moddingtom
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 3:58 pm

Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:43 pm

Hi
Apologies for the double post, but I can't work out how to move my original post from its incorrect location.
I have been looking everywhere but can't seem to find a straight answer.

I am looking to use my Raspberry Pi as a Plex Media Server. I know that there is a Plex client for the Pi (Rasplex) but I want to use the server instead.
I have a smart TV with a Plex client installed. I have tried running the Plex Media server from my NAS and accessing it from my TV, but the performance is slow. So I was hoping to use my Pi as the server instead (as it plays just about everything I throw at it anyway).

Has anyone had experience of installing Plex Media Server onto a Pi? If so, some guidance would be appreciated.

Many thanks

blc
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:28 am

Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:48 pm

There was a previous discussion about this. Plex Media Server is proprietary and closed source, and does not run on the Pi natively - it is compiled for x86. There are ARM versions about, but they are designed for a few specific NAS appliances and there's no guarantee that they're even compiled for the same ARM architecture as the Pi. It would be up to Plex to release a working version for the Pi as there is no way for anyone else to "port" it.

To be honest, one of the great things about Plex is the transcoding: no matter what the client can or can't play, the server can transcode the video into a format and bitrate that the player can accept. I have serious doubts that the Pi CPU is up to the task of transcoding, especially with HD content. Plex Media Server apparently does all transcoding with the CPU only, there is no GPU offload (source); it's the VideoCoreIV GPU in the Pi that makes it so good with media, not the CPU, but Plex wouldn't take advantage of that power even if there was a Pi version. I run Plex Media Server on an overclocked 3.75GHz Core2Duo machine and transcoding high-bitrate video is enough to kick the fan speed up to full.

You'd be better of running RaspBian or OpenELEC (or similar) and using XBMC to play the videos directly :). If you really want/need a Plex Media Server, re-purposing an old PC will probably give you a quicker result; the official documentation recommends at least a 2.4GHz Core2Duo for HD transcoding.

moddingtom
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:06 pm

@bic
Thanks very much for the detailed reply. That's unfortunate that the Pi doesn't have enough grunt to run Plex, bit of a shame really.

I'm already running my Pi with XBMC, which runs very well. I was just wanting to use the plex client built into my TV instead. However, I don't want to have a dedicated PC running this as I have just migrated away from a dedicated mediacentre PC (all my movies are now on a NAS as well)

Looks like I'll be using the Pi as a XBMC player then

cheers

lockpicker
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:27 am

I think rasplex is what you're after.

ghans
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Location: Germany

Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:14 am

AFAIK Rasplex is only a client.


ghans
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lockpicker
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:02 am

Apologies. My bad on not reading OP's question properly.
Agree that as much as i love the the pi, it doesn't have enough grunt to transcode stuff.

ghans
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:40 pm

I guess it has more to do with the fact that the hardware encode APIs are underdocumented and
unknown to many ...

ghans
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Mr.Dave
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:56 pm

blc wrote:There was a previous discussion about this. Plex Media Server is proprietary and closed source, and does not run on the Pi natively - it is compiled for x86. There are ARM versions about, but they are designed for a few specific NAS appliances and there's no guarantee that they're even compiled for the same ARM architecture as the Pi. It would be up to Plex to release a working version for the Pi as there is no way for anyone else to "port" it.

To be honest, one of the great things about Plex is the transcoding: no matter what the client can or can't play, the server can transcode the video into a format and bitrate that the player can accept. I have serious doubts that the Pi CPU is up to the task of transcoding, especially with HD content. Plex Media Server apparently does all transcoding with the CPU only, there is no GPU offload (source); it's the VideoCoreIV GPU in the Pi that makes it so good with media, not the CPU, but Plex wouldn't take advantage of that power even if there was a Pi version. I run Plex Media Server on an overclocked 3.75GHz Core2Duo machine and transcoding high-bitrate video is enough to kick the fan speed up to full.

You'd be better of running RaspBian or OpenELEC (or similar) and using XBMC to play the videos directly :). If you really want/need a Plex Media Server, re-purposing an old PC will probably give you a quicker result; the official documentation recommends at least a 2.4GHz Core2Duo for HD transcoding.

I think Plex just makes use of whatever hardware it can to transcode, my old Phenom II X4 @ 4GHz was ramped right up to 100% CPU while it was transcoding, I guess it just converts it as fast as the server hardware will allow and then streams it from a temp folder, so long as the CPU can keep up with the playback speed it should be fine, but I agree I doubt the Pi could do that even with SD files

florian95
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:51 pm

Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:30 pm

But there are some "ARM" version for NAS.

caines1989
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:42 pm

Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:32 pm

hi guys i would like to more about this as i would prefer the pi to act as the server instead of my laptop, as i would prefer something which is worth £30 to brake instead of say £300's worth,, i have a external harddrive that i would put my movies on and then connect it to the pi and have the pi as the server, if this cant be done is there any alternatives?

if so what would you say would be the minimum requirement spec's?
or an alternative:-
addon hard ware to the pi?

or use a virtual server?


sorry so many questions but mine is practically the same title as this? but just thought there might be a update as things are moving quite quickly and swiftly for the pi as now its january 2014.

ghans
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:24 am

So far i know the situation hasn't changed a bit.


ghans
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blc
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:13 pm

caines1989 wrote:hi guys i would like to more about this as i would prefer the pi to act as the server instead of my laptop, as i would prefer something which is worth £30 to brake instead of say £300's worth,, i have a external harddrive that i would put my movies on and then connect it to the pi and have the pi as the server, if this cant be done is there any alternatives?

if so what would you say would be the minimum requirement spec's?
or an alternative:-
addon hard ware to the pi?

or use a virtual server?


sorry so many questions but mine is practically the same title as this? but just thought there might be a update as things are moving quite quickly and swiftly for the pi as now its january 2014.
As ghans already mentioned, nothing has changed at all. The Plex client is a fork of XBMC, but it's back-end transcoding server is totally proprietary - there will be no chance of getting it on the Pi unless an official version comes along, and I don't think that's likely. You could look for open source transcoding media servers, but to be honest they're probably not going to work well on the Pi; it just doesn't have the CPU power.

You could, of course, run a networked file server on the Raspberry Pi using a hard drive connected to USB, and stream your media that way - there are plenty of guides describing this. You won't get the handy transcoding feature of Plex Media Server, though. If you're going to be streaming HD content from the Pi then you're going to want to use a filesystem that is native to Linux, such as ext3/ext4/etc. There's a big performance overhead from using drives with the NTFS filesystem (the most common in the Windows world); on a desktop PC you wouldn't notice, but it's enough to make a very big difference on the Pi.

caines1989
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:16 pm

thanks very much for the reply is there a thread on this forum showing how to do it that way as i cant find it at all i know its most prob that i aint looking hard enough but if you know it could you post it please because thats good enough as well.

thanks

Onthegosnow
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:15 am

Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:28 am

I just recently bought a camper and would like to load movies on a HD and play them on the trailer TV using the HDMI on the raspberry PI. I won't have any internet access. I currently use PLEX at home and stream to my TV, phone, etc. It would be nice to be able to tie in the Raspberry PI with my home Plex, but it looks like my only option is XMBC. I have some questions I hope you all can help with. 1. Will the XMBC setup on raspberry PI work for my needs (no internet connection)? 2. Do the movie files have to be a certain format to run well? 3. Can I add RF remote to Rasberry PI, or do I have to go with IR? Any good setup link guides would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

drgeoff
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:45 am

1. Yes, XBMC will work without an internet connection. You can play content off the SD card or off a storage device connected by USB. Or have a (W)LAN in your camper and play from SMB shares or DLNA servers.

2. Content encoded with H.264 (aka AVC, aka MPEG-4 Part 10) plays well on the RPi. Content encoded with MPEG-2 (aka H.262) will also play but may require purchase of the codec licence for best results. (See the 'Buy Codecs' link at top of this page.)

3. If your HDMI display supports CEC then its remote can also control XBMC.

fizxmike
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:08 am

Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:18 am

I have fallen deep into the rabbit hole on this one. I downloaded all possible builds of the Plex Media Server for ARM, but none of them match up exactly to the ARMv6 chip-set on my Pi (so none of the dynamic libraries were recognized). I even tried installing the same libraries that PMS uses from Rasbian repositories and hit a brick wall when soci-3.0.0 was not in the repo, I even downloaded to build from source, but for some reason the sqlite module was missing!!! I have no idea how Plex got the sqlite module for soci-3.0.0... according to http://sourceforge.net/projects/soci/files/soci/ the sqlite module wasn't available 'till 3.1.0 and unfortunately that is the same version they decided to switch over to cmake rather than make... so, yea, thats where I gave up.

But I digress...

If you want to play content hosted by the Pi on a ROKU, Roksbox (http://roksbox.com/home/) is the answer. You install apache2 and put your videos in /var/www/Media and it works. If you want to add artwork etc. you can read and hack away using the guide on their website.

Best,
Michael

IDtheTarget
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:54 pm

drgeoff wrote:1. Yes, XBMC will work without an internet connection. You can play content off the SD card or off a storage device connected by USB. Or have a (W)LAN in your camper and play from SMB shares or DLNA servers.
I never figured out how to get RaspBMC to play content on a local HD plugged into a USB port. Is there a guide somewhere I haven't been able to find?

Thanks!

ghans
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:17 pm

Has your external HDD no own powersupply or ist it Mac - formatted ?

ghans
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IDtheTarget
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:12 pm

No, I tried one that's powered by the USB port and NTFS formatted. I have an externally-powered one that I can try. I saw elsewhere that I should probably format it ext3/ext4, but I'm copying the files from a Windows box...

ghans
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:47 pm

A harddrive without its own power-supply can cuase several problems due to the fact the Pi can not supply enough power :

1) Data loss
2) Pi crashes or becomes unstable
3) Both 1) and 2)

Try the HDD with external powersupply.

ghans
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dananick
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:45 am

Digging up an old thread because Google has it #1 in searches related to this.

Plex has a native arm image for the pi now called rasplex, and I want to have the pi have the media server, BUT I have my pi customized just how I want it. Any ideas on possibly installing the server application using apt- get on raspian?

ghans
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:54 am

I guess the situation still hasn't changed a bit.


ghans
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NedTheNerd
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:05 pm

dananick wrote:Digging up an old thread because Google has it #1 in searches related to this.

Plex has a native arm image for the pi now called rasplex, and I want to have the pi have the media server, BUT I have my pi customized just how I want it. Any ideas on possibly installing the server application using apt- get on raspian?
Rasplex is a Plex Client, not Plex Media Server (PMS).

You will never get Plex Media Server running on a Raspberry Pi, either by using apt-get (as no package exists) or by trying to compile your own version as it has moved so far away from XBMC. As people have already stated PMS is no longer open source.

Regards.
Hardware: 1xRPi B 256Mb running Musicbox, 2 x RPi2's running Rasplex, RPi B+ running mail and web services, RPi2 running Plex Media Server

melao
Posts: 4
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:27 pm

Guys I have also searched about this topic, and in my opinion it is better to forget plex and install serviio as a dlna server instead.
I have two pis at home, one running openelec (xbmc) and the other running serviio serving as a dlna server. All the media files is inside a USB drive connected to the pi, that also serve as a nas since I configured samba shares.

Serviio is able to serve files to my smart TV, raspberry pi with openelec, ipad, iPhone, Android phone, Android tablet, you name it.

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Addikt
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Re: Use Pi as a Plex Media Server

Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:23 am

Hi all! I figured we might re-visit this thread as the Raspberry Pi 2 just came out.

SO, now we've got a new quad-core processor, whatcha reckon the odds are of getting it to work now?

Failing that, what are the alternatives in terms of remote streaming? One of Plex's fun features is the ability to stream media to my phone. I get transcoding video is/was perhaps too intensive but what about MP3?

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