Getting Plex to Work with Arch Linux

I've been working on setting up an Arch Linux install on my system for a bit now, and I've finally gotten around to getting Plex set up. Now, I have bit of an issue when it comes to my Plex setup.

I, unfortunately, don't have a dedicated server to run Plex on, so it just runs on my desktop computer. Now, this normally wouldn't be an issue, except I dual boot between Windows 10 and Linux. Unfortunately, I simply can't do away with Windows 10 since Adobe refuses to port the Creative Cloud to Linux.

This becomes an issue when I'm booted into the OS that doesn't have Plex setup. Since Plex is configured on my Windows install, I would be unable to access my media when booted into Arch. My solution, albeit not perfect, is simply to have a Plex Media Server instance in both Linux and Windows 10.

To make this work I simply have an NTFS drive that stores all my media for the Plex server. This will be a real simple guide on how to get Plex installed on Arch and get it to play nice with the NTFS drive.

Installing Plex

As with most things, it is extremely easy to get the Plex Media Server installed under Arch. You simply need to install the plex-media-server package from the AUR. NOTE: if you have Plex Pass, you will instead want to install the plex-media-server-plexpass package from the AUR.

I use pacaur for my AUR helper of choice, so this is as simple as running:

$ pacaur -S plex-media-server

Enable and Start Plex Service

After getting Plex installed we need to enable and start the plexmediaserver.service service. This can be done quite easily using systemctl:

$ sudo systemctl enable plexmediaserver.service
$ sudo systemctl start plexmediaserver.service

Make Plex Play Nice with NTFS Drive

At this point you should have Plex installed and running. You can test it out by going to http://localhost:32400/web in you browser. The problem you will likely notice, however, is that Plex will be unable to see the media stored on your NTFS drive. Luckily this is fairly easy to fix.

First off, we will need to install the ntfs-3g package.

$ sudo pacman -S ntfs-3g

Now, we will be editing our /etc/fstab file, but first we need to find the UUID of our NTFS drive. To do this, run the following command:

$ sudo blkid | grep ntfs

This will print out a list of all your NTFS drives. You will want to take note of the UUID for the NTFS drive containing your Plex media.

Once you know the UUID for your drive, it's time to create a mount point for the drive. I created one at /media/plex.

$ sudo mkdir /media
$ sudo mkdir /media/plex

Once this is done, we just need to edit our /etc/fstab file:

$ sudo vi /etc/fstab

We want to add the following to the bottom of the file:

UUID=UUID_HERE /media/plex ntfs-3g permissions,auto 0 0  

There are a couple of things to take note of here.

  1. Change the UUID_HERE to the UUID of your NTFS drive.
  2. If you are using a mount point different from /media/plex, you will need to change it in this line of the fstab file.

Now simple save the file and mount the drive:

$ sudo mount /media/plex

NOTE: If you get an error complaining that the drive is already mounted, simply unmount the drive and run the above command again. If all goes well, you should now be able to access your media from Plex.