Universal Media Server, Headless, on CentOS 7

Universal Media Server originally started as a fork of PS3 Media Server. It is a great DLNA server for Linux. It has a large device support among other features. In our home, it is used to stream from our media server in the basement to the PS3 in the living room.

The following steps will get it installed in a headless fashion on CentOS 7. They should also be easily adapted for any recent versions of Fedora. The biggest difference from this guide and others I’ve seen is I provide a service file for systemd.

Install Prerequisites

  1. Install EPEL’s and Nux’s repositories. Visit each project’s website for the latest release, but the following should work:
  2. Install programs needed for transcoding:
  3. Install Java. You have two choices here. Install the appropriate openjdk package, or get the latest RPM from Oracle’s website. I’ve found Oracle’s java release works best with UMS.

Install the files for UMS

  1. Download a tarball of the latest version from UMS’ website to your home directory.
  2. Extract the tarball, and move it to /opt. Create a symlink from /opt/ums-#.#.# to /opt/ums. This allows you to add new versions and just replace the symlink, preserving the old installs if you want.
  3. Copy the config files to /etc/ums. This makes more sense than keeping them with the UMS files.
  4. Create a user, ums, to run the UMS application under. This user will need permissions to read the media files, as well as write permissions to the folder for the config files and the application files. Don’t set a password, use /opt/ums for the home directory, and use /sbin/nologin for the shell.
  5. Now, open up /etc/ums/UMS.conf in your text editor. Go through and adjust the parameters as necessary for your setup.

Systemd configuration

Systemd is the init system in CentOS 7 and the more recent versions of Fedora. It will be utilized to start UMS on startup, as well as provide easy logging of events.

  1. Create the file /etc/systemd/system/ums.service. This gives systemd information about how to start UMS. It should have the following contents:
  2. Next, instruct systemctl reload its configuration, then enable, and start the service:
  3. Provided everything started fine, there should be no output from systemctl after starting it. You can utilize systemctl to verify everything started correctly:
  4. Systemd captures all the output from UMS and stores it in its logs. You can access all that information with journalctl. This is extremely useful if there are problems. To view all messages from UMS, you could use the command: sudo journalctl _SYSTEMD_UNIT=ums.service

Open the firewall

Unless you’ve already mucked with the defaults, the CentOS firewall should be up and running, and likely only allowing port 22/tcp in. You will need to open some holes in the firewall.

Let’s first look at the ports that UMS uses:

Unless you’ve changed anything, by default, those are 5001/tcp, 9001/tcp and 1900/udp. Port 9001/tcp is optional. Enable it if you want to browse your media via a web browser. Let’s utilize the firewall-cmd utility to poke the holes:

  1. Determine the active zone for your network interface. In the command below, the zone in use is internal. Yours will likely be the default, which is public. Notate it, and use it for the next commands:
  2. Open the ports on the zone, and reload the firewall:
  3. Verify the ports are open:

Congrats! You’re done! Launch your DLNA client (or PS3 as it were) and make sure things are working. Utilize journalctl to gather diagnostic information if things aren’t working right.

Update: I’ve made some changes in the systemctl setup and noted that port 9001 is optional. These were at the advice of Vallimar on the UMS forums. Thanks!

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4 thoughts on “Universal Media Server, Headless, on CentOS 7”

  1. I’ve been trying for hours to get this going on centos 7. It seems to be setup correctly. I am able to see the media server on my Windows 7 machine as well as my X-box360. Video/Music streaming are working through chrome. I’m not sure what else to look for. All of my firewall ports seem open and connecting. UMS detects the renderers’. I have enabled UPNP on my router. The music files are scanned and detected in the “web view”. Windows media player and my Xbox360 just simply says there are no files. Thoughts?

    Thanks 🙂

  2. It worked good thank you but there is one mild issue i have.

    Its showing on my referrer on andriod, tv and andriod box fine but only shows the list of folders but i can see any list of mkv or mp4 files dont know why ?

  3. Thanks very much for this tutorial, Mike. FYI, following these steps exactly also works under Arch Linux with the new UMS 6.0.0. In my experience with headless UMS under Arch as well as Debian-based systems, it is not merely “best” but necessary to be running Oracle’s Java runtime environment, not Open JDK. Another popular headless-UMS method that you and your visitors might have seen (which is written for Ubuntu but works for Debian and who knows what other flavors) also supposedly doesn’t work with Open JDK.

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