amahi_ubuntu_home_serversThe Amahi Home Server, an open source system that handles a range of in-home applications, could soon run on the Ubuntu 9.04 desktop environment. Here's the scoop and some thoughts about Ubuntu's potential presence in the home server and media server markets.

According to the Amahi web site, the open source system is a "Home Digital Assistant" (HDA).
"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."
The HDA can manage such tasks as:
  • Network backups
  • Shared network storage
  • Secure VPN connectivity
  • Shared applications like calendaring and a private wiki
Now for the Ubuntu twist. According to the Amahi wiki:
"We just started porting Amahi to Ubuntu. The support is highly experimental. There are a few important things to be fixed before you can run it with minimal tweaking. Please don't try it on a production server yet. We are using Ubuntu 9.04 (jaunty) Desktop 32 bit for development. We strongly recommend you to use the same for experiments. You can download this version from here."

More Than A Home Hobby?

This isn't the first effort to position Ubuntu in the home server market. A few years ago, there seemed to be strong interest in an Ubuntu Home Server project. And plenty of people have blogged about how to build a home media server on top of Ubuntu.

I'm curious to see if Amahi's efforts rekindle interest in an Ubuntu-based home server. Although not a household name, Amahi has captured the attention of major IT companies. Intel, for instance, in June welcome Amahi to demonstrate the Home Digital Assistant at Computex in Taiwan.

I've reached out to Amahi to see where their Ubuntu interests may lead.

Ultimately, I suspect Ubuntu's best chance for success in the home server market would likely involve a specialized appliance -- something that runs Ubuntu without consumers necessarily knowing it.

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