If you didn’t already know, AirVideo is a nice utility which lets you stream your media files to your iOS devices. It compresses and re-encodes them on the fly so that it is playable by these devices.

If you don’t already have it, AirVideo is $2.99 on the App Store.

This tutorial helps you setup AirVideo on your Linux server, specifically Debian.


First, add the Debian Multimedia to your apt-sources if you have not already done so.

sudo apt-get install deb-multimedia-keyring
sudo echo deb squeeze main non-free >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Next, we need to compile libav! But we need to install the dependencies first.

sudo apt-get install autoconf build-essential checkinstall git libfaac-dev libgpac-dev libmp3lame-dev libopencore-amrnb-dev libopencore-amrwb-dev librtmp-dev libtheora-dev libtool libvorbis-dev pkg-config texi2html yasm zlib1g-dev x264 libx264-dev

Finally, we can get our custom version of libav, specifically patched for AirVideo. Do not use the latest, it will not work otherwise. Do not run make install – we will place our custom build ourselves.

tar -xjvf libav.tar.bz2
cd libav.tar.bz2
./configure --enable-pthreads --disable-shared --enable-static --enable-gpl --enable-libx264 --enable-libmp3lame --enable-nonfree --enable-encoder=libfaac

When the build is finally done, we want to create our own folder to place AirVideo in.

cd ..
sudo mkdir /etc/airvideo
mv libav /etc/airvideo

Time to actually get the AirVideo JAR file!

cd /etc/airvideo

Next, we need to create the properties.conf file that AirVideo will parse when starting. Create the file /etc/airvideo/properties.conf with the following content. Remember to replace everything that is in <>.

folders = TV:<location_to_media>
subtitles.encoding = windows-150
subtitles.font = Verdana
password = <some_password>
path.ffmpeg = /etc/airvideo/libav/avconv

Now run crontab -e and place the following line in.

@reboot java -jar /etc/airvideo/AirVideoServerLinux.jar /etc/airvideo/properties 2&>1 /dev/null &

Use the same line to start your server! Make sure you have the port 45631 open on your firewalls/computer!