Whilst you can run Gerbera as a “regular” application. It is strongly recommended to run it as a system service instead.
The server has an integrated file system browser in the UI, that means that anyone who has access to the UI can browse your file system (with user permissions under which the server is running) and also download your files! If you want maximum security - disable the UI. Account authentication offers simple protection that might hold back your kids, but it is not secure enough for use in an untrusted environment!
Since the server is meant to be used in a home LAN environment the UI is enabled by default and accounts are deactivated, thus allowing anyone on your network to connect to the user interface.
First Time Launch¶
If you decide against running as a system service for whatever reason, then when run by a user the first time startup of Gerbera creates a folder
~/.config/gerbera in your home directory.
You must generate a
config.xml file for Gerbera to use.
Review the Generating Configuration section of the documentation to see how to use
gerbera to create a
default configuration file.
If you want to run a second server from the same PC, make sure to use a different configuration file with a different udn and a different database.
After server launch the bookmark file is created in the
~/.config/gerbera directory. You now can manually add the bookmark
~/.config/gerbera/gerbera.html in your browser. This will redirect you to the UI if the server is running.
Assuming that you enabled the UI, you should now be able to get around quite easily.
Some systems require a special setup on the network interface. If Gerbera exits with UPnP Error -117, or if it does not respond to M-SEARCH requests from the renderer (i.e. Gerbera is running, but your renderer device does not show it) you should try the following settings (the lines below assume that Gerbera is running on a Linux machine, on network interface eth1):
# route add -net 126.96.36.199 netmask 255.0.0.0 eth1 # ifconfig eth1 allmulti
Those settings will be applied automatically by the init.d startup script.
You should also make sure that your firewall is not blocking port UDP port
1900 (required for SSDP) and UDP/TCP
port of Gerbera. By default Gerbera will select a free port starting with
49152, however you can specify a port
of your choice in the configuration file.
Using Sqlite Database (Default)¶
By default Gerbera will use an SQLite database, it requires no configuration - you are ready to go! The database file will be created
automatically and will be located
~/.config/gerbera/gerbera.db If needed you can adjust the database file name and location in the
server configuration file.
Using MySQL Database¶
If Gerbera was compiled with support for both databases, sqlite will be chosen as default because the initial database
can be created and used without any user interaction. If Gerbera was compiled only with MySQL support,
the appropriate config.xml file will be created in the
~/.config/gerbera directory, but the server will
then terminate, because user interaction is required.
Gerbera has to be able to connect to the MySQL server and at least the (empty) database has to exist. To create the database and provide Gerbera with the ability to connect to the MySQL server you need to have the appropriate permissions. Note that user names and passwords in MySQL have nothing to do with UNIX accounts, MySQL has it’s own user names/passwords. Connect to the MySQL database as ”root” or any other user with the appropriate permissions:
$ mysql [-u <username>] [-p]
(You’ll probably need to use ”-u” to specify a different MySQL user and ”-p” to specify a password.)
Create a new database for Gerbera: (substitute ”<database name>” with the name of the database)
mysql> CREATE DATABASE <database name>;
(You can also use ”mysqladmin” instead.)
Give Gerbera the permissions to access the database:
mysql> GRANT ALL ON <database name>.* TO '<user name>'@'<hostname>' IDENTIFIED BY '<password>';
If you don’t want to set a password, omit
IDENTIFIED BY completely. You could also use the MySQL ”root” user
with Gerbera directly, but this is not recommended.
To create a database and a user named gerbera (who is only able to connect via
localhost) without a
password (the defaults) use:
mysql> CREATE DATABASE gerbera; mysql> GRANT ALL ON gerbera.* TO 'gerbera'@'localhost';
If Gerbera was compiled with database auto creation the tables will be created automatically during the first startup.
All table names have a
mt_ prefix, so you can theoretically share the database with a different application.
However, this is not recommended.
If database auto creation was not compiled in you have to create the tables manually:
$ mysql [-u <username>] [-p] \ <database name> < \ <install prefix>/share/gerbera/mysql.sql
After creating the database and making the appropriate changes in your Gerbera config file you are ready to go - launch the server, and everything should work.
Command Line Options¶
Command line options override settings in the configuration file
There is a number of options that can be passed via command line upon server start up, for a short summary you can invoke Gerbera with the following parameter:
$ gerbera --help
--ip or -i
The server will bind to the given IP address, currently we can not bind to multiple interfaces so binding to
is not be possible.
--interface or -e
Interface to bind to, for example eth0, this can be specified instead of the IP address.
--port or -p
Specify the server port that will be used for the web user interface, for serving media and for UPnP requests,
minimum allowed value is
49152. If this option is omitted a default port will be chosen, however, in
this case it is possible that the port will change upon server restart.
--config or -c
By default Gerbera will search for a file named config.xml in the
This option allows you to specify a config file by the name and location of your choice.
The file name must be absolute.
--home or -m
Specify an alternative home directory. By default Gerbera will try to retrieve the users home directory from the
environment, then it will look for a
.config/gerbera directory in users home. If
.config/gerbera was found the system tries to
find the default configuration file (config.xml), if not found the system creates both, the
.config/gerbera directory and the default config file.
This option is useful in two cases: when the home directory can not be retrieved from the environment (in this case you could also use -c to point Gerbera to your configuration file or when you want to create a new configuration in a non standard location (for example, when setting up daemon mode). In the latter case you can combine this parameter with the parameter described in ?
--cfgdir or -f
The default configuration directory is combined out of the users home and the default that equals to
this option allows you to override the default directory naming. This is useful when you want to setup the server in a
nonstandard location, but want that the default configuration to be written by the server.
--add or -a
Add the specified directory or file name to the database without UI interaction. The path must be absolute, if path is a directory then it will be added recursively. If path is a file, then only the given file will be imported.
Log To File¶
--logfile or -l
Do not output log messages to stdout, but redirect everything to a specified file.
--debug or -D
Enable debug log output.
Print the configuration summary (used libraries and enabled features) and exit.
Print version information and exit.
Display Command Line Summary¶
--help or -h
Print a summary about the available command line options.