PLEX Media Server

I recently setup PLEX on my home media server. Here I will go over the setup and configuration required to allow PLEX to serve your media files and then push them to your Roku for TV viewing.

There where a few things to note about PLEX:

* I could find no solution for adding authentication to your PLEX server. This means I would not recommend that you point your PLEX server to the outside world. If you do, anyone who knows your IP address could brows and watch your media. Also, this may open up a plethora of attack vectors to your server.

* PLEX is a great solution if you have a ‘headless’ server. Headless means that you only have the server connected via network connection and do not have a monitor attached. In this case I would connect the PLEX server to something like a Roku box (http://www.roku.com).

* It is very important to the PLEX server how you organize your media. Once setup (see below), PLEX does an excellent job of searching various databases for media information and it displays that information seamlessly. Once everything is configured it does all the work for you.

This being said I am going to go over how to install PLEX on an Ubuntu 12.10 (Most other versions of Ubuntu and flavors of Linux should be similar, if not the same) configure it and organize your media files.

Install PLEX:

Installation of PLEX as a breeze because they support Linux from the start so no compiling of source code is required. They also make it easy for Debian based distributions (EX Ubuntu) by including a .deb on their site.

First thing you will want to do is download the package:

Version 0.9.7.28.3 64-bit: 
wget http://plex.r.worldssl.net/plex-media-server/0.9.7.28.33-f80a4a2/plexmediaserver_0.9.7.28.33-f80a4a2_amd64.deb

Version 0.9.7.28.3 32-bit:
wget http://plex.r.worldssl.net/plex-media-server/0.9.7.28.33-f80a4a2/plexmediaserver_0.9.7.28.33-f80a4a2_i386.deb

NOTE: They also have RPM packages for CentOS and Fedora available on the site: http://www.plexapp.com/getplex/

Now that you have the package downloaded on your server you are going to want to install that package:

dpkg -i <package.deb>
Where <package.deb> is the name of the package you downloaded.

This will install the PLEX server onto your system. That’s really all there is to it.

Configuration of PLEX:

Once PLEX is installed on your server you can check to make sure it is running, as well as configure the server by pointing your browser to:

http://localhost:32400/web/index.html

To begin adding content to your PLEX server you will have to point the server to where you have your media stored. You can do this by going to the “My Library” section at the top of the page and clicking on the “+” sign to path a location. When you press the “+” button you will be presented with the following window:
 
1_PLEX Add Library Section
It is important here to point out the different options that you are able to select because each option will tell the server what ‘type’ of media is stored at the location.

For instance, if you point the Movies section of the PLEX server to a folder that contains all of your Simpsons episodes, the server will not display the media in the correct format. It will think that every episode is a movie and will attempt to download movie information about each episode and fail, leaving you with a mess of content and no media info.

You can refer to the Wiki to get a good idea of the proper naming conventions here:
http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/Media_Naming_and_Organization_Guide

Once I pointed PLEX’s “Movies” option to the folder that contained all my movies, it picked it up and automatically added the meta data without any special re-naming of the actual sub-folders or video files.

Also, PLEX has dealt with just about every video format and container that I have thrown at it without a problem.

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2 thoughts on “PLEX Media Server

  1. Hi, thanks for this.
    You write about headless server setup, but give an example with localhost address?

    If I try replaceing it with local IP and port etc. the address do not exist?

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