Plex

Plex lets you stream your media anywhere, on any device.

We provide support for running a full instance (as opposed to shared) of Plex Media Server on a slot via a Docker container. The server has access to all of your media and enables streaming to other devices.

Table of contents

Installation

To set up and install Plex Media Server on your slot, please do the following:

  1. Get a claim code. Note: a claim code is only valid for 5 minutes.
  2. Copy this claim code to the file ~/private/install-plex or ~/private/install-plex.txt creating it with your SFTP / FTP client. Note: do not create the ~/private/plex folder.
  3. After a minute, check whether the installation was a success with the presence of the file install-was-a-success in the Plex folder. If it was unsuccessful you will see a similarly named file of the form install-description-of-error.

Finally, visit the URL found in ~/private/plex/url.txt in your browser to use Plex. You should not put any media inside ~/private/plex as the folder is treated as disposable.

Configure your library

In Plex you can find your slot's data under the path /data.

When you first login to Plex it will present you with a "Welcome to Plex!" screen and prompt for an initial set up giving you the chance to add a media library. Afterwards, you can create libraries through the settings menu.

Enable remote access with manual port forwarding

Some users have reported that they see unreachable errors such as: "Your server is signed in to Plex, but is not reachable from outside your network". This can also be characterised as slow streaming speeds, much slower than using SFTP / FTP. Restarting may appear to fix the issue for a short period.

By default Plex relies on upnp for remote access but does not appear to always be reliable. The solution is to make Plex aware of the manual port forwarding that is configured by our system.

  1. Visit "Settings" from the link in the top-right hand side, select "Remote Access" from the menu panel that appears on the left-hand side and ensure "SHOW ADVANCED" is selected on the page.
  2. Find your forwarded port: in ~/private/plex/url.txt just after "server.feralhosting.com:" should be a port number. For instance if you saw "http://server.feralhosting.com:PORT/web/index.html" you would use PORT.
  3. On the page presented ensure "Manually specify public port" is checked and the text field next to it has has your URL's port number (found in the previous step).
  4. Hit the "APPLY" button and wait a short while for Plex to reconfigure itself.
  5. This will sometimes configure the manua port forwarding but disable remote access as a whole. If this happens you will see the "ENABLE REMOTE ACCESS" button which should be pressed.

Plex also have their own guide on configuring remote access.

Starting, stopping, updating and restarting Plex

Once installed you can use control files to make changes to Plex's running state. Deleting files in the folder ~/private/plex/control-files will result in their named action i.e., deleting "restart" will trigger a restart. Actions take one minute to be executed by the system.

If Plex is running the following SSH command will restart Plex:

rm ~/private/plex/control-files/restart

Use the following SSH command to update Plex:

rm ~/private/plex/control-files/update

If Plex is running the following SSH command will stop Plex:

rm ~/private/plex/control-files/stop

If Plex is stopped the following SSH command will start Plex:

rm ~/private/plex/control-files/start

Control files can also be deleted using an SFTP or FTP client meaning SSH is not necessary.

Using Plex

For help using the software itself you should consult Plex's own support page first of all as it's likely that your question is covered there.

In Plex, your slot data can be found under the path /data

Moving from a userns install to a container install

Previous installations ran under your slot's userns an environment that uses namespaces to separate users. New installations (using claim codes) run using Plex's own Docker image. The Docker image can be considered as close to a standard environment as possible which will help Plex and Feral to both diagnose issues that may arise.

The userns installation will continue to work and will be restarted if ~/private/plex/usr exists. If you run into problems with the userns set up you should uninstall and then perform a new style installation. We recommend moving to this new set up as soon as possible even if you are not having experiencing issues.

To uninstall Plex and stop using the userns, run the following SSH command:

rm -r ~/private/plex

Troubleshooting

You see the error "Your server is signed in to Plex, but is not reachable from outside your network".
Ensure that manual port forwarding is set up.
You see the warning "Unable to connect to "plex.user.server" securely".
Ensure that manual port forwarding is set up.
Plex is slower than SFTP / FTP, buffers a lot and is generally slow.
Ensure that manual port forwarding is set up.
Manual port forwarding is set up but Plex is still slow.
Use the reroute page to try and improve speeds.

Reinstall

To reinstall, first uninstall by deleting the ~/private/plex folder and then perform a new installation.

Uninstalling

The SSH command below will completely remove Plex binaries and its configuration.

rm -r ~/private/plex