Plex is like having your own Netflix, but with the movies you have on your computer. You can also put it on a computer that is always on, like a server, and then access it from anywhere in the world!
I am a long time Plex user and obsessed with how well made this free software is. I’ve been running it on many different machines throughout the years.
Recently I tried installing it on an old Raspberry Pi 2 that was laying around, these are my notes from that installation!
Fair warning: This guide is not complete and quite advanced. You will need some Linux knowledge to understand it. I’ve tried to note everything down as I did it but might have unknowingly skipped some minor details.
Start with a clean raspbian install
Not required but if possible it is always good to start with a clean install. Less potential problems ahead when you are doing things from scratch.
Read more on how to setup basic Raspbian here https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/
Resize your root partition
When you have your Raspberry freshly installed, you need to resize the root partition on the SD-card, otherwise your Plex installation will not be able to use the full storage size.
Do this by starting raspbian config, go to advanced and choose reisize.
Setup working DNS server
By default your installation might not have working connection to the internet, for that a working dns server is required.
sudo nano /etc/resolv.conf
I changed it to a public one provided by Cloudflare: 220.127.116.11
Set a static IP
To make it easier to always find the RaspberryPi on your network, you can assign it a static IP address that you remember. To do this edit the
sudo nano /etc/dhcpcd.conf
at the very bottom of this file you find an example you can fill out with the IP address you want to use.
Install plex media server
The easiest way to install third party software is usually to add an extra package repository. If they have one for the distrubition of linux that you are using. Luckily there is one that works for Raspbian!
echo deb https://downloads.plex.tv/repo/deb public main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/plexmediaserver.list curl https://downloads.plex.tv/plex-keys/PlexSign.key | sudo apt-key add -
When the package repository is added you can install plex with this command
sudo apt install plexmediaserver
You can read about this step in more detail here https://support.plex.tv/articles/235974187-enable-repository-updating-for-supported-linux-server-distributions/
Mount USB drive
All of your media will not fit on the SD card, and to make it easier to manage I would recommend add a USB drive that contains your media. To make it readable both by my Macbook and Raspbian I formatted using the filesystem ExFAT. That filesystem works across all operating systems, windows, mac and linux.
ExFAT support is not installed by default in Raspbian, but it is easy to install using this command.
sudo apt install exfat-fuse
Then you need to mount the drive to a directory on your Raspberry Pi. First create that directory. I usually create it inside the root
sudo mkdir /mnt/exstral
Then you list the devices using
fdisk to find the one you added via USB.
sudo fdisk -l
Then finally when you are sure you have the right device, we can mount it to the folder we created!
sudo mount /dev/sdaX /mnt/exstral/
You should know be able to list the contents of your USB drive!
ls -la /mnt/exstral
Visit media server admin to start configuring it
With this your brand new Plex Media Server should be up and running, and be reachable on this address!
Now you can add a new Library with media from your USB drive follwing this guide!