Installation

Preparation

Before You Begin

Before you begin installing Plex Media Server, it's strongly recommended that you check that your media collection has been named and organized in a way that Plex will understand. If not, you may notice content isn't recognized, is mis-matched, or not found at all.

You may already be naming and organizing your media files in a way suitable for Plex. Here are the important things:

  • Movies are gathered together in a "Movies" type folder, TV Shows in a "TV Shows" type folder, etc.

  • Movies are named as follows:

    [Movie_Name (Release_Year)]
    e.g., Avatar (2009).mp4
  • TV Show episodes are named with the season and episode:

    [Show Name SxxEyy]
    e.g., Dexter s01e01.mp4
  • TV Show episodes are stored in their own folder as follows:

    /TV Shows/Show Name/Season/episodes
    e.g., /TV Shows/Dexter/Season 01/Dexter s01e01.mp4
  • For TV shows, the folder structure can be very important. Make sure you have show folders that contain season folders that contain the episodes

Related Page: Media Preparation

Tip!: It's important to understand that Plex Media Server does not have its own graphical user interface. When you run the server on your computer, NAS, or other device, you won't see a window open with a "server UI" or similar. Instead, you use Plex Web App to manage your server.

Download the Installer

The Plex Media Server can be downloaded for free from the Plex Downloads page. There are many platforms available:

  • Windows
  • Mac OS X
  • Linux
  • Compatible NAS devices

From the Downloads page, choose the platform or device you need, and download the installer.

Related Page: Plex Downloads
Related Page: NAS Devices

Get a Plex App

While you're on the Downloads page, you may wish to download a player app as well. The server includes the browser based Plex Web App, but you'll probably want to download an app for other devices. There are many available:

  • Desktop PCs: Plex Home Theater (Windows or OS X) or the Plex for Windows app (from the Windows Store)
  • Mobile Devices: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
  • Connected Devices: Apple TV, Android TV, game consoles, Roku, Smart TVs, and more

Related Page: Plex Apps

Server Installation

The server is available for many different platforms. Installation is always via an installation package and follows the platform's usual installation method. For NAS devices, you should follow the manufacturer's add-on installation procedure.

Note: You'll need to be sure to run your Plex Media Server on a filesystem that allows symlinks/hardlinks. For the vast majority of users, this isn't an issue. If you're running on an unusual filesystem (such as a drive pool or similar), then you should check for support.

Windows

  • Download the Windows Installer .exe file
  • Run the installer
  • Follow the usual installation method
  • At the final screen, click the Launch button. If you don't select this, launch the Server from the Start button

The Plex Media Server will launch and install an icon to the System Tray (bottom right of the screen) To setup the Plex Media Server, choose Open Plex... from the Plex icon in the system tray.

 

OS X

  • Download the Plex Media Server .zip
  • Unzip the file
  • Drag the Plex Media Server app to the Applications folder
  • Launch the Plex Media Server from the Applications folder

To setup Plex Media Server from the server computer, launch the Open Plex... from either the ">" icon in your Mac's menubar, or right clicking server icon in the dock.

 

Linux

Below, you'll find information on installing Plex Media Server for our supported Linux distributions. Once installation is complete, you can also choose to enable updating via repository.

Related Page: Enable repository updating for supported Linux server distributions

Ubuntu

  • Download the .deb package
  • run sudo dpkg -i plexmediaserver_0.9.8.18.290-11b7fdd_amd64.deb (replacing the last filename with the name of the package you downloaded)

To setup Plex Media Server, on the same machine you installed the server on, open a browser window, and go to http://127.0.0.1:32400/web.

Note: The Plex Media Server runs as the user "plex" by default. The plex user must have read and execute permissions to your media directories and files! For more details on how to do this, see the Linux Permissions Guide.

Fedora/CentOS

  • Download the .rpm package
  • run sudo yum install plexmediaserver_0.9.8.18.290-11b7fdd_x86_64.rpm (replacing the last filename with the name of the package you downloaded)

To setup the Server, on the same machine you installed the Server on, open a browser window and go to http://127.0.0.1:32400/web.

Note: The Plex Media Server runs as the user "plex" by default. The plex user must have read and execute permissions to your media directories and files! For more details on how to do this, see the Linux Permissions Guide.

NAS Devices

  • Download the installation package appropriate to your device
  • Follow the NAS manufacturer's installation procedure to install the Plex Media Server
  • If you have problems, visit the Plex Media Server NAS forums and search for your device for help

To setup the server, open a browser window and go to http://local.nas.ip.address:32400/web (e.g http://192.168.1.5:32400/web).

Related Page: Server > Opening Plex Web App
Related Page: Forums > Plex Media Server > NAS

Opening the Plex Web App on a Device Other than the Server Itself

On the Same Local Network

To open Plex Web App from a different device than the server computer while still on the same network:

  1. Open a browser window
  2. Type http://server.local.ip.address:32400/web into the address bar (e.g "http://192.168.1.5:32400/web")
  3. The browser will connect to the server and load Plex Web App

On a Different Network

If you're on a different network than the server computer, you'll first need to set up a SSH tunnel so that you can access things as if they were local.

Tip!: This is only necessary for the initial setup. Once you've gone through the setup, you can access as normal.

OS X or Linux

  1. Open a Terminal window or your command prompt
  2. Enter the following command (substituting the IP address of your server as appropriate):
    ssh ip.address.of.server -L 8888:localhost:32400
  3. Open a browser window
  4. Type http://localhost:8888/web into the address bar
  5. The browser will connect to the server as if it were local and load Plex Web App

Windows

If you're using Windows on your local system and your server is on Linux or OS X, you'll need to use an application such as Putty that can create the SSH tunnel for you. You can use instructions like these for setting up the Putty/SSH connection. If following that, you would use this information:

  • Gateway: ip.address.of.server
  • Source Port: 8888
  • Destination: localhost:32400

Once you have the SSH tunnel set up:

  1. Open a browser window
  2. Type http://localhost:8888/web into the address bar
  3. The browser will connect to the server as if it were local and load Plex Web App

If your server is running Windows, then you could do a standard Remote Desktop session or similar.