How to Install Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 20.04


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to install Plex Media Server on your Ubuntu 20.04 system. Plex Media Server is a powerful tool that allows you to organize, stream, and share your media collection, including movies, TV shows, music, and photos, across various devices. Whether you want to enjoy your media on your TV, smartphone, or computer, Plex makes it possible. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the installation process step by step, making it easy for you to set up your very own media server on Ubuntu 20.04.

Chapter 1: Understanding Plex Media Server

Plex Media Server is a software application that turns your computer or NAS (Network Attached Storage) device into a media server. It organizes your media collection, retrieves metadata, and makes your content accessible from various devices, including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, and computers. Plex allows you to create your own personalized streaming library, making it convenient to enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows, music, and photos anytime, anywhere.

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Chapter 2: Prerequisites

Before we begin the installation, ensure that you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • A Ubuntu 20.04 server or desktop system.
  • A user account with sudo privileges.
  • A stable internet connection.
  • A collection of media files you want to stream (movies, TV shows, music, etc.).

Chapter 3: Update System Packages

To ensure that your Ubuntu system is up to date, start by updating the package list and upgrading installed packages:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Keeping your system updated is essential for a smooth installation process.

Chapter 4: Install Plex Media Server

Installing Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 20.04 is straightforward. You can download and install the Plex package using the command-line interface. Open a terminal and execute the following commands:

sudo apt install apt-transport-https

Next, add the Plex repository’s GPG key to your system:

curl | sudo apt-key add -

Now, add the Plex repository to your system’s package sources:

echo deb public main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/plexmediaserver.list

With the repository added, update the package list again:

sudo apt update

Finally, install Plex Media Server:

sudo apt install plexmediaserver

During the installation, you’ll be prompted to confirm. Press ‘Y’ and then ‘Enter’ to proceed.

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Chapter 5: Configure Plex Media Server

Once Plex Media Server is installed, it automatically starts as a service. To access the web interface and configure Plex, open a web browser and visit http://localhost:32400/web/. You can also access it from another device on your local network by replacing “localhost” with the server’s IP address.

Follow the on-screen prompts to set up your Plex Media Server account. You’ll need to create an account if you don’t have one already. This account allows you to manage your server settings and access your media remotely.

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Chapter 6: Accessing the Plex Web Interface

The Plex web interface is your gateway to managing and enjoying your media collection. You can use it to add media libraries, organize content, and set up server preferences. Access the Plex web interface by visiting http://localhost:32400/web/ in your web browser.

To sign in, use the Plex account you created during the setup process. Once logged in, you’ll see the Plex dashboard, where you can start adding your media libraries.

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Chapter 7: Adding Media Libraries

To start streaming your media, you need to add your media libraries to Plex. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the “+” icon next to “Libraries” in the left sidebar of the Plex web interface.
  2. Choose the type of media you want to add (Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos, etc.).
  3. Click on “Next” to configure your library.
  4. Give your library a name and click on “Next.”
  5. Browse to the location of your media files and select the appropriate folder. Click on “Add Library.”
  6. Plex will scan your media files, retrieve metadata, and organize your content.

Repeat these steps for each type of media library you want to create. Once added, your media will be available for streaming on any device connected to your Plex Media Server.

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Chapter 8: Remote Access and Sharing

Plex allows you to access your media remotely and share it with friends and family. To enable remote access, go to the Plex web interface and click on “Settings” in the left sidebar. Under “Remote Access,” ensure that “Remote Access” is enabled.

You can also create user accounts for family members and friends, granting them access to specific libraries. Sharing media with others is easy and customizable through Plex’s user management features.

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Chapter 9: Conclusion

In conclusion, you’ve successfully installed and configured Plex Media Server on your Ubuntu 20.04 system. Plex offers a versatile solution for organizing and enjoying your media collection, and with remote access capabilities, you can take your media library with you wherever you go.

As you explore Plex further, consider customizing your libraries, adding metadata, and optimizing settings for the best streaming experience. Plex also offers premium features, such as Plex Pass, which unlocks additional functionality like mobile sync, offline access, and more.

Enjoy your Plex Media Server, and start streaming your favorite movies, TV shows, music, and photos hassle-free!

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