Mint as a starting point for remote Plex server

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LK51
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Mint as a starting point for remote Plex server

Post by LK51 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:39 pm

Not sure where to start, so I hope the networking sub-forum is the right place…

I want to set up an older computer as a server to provide content delivery for an in-home only wifi network for Plex. While I have very little knowledge/experience with networking per se, I have used Linux desktops for a while (mostly Mint) and understand at least the basic concept of what a headless server is. So here’s my “environment”...

LM 19.1 is running on my “production” desktop, and will be where any video editing and/or transcoding will take place. The server will be connected via LAN cable to my router. I want to keep the server on Linux OS as well, and access/manage it via my “production” desktop.

Being a “noob” to this process I want to keep things as straightforward as possible. I hoping some LM forum members who know this “turf” can point me to resources to learn how to accomplish this. I need to understand concepts like:
• Appropriate Linux server OS (e.g. Ubuntu Server, etc.?)
• Method for installing OS on server (can I accomplish this remotely via production desktop?)
• Method for installing Plex server app on remote server
• Assuring ease of file sharing between desktop and server

I know this is a big subject, and I have done some initial research via Plex forum and “Googling”. I’m hoping that there are some forum members who can point me to some next steps that work well with Linux Mint acting as the “command center” for this set up.

Thanks...

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smurphos
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Re: Mint as a starting point for remote Plex server

Post by smurphos » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:31 am

Hi,

I run something similar but the machine plugged into the router running plex is an old laptop running Mint XFCE 18.3. At some point I was going to reinstall from and Ubuntu Minimal ISO and go proper headless but haven't got round to it yet - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Insta ... /MinimalCD

Here is a basic guide to using Ubuntu minimal / Plex-
https://bendavis.me/2016/04/06/install- ... out-deskto

What I've got - Laptop running currently Mint XFCE 18.3.

It's got SSH access enabled and also has x11vnc installed. So I can SSH into it from my main LInux machine (or my phone or my Chromebook) to manage it both via CLI or as a remote desktop via VNC tunnelled through SSH. Plex is installed. Media is on an external drive attached to the laptop. The external drive is shared via sshfs as I don't like samba.

I maintain 2/3 copies of all my media. Music/Photos/Videos are all hosted on my main machine and synced to the Plex laptop's external drive via rsync over SSH. Photos and Music are also backed up to a cloud storage provider.

The Plex laptop's external drive (as it's always on) also acts as a hub for other backups. e.g. both of the families phones backup their file contents to the Plex laptops external drive.

Things to think about -

Setting static IP's via your router. Port forwarding rules if you intend to access Plex outside of your home network.

SSH and SSHFS is probably the most complicated bit to get your head around if you've not used it before

Useful links

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SSH
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SSHFS
For custom Nemo actions, useful scripts for the Cinnamon desktop, and Cinnamox themes visit my Github pages.

LK51
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Re: Mint as a starting point for remote Plex server

Post by LK51 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:07 pm

smurphos,

Thanks for this information. The article " basic guide to using Ubuntu minimal" is very helpful and encouraging as I believe I can follow that example pretty well. The links for SSH and SSHFS are very welcomed too. Much for me to learn, but, sometimes an old dog can learn a few new tricks.

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