As part of an ongoing series about re-taking control of our digital media, this first installment will address how to serve and organize your scanned comic book collection files by running Ubooquity Comic Book Server on Ubuntu.
Why a Linux comic book server?
Have you ever wanted to share your digital comic book collection with others around your LAN? Perhaps you simply have a ton of scanned comic book files that you need to better organize? After all, what’s the point of having these titles if you can’t find your favorite back issues? By running your very own comic book server, you’re able to keep tabs on what comic titles you have while also downloading and reading them more conveniently.
Choosing your Ubooquity Comic Book Linux Server
To install and setup your very own Ubooquity server, you must first decide what PC will act as a server. If you don’t have a machine in mind right off the top of your head, don’t worry. I do have some suggestions for you.
– An older lower powered PC just taking up space. Assuming it’s not running with a PSU that is going to gobble up your power, this is one of my first recommendations.
– A Raspberry Pi running headless. This option is my top recommended approach as it uses very little power, takes up hardly any space and can be run headless (without an attached monitor).
– A Virtual Machine with an assigned LAN IP. This would be useful if you have an existing PC that is on all the time, but does other duties as well.
Installing your Ubooquity Comic Book Linux Server
For the sake of getting this article out the door, I’m going to assume this is being done on Ubuntu. If Ubooquity is being installed on something else, then simply install it using your preferred package manager.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer -y
Download Ubooquity and download it to your preferred directory. If the destination is a second hard drive, make sure the permissions are set to your username.
Now you need to copy some comic book files into the destination directory from where Ubooquity will be reading the comics. In my case, this was an external USB hard drive. Be mindful of the directory name on the drive as you will be browsing to it later in the Web GUI.
With the executable ready to run and the comics in the properly selected directory, it’s time to fire up Ubooquity for the first time. I like to do this from Tilda, but any terminal will do. Change directories into the one that contains the Ubooquity executable.
Run the following:
java -jar Ubooquity.jar --headless --adminport 65535
This will run the Ubooquity server without the bloated Java GUI, plus it will use a port that I found to be the best available. If you run ufw or another firewall, make sure it allows for port 65535.
Additional assistance setting up Ubooquity Comic Book Linux Server
If you need additional help setting up your Ubooquity server, be sure to check out their Linux friendly guide. Also, here is a quick tutorial on scanning your own comic books. Ignore the software side of things, but pay attention to how to save your comics, being careful with corners, etc.