Chapter 13. Encoding servers

One way to increase the speed of DCP encoding is to use more than one machine at the same time. An instance of DCP-o-matic can offload some of the time-consuming JPEG2000 encoding to any number of other machines on a network. To do this, one ‘master’ machine runs DCP-o-matic, and the ‘server’ machines run a small program called dcpomatic_server.

The master and server machines do not need to be running the same operating system, so you can mix Windows PCs, Macs and Linux machines as you wish.

Running the servers

There are two options for the encoding server: dcpomatic_server_cli, which runs on the command line, and dcpomatic_server, which has a simple GUI. The command line version is well-suited to headless servers, especially on Linux, and the GUI version works best on Windows and macOS where it will put an icon in the system tray.

To run the command line version, simply enter:


at a command prompt. If you are running the program on a machine with a multi-core processor, you can run multiple parallel encoding threads by doing something like:

dcpomatic2_server_cli -t 4

to run 4 threads in parallel.

To run the GUI version on windows, run the ‘DCP-o-matic encode server’ from the start menu. An icon will appear in the system tray; right-click it to open a menu from whence you can quit the server or open a window to show its status.

If you would rather not bother installing DCP-o-matic on your server computers, the other option is to use the live-CD image that you can download from the DCP-o-matic web site.

Either burn the image to CD, or write it to a USB stick (using something like unetbootin). Boot a PC from the CD or USB stick and it becomes a DCP-o-matic server without touching your standard operating system install.