
- First go to the Setup --> Settings and turn on Advanced settings
- Then go to the Network --> Settings and turn off DHCP server
Here are the tradeoffs if you would like to only use some of the functionality. In short, a few of the nicer features of your HDA will not be available. You can still point your machines to the DNS server in the HDA and get some of the benefits, like nice URLs for your HDA-provided services. This is not a supported configuration for things like Amahi Netboot.
WAN side of the modem or cable coax | [Modem] | | LAN port of the modem (e.g. 192.168.0.*) | | WAN port of the router [router] e.g. ddwrt, with NAT | | | | \ \ | | \ rest of your network ... e.g. 10.10.10.* or 10.1.1.* to keep your sanity
- Stop all other DHCP servers on your network (typically there is a DHCP server in your router servicing your LAN)
- Make sure you reboot your devices. We don't like this, but it's simple. You could also try to turn off networking (e.g. wifi) and turn it back on, so that your device gets a new DHCP lease from your HDA
yum install system-config-sambaThis command should be run as root (directly or with sudo).
A share is a pointer. Shares provide access to data.
Adding, moving or deleting a share does not touch data at all.
- Type of network (10/100/1000 wired, wireless, etc.)
- speed of the drives involved
- client OS used
- cables used (cat4, cat5, cat6)
- switches or hubs used
- chipset used by the clients and the server
Publicshare. By definition this lets you get public links to those files, even though the files are unlisted. The only way for someone to access these files are that a) you give them a link to it or b) someone guesses the link to the file. Files from different users have different locations and are separated by DNS-based names, each in a virtual host belonging to each user. This helps in separating user areas, because one area is not reachable from another.
- With direct access to the console, simply choose the username
- If you are already logged in as another user enter
su -to change the current session to the root user
- Use PuTTY or a similar utility to remotely login to the HDA
- Amahi updates are automatic. Major security updates from the base distribution will also be made available for automatic updates
- OS updates are not enabled automatically. This is for stability reasons. We don't discourage users from updating, however, we do not have the resources to test these, so things could break!
This seems to work well and we received good feedback on it, users like it.
We do try to make sure we keep reasonably up to date with the upstream distribution to make sure updates do not break anything in Amahi, however, that's something of a race, so if you update and notice something strange with Amahi, please report it (file a bug, or in the forums), indicating that you updated.