iTunes Sharing from a Linux Server

In the space of only few days from the first time she tried it, the other human in the house came to expect that she’d be able to use iTunes on her PC to listen to the music collection stored on mine using the music sharing feature.

The downside of this arrangement is that shutting down iTunes on my computer denies her access.

The solution was to install mt-daapd (sexy name, isn’t it!) on a linux box I’ve been putting together as a home file server and move my library to the linux machine. Whenever I add music it shows up in the shared library in short order and without further human intervention.

At this point, this seems better than the alternative of telling her to use the iTunes library via a file share since iTunes doesn’t automatically detect new files. The downside is that iTunes doesn’t let you add tracks from iTunes sharing to a playlist.

I used “this article”: as a starting point. I was able to avoid compiling it because the latest debian package available works properly. The flipside is that I had to compile howl, because the packages are appearantly no longer in the Ubuntu Universe (whatever the hell that means).

*Update (9/10/2005): It seems that iTunes 5 has changed the network sharing protocol and broken mt-daapd. Fortunately, there is a new version out:

Home – mt-daapd project site
mt-daapd 0.2.2 has been officially released today. This version is primarily to fix iTunes 5 compatibility problems.

Currently, only tarball and debian “sarge” packages are available, but SRPM and Fedora Core packages will follow shortly.

2 thoughts on “iTunes Sharing from a Linux Server

  1. spiritraveller

    This is awesome! I just got it to work on my headless hoary box. It now streams my library of mp3s to any of my Windows machines that are running iTunes.

    Unlike the guy who wrote the oreillynet article, I didn’t have to compile mt-daapd. The newest version packaged for Sarge worked fine (

    Previously I was using samba to share the music on my home network. But that required updating the library of each client manually and waiting. With this itunes setup, the files are scanned every five minutes on the server side and they magically appear on the itunes client without any intervention… Simply beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.