Install Plex Media Server Raspberry Pi 3 + Image

raspberry_pi_plexInstall Plex Media Server on Raspberry Pi 3. Thanks to the work of uglymagoo on the Plex forum it is very easy to install Plex using the Synology armv7 package (now it uses the ReadyNAS package).  The previous Raspberry Pi 2 guide became quite long and cluttered, this one aims to be cleaner.

There is a Plex Media Server Raspberry Pi 3 image based on the minimal Raspbian distro Minibian at the bottom of this post with the required modification to force Plex transcoding if you just want to test if Plex on the Raspberry Pi 3 will suit your needs. This tutorial assumes you are running Raspbian Jessie. This how-to also has a section on fixing Plex permissions so if your Plex can’t see your folders then you will be able to solve that problem here.

Pi Unit
Processor
RAM
RAM Bus
Network
WiFi
USB
SATA
Cost
Raspberry Pi 3
1.2 GHz ARMv8
Quad Core
1 GB DDR2
450 MHz
100 Mbit
Yes
4
No
$35
Raspberry Pi 2
900 MHz ARMv7
Quad Core
1 GB DDR2
450 MHz
100 Mbit
No
4
No
$35.00
Raspberry Pi
700 MHz ARMv6
Single Core
512 MB SDRAM
400 MHz
100 Mbit
No
4
No
$25
Banana Pi
1 GHz ARMv7
Dual Core
1 GB DDR3
432 MHz
Gigabit
No
2
Yes
$36.99
Banana Pi Pro
1 GHz ARMv7
Dual Core
1 GB DDR3
432 MHz
Gigabit
Yes
2
Yes
$45.00

Install Plex Media Server on Raspberry Pi 3

Installation Checklist

For the best performance for Plex Media Server on the Raspberry Pi 2 refer to this checklist

  • Verify you have the en_US locale
  • Make sure you have libexpat1 installed
  • Do not use WiFi if you want the best result
  • Monitor Plex Media Server and restart it automatically with this guide.
  • Do not use Plex.tv instead use Dynamic DNS and a reverse proxy with this guide to avoid transcoding problems.
  • If you are having transcoding issues try using an older transcoder with this guide.

Pre-Install Requirements

Generate Locales

First we need to verify the en_US locale is enabled

This command lists current locales

locale -a

My output looks like this

C
C.UTF-8
en_US.utf8
POSIX

If you don’t have en_US.utf8 you can generate it

To generate the locale edit the locale generator configuration file first to enable the locale

sudo nano /etc/locale.gen

Uncomment this line by deleting the #

# en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8

Ctrl+X, Y and Enter to save

Now generate the locales

sudo locale-gen

If you get the locale-gen cannot be found error this should solve it

echo "export PATH=$PATH:/usr/sbin" >> ~/.profile

Now generate the locales again if locale-gen wasn’t found

sudo locale-gen

Reconfigure locales for good measure (source)

sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

Now run locale to list them

locale

If you see these errors (on Jessie Lite) follow the next step

locale: Cannot set LC_CTYPE to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or directory

Open your environment file

sudo nano /etc/environment

Add these lines

LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Ctrl+X, Y and Enter to Save

Install Plex Media Server on Raspberry Pi 3 using Repository

Enable https transport or you will get this error: E: The method driver /usr/lib/apt/methods/https could not be found.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https binutils -y --force-yes

Grab uglymaoo’s gpg key for his repository

wget -O - https://dev2day.de/pms/dev2day-pms.gpg.key | sudo apt-key add -

Add uglymagoo’s repository

echo "deb https://dev2day.de/pms/ jessie main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pms.list

Update your package lists

sudo apt-get update

Install Plex Media Server

sudo apt-get install plexmediaserver -y

Upgrading Plex is as easy as running this command

Note: The repository contains the latest non-Plex Pass version. If you want the Plex Pass version you will have to build it yourself using the manual method 3 outlined here.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Check out additional hard drives for your media

USB Hard Drive Model
Capacity
USB Speed
Amazon Price
Western Digital My Passport Ultra Portable Hard Drive
1 TB
USB 3.0
$56.99
Western Digital My Passport Ultra Portable Hard Drive
2 TB
USB 3.0
$86.00

Transcoding Tools

Plex Media Server requires a new libc6 module that you can pull from the jessie repo (thanks again to uglymagoo). This part may not necessary if you used the precompiled deb package at the top.

Install libexpat1 for help playing in the Android app

sudo apt-get install libexpat1 -y

Fix Plex Permission Issues

If Plex isn’t reading your drives or folders you can do one of two things, change the permissions of your external storage or change the user Plex is running as (which could mean you need to rescan for metadata).

First try adding your plex user to your regular user’s group that owns the mount point for your hard drive

sudo usermod -aG pi plex

Then add your regular user to the plex group if the plex group exists

sudo usermod -aG plex pi

Then set the permissions for the folder containing your media to 775 so the plex in the user’s group can read them

sudo chmod -R 775 /folder/with/media

If that still fails you can change the permissions where /mnt/usbstorage is your mount path for your hard drive so everybody can read, write and execute

sudo chmod -R 777 /mnt/usbstorage

Alternatively you can change the user Plex runs as to your pi user

To change which user Plex runs as, open this file

sudo nano /etc/default/plexmediaserver

Change this line, replace plex with your username you use to log on or the owner of the mounted drive, most likely pi

PLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_USER=pi

Ctrl+X, Y and Enter to save

Change the owner of your Plex folders to the user you are changing

sudo chown -R pi:pi /var/lib/plexmediaserver

Then restart your Plex server

sudo service plexmediaserver restart

If Plex still isn’t working see the manual installation guide.

Raspberry Pi 3 Plex Media Server Image

If you cannot see the unlocker whitelist this site in AdBlock 😉


For the Plex Media Server image, login with root, password htpcguides and use raspi-config to expand the file system, you can install WiFi drivers if they are not included in the kernel

apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree -y

Enjoy Plex Media Server on your Raspberry Pi 3 🙂