Firefly Freelink

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Firefly is a flexible open-source media server, that also supports iTunes.

It's technical name is still "mt-daapd", the previous name of the project.


  1. Lots of good music
  2. Something to play lots of your good music on - Like a Roku Soundbridge
  3. Or iTunes on your pc


From Debian Repository

The easiest way to get Firefly is to install it from the Debian repository. Unfortunately the package for Debian 4.0 Etch (=FreeLink 1.0) is quite outdated at version 0.2.4 r1376.

It is not recommended to install this version.

You can try it by using:

 apt-get install mt-daapd

From Debian Package

A way to get a more up-to-date version is to create a Debian 4.0 Etch package yourself, e.g. from the package source of Debian 4.1 Lenny (=testing as of 2008-01).

Each Debian package has its own homepage with the package definition. There you can see which versions are available and for which system platforms (see build logs).

The advantage of this that you get a Debian-compatible configuration including start/stop scripts and that you can use all the package tools for it.

As of 2007-08 the latest version is 0.9 r1586 and this is also the recommended version.

It is recommended to create an extra directory for your self-build packages or packages pre-build by others.

 mkdir /mnt/disk1/packages
 chown root:root /mnt/disk1/packages
 chmod u=rwx,go= /mnt/disk1/packages

Building the Debian package

To be able to download the source of the updated package via apt add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list .

 deb-src lenny main

To avoid getting other unwanted sources from the other Debian version (here 4.1 Lenny) it is recommend to add the following line to /etc/apt/apt.conf .

 APT::Default-Release "stable";

If the file /etc/apt/apt.conf does not exist, then just create it via the following command and add the line from above.

 touch /etc/apt/apt.conf

After these preparations update apt to activate the added repository, get the GPG public key of the package maintainer to be sure that you download only clean non-malicious files, install the build-essential package for handling package sources, then get the package source of Firefly (=mt-daapd) and resolve its build dependencies.

 apt-get update
 gpg --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 78446F26
 aptitude install build-essential
 cd /mnt/disk1/packages
 apt-get -t lenny source mt-daapd
 apt-get -t lenny build-dep mt-daapd

Now its time to build the package.

 cd mt-daapd-0.9~r1586/

The signing error at the end of the "dh_builddeb" step can be ignored.

Installing a self-build/pre-build Debian package

Self-build/pre-build packages are installed via "dpkg". Mostly the first install fails due to missing dependencies, so we let apt fix this for us by just installing again with an apt tool.

 cd /mnt/disk1/packages
 dpkg --install mt-daapd_0.9~r1586-1_arm.deb
 apt-get install mt-daapd

Starting/Stopping and Configuration

You can start/stop Firefly with

 invoke-rc.d mt-daapd start|stop|restart

The configuration is stored in /etc/mt-daapd.conf

Manually From Source

apt-get install libid3tag0 libid3tag0-dev
apt-get install sqlite libsqlite0 libsqlite0-dev
apt-get install g++ build-essential

Be careful where you build, as you want to make sure you have room for the compilation. /tmp is too small for building.

cd /usr/src

Download Firefly mediaserver You will need to check out the nightlies and change the address below to the latest version

  • Note: I personally had issues with svn-1696 crashing every time Firefly rescanned my library. After discussion with Ron Pedde (Firefly developer) I was advised to use version svn-1586 due to it's greater stability. svn-1586 has been working flawlessly for me.

Untar and enter folder (replace with whatever latest version is)

tar -zxvf mt-daapd-svn-1696.tar.gz && cd mt-daapd-svn-1696

Configure it with the following (all one line)

./configure --prefix=/usr/local --enable-browse --enable-query --enable-mdns --with-id3tag=/usr/local --enable-sqlite 

Make and install it (if you are not su or root, you will have to add sudo to make install only)

make install
mkdir /etc/mt-daapd
cp contrib/mt-daapd.* /etc/mt-daapd/
cd /etc/mt-daapd
nano mt-daapd.conf

Should only need to change where to look for your music files

Starting at boot

I've nicked the start script from andre's mt-daapd ppc package (if you don't mind andre)

nano /etc/init.d/firefly

and add all this

#! /bin/sh
set -e

# /etc/init.d/firefly: start and stop the DAAP daemon


test -x $DAEMON || exit 0 

case "$1" in
   if ! grep -q /usr/local/lib /etc/; then
     echo /usr/local/lib >> /etc/

   echo -n "Starting DAAP daemon: firefly"
   if pidof $DAEMON >/dev/null 2>&1; then
     echo " apparently already running."
   exit 0
   if [ ! -s "$DAAPD_CONFIG_FILE" ]; then
     echo " missing or empty config file $DAAPD_CONFIG_FILE"
     exit 1
   start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --background \
   echo "."
   echo -n "Stopping DAAP daemon: firefly"
   killall $DAEMON >/dev/null 2>&1
   echo "."

   set +e
   echo -n "Restarting DAAP daemon: firefly"
   killall $DAEMON >/dev/null 2>&1
   sleep 2
   if ! start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --background \
     echo "start failed?"
   echo "."

   echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/firefly {start|stop|restart}"
   exit 1

exit 0

Then add the links

cd /etc/rc2.d && ln -s /etc/init.d/firefly S20firefly
cd /etc/rc6.d && ln -s /etc/init.d/firefly K20firefly
cd /etc/rc0.d && ln -s /etc/init.d/firefly K20firefly

Think it needs one of these

chmod a+x /etc/init.d/firefly

Run it

Should be able to start it up now


or better still use the start/stop script

/etc/init.d/firefly start

This errors because it looks for mt-daapd.conf in /usr/local/etc/mt-daapd.conf ??

I've just linked to it

mkdir /usr/local/etc
ln -s /etc/mt-daapd/mt-daapd.conf  /usr/local/etc/mt-daapd.conf

Try it now

/etc/init.d/firefly start


Directly after installation issue "top" and you should see mt-daapd at the top of the list.


Once that dissapears (it has finished checking your music library) you should be able to see it via the web interface


You can put whatever you like as user but the passwd is mt-daapd

That should show you something like this


Run over to your Roku Soundbridge and check if its working - then fire up iTunes on your pc and see all your files

Bauldrick 09:13, 21 December 2006 (EST)