Plex & Centos on ESXI 5.5 - Not 3D Printer related.

The OS

I decided to do a blog entry about installing plex media server in my esx environment, as a special request from my buddy Richard. This has nothing to do with 3d printing except that my slicing is done on a virtual machine that shares space with my other servers.

  • For the OS I chose and probably always will choose CentOS, as of this writing version 7 is out and I can't wait to try it. Its my favorite Linux distribution by a long shot. I run about 6 or 7 instances of this OS serving different duties in my virtual environment, all of those are on CentOS6.5 Final. This will replace my centos6.5 Plex server as well as create a how to for my buddy.

  • The Virtual hardware is (Plex benefits from more than 2G of ram when streaming multiple 1080P streams, 2G should be considered minimum if you want to do any real streaming and especially transcoding)

    • 2Vcpus
    • 4G of ram
    • 60G of HDD
  • The Back end storage is a Nexentastor server working as a NAS serving up ~14TB of space. This is my honey, and at some point I will do a blog post about upgrading it.

The Plex Server.

I downloaded the RPM from plex themselves. The media server is available for free and it kicks ass. As of this writing my plex server has an uptime of 6months+ with no issues or hiccups. The version I downloaded is version compiled specifically for CentOS, although they do not mention what version of CentOS its for.

OS Install.

For the OS, i used a core install with web services added. I may need some of those web services down the line.

Installing CentOS7 is a bit different than the old setup. However it is still intuitive. I skipped the CLI install and just used the gui.

The things to note are the following.
- set a static IP on install (static IP is necessary as you need to configure the outbound ports later on if you plan on using this server outside of your house) - set a host name - set root password.

OS tweaks

  • I prefer to disable SELinux; to do this you must edit the following file as root and change the following property.
  • Edit the following file "/etc/sysconfig/selinux"
  • Change the following string from "SELINUX=enforcing" TO: "SELINUX=disabled"
  • disable firewalld; run the following commands "systemctl mask firewalld" & "systemctl stop firewalld" I do not like any firewall on my linux box, I keep a separate firewall and its easier to manage this way.

Install Plex.

  • As stated earlier, you need the following package "" If you downloaded it in windows use WinSCP to copy it over to /tmp directory.
  • Once you have the file, simply run "rpm -ivh" I chose to install plex as root, however this is not recommended. (It is a case of do as I say not as I do)

Map Network Drives

  • This part is if your sharing a network drive from a NAS like I am, if not you need to figure out your own situation.
  • Create a mount point I chose /mtn/media_shr
  • Create a credentials file, I chose to create it under the "/home/cifs/" directory. The file is also called cifs. It is a simple 2 line file with the following in it. Line 1 = "username=yourusername" and line 2 = "password=yourpassword"
  • Create an entry in fstab, located in "/etc/", the entry should look like so "//ipofserverorhostname/shareddirectory /mnt/mediashr cifs credentials=/home/cifs/cifs 0 0" Note: Substitute ip of server with actual IP and the actual share.
  • Reboot box "shutdown -r now" works for me when I’m in a hurry.
  • After reboot it should look like this. Notice the volume share, yup 14T... I blanked out internal ip's as I do not feel that is relevant.
  • Now start the media server by executing "service plexmediaserver start"
  • You can make it boot with the OS if you execute "systemctl enable plexmediaserver.service"

Plex Finish.

  • After all of this you should have a nice plex server. Time to set it up.
  • Open up a local browser and go to the following address. "http://Ipofserver:32400/web"
  • Click on the settings, it looks like a wrench and screwdriver.
  • Click on Connect and sign in your plex account if you have one, if not you can create one for free.
  • Then click on the + icon on the left tab next to your plex home page.
  • Then select media type. "movie" "tv shows" etc etc.
  • Once that is selected click "next"
  • Click on "ADD FOLDER"
  • Once clicked select the folder your want to use. For me its a directory under the /mnt/media_shr/ directory.
  • Lastly Click on "ADD LIBRARY" and plex will add the library and scan the media to download the proper content such as cover art and information. Depending on the number of movies you have this can take some time.

Congratulations! YOUR DONE! You now have your own Netflix at home you can reach anywhere in the world.

Bruno M.

Engineer, Tinkerer, Technologist, Maker.

New York

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