This tutorial shows you how to do the Plex Raspberry Pi install process. This is also known as how to install Plex Media Server on Raspberry Pi.
Plex Raspberry Pi Installation Process (EASY)
First we show you (step-by-step) the simple command to install Plex Media Server on Rpi, along with an explanation of each command. At the end of the first section of this page (the “install” section), we also show you how to add your media library to Plex Media Server for Raspberry Pi (super easy). Keep reading to get Plex Raspberry Pi all set up!
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- Related: How to Install Kodi on Raspberry Pi
Getting Plex Media Server IP Address
In the section below that, we show you how to get your new Plex Media Server’s IP address so you can control it remotely. This is very easy – but it’s important, so we gave it its own section.
How to Control Plex Media Server From Your Smartphone / Other Device
Following that up, we teach you how to connect to your Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server remotely so you can operate it “headless”, as they call it. This is easy after you got your Rpi’s IP address.
- External resource: Raspberry Pi Official Website “Downloads” section
Watching Movies with the Plex App
Finally, we show you how to install the Plex App on all your devices and how to start watching your first movie or TV show.
Before you read the step-by-step instructions to install Plex Raspberry Pi, check out the tutorial video I made on the same topic:
After you watch the video above, use the steps below to enter the commands into your Raspberry Pi one at a time.
The easiest way to enter the command below in your Raspberry Pi is to open the page you’re reading now in the Raspberry Pi’s web browser. Then just copy-and-paste the commands directly from the steps below into your RPi 3!
Section 1: How to Install Plex Media Server on Raspberry Pi
- Install Raspbian. Boot up in Raspbian. Connect to WiFi.
- Open Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T)
- Enter these commands, one-by-one:
- sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y
- What does this command do? This command checks to see if any updates are available for your operating system (which is essential). Then it upgrades whatever needs to be upgraded.
- sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
- What does this command do? This one makes sure your Raspbian operating system is the latest available.
- sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https -y –force-yes
- What does this command do? This command allows your Plex Media server to access HTTPS content across the Interwebs.
- wget -O – https://dev2day.de/pms/dev2day-pms.gpg.key | sudo apt-key add –
- What does this command do? Using this command, we download a key that makes sure the installation files we download are securely transferred (so we know for 100% sure we get the genuine Plex Media Server – not some modified knock-off).
- echo “deb https://dev2day.de/pms/ jessie main” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pms.list
- What does this command do? This command adds the Plex “repository” (or “software source”) to our Raspbian operating system. If you’ve installed a Kodi Repository before, this is the same exact concept!
- sudo apt-get update
- What does this command do? Once again, we update the list of software on the Raspbian operating system. This is an essential step (like all steps in this process!).
- sudo apt-get install -t jessie plexmediaserver -y
- What does this command do? Finally, we send the command to install Plex Media server on Raspberry Pi “Raspbian” operating system. Installing Plex Media Server in Raspbian takes around 5 minutes at this point, if you’re using a Raspberry Pi 3.
After the Plex Media Server install is complete, the PMS (the terribly-short nickname for Plex Media Server) starts in the background as a constantly-running “service”.
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We highly recommend you restart (aka reboot) the Raspberry Pi 3 now.
Users have found a bug when configuring Plex Media Server without rebooting after the install process! So be aware of that.
Section 2: How to Get Plex Raspberry Pi IP Address on Raspberry Pi or Linux
Why is it important to know your Plex Media Server’s IP address? Because you can disconnect your Plex Media Server and control it remotely from any PC or smartphone / tablet using what’s called “SSH” or “VNC”. It may sound complicated, but it’s actually easy once you have your Plex Media Server’s IP address. It’s just a matter of opening a VNC viewer app on another device and entering your P.M.S. server’s IP address!
Here’s how to get the Plex Media Server IP address. After that, grab a second device and follow the steps below this section to control your new media server remotely:
- Open the Terminal
- Enter this command: “hostname -I” (btw – that is an uppercase I as in I Love Lucy.)
- Your IP address is the first string of numbers, and looks similar to this: 192.168.0.4
- Write the IP address down on a piece of paper (you know.. the stuff you write on)
Section 3: How to Connect to Raspberry Pi Remotely (via VNC)
This method of controlling Raspberry Pi remotely results in a full display of the Raspberry Pi desktop on any other device! You also have full control of the Raspbery Pi’s mouse and keyboard. So it’s just like you’re sitting right at the Raspberry Pi – but you could be at any other device (especially a wireless device). Using this method, you can stow your Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server away in the corner of a room where it’s out-of-sight. Then just control it from your smartphone (yes – there are several great free VNC viewer apps for Android and iOS devices) or from your PC.
*** IMPORTANT: Before you begin, your Raspberry Pi and the device you use to control it MUST be on the same exact WiFi network. It absolutely will not work unless they’re on the same WiFi.
1. On your Raspberry Pi 3, in the Terminal window, enter this command:
Notice: Hackers create fake WiFi hotspots to steal your passwords when you log in to Starbucks WiFi. Secure your data.
sudo apt-get install x11vnc -y
2. After it’s installed, enter the command “x11vnc” and hit Enter.
You’ll then see the results of the VNC Server starting up. The results say your Plex Media Server’s “hostname”, which can be used to easily control the Raspberry Pi form another device! For example, mine says “New ‘X’ desktop is raspberrypi:2.
If the VNC server doesn’t start up properly, then re-install Raspbian and try again. When I couldn’t start VNC server in Raspbian, trying to fix it proved a waste of time – it was faster to re-install Raspbian. But if it starts up without error messages – you should be golden! Carry on, my wayward son. There will be movies when you are done..
3. On a device that’s not your Raspberry Pi, install a VNC viewer app or program. Then Run the VNC viewer app / program and enter the Plex Media Server’s IP address (see Section 2 above) into the app / program. For the best free VNC viewer for each device types, see this list of free VNC viewer apps for Windows PCs, Mac, iOS, Android, and Raspberry Pi:
* For PC, install TightVNC viewer (free).
* Android devices should download “VNC Viewer – Remote Desktop” (by RealVNC Limited), bVNC Secure VNC Viewer, or MultiVNC.
* iOS devices download Remote Desktop Lite, Mocha VNC Lite, or RealVNC viewer app for iPhone and iPad.
* Mac users download RealVNC. OR launch Safari, then enter in the address bar “vnc://IpaddressGoesHere”. This opens the “stock” Mac VNC viewer ;).
* Raspberry Pi users can control their Plex Media Server from any other Raspbery Pi by using RealVNC Viewer, TigerVNC (for 64-bit and 32-bit Linux), Vinagre, krdc, xvnc4, xtightvncviewer, Chicken of the VNC, RealVNC, TightVNC viewer, or TightVNC java client.
You can also do this with Ubuntu MATE for Raspberry Pi – I tested it successfully!