A centralized MySQL or MariaDB database allows any number of XBMC / Kodi clients to share the same media library and to be constantly in sync with each other. This also has potential to greatly improve scraping performance since only a single database needs to be updated. Most useful feature is probably the synced watch and resume counter which allows resuming of paused media from any client. Before configuring Kodi first make sure to install & configure MySQL / MariaDB on Arch Linux including the section on remote access to MySQL databases.
Relational database like MySQL is one of the required components to setup a web server as well as other rarer uses such as when configuring a shared XBMC / Kodi database. On Arch Linux MySQL has been replaced by a functionally identical community fork called MariaDB. The installation is also practically identical and as simple as can be expected though with a possibility of some odd errors.
Media Browser 3 is a web based interface that allows to view and manage movies, TV series and music among other things. Unfortunately Media Browser is unreasonably limited without paid features and that begs the question why one would use Media Browser when Plex Server is a much more well developed project. Free features still have some merit and Plex Server does not work with XBMC / Kodi which makes Media browser the only option in this case. The installation is painless so there is no reason not to give it a try.
Prior to changing cache settings install Kodi on Arch Linux. The default cache size in XBMC / Kodi is quite conservative especially when considering high bitrate streams. This lack of buffer can cause “Cache is Full” errors when streaming video and a general poor streaming performance. Increasing the cache should fix this issue. Cache settings are changed manually by editing advancedsettings.xml file which also has more cache related settings that can improve streaming.
There are many reasons to set up notifications on certain events such as SMART error. Kodi / XBMC has a simple notification system that can be invoked programmatically or via a HTTP request. Before notifications can be received you will first need to install Kodi on Arch Linux and know the IP address and port on which it Kodi is reachable. It would be helpful to configure static IP on Arch Linux or setup static IP on Ubuntu Linux since then the IP would stay constant.
Email system notifications can be used to warn of system issues like failing hard drives or failed backup scripts. To send emails a mail server can be configured but it is more complicated than it needs to be for simple notifications. Another issue with a local mail server is that some ISP’s may be blocking outbound emails making this method potentially unreliable.
A simpler alternative is to let an external mail service like Gmail send the actual email. To achieve this s-nail mail processing system will be used with the optional SMTP extension. The downside of this approach is that you will need to store you password in a plain text configuration file and allow “less secure apps” in Google settings. To avoid compromising the primary email account I opted to create a dummy account just for sending system notifications. This way, even if the Gmail account is compromised there is no real harm as no Emails are stored in that account.