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Setup Plex Server with Raspberry PI 3 – Low Power Media Server

Plex Media Server on Raspberry Pi

written by Ciprian April 4, 2017

Plex Media Server is a service made specifically for a server or HTPC that allows you to stream your media anywhere and on any Plex compatible device. Besides streaming, this service processes your media and organizes it in beautiful libraries ready for consumption. If you want to use the transcoding function (where the Plex server reprocesses the video for Plex client), the Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server is not powerful enough, but it is good enough for direct play (no transcoding – heavylifting done by Plex client). We recently showed you how to install Plex media serveron Odroid C2, Windows, and Ubuntu Server. Today I will show you how you can setup Plex Server with Raspberry Pi 3.

Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server with Diet Pi OS

Before starting to setup Plex Server with Raspberry Pi 3, we first need to install an operating system. DietPi is one of the lightest operating systems available to date made specifically for low powered devices like the Raspberry Pi and Odroid. It has optimized software installers compiled specifically for the Raspberry Pi 3 that automate the install process, making the setup a simple process.

Before proceeding, you must follow and complete the Raspberry Pi 3 Diet Pi installation guide.

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Next, connect the power cable to the Raspberry Pi 3 and the DietPi boot process will begin which takes about 2 minutes. Now all you need to do is wait for DietPi to display the IP where you can connect via SSH. You are now ready to setup your Raspberry Pi 3 Plex Media Server.

Connect to your Raspberry Pi 3 via SSH

Connecting to your Raspberry Pi 3 via SSH is really easy. You just need to use a SSH Client and enter the IP of the SSH device you want to connect to.

First, make sure you download Putty on your computer and open it. [Read: 10 best SSH Clients for Windows: free alternatives to PuTTY]

Next, type the IP for your device, the port (22 is the default port for SSH), and select SSH, then click on the Open button to start the connection.

Putty connection via SSH

Putty connection via SSH

A link to the Raspberry Pi will be made and the Login prompt will appear. For DietPi the default username is root and the password is dietpi.

SSH Login on diet pi

SSH Login

If the credentials used are correct, DietPi will start it’s automatic update process, to make sure you are using the latest version. This process usually takes about 5 minutes, so wait patiently until you get the confirmation that the update has been completed then press enter to reboot the device.

DietPi update process finished

DietPi update process finished

Setup Plex Server with Raspberry Pi

Now that everything is prepared, we are ready to install our Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server. The DietPi Installation System will start automatically, so just press Enter to begin.

DietPi Installation System on raspberry pi

DietPi Installation System

Next, choose if you want to setup a USB drive now or not. As the image shows, USB drive gives a better performance and generally more storage space than a SD card. We have separate guide on how to setup USB drive for storage on Diet Pi. Therefore, we will choose NO, with the assumption that you have already setup a USB drive following that. If not, select YES and setup the USB drive as described in the above guide. You may also select NO to use SD card for storage (not recommended).

USB Dedicated Drive option for DietPi

USB Dedicated Drive for DietPi

On the next screen, press Enter to start the DietPi Software menu. Select the Software Optimized row then press Enter.

Software Optimized section for raspberry pi

Software Optimized section ready for installation on your device

Best Plex Client Devices:
  1. NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server - $299.99 editors pick
  2. Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player - $89.99
  3. Roku Premiere+ 4K UHD - $83.99
  4. CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit - $69.99
  5. Xbox One 500 GB Console - $264.99

Navigate down to find the Plex Media Server. Select it by pressing the Space button on your keyboard, then press Enter to go back on the main menu.

Select Plex Media Server to install on raspberry pi

Select Plex Media Server to automatically install it

Next, select the Install option to start the Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server setup process.

install selected software on raspberry pi

Automatically install all your selected software packages

Check the list that contains the software ready to install and confirm it  by selecting OK, then press Enter

service list to install on raspberry pi

Ready to install service list

The Raspberry Pi Plex Server setup process should begin. All you have to do now is wait for a couple of minutes until you get the Installation Completed message, and the system reboots.

plex server Installation completed

Installation completed message

After the system reboots, open a web browser and enter the IP of the Raspberry Pi and use port 32400 to sign into your Plex account. In my case, the IP for the Plex Media Server installation is 10.1.10.111:32400.

setup plex server with raspberry pi

Plex Media Server Sign In

Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server in now installed. What do do next ?

Congratulations! You managed to setup Plex Server with Raspberry Pi 3 and you now have a dedicated Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server. From here you can upgrade Plex with channels from our top 10 Best Plex Unofficial Channels 2017 that take your Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server to the next level. In our future articles, we will show you how you can setup other services next to your Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server, so make sure to check back soon for more.

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