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How to access a Plex Server on Raspberry Pi

RasPlex is a lightweight operating system that, once installed on the Raspberry Pi, allows users to access their Plex movies and TV shows, music, and more. Best of all, it is free of charge and is very easy to set up. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get it working.

Before we begin

Running RasPlex on a Raspberry Pi demands a fast SD card. If you plan to run this operating system on your device, you must have a fast enough SD card that can handle it.

Don’t have a good SD card to handle the demanding performance of RasPlex? Here are two great SD cards to consider.

Downloading RasPlex

RasPlex is an operating system for Raspberry Pi Model B, Zero, and 3. There’s not yet a release for the Pi 4, unfortunately. If you’re using one of the supported devices for RaspPlex, follow the step-by-step instructions below to get your hands on it.

Step 1: Head over to the RasPlex website, and locate the “Get RasPlex” button. Click on it to head over to the downloads page.

Step 2: On the downloads page for RasPlex, some icons represent the three big operating systems (Mac, Windows, and Linux). These images link to easy to use installers. Ignore them, as we will not be covering them in this guide. Instead, move down to “Get Rasplex Installers” and click on the “legacy download instructions link.”

Step 3: After selecting the “legacy download instructions link,” you will be taken to a new page called “Manual Installation Instructions.” Locate “Mac OSX/Linux” on the page, and click on “Grab your desired image (img.gz) file from github” to go to the RasPlex GitHub.

Step 4: On the RasPlex GitHub release page, download one of the following links.

For RPi 1, download: RasPlex-1.8.0.148-573b6d73-RPi.arm.img.gz

For RPi 2/3, download: RasPlex-1.8.0.148-573b6d73-RPi2.arm.img.gz

For Zero, read the release notes to find out which one to grab.

When the release of RasPlex is downloaded to your computer, move on to the next step of the guide.

Installing RasPlex to your SD card

To use RasPlex on the Raspberry Pi, you must install it on the SD card. To do that, you’ll need to get your hands on Etcher, an easy to use SD card/USB flashing tool. To download Etcher, head over to the official website, and click on the download button. Then, follow the installation instructions to get it working on your OS. Once Etcher is working, follow the step-by-step instructions below to flash RasPlex to your Pi’s SD card.

Step 1: Launch the Etcher program on your PC and allow it to start up for the first time.

Step 2: Plug in the SD card into your computer by inserting it into the SD card slot, or by putting it into an SD card reader in the USB port.

Step 3: Locate the “Select Image” button and click on it with the mouse. You’ll then see an open-file dialog box pop-up on the screen. Use this open-file dialog to locate the downloaded RasPlex file from earlier.

Step 4: Find the “Select Drive” button and click on it. Then, select the SD card you plan to flash RasPlex onto in the UI.

Step 5: Find the “Flash!” button, and click it to start the SD card flashing process. Keep in mind that this process may take some time!

When the flashing process is complete, move on to the configuration process for RasPlex.

Configuring RasPlex

Configuring RasPlex is the last step in the installation process. To start the config process, put the SD card into your Raspberry Pi, plug in an HDMI cable to the TV, and power it on. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: On the “Welcome” screen for RasPlex, find the “Next” button, and click it to begin the setup process for your new installation.

Step 2: After passing the “Welcome” screen in the RasPlex config tool, you will be on the “Networking” page. Locate your WiFi network and connect to it so that RasPlex has access to the internet, as well as your local LAN, where the Plex server is hosted.

Don’t want to use WiFi for RasPlex? Plug in an Ethernet cable into the back of the Pi to get instant network access.

Step 3: Following the “Networking” page is the “Sharing and Remote Access” page. Here you’ll be able to enable SSH and Samba for RasPlex. Turn both options off, unless you know what they do, as they are not required to enjoy Plex.

Step 4: With “Sharing and Remote Access” out of the way, it is time to calibrate your screen. Click the “Do Calibrate” button to begin the calibration. Or, click ‘Next’ to skip it if you do not want to calibrate.

Step 5: Once the screen calibration is taken care of, you will be brought to the “Plex Login” screen. On your smartphone, tablet, or computer, go to http://plex.tv/pin and enter the code on the screen.

When you’ve successfully entered the pin on the screen, RasPlex will log into your Plex account and give you access to your Plex server! Enjoy!

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