Plex Server with a Linux Distribution - Which Distribution?

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Nick H.    8,095

Hi guys,

 

I've got a Dell laptop with 2GB RAM and I'm looking to optimize it from using Lubuntu which seems to crash every 24 hours. I figure it comes from the OS rather than the files (although I appreciate it could be Plex,) so I'm looking for something that won't crap out every night.

 

Suggestions?

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Mindovermaster    987

Do you know what is crashing from? I know you said it "could be plex", but do you know for sure?

 

I'm suprised that Lubuntu would do that. What version are you using?

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Eric    1,563

I use Debian for my home server. It's been up since the last power outage 10 months ago. :p

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+Ely    197

I have been running my Plex server on Linux Deepin for quite a while and it's been rock solid.

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Nick H.    8,095

I'll give Debian a whirl and see what the uptime is like.

 

To clarify, Lubuntu seems to forget that the hardware has a WiFi card every now and again, and it also rockets to 100% CPU and stays there even when you've finished a task. Rebooting resolves these situations, but I'm looking for stability.

 

A reinstallation of Lubuntu doesn't seem to change things. Maybe it is the hardware?

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Unobscured Vision    2,191

Lubuntu is quite a different spin from regular Ubuntu. Stuff that Ubuntu does, Lubuntu will be looking at ya like "huh?!" ...

 

Debian would probably be the way to go here. More hands-on, but once it's set, it's set.

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lunarx3dfx    4

If it's just going to be a Plex server, I'd recommend installing Ubuntu server followed by Plex. There's no need for the extra overhead from a GUI, etc.

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TFindley    1

Ubuntu Server 16.04 on both of mine, and again on a friends that I support (using a private reprepro to manage the plex server updates).

 

All three servers are really reliable. Uptime is usually never more than a month as I reboot them regularly for kernel updates. They never crash or fail on me though.

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Nick H.    8,095

I'm having a bit of a headache getting Plex to see the files on the External HDD using Debian. I had this with Lubuntu and it ended up being a permissions issue. That was easy to fix with Lubuntu but with Debian it is proving more challenging insofar as regardless of what I try Plex still can't access the drive. It sees it but it can't see the subfolders.

 

Suggestions?

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Unobscured Vision    2,191

You'll have to chown (change owner) on that drive plus all subfolders to the user account in question. I forget the exact commandline usage but if you do a chown --help it'll tell you the switches and what they do. Then you might need do a 'usershare owner only = no' in samba.conf ...

 

Hope that fixes it. I've never had to do anything with plex so I dunno.

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Nick H.    8,095
1 hour ago, Unobscured Vision said:

You'll have to chown (change owner) on that drive plus all subfolders to the user account in question. I forget the exact commandline usage but if you do a chown --help it'll tell you the switches and what they do. Then you might need do a 'usershare owner only = no' in samba.conf ...

 

Hope that fixes it. I've never had to do anything with plex so I dunno.

I've tried the first part (chown) and I'm still getting the same problem. I'll look in to changing the ownership of the drive.

 

What is gpasswd about? Group Password, changing the user to share the permissions of whoever you select?

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Unobscured Vision    2,191

gpasswd is used for network-enabled shares and group/user storage quotas, iirc. Same as usershare but looks at the group level for remote access. Might be handy for something else but on the system that the drive is physically located at it you shouldn't be running into a problem with this.

 

Sounds like the permissions on the drive are well and truly messed up. :no: 

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Nick H.    8,095
13 hours ago, Unobscured Vision said:

gpasswd is used for network-enabled shares and group/user storage quotas, iirc. Same as usershare but looks at the group level for remote access. Might be handy for something else but on the system that the drive is physically located at it you shouldn't be running into a problem with this.

 

Sounds like the permissions on the drive are well and truly messed up. :no: 

Thanks for the information. (Y)

 

I'm still struggling. I'm able to mount the drive and I installed VLC to test if the system can read the files and it can play them without an issue, so I assume the problem is with the read abilities of Plex? I'm starting to think the easiest option would be to backup the data and format the drive to a Linux-friendly filesystem...that would take a while to do.

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Unobscured Vision    2,191

It shouldn't have made a difference. :( Ext4, NTFS, etc are all pretty much the same as far as a network mount are concerned.

 

This one is starting to bug me now lol ...

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Mindovermaster    987

Better get back on Linux, @Unobscured Vision! :p

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Nick H.    8,095

I'm getting fed up with this now. I've moved all the data off the drive, formatted it to Ext4 and am now transferring the data back on to the disk. It's going to take about 12 hours before all the data is back, but I've just done a test by opening Plex and trying to navigate to the drive and it still doesn't see any folders! :angry:

 

I'm going to wait until the transfer is complete to confirm, but now the only thing I can think of is that I need to modify Plex's permissions somehow (something I have already looked in to before wiping the drive). Let's wait and see.

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+BudMan    2,998
On 12/14/2017 at 7:43 PM, Nick H. said:

Lubuntu seems to forget that the hardware has a WiFi card every now and again

Your serving up your plex via wifi to your network?  Why?  Do you carry your plex server around with you..  Talk about crap performance.. If your clients are wifi ok sure watching a movie on your tablet, etc.  Are you clients wired?  wifi to wifi is horrible since you auto /2 the available bandwidth because wifi is shared and your devices talking are on the same wifi..

 

Are you running server on 2.4 band while clients are 5 band? So your clients and server not sharing the same limited bandwidth.

36 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

It's going to take about 12 hours before all the data is back

How much data - are you moving over wifi?  ;)

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Nick H.    8,095
13 minutes ago, BudMan said:

Your serving up your plex via wifi to your network?  Why?  Do you carry your plex server around with you..  Talk about crap performance.. If your clients are wifi ok sure watching a movie on your tablet, etc.  Are you clients wired?  wifi to wifi is horrible since you auto /2 the available bandwidth because wifi is shared and your devices talking are on the same wifi..

 

Are you running server on 2.4 band while clients are 5 band? So your clients and server not sharing the same limited bandwidth.

How much data - are you moving over wifi?  ;)

Yeah, I realised my mistake with the wifi card - it's not needed. But I realised that after I had installed Debian. :pinch:

 

As for the transfer, I'm copying about 1.5TB of information via USB. Given the age of the laptop though it's only transferring at 23MB/s. Debian is telling me it should be done in about...9 hours now.

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Nick H.    8,095

So I decided to do a test: what happens if I use the Windows serial key and temporarily install Windows 7 and install Plex? Will it give me access to the files?

 

Yes. Yes it will. No issues.

 

I'm now fuming. This makes no sense! :angry:

 

To recap on the situation:

  • I have installed multiple distributions of Linux: Debian, Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Fedora, FreeNAS, RaspberryPi, Kali, Tails (because why not at this point?).
  • All distributions recognise the external HDD, but Plex cannot see the contents of the drive.
  • My user account (via any Linux distro) can access and run the media via other applications (i.e. VLC) without an issue.
  • I have run permissions commands to give Plex the same access as my user account.
  • I have removed the media from the drive, formatted the drive from NTFS to EXT4, put the media back and I get the same issue.

I may be missing a point or two at this stage; it's been a couple of months of trying various ideas on this task. But I just don't get it. Why the heck is Plex not seeing my files on my external HDD?!

 

I need to go to bed, but any helpful input would be appreciated. If I read another "tutorial" I might throw the machine in to the garden and leave it for the birds. :laugh:

 

NB: I'll happily use any Linux distribution that has a long-standing uptime and little overhead.

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+BudMan    2,998

because plex doesn't like symlinks?  How are you mounting it?

 

And when you say plex doesn't see it - you mean you have it say mounted to /mnt/drive/ with a folder called movies in there  And your trying to add the library of movies?

 

Lets see your permissions?  all the way down the tree... Plex is running as plex and what permissions and owners are on the folder?

 

 

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