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FAQ: How to enable development versions

stormeriderstormerider Posts: 759Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
This is not for the faint of heart, but for those folks looking to help troubleshoot crash related issues, read on! Bear in mind that you can have the official Plex (or Plex Beta) channel installed alongside the development version with no issues.

First of all, the Roku does not store logs anywhere. Instead, it has a network based console. Once your Roku has had development mode enabled, you can use a telnet program (such as Putty under Windows, or native terminal apps under OSX and Linux) to connect to port 8085 on your Roku. Two items of note: a) you can only debug applications which you have uploaded yourself, so you can't debug say Netflix or Amazon Unbox... or in our cause, the official Plex channel. B) You can only have one console session open at a time. If you're not getting any output on the console, confirm that you don't still have a previous session open (this confused me quite a bit one day...).

To enable development mode:

Before you are able to load a development application to your box, you must enable development mode on your Roku Streaming Player. When you enter the special remote control sequence:

Home 3x, Up 2x, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right

(Are you having flashbacks to Mortal Kombat hidden command sequences yet?) You will be presented with the Developer Settings page where you can enable developer mode on the box. When developer mode is enabled, you can access the Application Installer page as specified in the next section.

If you would like to subsequently disable development mode on your box, simply enter the special remote code sequence again and select the “disable installer” option on screen.

Creating the Zip File:

For us, you can download the source from github. The main public repository is here: https://github.com/plexinc/roku-client-public, although each developer has their own fork which they develop on. When troubleshooting an issue with a developer, ask if you should be testing on their fork or the public repository, and where to go if they want you to test their fork. You can download a zip file of the source from github (you don't need to install a Git client) but you cannot directly upload this to your Roku as it's not in the right format. Extract the files from the Github zip file and go underneath the Plex folder. Zip up the following files/directories:

1. source/
2. images/
3. manifest

That zip file should then be able to be uploaded to your Roku.

To install a development channel:

Development applications are loaded onto the device using a standard web browser. When enabled for development mode the device hosts a web page for installing your application. To access the installer page, do the following:

1. From your Roku Streaming Player, navigate to “Roku Player Settings”, “player info” to find the IP address of your box.
2. From your development workstation, open a standard web browser and type the following URL: http://<rokuPlayer-ip-address&gt; (for example:
3. You should see a page like the one displayed in Figure 1 (Application Install Page) below.
4. Click the “Browse” button and navigate to the location of the application zip file on your development machine as shown in Figure 2 (Application File Browser). The full path to the application .zip file should appear in the text field.
5. Finally, click the “Install” button to deploy the application to the box. The application should install and begin running immediately. You will see a message on the web page indicating it was successfully loaded as shown in Figure 3 (Application Installer page – Installation Complete)
6. Run the application with the application debug console open. When you telnet to the Roku Streaming Player on port 8085 (see section 8.1) you will see the debug console from your application. If there are any errors in your code, they will show up on this console. There is even a debugger attached to this port that will give you source file and line number information for script errors.


If you have any question, please ask them here!
Former member of the Plex for Roku development team

Units Owned: Roku 1 XD, Roku 2 XS



  • friedflixfriedflix Posts: 2,013Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Is there some place that compares what's in the dev versions vs the public version?
  • stormeriderstormerider Posts: 759Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    cfriedberg wrote:

    Is there some place that compares what's in the dev versions vs the public version?

    It's up to the individual developer. I've gotten access to the official repos now, so I'll be acting to push things into roku-client-public as needed. I'd like to see if I can push a new official 1.6 release soonish, but that would mainly include bugfixes. I do want to work with Lostsoul and try to merge in the Grid changes to be an option (probably a default one, to be honest, I'm very impressed with the results).
    Former member of the Plex for Roku development team

    Units Owned: Roku 1 XD, Roku 2 XS

  • friedflixfriedflix Posts: 2,013Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Thanks for the update, I'm now only using Grid view, its much snappier and i think easier to navigate...
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