Installing Plex Media Solution on Arch Linux

This will be another one of those posts that I only put up here because I figured something out and I can’t really guarantee myself that I won’t ever have to do it again. So to save myself some time in my future (and possibly someone else) I find it convenient to write a blog post about it.

Plex Media Solution in a DLNA complaint server. In other words, a piece of software that can stream media files to all kinds of devices. Since my TV came with a Plex client app when I bought it, I decided to try it out. I find it very convenient for watching movies and tv shows, and there are also clients for Android and iOS in my household.

So, how to install it on Arch.

There is no binary package available in the Arch repositories for Plex, so it Plex cannot be installed using pacman. However, Plex  is in AUR, as it is called in Arch lingo, which basically means someone has done the hard work of making it so that your computer can do the hard work. I have yaourt installed, which is a pacman wrapper for out-of-repository software. Installing plex is therefore as simple as:

# yaourt -S plexmediaserver

This will also install dependencies like avahi and and rsync. I do not want to run applications like Plex as my own user or as root, so I created a dedicated plex user and group, like this:

# groupadd plex

# useradd plex -m -g plex plex

To make Plex run as this user, a small configuration file has to be adjusted:

# vim /etc/conf.d/plexmediaserver

# the number of plugins that can run at the same time
# where the mediaserver should store the transcodes
# uncomment to set it to something else

When starting Plex at this point, it complained about lacking the rights to write to its log file, because it was in root-owned /var/log. So I created it and gave Plex ownership:

# touch /var/log/plexmediaserver.log

# chown plex:plex /var/log/plexmediaserver.log

After that I could start Plex:

# /etc/rc.d/plexmediaserver start

Finally, Plex’ web interface was available at http://<host>:32400/

It is in fact possible for the AUR package to include these steps, so one could argue that it should. I won’t. The idea of open source is that you contribute what you want and you value contributions that you like. What you don’t like, you augment yourself. You don’t complain about someone else’s work.

Categorised as: howto, linux


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  2. gendo says:

    You should correct the link to thwe webinterface to 32400/manage and if you can it would be nice to include the systemd explanatio in the true anture of arch. Thanks for the post somehow useful

    • thefoggiest says:

      Gendo, the above describes things as they were in july. Without the “manage” and without systemd. I’ve tried starting Plex using systemd, but it will run as root again, despite the configuration. I have to look into that, but I didn’t find the time. Anyway, this blog is no longer maintained. Good luck.