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Standalone Streaming MP3 Server Tutorial

This tutorial will show you out to build your own standalone online radio server.  We'll be using freesco linux, and the icecast server, along with various other packages needed to get this to work.  


bulletAn old clunker computer [Pentium 75mhz, with 8 megs of ram is sufficient]
bulletSmall hard drive [we will be using less than 8 megs]
bulletSomewhat standardized network card
bulletA source for your broadcast [the shoucast dsp plugin for winamp is fine]
bulletThe need/will to help promote freedom of speech

Step 1:  Preparing the Computer

1.1 Partition the HD

Ok, you're going to lose everything on your hard drive, but chances are you want to anyway.  Pop in a boot disk and type fdisk.  Use option 3 to delete all your partitions, all your logical drives, and whatever else is on there.  We wanna start clean.  Ok, now use option 1 and create a primary DOS partition.  Reboot the computer.

1.2 Format the HD

format c:

what else is there to say?

1.3 Pull the goodies

All you need in this computer is a power supply, mobo, hard drive, floppy drive, and a nic.  Pull everything else and put it on your junk shelf.  [Leave the graphics card in there until we get done, we need to configure this box somehow]  If any of the needed parts are missing, install them.  

1.4 Choosing a NIC

Your network card ought to be farily standard.  If it's ISA, save yourself some time, and make sure it's plug and play.  If it's not, make sure it's easy to configure, and you know the IRQ and stuff for it.  If it's PCI, and ne2000 compatible, you're in business.  3Com cards work great for this project.

Step 2:  Get Freesco Linux On There!

2.1 Make a Freesco Boot Disk

Hop on over to, and download Freesco version 0.2.7.  Although you could probably get it to work with 0.3, you're on your own, as these instructions are for 0.2.7.  Extract the stuff out of the zip file, and run make_fd.bat.

2.2 Install Freesco

Pop in that boot disk, and turn on the comp.  Setup all the network stuff on the box.  

Step 3:  Install the Necessary Software

You need the following freesco packages installed in this order:


Go to, find a mirror, click files and packages alphabetically, and use installpkg http://blablabla to get those installed.

3.2 Snarf and untar Icecast

Do this:

cd /mnt/router/packages
tar -zxvf icecast.tar.gz
rm icecast.tar.gz
cd icecast/conf
mv icecast.conf.dist icecast.conf
mv mounts.aut.dist mounts.aut
mv users.aut.dist users.aut
mv groups.aut.dist groups.aut

3.3 Edit icecast.conf

Go through the icecast.conf file and edit it to your liking:

edt icecast.conf

3.4 Smoke Test

Time for the smoke test:


If it works, you're in business, if not, go back through the config and see what went wrong.

Step 4:  Beautification of Processes

There's a few things we have to do yet.  First off, hit control+c to kill icecast if you haven't already done so.  Edit /rc/rc_user, and go to the startup section.  Stick this in there:

fork /mnt/router/packages/icecast/bin/icecast

#Serial Console on com 1
fork daemon - "agetty 9600 cua0"

Now shut the whole thing down and pull your graphics card, and anything else you don't need, throw it on your shelf, and don't worry about it again.  If you ever have to configure something, and you've locked yourself out of telnet, just plug a null modem cable into your com port, fire up your favorite terminal, and press enter a few times.  



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Musatcha is pronounced moo-SA-cha.  I have no idea where it originated.
Copyright 1998-2005, Brad Isbell []