Plex is a streaming media server that let you organize your entire digital library including videos, music, photos, and you can stream them to your device at any time and from anywhere. You can easily access your media files from any computer, web browser streaming device, and Smartphone without needing to actually move them to all these devices.

Plex is actually a client-server media player system that has been around a while. It can turn any ordinary system into a powerful media server that you can access remotely. Setting up a media server might seem difficult but Plex makes it quite easy and simple. It can be installed on various operating systems including Windows, Linux, MacOS, FreeBSD and various NAS systems. Setting up a Plex media server requires two main components: the Plex media server and a client application that is running on any compatible device described above. Make note that you will require a static IP on your system in which you are setting up a streaming media server.

In this article, we will see how to install Plex media server on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Download Plex media server

To download the Plex media server, first, you will need to sign up for a free account on plex.tv. After you sign up, go to the Plex Downloads page. Choose the right OS from the list of available platforms like Windows, Linux, MACOS, etc and then download the latest Plex media server. Alternatively, if you have a download link of media server, you can use wget to download that. Use the following command to download the Plex media server using wget:

$ wget [URL]

Install Plex media server

Once the download is completed, navigate to the download directory by using cd command.

Launch the Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T keys, then type the following command:

$ cd ~/Downloads

As I am using Ubuntu, so I have downloaded the .deb package. In Linux, dpkg is used to install any deb packages. Run the following command as sudo to install Plex media server deb package.

$ sudo dpkg –i filename.deb

Replace the filename with your downloaded package name.

Installing Plex Media Server on Ubuntu

Enable and start Plex media server

Once the Plex media server is installed, you will need to enable and start it.

To enable the Plex media server, run the following command as sudo:

$ sudo systemctl enable plexmediaserver.service

Enable systemd service

To start Plex media server, run the following command as sudo:

$ sudo systemctl start plexmediaserver.service

Start Plex Media Server

Once the Plex media server service has started, Verify its status by running the following command as sudo:

$ sudo systemctl status plexmediaserver.service

Check the status of the service

You can see that plexmediaserver.service has been started and is running.

Configuring Plex media server

When the Plex media server is installed, you will need to configure it.

Open the browser and type the address in the following format to access the Plex media server setup page.

http://[option]:32400/web

In [option] field, you can type from one of these options: localhost, 127.0.0.1, hostname or your Plex media server IP address.

It will redirect you to the following screen. Sign in with your account. You can use Google Facebook, or email to sign in.

PLEX web interface

After signing in, you will be directed to this page. Here you can give your Plex media server a user-friendly name. Make sure the box Allow me to access my media outside my home is checked. Then click Next.

Server setup

Now you will be presented with the option to add libraries. To add them, Click on Add libraries.

Add media library

Then from Select type tab, choose a library type, then click Next.

Select media type

Now click on BROWSE FOR MEDIA FOLDER from Add folders tab.

Browse media folder

Then choose your media folders and click ADD. Finally, click on Add Library.

Add media folder

Once done, you will see you added media on the Dashboard.

Added media in Plex

If the new version of Plex media server gets released, you can get that by running the following commands in Terminal:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt-get --only-upgrade install plexmediaserver

Testing Plex media server

Now your media server has all set up and you can use and explore various other options.

Accessing from a web browser

To test and access the Plex media server from another device on the same network using web browser, you will need to use the IP address of the Plex media server. To find the IP address of the Plex media server, type ifconfig in Terminal.

Get IP address

Then in browser type:

http://[IP-address]:32400/web

Sign in with the same Plex credentials that you have used while configuring the Plex media server. You will instantly connected to your Plex media server and have access to all the digital media libraries that you have added during configuration.

Open Plex web UI in a browser

Accessing from Plex application

You can also test by installing the Plex app on any device. Sign in with the same Plex credentials that you have used while configuring the Plex media server. You will instantly be connected to your Plex media server and have access to all the digital media libraries that you have added during configuration. To test, I have to install Plex client application in my Windows 10 computer. Here is the screenshot of my Plex client application.

Plex client application

In this article, we have discussed all the necessary steps needed to install and set up a Plex media server on your Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. We have also learned how to set up a digital media library that you can access with any supported device by installing a Plex application

How to Install Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS