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Configure Plex Media Server with Object Storage

Reviewed on 22 February 2022Published on 24 September 2018
  • storage
  • compute
  • Plex-Media-Server
  • media-streaming
  • object-storage
  • s3fs
  • plex-cloud
  • lucidlink
  • s3
  • media
  • server

Plex - Overview

Plex is client/server media player system comprising two main components:

  • The Plex Server application, that is available for Windows, macOS, Linux and even including some NAS devices.
  • Plex clients that can be either a web-based interface, an application on smart TVs, streaming boxes or other third-party applications.

Installing the required software

  1. Connect to your Instance using SSH.

    ssh root@<your-instance-IP>
  2. Update the apt package manager and the software already installed on the system:

    apt update && apt upgrade -y
  3. Add the Plex repository:

    Add Plex’s GPG key to the apt sources keychain and create a new file containing an entry to the Plex repository by running the following commands:

    curl https://downloads.plex.tv/plex-keys/PlexSign.key | apt-key add -
    echo deb https://downloads.plex.tv/repo/deb public main | tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/plexmediaserver.list
  4. Install Plex and s3fs:

    Now, as the Plex repository is enabled, update the apt package list and install the latest version of Plex and s3fs, which is needed to mount the Object Storage bucket.

    apt update 
    apt install -y plexmediaserver s3fs

Configuring s3fs

  1. Create the folder on which you will mount the bucket.

    mkdir -p /mnt/media
  2. Enter your API keys in the password file and set owner-only permissions.

    echo $ACCESS_KEY:$SECRET_KEY >  ~/.passwd-s3fs
    chmod 600 ~/.passwd-s3fs
  3. Uncomment user_allow_other in the /etc/fuse.conf file to allow other users to access the server. You can use a text editor of your choice. In this tutorial we use nano.

    $ nano /etc/fuse.conf
  4. Mount the bucket in the local filesystem.

    s3fs plexmediaserver /mnt/media -o allow_other -o umask=0002 -o passwd_file=${HOME}/.passwd-s3fs -o url=https://s3.nl-ams.scw.cloud

    Replace nl-ams with the region of your bucket if necessary.

  5. (Optional) To mount the bucket automatically during boot, create a systemd script, called /etc/systemd/user/s3fs.service:

    Description=S3FS mounts

    ExecStart=/usr/bin/s3fs plexmediaserver /mnt/media -o allow_other -o umask=0002 -o passwd_file=${HOME}/.passwd-s3fs -o url=https://s3.nl-ams.scw.cloud
    ExecStop=/bin/fusermount -u /mnt/media

  6. Enable the script by running the following commands:

    systemctl --user enable s3fs
    systemctl --user start s3fs

    If you ever want to disable the automatic mounting, run the following command:

    systemctl --user stop s3fs

Configuring Plex

  1. Check that Plex is running before continuing:

    systemctl status plexmediaserver

    The output should look like this example:

    ● plexmediaserver.service - Plex Media Server for Linux
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/plexmediaserver.service; enabled; vendor
    Active: active (running) since Sun 2018-09-23 14:16:52 UTC; 1min 53s ago
    Process: 882 ExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c /usr/bin/test -d "${PLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_APP
    Main PID: 889 (sh)

    If the status is active (running) everything is fine.

  2. Set Plex up via an SSH tunnel.

    • On Linux or MacOS computers, you can create the tunnel with the following command:

      ssh root@plex.server.ip -L 8888:localhost:32400
    • On Windows computers, you can create the tunnel by using PuttY:

      • Open PuTTY, enter your server IP address in the hostname and SSH port. Or, if you already have your server session set up and saved, just load the existing session.
      • Go to Connection > SSH > Tunnels.
      • Fill in Source port as 8888 and Destination as localhost:32400.
      • Click the Add button.
      • Navigate back to the session homepage now and click the Save button, then Open to connect to the server.

      Open a web browser on your local computer and navigate to http://localhost:8888/web. The Plex login screen displays:


      In order to use Plex, you must create an account.

    Once you are logged in, you will be automatically redirected to the setup of the server:

  3. Enter the required parameters and click Next to complete the setup.


    Make sure the Checkbox Allow me to access my media outside my home is ticked so you can access your media files from any device.

  4. Click Add a library to create a new media gallery.

  5. Select the type of library you wish to create and click Next

  6. Click Browse and select a multimedia folder to do so.

  7. Select /mnt/media as the media folder.


    You can upload additional content to your server with any S3 compatible tool, like Cyberduck.

  8. Click Next and then Finish to conclude the set up.