Arch Linux Media Players

How to Start with Plex Media Server on Arch Linux

Cutting the cord doesn’t have to mean cutting entertainment from your life. With Plex, a client-server media player system, you can be in charge of your own broadcast programming and enjoy a readily available supply of video, audio, and photos from your collections and from online services anywhere and anytime. All you need to start using the Plex is a computer running Arch Linux and a few minutes to set everything up.

How to Install Plex Media Server

Plex consists of two components: the Plex Media Server, a desktop application for streaming multimedia content over the internet, and Plex media players, which are available for mobile devices, smart TVs, and streaming boxes.

To install the Plex Media Server on Arch Linux use your preferred method to obtain and install the plex-media-server package from AUR.

Alternatively, install the plex-media-server-plexpass package from AUR if you have a Plex Pass, a subscription service that gives you exclusive access to new features and apps.

If you don’t know how to install a package from AUR or even what AUR is, we recommend you read our article on the Arch Linux package management system.

How to Setup Plex Media Server

Before you can start using the Plex Media Server, you must first enable the corresponding service:

# systemctl enable plexmediaserver.service

# systemctl start plexmediaserver.service

The first command enables the Plex Media Server service to be started on bootup, and the second command starts the server immediately.

With the Plex Media Server running, you should be able to open http://localhost:32400/web/ in your web browser of choice.

At this point, you should also be able to use the Plex Media Server locally. To use it remotely, you must first create an SSH tunnel and then open http://localhost:8888/web/ in a web browser:

$ ssh ip.address.of.server -L 8888:localhost:32400

If you’re not familiar with SSH, make sure to read this article, which covers SSH setup, customization, and optimization.

How to Use Plex Media Server

After installing and configuring the Plex Media Server, you can access it either from your web browser, as we’ve shown in the previous chapter, or using the Plex Media Player, which is available for a number of platforms and devices, including Linux.

You can obtain the Plex Media Player from AUR and install it just like you would any other AUR package. The player has been made with the Qt application framework, and it uses mpv as media playback engine and Chromium for the media browsing experience.

If you own a smart TV or a media streaming box such as Roku, you can feel free to skip the Plex Media Player as you can connect to the Plex Media Server directly from your TV or streaming box.

Conclusion

Plex is a perfect solution for those who enjoy being in control of their own entertainment. It’s can also serve as an introduction to the self-hosted movement and teach less experienced Linux users a lot about their operating system of choice.

About the author

David Morelo

David Morelo

Content writer and copywriter, researcher, wannabe linguistic, part-time marketer, gym rat, sometimes annoying but always loving boyfriend.

I was born and raised in the Czech Republic, where I studied English and Japanese philology at the Palacký University in Olomouc, the second oldest university in the Czech Republic and the largest university in Moravia, one of the historical Czech lands.