Alright, here is the setup:

  • One apple tv 3 in the living room, connected to the network (wired).
  • One pc running Linux (Arch Linux x64, AMD), containing all music, movies and series (wired).

Now I know that the atv can stream music and stuff shared from a windows/mac using iTunes and home sharing. The box containing the files is however running Linux.

I've tried to setup forked-daapd, which is recognized as a server by all iTunes instances in house, but not by the atv. I've read that this is due to forked-daapd supporting DAAP, but not home sharing.

I've also tried several other DAAP servers for Linux:

  • mt-daapd (the predecessor of forked-daapd), same story as with forked-daapd.
  • tangerine. Was recognized by iTunes, but didn't offer any media. Not sure whether the atv saw it, but I don't think so.
  • spydaap. This didn't work with the latest version of iTunes, which seems to be a known issue

I've also attempted to install the horror that is called iTunes on my pc running Linux, but that failed. It installed, gave a bunch of errors, starts, and does absolutely nothing. It's just a blank screen.

Now I know that normally such a setup would be possible by jailbreaking the atv, and installing XBMC on it. However, the atv3 is not yet jailbreakable, so unfortunately this is not an option for me.

Now my question is, what options do I have. Are there ways to make the atv recognize forked-daapd that I missed, or are there alternatives to forked-daapd that work with the atv? Is there an way to make iTunes run on my system? Is there any other way to stream the media on my Linux PC to the atv?

  • I have no idea, but wanted to point out that there are more DAAP servers out there, maybe one of them helps?
    – sr_
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 11:30
  • 1
    I've tried several, none of which worked. It's entirely possible there is one that does support home sharing (I hope so!), but I haven't found it yet. Hopefully someone will be able to point me in the right direction if one does exist. I updated the question to note this.
    – MaienM
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 11:36

10 Answers 10


If you are running Arch Linux I suppose you know how to install a rubygem. Take a look at https://rubygems.org/gems/airstream - a simple command-line-tool you can use to send remote and local image and video files to your apple-tv (tested with generation 3). If you need any help leave a comment on http://blog.lipautz.org/linux-and-apple-tv/.

  • Use a dedicated webserver (Apache or nginx) and airstream http://.... I've found the built-in webserver to be unreliable. Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 16:09

One clunky solution would be to use virtualbox to emulate a lightweight xp install which would host the itunes software. Create a samba share of your media files on the linux box and map that share to a network drive within the virtual pc, then add that mapped drive to the itunes library on the virtual machine. Its not an elegant solution but at least it would work, and the host machine would still be running linux.

  • Clunky, far from elegant... but better than nothing, I suppose. I though about this too but I was really hoping there was a better solution out there that I missed. Judging from the silence on that front so far, I might be wrong about that. Either way, thanks :)
    – MaienM
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 11:57

You should look into installing the plex backend and plexconnect (https://github.com/iBaa/PlexConnect) on your laptop. Once you've installed plex, you change your dns server to that of your laptop and it intercepts the trailers app to play any videos you have in plex.

  • Heh, cool & clever. Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 23:57

One workaround:

  1. Setup Apache on the Linux box to serve up the media files and links. (I probably went a bit overboard here and created a PHP app that serves files along with metadata, album art/DVD covers etc as a web page. You wouldn't need to do that to just prove the concept.)
  2. Go to the new webpage on an iPad/iPhones(s) and browse and select music or movies.
  3. When playing the media AirPlay it to the ATV3

One fairly significant point which might make this idea unworkable is that I also had to create a script to repack all my media into H264/AAC MPEG4's so that standard quicktime could deal with it. I had already found this was starting to be nessessary even with a jailbroken ATV/XBMC to take advantage of native video processing acceleration for high def video.


I 'm not sure this is what you're looking for but, the suggestion only works if you use an iDevice to access and control the media on your PC.

OK, I have my Linux Ubuntu PC and a Window 7 PC networked together, and using my iPad2 or iDevices, I can access all media content over the network thru the media servers I have on both pc's.

These servers are Media Tomb, Serviio for linux and Airplay, iTunes for windows. Using the apps I have, because each work differently, there maybe 10 ways to access the same files for playback either by airplay or airplay mirroring. I can also create a playlist in iTunes on windows 7 from the videos on the linux PC, which plays on the ATV2 over the network, just drag and drop from linux to iTunes playist on windows!

Some options are, direct play over network, play thru media servers or playlist in iTunes over network for continuous playback of select videos. It's a somewhat complex setup but it does work!

In your case, if you're just using a Linux PC, all you need is the Serviio media server for Linux and the Media Connect app for iPhone or iPad!

If you have no iPad, iPhone or iPod this will not work!


You could always set up Samba on the Linux server, so that the ATV sees a "windows" share and you would share out the directory/directories that contain your media.


With forked-daapd you can stream audio to the ATV using the AirPlay feature. In addition, you can use the Remote app on iPad/iPhone to control forked-daad.

But this won´t work for videos, I´m still searching for a daap server capable of doing home share.


Air Video has a Linux client (alpha version) that can stream to iPad/iPhone: http://wiki.birth-online.de/know-how/hardware/apple-iphone/airvideo-server-linux

And you can then use Airplay to stream it to your Apple TV


I have a Wind PC Nettop that I used to run Mediatomb on which worked great, until my father got an AppleTV2 which doesn't support DLNA out of the box, or iTunes File Sharing, only iTunes Home Sharing.

The solution was to install OS X on my Wind PC. This had the extra benefit that the machine sleeps and WakeOnDemand using an Airport Extreme works perfect.

So if you can install OS X on your "PC" hardware, it is a workable solution.

(Be nice if Apple just provided a cheap media server hardware. Mac Mini is too expensive and overly powerful for most streaming needs)

  • 1
    Installing Hackintosh is almost always a pain. Also it's not very "legal". I wouldn't recommend that route.
    – phunehehe
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 0:11

Installing Hackintosh is often easy as an OS X install (depends on hardware) and for a headless server, the most trouble some drivers aren't important anyways. (sound, graphics). There's no other option for using Home Sharing without iTunes.

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