My private Netflix

How to install Plex Media Server on FreeNAS

You can set up a Plex server to streaming virtual any media to Windows 10 and other devices using your FreeNAS server, and these are the steps on how to it.

Plex installation on FreeNAS

Plex is perhaps one of the best media server application designed to organize and stream videos, music, and pictures to any Windows 10, macOS, and Linux machines as well as other devices, such as Xbox One, smart TVs, streaming boxes (for example, Roku), mobile devices using the Plex client or web application. You can think of this client-server solution as your private version of Netflix.

Although you can set up a standalone Plex server, if you already have a FreeNAS server to share files in the network, you can simply set up a plugin to convert the file server into a media streaming service for your home. However, before you can start streaming your media files, you must install the Plex plugin using the Jails system on FreeNAS, configure the storage, and set up your Plex library.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to install and set up the Plex Media Server plugin on FreeNAS version 11.2 or higher.

How to install Plex plugin on FreeNAS

To install and set up Plex on FreeNAS, you need to configure the Jails system, storage to store media files, and Plex library. If this is the first time adding a plugin, FreeNAS will take some additional time to download and configure the Jails system.

Installing Plex plugin

Use these steps to install Plex on FreeNAS:

  1. Open FreeNAS in your web browser.

  2. Sign into your root account.

  3. Click on Plugins from the left pane.

  4. Select the Plex Media Server plugin (or Plex Media Server (PlexPass) if you have a paid license).

  5. Click the settings (three-dotted) button next to the Plex plugin and select the Install option.

    Plex Media Server plugin on FreeNAS
    Plex Media Server plugin on FreeNAS
  6. Select the DHCP option if you’re planning to configure your router to use the dynamically assign TCP/IP address as the permanent configuration for the server. Or clear the DHCP option to specify a static IP address configuration selecting the network interface, IPv4 address, and netmask.

    Plex IP configuration on FreeNAS
    Plex IP configuration on FreeNAS
  7. Click the Save button.

  8. Click the Close button.

    Plex plugin installation complete
    Plex plugin installation complete

Once you complete the steps, don’t try to open Plex, instead jump to the following set of instructions to configure the storage for the media files.

Configuring Plex media storage

After installing Plex, you need to mount the storage that you’re planning to use to store your media files. You can use a folder already available in one of your FreeNAS shared folders, or you can create a new dataset to use as storage for your Plex media.

Use these steps to mount a FreeNAS folder to the Plex server:

  1. Open FreeNAS in your web browser.

  2. Sign into your root account.

  3. Click on Plugins from the left pane.

  4. Click on Installed.

  5. Click the settings (three-dotted) button next to the Plex plugin and select the Stop option.

    Stop Plex on FreeNAS
    Stop Plex on FreeNAS
  6. Click on Jails from the left pane.

  7. Click the settings (three-dotted) button next to the Plex jail and select the Mount points option.

    Plex mount points option on FreeNAS
    Plex mount points option on FreeNAS
  8. Click the Actions button.

  9. Click the Add Mount Point option.

    Add new mount point to Plex
    Add new mount point to Plex
  10. In “Source,” click the folder icon, navigate, and select the folder or dataset where your media library will be stored.

  11. In “Destination,” click the folder icon, navigate, and select the media folder.

    Plex configure source and destination mount point
    Plex configure source and destination mount point

    Quick tip: If you’re a tech-savvy user, you can also use the FreeNAS terminal to create a new folder to map as the destination inside of Plex.
  12. Click the Save button.

  13. Click on Plugins from the left pane.

  14. Click on Installed.

  15. Click the settings (three-dotted) button next to the Plex plugin and select the Start option.

    Start Plex on FreeNAS
    Start Plex on FreeNAS

After you complete the steps, the Plex server will be ready for the initial setup.

Initial Plex setup

Use these steps to add a folder to the Plex library to access media files stored on FreeNAS:

  1. Open FreeNAS in your web browser.

  2. Sign into your root account.

  3. Click on Plugins from the left pane.

  4. Click on Installed.

  5. Click the settings (three-dotted) button next to the Plex plugin and select the Management option.

    Open Plex on the web from FreeNAS
    Open Plex on the web from FreeNAS

    Quick tip: If the Plex web access doesn’t open in a new tab, then you may need to access the service manually with this address: 10.1.2.192:32400 (just make sure to replace the IP address with the address of your Plex jail).
  6. Sign in with your Plex account.

  7. Click the Got it button.

    Initial Plex server setup
    Initial Plex server setup
  8. Specify a name for the Plex server. (The default name should be fine.)

  9. Clear the Allow me to access my media outside my home option if you won’t use this feature.

  10. Click the Next button.

  11. Click the Add library button.

    Plex add library option
    Plex add library option
  12. Select the media type you’re about to include. For example, Movies.

    Select Plex library type
    Select Plex library type
  13. Click the Next button.

  14. Click the Browse for media folder button.

    Plex add folders to library option
    Plex add folders to library option
  15. Select the folder icon, navigate, and select the media folder.

    Plex select media folder from FreeNAS
    Plex select media folder from FreeNAS
  16. Click the Add button.

  17. Click the Add library button.

    Complete Plex adding folder to library setup
    Complete Plex adding folder to library setup
  18. Click the Next button.

  19. Click the Done button.

Once you complete the steps, you can start streaming the media you added using Plex.