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Plex Media Server

by Latest Version | Debian 10

Media server and streaming service to stay entertained across devices.

Access your media collection from any device with a Plex server. Stream your own collection of media using the Plex Web App in your browser or mobile apps. Curate and organize your media into libraries to easily find what you’re looking for. In addition to streaming your own media, discover free live TV in 220+ countries and thousands of free movies and shows.

In addition to streaming movies and music, use Plex to free up space on your phone or other devices by storing photos. Plex’s photo display includes the ability to sort photos into albums and a timeline view that makes media even easier to share.

Start streaming and sharing even faster with Linode’s Plex One-Click App. Deploy on an instance with enough storage capacity to host your library. Check out Linode’s Block Storage to scale your storage with any Shared or Dedicated plan.

Software Included

SOFTWAREDESCRIPTION
Docker EngineDocker Engine is an open source containerization technology for building and containerizing your applications. This One-Click App deploys Plex Media Server as a Docker container.
Plex Media ServerThe Plex Media Server transmits locally-stored media files, enabling you to stream your personal media collection to any device that can support a Plex Client.

Note:
Currently, Linode does not manage software and systems updates for One-Click Apps. It is up to the user to perform routine maintenance on software deployed in this fashion.

Getting Started After Deployment

After your Plex Server has been deployed, you can upload media and configure access to your Plex Server from Plex clients for your media devices.

Before you begin, ensure that you have signed up for a Plex account.

Initial Setup

Administration of your Plex Server is performed from its web interface. Before you can connect to the web interface from your workstation, you first need to create an SSH tunnel to your Linode.

Note
This guide occasionally directs you to substitute variables beginning with $ in certain commands.

An easy way to make these substitutions is to set the variables in your shell, then simply copy the commands as they are provided in this guide — your shell automatically substitutes the $ variables in those commands with the values you have set.

For example, you can set configure a substitution for $IP_ADDRESS like so:

code>IP_ADDRESS=192.0.2.0

Your shell then interprets $IP_ADDRESS as the value you have provided in following commands, for example:

echo $IP_ADDRESS
  1. From your workstation terminal, enter the following the command, substituting $USERNAME with your Linux Limited User Name, and $IP_ADDRESS with the IP address of your Plex Server Linode:

    ssh [email protected]$IP_ADDRESS -L 8888:localhost:32400

    You now have an established SSH connection to your Plex Server Linode in your terminal, and can also access the Plex web interface from your workstation browser.
  2. Enter http://localhost:8888/web into your workstation browser to access the Plex Server setup web interface. Enter your Plex account username and password to proceed with the setup process.


  3. Give your Plex Server a name. Be sure to leave the Allow me to access my media outside my home checked and select NEXT.

  4. Skip Media Library setup by selecting NEXT for now. You will Upload Media and Add Media Libraries in the sections below.
  5. Finish initial setup and reach the Plex home screen by selecting DONE.
  6. Click on the Settings icon in top-right corner of the Plex web interface.

  7. On the left side bar, ensure that your new Plex Server is selected and select on Remote Access under the Settings section.

  8. Click the check box next to Manually specify public port, keep the default value of 32400 and select RETRY and APPLY. You may need to select SHOW ADVANCED to see these settings.

  9. Wait until you see a message stating that your Plex Server is Fully accessible outside of your network.

You can now access uploaded media and manage your Plex Server from any Plex Client, such as the Plex Web App. If you are unable to reach your Plex Server remotely, you can repeat the steps in this section to re-establish a direct connection for administrative purposes.

(Optional) Connect a Linode Block Storage Volume

If your media collection is larger than the space available from your Linode plan, Block Storage is a convenient solution. This section outlines the steps for creating and connecting a Block Storage Volume for use with your Plex Server.

Note
For future reference, you can find examples of the instructions provided in this section in Cloud Manager by navigating to Volumes, then selecting Show Configuration from the option menu for your Volume.

  1. Create a Block Storage Volume if you do not already have one prepared.
  2. Establish an SSH connection to your Plex Server Linode as your Limited User.
  3. On your Plex Server Linode, create a directory to your Volume’s mountpoint:

    mkdir ~/plex/media/linode-volume

4. Mount your Volume path to the mountpoint you have created, substituting $FILE_SYSTEM_PATH with your Volume’s file system path (which is viewable from the Cloud Manager Volumes dashboard):

sudo mount $FILE_SYSTEM_PATH ~/plex/media/linode-volume

5. Check available disk space:

df -BG
Filesystem     1G-blocks  Used Available Use% Mounted on
udev                  1G    0G        1G   0% /dev
tmpfs                 1G    1G        1G  11% /run
/dev/sda             49G    3G       45G   5% /
tmpfs                 1G    0G        1G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs                 1G    0G        1G   0% /run/lock
tmpfs                 1G    0G        1G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs                 1G    0G        1G   0% /run/user/1000
/dev/sdc             20G    1G       19G   1% /home/username/plex/media/linode-volume

Notice that there is some overhead with the Volume due to the file system.

6. To ensure that your Volume automatically mounts every time your Linode reboots, run the following command to modify your /etc/fstab file, substituting $FILE_SYSTEM_PATH with your Volume’s file system path (the $HOME environment variable should already be set as your user’s home directory):

echo "$FILE_SYSTEM_PATH $HOME/plex/media/linode-volume ext4 defaults,noatime,nofail 0 2" | \
sudo tee -a /etc/fstab

7. Restart your Plex Server Docker container:

docker restart plex

Media on your Volume is now accessible through the Plex web interface at the mounted directory on your Linode. Next, follow the instructions below on how to Upload Media to your Volume (use your Volume’s mountpoint instead of creating a new subdirectory), and Add Media Libraries to enable streaming media stored on your Volume.

Upload Media

Your Plex Server is set up to access media files in the ~/plex/media directory. You have many options for uploading or downloading media to your Plex Server. This section shows you how to organize and upload files to your Plex Server using the scp command.

Note
This section directs you to run commands either on your Plex Server Linode through an SSH connection as your Limited User, or from the workstation terminal where the media files you wish to upload are stored.

1. On your Plex Server Linode, create a subdirectory within ~/plex/media to store your media files. Plex recommends organizing media by type, so pick a subdirectory name that matches the type of media you plan to upload. For example, to create a directory to store movie files, enter the following command:

mkdir ~/plex/media/movies

2. From your media workstation, use the scp command to move media to your Plex Server’s media subdirectory, substituting $USERNAME with your Linux Limited User Name, and $IP_ADDRESS with the IP address of your Plex Server Linode:

scp example_video.mp4 [email protected]$IP_ADDRESS:~/plex/media/movies

Depending on the file size(s), this may take a few minutes.

Note
There are other ways to upload files to your Plex Server Linode. See our section in Linux System Administration Basics for more information.

Add Media Libraries

1. Log into a Plex Client, such as the Plex Web App, then select the MORE > link on the Plex side bar.

2. Hover over your Plex Server’s name in the Plex side bar, then select the + icon.

3. Select your library type, set the name for your media library, select your language, then select the NEXT button.

4. Click BROWSE FOR MEDIA FOLDER, navigate to the directory within /media where your files are stored, then select the ADD button.

5. Once you are satisfied with your selection, select the ADD LIBRARY button.

6. Pin your new media library to make it accessible from the Plex home screen.

7. Repeat the steps in this section to add additional media folders.

You now have all the tools you need to create an online media library and stream it to any device with Plex.

The Plex Media Server One-Click App was built by Linode. For support regarding app deployment, contact Linode Support via the information listed in the sidebar. For support regarding Plex service or billing for Plex premium memberships, contact Plex Support.