There is a new version of this tutorial available for Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa).

How to install and setup Plex Media Server Ubuntu 16.04

Plex is a free feature-rich media library platform that provides a way to store all your movies, shows, and other media in one place. You can access Plex from any device, whether you’re at home or on-the-go. There are many different media tools available in the world like, Kodi, Xmbc, OSMC and Mediatomb, but the Plex Media Server is perhaps one of the most popular solutions for managing media. Plex runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD and many more. Plex is a client-server media player system made up from two main components, 1) The Plex Media Server, which organizes music, photos and videos content from personal media libraries and streams it to their player, 2) The Players that can be the Plex web UI, Plex Apps or Plex home theater. Plex Media Server supports Chromecast, Amazon FireTV, Android, iOS, Xbox, PlayStation, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV and various types of smart TVs. If you are looking for a way to watch your movies from anywhere, then Plex is best choice for you.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install and configure Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 16.04.


  • A server running Ubuntu 16.04.
  • A not-root user with sudo privileges setup on your server.
  • A static IP address setup on your server.

Getting Started

Before starting, make sure your system is fully up to date by running the following command:

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

Once your system is updated, restart your system to apply all these changes with the following command:

sudo reboot

After restarting, log in with sudo user and proceed to the next step.

1. Install Plex Media Server

First, you will need to download the latest version of the Plex from their official website. You can download it by running the following command:


Once Plex is downloaded, run the following command to install Plex:

sudo dpkg -i plexmediaserver_1.7.5.4035-313f93718_amd64.deb

Next, start Plex Media Server and enable it to start on boot time by running the following command:

sudo systemctl start plexmediaserver
sudo systemctl enable plexmediaserver

You can check the status of Plex Media Server at any time by running the following command:

sudo systemctl status plexmediaserver

You should see the following output:

? plexmediaserver.service - Plex Media Server for Linux
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/plexmediaserver.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Sat 2017-08-05 11:48:52 IST; 17s ago
 Main PID: 3243 (sh)
   CGroup: /system.slice/plexmediaserver.service
           ??3243 /bin/sh -c LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/plexmediaserver "/usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Plex Media Server"
           ??3244 /usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Plex Media Server
           ??3288 Plex Plug-in [com.plexapp.system] /usr/lib/plexmediaserver/Resources/Plug-ins-313f93718/Framework.bundle/Contents/Resources/Versions/

Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 systemd[1]: Started Plex Media Server for Linux.
Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 sh[3243]: Error in command line:the argument for option '--serverUuid' should follow immediately after the equal sign
Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 sh[3243]: Crash Uploader options (all are required):
Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 sh[3243]:   --directory arg       Directory to scan for crash reports
Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 sh[3243]:   --serverUuid arg      UUID of the server that crashed
Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 sh[3243]:   --userId arg          User that owns this product
Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 sh[3243]:   --platform arg        Platform string
Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 sh[3243]:   --url arg             URL to upload to
Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 sh[3243]:   --help                show help message
Aug 05 11:49:04 Node1 sh[3243]:   --version arg         Version of the product

Next, you will need to create a directory to store your Plex media. You can create this by running the following command:

sudo mkdir -p /root/plex/movie

Once you are finished, you can proceed to the next step.

2. Configure Plex

Now, all the components are installed on your system, it's time to configure and access Plex.

Open your web browser and type the URL, you should see the following page:

Plex Login

After accepting the user agreement, you will need to create a Plex account, click on "Sign Up" button for a new account. You should see the following page:

Create Plex Account

Here, provide all the required details like, Username, Email, Password, and click on the "Sign Up" button. You should see the following screen:

Set the server name

Here, give your server name and click on the Next button, you should see the following screen:

Plex Server Setup

Click on the Next button, you should see the following screen:

Get Plex Apps

The final step of the initial server setup is to allow remote access to your media server and send anonymous data to Plex. By default both are checked. It is recommended to leave them checked, next click on the "Done" button to finish server setup. You should see the Plex dashboard in the following screen:

Plex Dashboard

Now, click on "Add Library" button, you should see the following screen:

Add Library in Plex

Here, select your library type. Repeat these steps for TV shows, music, and photos. It isn’t necessary to populate all the libraries. Click on the Next button, you should see the following screen:

Add a folder

Navigate to the corresponding media directory that you created previously, then click on Add button.

Next, you will need to disable DLNA features. To do so, click the wrench icon in the upper right corner, select Server click on DLNA and uncheck "Enable the DLNA server" then click Save Changes.

Enable the DLNA server

Congratulations! your Plex Media Server is ready, you are now ready to connect to it from your Plex client application or Web browser.


I hope you can now easily install and setup Plex media server to your system. You can easily browse all your media libraries right from the Plex control panel. Feel free to comment me if you have any question.

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11 Comment(s)

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By: wb greene

Instructions seem very clear, but how about a followup article on the clients, as it seems pretty pointless to talk about one without the other.

Why would I want to disable the DLNA features?

Why would I want to allow "send anonymous data to Plex"?

So far we have been very happy with Kodi, but I'm intrested in learning about other options and alternatives.

By: Bruce Ferrell

Where can the source be found?

By: Clownfused

I highly suggest you checkout plexupdate. 

By: PlexGuy

Plex is NOT open source.  It is closed.  It is free.

Also, there is ZERO need for a Plex Account.  Using a SOCKS proxy (via ssh) or VPN, you can stream anything using the Plex Web interface to anywhere you are in the world.

I find the plex clients to  ... er ... suck. No need for them either.  Use any DLNA client/controller to access the content on the same network.  Android can easily control and/or access the plex server using any number of DLNA controllers.  There are plex controllers and/or clients for android, roku, Kodi, and the web interface can be used for streaming to any computer that is connected from anywhere in the world, if you like and setup connectivity.

By: P Mastren

Does no one else find this clause in the T&C troubling?

However, by using the Services with particular content, for example by using the Services to share particular content or access particular content, you grant to Plex (and to each of the third parties with whom we work to provide you with the Services) a worldwide license to reproduce, modify, create derivative works, transmit, publish, publicly perform, publicly display, distribute, and otherwise use the particular content and metadata associated with the content, such as images of you or images otherwise associated with your account.

By: Piotr

sudo systemctl start plexmediaserver and Failed to start plexmediaserver.service: Unit plexmediaserver.service not found.

By: Piotr

Form me dosn't word path /root/plex/movie . So I create /home/xXx/plex/movie.

Where xXx are name of user.

By: Katarina Jones

Plex is available for ubuntu. Good news! Kodi is also available for all platforms including linux and unix.

Kodi is the best alternative if you can't install Plex on your Ubuntu operating system. Kodi has released an important Update. Update Kodi to use its latest features.


By: martin

I have mulitple  mounted  HDDs  that  can be seen , but plex   thinks they are empty,   any ideas??

By: uberkie

you must set the right permisions on the folders user - plex : group - plex

By: Robert Smith

Plex on Ubuntu is one of the best things happened in technology.