Install PLEX on a FreeNAS 11 Jail

This is an older tutorial for installing Plex on Warden Jails which have now been deprecated and replaced with iocage. To view the iocage install guide click here

As mentioned in an earlier post, one of the main reasons why I built a FreeNAS server was to enable me to transcode my DVD collection and store the files onto the server. My original plan was just to store the video files in a shared folder, that was until I discovered Plex.

Basically, Plex is a media server that allows you to store, catalogue and playback your media files on virtually any device. Plex is an open source application, however, there is a paid version that gives you the ability to download and sync video and audio so that you can play and view your media offline.

Installing Plex

Installing plex is a straightforward process. This guide assumes that you have already setup and configured a jail and that you have also set up your media folder shares.

The first thing we need to do is update the jail’s packages.

pkg update && pkg upgrade

Once the packages have been updated we can now go ahead and install the Plex server using the following command.

pkg install multimedia/plexmediaserver

It should only take a short time for Plex server to install. Once the installation completed has completed use the following command to ensure that the Plex server will start automatically should you have to restart the server/jail.

sysrc plexmediaserver_enable=YES

Now start the plex media service with.

service plexmediaserver start

We can now test that the Plex server is working by entering its URL into your web browser.

http://XXX.X.X.X:32400/web

Now that we have set up the server we should now associate your plex account with your newly installed server. By associating the Plex server with your Plex account we will be able to view media internally and externally from your network by using the following link

https://plex.tv/web

Mounting storage

To mount storage to the Plex jail instance you should refer to the Freenas documentation, located at http://doc.freenas.org/11/jails.html#add-storage

Upgrading plex

Plex is updated regularly and you are able to update plex easily without losing any data. When an update is available you will be notified via the web interface of the server, or you can visit http://www.freshports.org/multimedia/plexmediaserver/

To upgrade Plex you will need to stop the service from running by using the following command.

service plexmediaserver stop

To download and update Plex run the following command.

pkg update && pkg upgrade multimedia/plexmediaserver

Finally, restart the plex server with…

service plexmediaserver start

Conclusion

So that’s Plex media server installed on your server and you should now be able to view or listen to your media collection through a wide range of mobile devices.

There are unofficial add-ons which you can install next to Plex but we will discuss that in a future post. In the meantime, enjoy your plex media server