Anyone running Plex on a Raspberry Pi? Too much power consumption on Windows

server-raspberry-pi

#1

Hello everyone. I've been running Plex great on Windows for some time but I am finding that it isn't very environmentally friendly as my PC is on all of the time. Windows 10 sleep settings are shockingly poor, it will go to sleep just fine but very rarely will wake up, even if I'm in front of it to press any keys.

So a friend of mine suggested the possibility of running the server off a Raspberry Pi. I had one knocking around so I thought I would try.
My first hurdle was getting it to mount my Synology NAS drive in Debian, where all of my media is stored. Now its mounted (not sure its been done in the best way), Plex can see and and it has scanned my Movie directory but when I try to play anything back it claims that the location is unavailable. When I try to add my directory containing TV Shows, it flat out refuses.

I thought maybe there were some permissions issues, but the folders on my NAS now have full RW access for all users including guests.
The only obvious thing I see is that the mount point for these locations have been created as root:root. I don't think Debian for Raspberry Pi allows you to use the root account. I have tried changing its password but it won't let me login. I have also tried to change ownership of the mounted directory to pi:pi as thats the active user on the Pi.

Can anyone share any experiences with this? I would really appreciate any suggestions.


#2

(1) Use sudo to perform admin tasks

https://wiki.debian.org/sudo

(2) Plex Media Server uses user plex on Linux and this user has to have at least read access to your media files on your Pi. So please read the following document, add the correct entry to /etc/fstab and make sure to use e.g. the mount option uid=plex so Plex has access.

https://wiki.samba.org/index.php/Mounting_samba_shares_from_a_unix_client

The is also more documentation available on your Pi with man mount.cifs.


#3

Hi Uglymagoo,

Thanks for the reply.
I am very used to being root on the systems I use so remembered to enter sudo is becoming the biggest challenge!

Currently my /etc/fstab file looks like this:

192.168.0.30:/volume1/Plex/Library/TV Shows/TV Shows /home/pi/TVShows nfs nouser,atim$r,atime,auto,rw,dev,exec,suid 0 0

I’m guessing it should look more like:

192.168.0.30:/volume1/Plex/Library/TV Shows/TV Shows /home/pi/TVShows nfs uid=plex 0 0

I will have a read through the links you sent today, thank you:)


#4

Oh. You use NFS not Samba. I assumed it would be Samba because of your Windows background. So please ignore my previous links and take a look at our NFS guide here in the forum. Essentially, you have to create the user plex at your nas and give this user at least read access to your share. Then go back to your pi and fix your fstab entry according to the examples in the following document.


#5

You sir certainly live up to your title! Plex Ninja!

That worked perfectly, admittedly I had made a bit of a mess with all of the mounts to start with so I formatted it and started again, then followed your mounting guide. Worked first time and seems super quick!
Its currently scanning both all of my libraries, I have tested that a few of the files playback (I had my doubts if the Pi was powerful enough) and all seems fine!
I rebooted to make sure everything works and the only thing I noticed is that they don’t auto mount. I will revisit that once the library has updated fully!

Thank you so much!


#6

Seems I haven’t quite get this working right. My media library has now finished scanning and I have had to make a few tweaks as I was getting error messages about there not being enough temp space for transcoding, so I have now mounted another location which is on my NAS for this purpose, however I’m getting an issue with playing back some files.

I’m not sure if its the Pi that is not powerful enough or a setting I have wrong. Is this a common issue on Pi’s?
I only have a Pi 2 B. Is it worth upgrading to the latest for the CPU improvements? I’m hoping this will resolve some of my issues.


#7

@beckyboop123 said:
Seems I haven’t quite get this working right. My media library has now finished scanning and I have had to make a few tweaks as I was getting error messages about there not being enough temp space for transcoding, so I have now mounted another location which is on my NAS for this purpose, however I’m getting an issue with playing back some files.

That’s a very bad idea. Use a local USB thumb drive with the ext4 file system if you need more space for transcoding. Btw: is your SD card so small? With a 16 or 32GB SD card you typically should not have any problems. Did you expand the file system?

https://elinux.org/RPi_raspi-config

I’m not sure if its the Pi that is not powerful enough or a setting I have wrong. Is this a common issue on Pi’s?
I only have a Pi 2 B. Is it worth upgrading to the latest for the CPU improvements?

The RPi 2/3 are not powerful enough for real time video transcoding. And you won’t really notice the upgrade from an RPi 2 to an RPi 3. Always aim for Direct Play or Direct Stream at the client or use a significantly more powerful Intel server.

https://support.plex.tv/articles/200250387-streaming-media-direct-play-and-direct-stream/


#8

Hi Uglymagoo,

So my first job this morning is to switch everything over to a bigger SD card. I had only got it installed on a 8GB SD card which I bought way back with the Pi, it was only running LibreElec previously.

I’m going to do another fresh install, using your install guide. I had followed another one previously but I notice in yours it says “Do not change the user of the Plex Media Server to pi or root.” which the other guide recommended to do.

Once thats done, and I am up and running again, I’ll have a look at the other comments you made.

My other option is an Zotac Nano ID63 Intel Core i3 with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. I’m wondering if I went with this option and installed maybe CentOS, I would have better power management options. Thats my only reason for attempting to ditch my Windows install.

Thanks again.


#9

@beckyboop123 said:
My other option is an Zotac Nano ID63 Intel Core i3 with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. I’m wondering if I went with this option and installed maybe CentOS, I would have better power management options. Thats my only reason for attempting to ditch my Windows install.

What do you want to achieve, i.e. what’s your understanding of “better power management”? A Plex server is expected to run 24/7 and in my experience, the power consumption on Windows is a little lower than on Linux (stock without any tweaks).

The Zotac is much more powerful than any of the Pis and supports hardware accelerated video transcoding. So everything will “just work”, except maybe 4K / UHD video transcoding. And it’s also a low power device (notebook hardware).

Maybe you should not use CentOS but Ubuntu. It’s more accessible for a Linux novice.