Tooloop Open Media Server

I just learned, that you can use Cinder on Linux.
That’s very exciting news to me, as I stayed away from it just because I didn’t want to deploy Windows machines any more.

For that reason I started Tooloop, my open media server for public and live media installations, which is now in alpha phase.

Tooloop is an open media server framework:

  • a well defined range of industrial grade hardware.
  • a minimal Linux, customized for public multimedia installations.
  • a set of network management and monitoring tools.

It’s all open source and available on GitHub.
Many ideas of Tooloop OS are based an article in the openframeworks book on keeping a linux installation up forever.

If someone in this community wants to test Cinder on a Tooloop box, I would be more than happy to include it in the list of supported frameworks.

Here’s a little introduction video I have made:


Hi Daniel,

this is pretty exciting. At first, I thought you were shamelessly plugging your own creative coding framework, but then I realised Tooloop is a platform, not a framework. Recently I have taken a bit of an interest in Linux and installed Ubuntu on one of my machines to try it out. As you said, Windows is not always very reliable to run your software 24/7. Over the years, I have been able to work around most issues by making sure only the minimally required services are running in the background and the Windows Explorer does not start at boot (I replace Explorer with my own application) to prevent help balloons and updates from happening.

However, Linux is known for being small and stable. I’d definitely would want to try things out on a Tooloop setup. However, my question is: how would one develop for Tooloop? What compiler do you use and can you develop from within the Tooloop platform or should you install yet another Linux box to code on?


Hey Paul,

sorry for the misunderstanding. I call it a framework, as it is hardware, an OS, some tools and apps.
Not really a media server like a Hippotizer or a Watchout. It’s supposed to do, what those media servers do for you, except it does that for your own application.

Tooloop will happily run most Linux applications, as it still is a standard Ubuntu.
The things it’s missing are stuff like services and bloat, you don’t need or – in our case – want.
Things like a dock, a notification center, support for 1000 printers, a web server etc.

You can install an IDE on it and simply develop on the machine. However, that’s not a very comfortable environment. There’s no file viewer, for instance.

You can thus do both

  • install the stuff you need to turn it into a development machine
  • use another machine to develop and just copy over

My workflow using multimedia frameworks

Kivy (Python) and Processing (Java) are interpreted languages.
I develop on my Mac, then check out the code from a local GIT to the Tooloop Box to see whether it’s running there, as well.

openFrameworks (C++) is cross platform as well, but of course, needs to be re-compiled. Apart from that, it’s the same: check out, re-compile.

Dependencies and build stuff can be installed using the optional installer.
There is no install script for Cinder just yet. This – so I hope – will be an outcome of this discussion, so we’d have one more framework on the list :smiley:

For Unity I, too, develop on my Mac. It can export for Linux and just works.

Making your app a Tooloop App

To play well with Tooloop OS, you should follow some simple conventions, e. g. writing start and stop scripts that the OS can use to launch your app.

You could also turn your app into an app bundle. This way it can be installed using the app center.

There’s no documentation for it just yet, but you can also add custom controller in the settings server so you can use it to configure stuff in your app. See and settings.html in the Kiosk example on GitHub, if you want to have a look.

Still shameless

Hope this post could help you to get started.

Damn, writing this I notice how much stuff there is to tell, or in other words how shabby the ducomentation still is. It’s early in the project and it’s been a one man show so far.

This is what this all is about – getting people involved so we can build a platform we can simply use and stop hacking windows. Yes, I’ve done this, too. A lot. Never again.

In that way I kind of am shamelessly advertising my own framework, sorry :wink:

links to documentation removed so the post doesn’t get marked as spam

Hey Paul, as you are listed as a moderator – do you understand, why my posts were listed as spam?

Your posts were automatically flagged as spam, because you’re linking to Tooloop and GitHub several times. As a new user, the system thought you were a spammer. I’ve removed the flag now.

I’ll keep Tooloop in mind for upcoming projects, although I usually don’t call the shots when it comes to hardware. I’m also not very proficient on Linux yet. But there are some Cinder users with quite some experience in that department.