How to Install Plex Media Server on Debian 9

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Install Plex Media Server on Debian 9

Plex is a streaming media server that lets you organize your video, music, and photo collections and stream them to all of your devices at any time and from anywhere.

This tutorial explains how to install Plex Media Server on Debian 9.


The user you are logged in as must have sudo privileges to be able to install packages.

Install Plex Media Server

Follow the steps below to install the Plex Media Server on your Debian system:

  1. Plex Media Server is not available in the official Debian package repository. We’ll be using the Plex official repository. Start by importing the repository’s GPG key using the following curl command :

    sudo apt install curlcurl | sudo apt-key add -

    Add the Plex APT repository to your system’s software repository list by issuing:

    echo deb ./public main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/plexmediaserver.list
  2. Once the Plex repository is enabled, update the apt package list and install the latest version of the Plex Media Server with:

    sudo apt install apt-transport-httpssudo apt updatesudo apt install plexmediaserver
  3. The Plex service will start automatically. To verify that the installation was successful and SSH service is running type the following command which will print the Plex server status:

    sudo systemctl status plexmediaserver

    The output should look something like this:

    ● plexmediaserver.service - Plex Media Server for Linux
      Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/plexmediaserver.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
      Active: active (running) since Thu 2019-03-07 06:35:51 CST; 17min ago
      Process: 2993 ExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c /usr/bin/test -d "${PLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_APPLICATION_SUPPORT_DIR}" || /bin/mkdir -p "${PLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_APPLICATION_SUPPORT_DIR}" (code=exited, status=0
    Main PID: 2998 (sh)
        Tasks: 127 (limit: 4915)
      CGroup: /system.slice/plexmediaserver.service

Adjust the Firewall Rules

Now that you have Plex installed and running on your server you need to make sure your firewall is configured to allow traffic on Plex Media Server specific ports.

If there is no firewall running on your system you can skip this section.

The following steps assume that you are using UFW to manage your firewall:

Open your text editor of choice and create the following UFW application profile:

title=Plex Media Server (Standard)
description=The Plex Media Server

title=Plex Media Server (DLNA)
description=The Plex Media Server (additional DLNA capability only)

title=Plex Media Server (Standard + DLNA)
description=The Plex Media Server (with additional DLNA capability)

Save the file and update profiles list:

sudo ufw app update plexmediaserver

Apply the new firewall rules by typing:

sudo ufw allow 22sudo ufw allow plexmediaserver-all

Finally check if the new firewall rules are applied successfully with:

sudo ufw status verbose
Status: active
Logging: on (low)
Default: deny (incoming), allow (outgoing), disabled (routed)
New profiles: skip

To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
22/tcp                     ALLOW IN    Anywhere
32400/tcp (plexmediaserver-all) ALLOW IN    Anywhere
3005/tcp (plexmediaserver-all) ALLOW IN    Anywhere
5353/udp (plexmediaserver-all) ALLOW IN    Anywhere
8324/tcp (plexmediaserver-all) ALLOW IN    Anywhere
32410:32414/udp (plexmediaserver-all) ALLOW IN    Anywhere
1900/udp (plexmediaserver-all) ALLOW IN    Anywhere
32469/tcp (plexmediaserver-all) ALLOW IN    Anywhere

Configure Plex Media Server

Before starting the Plex setup wizard let’s create the directories that will store the Plex media files:

sudo mkdir -p /opt/plexmedia/{movies,series}

The Plex Media Server runs as the user plex which must have read and execute permissions to the media files and directories. To set the correct ownership run the following command.

sudo chown -R plex: /opt/plexmedia
You can choose any location to store the media files, just make sure you set the correct permissions.

Now we can proceed with the server configuration. Open your browser, type http://YOUR_SERVER_IP:32400/web and you will be presented with the following screen:

Plex Media Server Sign In

In order to use the Plex Media Server, you will need to create an account.

Press the Google, Facebook or Email button to create a free Plex account. If you want to access premium features you can purchase a Plex Pass plan.

Once you sign up you will be redirected to the page with information about how Plex works as shown below:

How Plex Works

Click on the Got it button.

On the next screen enter your Plex server name, leave the Allow me to access my media outside my home box checked, and click Next.

Plex Server Setup Hostname

The next step is to add a media library. Click on the Add Library button.

When the popup window shows, select movies as library type and click Next.

Plex Media Server Add Library

In the next step click on the Browse for media folder and add the path to the directory that will contain the Movies media files, in our case /opt/plexmedia/movies.

Plex Media Server Movies Folder

Click on the Add button and then on the Add Library.

You can add as many Libraries as you want.

Plex Media Library

Click Next, then Done and you will be redirected to the Plex web dashboard.

Plex Media Server Dashboard

Now that you have completed the setup wizard, you can start exploring Plex options and all the things it can do.

Updating Plex Media Server

When a new version is released you can update the Plex Media Server package through your desktop standard Software Update tool or by running the following commands in your terminal:

sudo apt updatesudo apt upgrade


You have learned how to install Plex Media Server on your Debian 9 machine and how to create a Media Library.

You can now install the Plex application on your Android, iPhone, Smart TV, Xbox, Roku or any other supported device. You can find a list of supported Apps & Devices on the Plex Downloads page or you can simply install the application from the device’s app store.

You should also check out the official Plex Quick-Start guide and Plex Documentation page.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.