RasPlex client for the Plex Media Server


As with other media centers, Plex has a clearly defined structure and strict conventions for the naming of files [7], which it uses to index and position media files in its own database. To perform a quick test, you can try editing and reading a few files from the Music, Photos, Movies, and TV Shows categories. Tools like FileBot [8] let you convert the file formats of a large collection in batch mode for compatibility with the Plex Scraper agent that searches the hard drive for media. These tools both require some getting used to, so it is a good idea to free up a weekend for the task of converting large collections.

On Linux systems, the Plex server runs under its own user account, so it is a good idea to make sure the server can read the data you want to include. The drive has to be mounted accordingly for Windows filesystems like FAT32 and NTFS.

In the example from Listing 2, you would need to adjust the UID, the partition label, and the mountpoint on your system according to the output from id and lsblk. On Linux ext4 and Btrfs filesystems, you should correct the access rights as indicated in Listing 3 directly on the filesystem. With the find command, you can assign different access rights to files and directories.

Listing 2

Mounting an NTFS Filesystem

$ id
uid=1000(clangner) gid=100(users) groups=100(users),3(sys),[...],1003(lnm)
$ lsblk
sda      8:0    0     8G  0 disk
|-sda1   8:1    0   7,6G  0 part /
|-sda2   8:2    0     1K  0 part
|-sda5   8:5    0   383M  0 part [SWAP]
sdb      8:16   0   1,4T  0 disk
|-sdb1   8:17   0   1,4T  0 part
$ sudo mount -t ntfs -o uid=1000,umask=0022 /dev/sdb1 /media/extern

Listing 3

Changing Linux Permissions

$ find </path/to/collection> -type d -exec chmod 755 {} +
$ find </path/to/collection> -type f -exec chmod 644 {} +


Next, you should download RasPlex. The developers could have done a better job marking the releases on GitHub. Note that version 0.4.1 is referred to as the Latest release in the GitHub release notes [9], although the homepage shows RasPlex 1.0.1 [10] as the current version and GitHub labels it Pre-release [11]. As a result, you should not rely on the announcements and labels. Instead, simply download the RasPlex image that has the highest version number.

Alternatively, you can use the GetRasplex installation assistant [12], which runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows and quickly loads an SD card with RasPlex. Linux users will find a version for both 32- and 64-bit installations and should choose the appropriate version. Under Linux, you should download the installer for your system to the hard drive, give it the necessary rights, and execute it as root

$ chmod +x GetRasplex.bin
$ sudo ./GetRasplex.bin

The SD card should be put into the computer before starting the program, but it should not be mounted. Do not allow the desktop environment to mount the card, but if it does, the card should be unmounted in the desktop environment or with umount.

The installer is just one window (Figure 5) and is intuitive to use. However, it has to be implemented with administrative rights across the entire operating system. In Step 1, you should designate whether you are using a Raspberry Pi of the first or the second generation and the version of RasPlex. RasPlex 0.7.0 was the most up to date when we tested this in our lab.

Figure 5: GetRasplex loads RasPlex from the Internet and installs the software directly on a memory card inserted in the computer.

In Step 2, you should Download the correct file or use Select image file to use the image file already on the hard drive. The download function requires you to designate where the file should be saved temporarily. In Step 3, you should indicate that the SD card is the target, and in Step 4, you should write the image to the memory card by clicking Write SD card.

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