X server killed every time .deb installed



At least 5 times now (every update over the last 3+ months) I've had my entire X session (Xubuntu 16.04) shot in the head during the install of the plexmediaserver .deb. This happens whether I install it via Ubuntu Software & Updates, via dpkg in a terminal running on the same X session, or via ssh from another machine entirely. The resulting loss of work state has caused me quite a bit of lost time.

Combined with all the other problems with transcoding and Chromecast streaming that have been getting worse and worse for me, I'm losing a lot of faith in Plex...


Please qualify further ‘loss of work state’ and ‘entire X session shot in the head’


Exactly what it sounds like. Identical effect to ‘killall -9 X’.


PMS runs as the unprivileged user plex on Linux.

As such, it does not have kernel-level authority to kill your X-server.
Being a different username, the X-server itself will ignore any signals not generated by your UID.

PMS only outputs a HTML page which is displayed in your browser tab. It uses Javascript and HTML5 for the aesthetics.

You have a problem with your browser or your installation. This is not a PMS fault.


Linked is a video showing beyond doubt that the Plex installer scripts cause my X session to crash.

The laptop is ssh’ed into the desktop, running dpkg -i plexmediaserver...deb. At the instant of installation, the X server ceases to exist.

The claim this is not possible because Plex runs as the user ‘plex’ is irrelevant, because the installation occurs as the root user.


The commands used in the installation script are:

  1. adduser (user plex)
  2. groupadd (group plex)
  3. usermod (add the video group to user plex if updating an existing installation and not present
  4. mkdir (for /var/lib/plexmediaserver)
  5. chown (for `/var/lib/plexmediaserver)
  6. cat
  7. grep
  8. stat
  9. groups
  10. sed (if migrating an old plexmediaserver.service configuration)
  11. udevadm (telling udev to reload the rules which enable access to the GPU for hardware transcoding
  12. touch
  13. systemctl to enable and start PMS

I ask you, where in that list do you see anything which would impact your configuration ?


I’ve spent the last hour digging into exactly what’s going on, and the closest I’ve got is that udevadm trigger causes the X server to segfault inside the Radeon driver. I’ve filed a bug with Ubuntu on udev about the problem, and hopefully somebody will figure out what’s going on.

However, the dismissive attitude ChuckPA has displayed here has further soured me on Plex. I’ve had and am still having a multitude of issues all across the board, and don’t see any progress on resolve any of them. I purchased the Plex Pass and a HDHomeRun in order to use the DVR functionality for the Olympics, and it’s been a disaster. Trying to figure out why a given video is being forced to transcode for streaming (so I can transcode it better) is like guessing which teeth to pull.

I’m researching alternatives to Plex at this point. There’s massive potential here, but waaaay too many rough edges.