As we continue with our Home Server series, ownCloud allows the storage of files on our server, but does not have the added benefit of playing media effectively. Plex Media Server provides video, music, and picture playback on any desktop or mobile device. In addition, it is available on XBox, Playstation, Roku, Chromecast and AppleTV. Find out how to install Plex Media Server on a Home Server.
The following perquisites include links to previous tutorials
- A computer with the operating system Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop
- a web address associated with the Ubuntu computer
- port forwarding capabilities on the network router
Installing Plex Media Server
- Open a web browser and navigate to “https://plex.tv“. Then click on the “Sign Up” button.
- Fill out the sign up information and confirm the email send to your inbox
- A new tab/window will open back at Plex’s website. Click on the “Downloads” button in the header (A) and then the “Computer” button (B)
- Select the appropriate Ubuntu version. (It will most likely be the 64-bit version) and open the file once it is downloaded
- The Ubuntu Software Center will automatically open. Click the “Install” button on the right side. Once Plex Media Server is installed, close the Software Center
- In the network router, forward the port 32400 to the Ubuntu Server
- In the web browser, navigate to your computer’s web address, but add “:32400/web” to the end (i.e, http://technerdservices.ddns.net:32400/web). Accept the Terms of Services
Congratulations, you have successfully installed Plex Media Server!
NOTE: Port forward 32400 to the server so that it can properly connect to Plex.tv. Find instructions here is needed.
Adding Media to Plex
- Click on the “+” beside the computer name in the sidebar (A)
- Select the type of media (B) to be added and click the “Next” button (C)
- Give your library a name (D) and click the “Next” button (E)
- Click the “Add Folder” button (F), select the folder storing all the media files, and then click the “Next” button (G)NOTE: user folders are usually found within “/home/”.
Continue these steps for additional media libraries.
Tips and Additional Settings
These are settings that I have changed and adjusted to get the optimal use out of Plex.
Adjust the Remote Playback streaming quality and Audio volume
Click on the settings icon (A) and the “Player” option in the sidebar (B). Adjust the Remote Quality” (C) streaming quality to be as close (but not over) the upload speed of your internet plan. If this setting is not set right, video streaming will lag during playback when you are away from your network. Increase the “Audio Boost” of the playback (D above). I notice that videos played from Plex have lower audio playback than when I watch other streaming services like YouTube or Netflix.
Connect your Plex Account to the Server
- Click on the “Server” category of the settings (A)
- In the sidebar, click on the “Connect” setting (B) and login with your Plex credentials (C)
- When the Plex account is connected, it will access the server on port 32400. However, you may choose to change this to another port
- In a web browser, navigate to “https://plex.tv“. After signing in, click the “launch” button to access your media on any internet connected computer
Plex Media Server allows for ease of access to media once it is set up. It’s added convenience of use has resulted in less internet usage from online streaming services like Netflix. Especially with items like on Roku, Chromecast and AppleTV, Plex can add a home theater system to any home.
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