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Best OS for Plex Server


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#1 NancyNM

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:26 PM

Hi, I just joined the forum today, and just became aware of Plex yesterday. I am already in the process of getting a bunch of my DVD's ripped and running to my Roku box (as MKS files). It is completely awesome so far!

I've been googling, and I have found various answers to this question, but it seems like maybe the situation has evolved over the past year. So I am wondering what is the current answer to this question:

What is the best OS for a Plex Server?

In my specific situation, I am going to be running a separate NAS with FreeNAS, so that is not part of the equation. The NAS hardware is an HP Proliant L40 and I'm not interested in trying to run the Plex server on that hardware.

I have been playing with the Plex server on a Windows 7 machine, but long-term it will not stay on this particular hardware. I have been noticing a few glitches where it seems like sometimes the server hangs up when it's rescanning libraries, and I get these spammy log messages in the corner of the web page. But basically it's working for me.

My plan for the next step is to either 1) move it to some under-used hardware I already have, and either run it on Linux or Windows on that box, or 2) possibly to buy a Mac Mini to dedicate as a server.

I am comfortable with Macs, Windows and Linux. I'm looking for the OS that will be the most stable and feature-full. I'd like an excuse not to use Windows (I'm comfortable with it, but I don't *like* it :-) but from my reading it seems some features are missing from Linux. And there's the issue of using my existing hardware vs. spending $$ on a Mac Mini.

So, do I buy a Mac Mini or just run it on Windows? Or is Linux an okay solution these days?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks

Nancy

P.S. Windows would be Windows 7. Not interested in Windows 8 at this time.... Hoping it will go away ;-/

#2 lockdown571

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:03 PM

Plex Media Server was original designed for Macs. I've personally found that many channels work better on Mac servers than Windows servers. The Mac Plex Media Server subforum also seems to have the most activity.

If your curious, you can also build a "Hackintosh" to save some money. That's what I just did, and it's working wonderfully. Info here.

#3 rsava

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:48 AM

I love my Mac Mini, handles everything I throw at it.

I use it as my main Plex client also, with a Roku, ATV2, a couple of iPads and iPhones and another 2 Roku's coming soon (shhhh, don;t tell my boys!).

R Sava
Complaining about the latest cutting edge version of the FREE Plex software like it is the end of your world is THE definition of a First World Problem. There are people in the world who don't have clean drinking water and it is "unacceptable" that your movie artwork is messed up???

Plex Media Server Version 0.9.9.10, Plex Home Theater 1.0.11 (currently using the Metropolis Skin for Plex Home Theater by Maverick214) all running on a 2011 Mac Mini MC815LL/A /8GB RAM

2 Roku 2XS locally; a Roku 3 locally and a Roku 3 remotely; 3 Chromecasts; and now an Amazon FireTV. The options just keep on coming!
 

And, according to BarryGSumpter, I'm "Just another crotchety old fart", a badge I will wear with pride!

 

Links to common questions: How to name your "stuff"; How to get your log files (needed for just about ANY troubleshooting)


#4 NancyNM

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:29 AM

Thanks for the responses. I don't think a Hackintosh is the right way for me to go on this. It's either use my existing hardware (a Core2Duo e8400 -- pretty sure it's not Hackintosh compatible) or spend $$ on a Mac Mini. I like the look of the Mac Mini, just hadn't ever found a good excuse to buy one. Maybe I should be viewing this as the excuse I have been looking for!

I read some messages that I think were a year or more old, that complained about not being able to run the server as a service, requiring a user to be logged in, etc. Is that still a current issue? If I run it on a Mac Mini is it easy to do this headless?

I only tried one Channel so far (I think it was "The Daily Show") and it was a resounding failure on Windows. Is that because these don't work well on Windows, or is it currently broken or ??? Really my main interest in watching my own personal content at this point. I have the Roku box for Netflix, Amazon, etc. But maybe there would be channels in the future that I really wanted to use.

The Mac Mini is tempting... :)

Nancy

#5 rsava

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:48 AM

Thanks for the responses. I don't think a Hackintosh is the right way for me to go on this. It's either use my existing hardware (a Core2Duo e8400 -- pretty sure it's not Hackintosh compatible) or spend $$ on a Mac Mini. I like the look of the Mac Mini, just hadn't ever found a good excuse to buy one. Maybe I should be viewing this as the excuse I have been looking for!

I read some messages that I think were a year or more old, that complained about not being able to run the server as a service, requiring a user to be logged in, etc. Is that still a current issue? If I run it on a Mac Mini is it easy to do this headless?

I only tried one Channel so far (I think it was "The Daily Show") and it was a resounding failure on Windows. Is that because these don't work well on Windows, or is it currently broken or ??? Really my main interest in watching my own personal content at this point. I have the Roku box for Netflix, Amazon, etc. But maybe there would be channels in the future that I really wanted to use.

The Mac Mini is tempting... :)

Nancy


Yes, you can easily run it headless. I have it attached to my main TV but I do all my work from my Windows 7 desktop - I use the Web UI to do all my DB maintenance and I use VNC if I have to actually log into the box. You may need to do some setup work at first to get things configured to use it headless.
I may experiment with putting it with my NAS drives and running just the Roku on my main TV but I really love the client on the Mini with the reFocus:black to blue skin.
My Mini has two USB drives attached, I have Plex Server start up at login, I then attach 4 NAS drives and run a little script to close the drive windows (they open up as they attach).
Lots of help available no matter which way you go, but I am more than pleased with the Mini.

R Sava
Complaining about the latest cutting edge version of the FREE Plex software like it is the end of your world is THE definition of a First World Problem. There are people in the world who don't have clean drinking water and it is "unacceptable" that your movie artwork is messed up???

Plex Media Server Version 0.9.9.10, Plex Home Theater 1.0.11 (currently using the Metropolis Skin for Plex Home Theater by Maverick214) all running on a 2011 Mac Mini MC815LL/A /8GB RAM

2 Roku 2XS locally; a Roku 3 locally and a Roku 3 remotely; 3 Chromecasts; and now an Amazon FireTV. The options just keep on coming!
 

And, according to BarryGSumpter, I'm "Just another crotchety old fart", a badge I will wear with pride!

 

Links to common questions: How to name your "stuff"; How to get your log files (needed for just about ANY troubleshooting)


#6 lockdown571

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:50 PM

I run my hackintosh headless and Plex Media Server works perfectly. No special setup was needed.

#7 NancyNM

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:38 AM

Mac Mini it is!

Too bad FedEx is falling down on the job. Maybe that has something to do with Christmas....

Anyway, it should be here Monday (expected it Friday <_< ).

Thanks for the advice!

Nancy

#8 rsava

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:58 PM

Mac Mini it is!

Too bad FedEx is falling down on the job. Maybe that has something to do with Christmas....

Anyway, it should be here Monday (expected it Friday <_< ).

Thanks for the advice!

Nancy


Anticipa-a-ation is making me wait....

Good luck with it, if you have any questions or need help post over in the Mac Server section to get specific answers.

R Sava
Complaining about the latest cutting edge version of the FREE Plex software like it is the end of your world is THE definition of a First World Problem. There are people in the world who don't have clean drinking water and it is "unacceptable" that your movie artwork is messed up???

Plex Media Server Version 0.9.9.10, Plex Home Theater 1.0.11 (currently using the Metropolis Skin for Plex Home Theater by Maverick214) all running on a 2011 Mac Mini MC815LL/A /8GB RAM

2 Roku 2XS locally; a Roku 3 locally and a Roku 3 remotely; 3 Chromecasts; and now an Amazon FireTV. The options just keep on coming!
 

And, according to BarryGSumpter, I'm "Just another crotchety old fart", a badge I will wear with pride!

 

Links to common questions: How to name your "stuff"; How to get your log files (needed for just about ANY troubleshooting)





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