(Last Updated On: May 26, 2018)

Plex is a media center with a server and client applications to play Media files from Laptops, Smartphones, and Smart televisions e.t.c. Plex media server aims at organizing personal media stored on local devices with support for integration with third-party storage services like Google Drive,  Dropbox, Box e.t.c.

In this guide, I’ll take you through the installation and configuration of Plex on Ubuntu 18.04 and Arch Linux. Once you have Plex media server ready, you can start playing content from it using Plex media player and applications available for various devices.

Installing Plex Media Server on Arch Linux

For Arch Linux and its derivatives like Manjaro, Plex is available on AUR. You only need to have AUR installers like yaourt, pacaur, packer e.t.c to install from. If you’re new to Arch Linux, check my previous article on adding AUR: Arch Linux Complete installation

Install Plex using yaourt:

$ yaourt -S --noconfirm plex-media-server

Install Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 18.04

For Ubuntu, the preferred method to install Plex Media Server using deb package.

$ wget -c https://downloads.plex.tv/plex-media-server/1.13.0.5023-31d3c0c65/plexmediaserver_1.13.0.5023-31d3c0c65_amd64.deb

Install Plex using dpkg -i.

# dpkg -i plexmediaserver_1.13.0.5023-31d3c0c65_amd64.deb 
Selecting previously unselected package plexmediaserver.
(Reading database ... 172896 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack plexmediaserver_1.13.0.5023-31d3c0c65_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking plexmediaserver (1.13.0.5023-31d3c0c65) ...
Setting up plexmediaserver (1.13.0.5023-31d3c0c65) ...
Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/plexmediaserver.service → /lib/systemd/system/plexmediaserver.service.
Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-20) ...
Processing triggers for systemd (237-3ubuntu10) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-11ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.23-1ubuntu3) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.60ubuntu1) ...

Start plex service

Once the installation is complete, you can start it using systemd, the service unit for both Arch Linux and Ubuntu is plexmediaserver.service. To start it, run:

$ sudo systemctl start plexmediaserver.service

Enable service to start on boot:

$ sudo systemctl enable plexmediaserver.service

Configuring Plex Media Server

Plex provides a web interface that you can use to configure it. Once you start the service, head over to http://localhost:32400/web/ for configuration of PMS.

To configure PMS remotely, you must first create an SSH tunnel (setup can only be done from localhost)

$ ssh ip.address.of.server -L 8888:localhost:32400

On first access to the website, you’ll be redirected to login page, you can sign in using your Facebook account, Gmail or Email. Once the signup is complete, you should get the first setup page.

Provide the name of your Plex Media Server and click next.

Here you’re asked to Add your Library folders. Various types are avalailabel – Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos and Other Videos.

Browse to the Path that contains the files to add and click the “Add Library” button.

You should now be ready to finish Library and server setup.

Plex Media server will start scanning for the files on added Libraries, and you should be ready to play files with Plex Media Player or any other applications.