NAS Plex Server OS so easy a Sponge can do it?

SpongeBob

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Pretty sure I'm leaning at defaulting to just running a server with Win10. I'm not really big into typing a bunch of commands I'll never remember or have to use again unless something happens into an operating system just to install a piece of software like it's 1982. Are their any free nas operating systems like that or are you still needing to install the OS, filesystem, all that extra crap. / -type d -windows 95 didn't even need to do this garbage .txt. I would like the simplicity of the server although I'm not sure if you would get more out of Plex server by running it on windows or something like freenas or linux etc?
 

travm

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Pretty sure I'm leaning at defaulting to just running a server with Win10. I'm not really big into typing a bunch of commands I'll never remember or have to use again unless something happens into an operating system just to install a piece of software like it's 1982. Are their any free nas operating systems like that or are you still needing to install the OS, filesystem, all that extra crap. / -type d -windows 95 didn't even need to do this garbage .txt. I would like the simplicity of the server although I'm not sure if you would get more out of Plex server by running it on windows or something like freenas or linux etc?
What you call simplicity is actually extra complexity. It's just whether that complexity is handled by you, or by the server.
If you handle the complexity, the server should be more stable. If you ask the server to handle the complexity, it might be more unstable.

You'll get more out of it however you want to use it. No problem with just use it running win 10, costs you a license. Linux is a huge pita, but it's free. YMMV.

Imo the command line stuff isn't a big deal, so long as you have a laptop or second PC to Google questions. I like using ssh from PowerShell so I can just copy and paste, plus my server is headless and hiding in the basement. But I don't use Plex so again YMMV.
 

SpongeBob

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I have a spare win10 key so not worried about that but I like the logging into the server with a web browser like a NAS/Router. I just love that. Not sure if there is something like that for windows? Screen sharing software ehhh not a big fan of been trying some out.
 

Wrecked Em

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If this is a true server, that you won't be using as a workstation on the side, then cough up the $60 for unraid. It gives you linux reliability without actually having to know linux. I switched from Windows Home Server and never looked back. You can install all the popular media server tools by point/click through the UI.
When you get adventurous, there are tons of tutorials to follow.
https://www.youtube.com/c/SpaceinvaderOne/videos

Plus, it runs great on old hardware.

1612312613986.png
 
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bigddybn

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I have a spare win10 key so not worried about that but I like the logging into the server with a web browser like a NAS/Router. I just love that. Not sure if there is something like that for windows? Screen sharing software ehhh not a big fan of been trying some out.
If you want stupid simplicity then buy any modern intel Synology NAS with a quick sync iGPU and a plexpass. The 220+ is affordable, memory expandable, has plenty of horsepower and can do a billion other things beyond PLEX. You are paying for someone else to decide how it's done for you. The problem is you'll eventually want more.

If you're willing to venture the slightest bit outside of your comfort zone and learn a little then take a look at unraid. It's capabilities FAR outclass the vast majority of alternatives. It's linux under the hood (a huge plus in my eyes because that 1982 interface is FAR superior to any GUI) but with a very newb friendly UI. PLEX in my own house runs as a docker container on unraid. Hell I've yet to find ANYTHING else that overall works better as both a docker and VM host. Not sure what you do for a living but the basic *nix command line interface is used all over the place. A little time spent gaining some knowledge here pays HUGE dividends out in the real world. Your preferred flavor of OS starts to become meaningless as long as you have a decent terminal access of some type. At that point the sky's the limit on what you want to do. Hardware becomes a tool to accomplish your goals instead of a roadblock due to your lack of understanding.

There is nothing simple about windows in the long run. It's a shitty OS for server duties. The update structure is horrible. It's bloated beyond saving now. Literally anything you can do can be done far better on a linux box. The only exception is still AAA gaming and even THAT works great on something like unraid with a GPU passthrough.
 

bigddybn

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If this is a true server, that you won't be using as a workstation on the side, then cough up the $60 for unraid. It gives you linux reliability without actually having to know linux. I switched from Windows Home Server and never looked back. You can install all the popular media server tools by point/click through the UI. When you get adventurous, there are tons of tutorials to follow.
https://www.youtube.com/c/SpaceinvaderOne/videos

Plus, it runs great on old hardware.

View attachment 325415
I love that we posted this seconds apart.

Mine is named Hulk.

Screen Shot 2021-02-02 at 7.42.00 PM.png
 

blackmomba

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Ubuntu server

Install it (boot from a usb, enter enter enter enter, type your name, hostname, enter, reboot)

Login

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y && sudo reboot

Password

Wait a bit

Login

wget <plex Ubuntu installer download url>.deb

sudo dpkg -i <Plex installer>.deb

Wait a bit

It's 1982 again baby
 

SpongeBob

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If this is a true server, that you won't be using as a workstation on the side, then cough up the $60 for unraid. It gives you linux reliability without actually having to know linux. I switched from Windows Home Server and never looked back. You can install all the popular media server tools by point/click through the UI.
When you get adventurous, there are tons of tutorials to follow.
https://www.youtube.com/c/SpaceinvaderOne/videos

Plus, it runs great on old hardware.

I should note that while I am providing the hardware/setup/install the main user of this server isn't super savvy so I want to make it easy. What version of linux is it based on, I'm really surprised you can do 1 click installs.
As for what you get with the price is it a one time fee and do you get all future updates? Or is it like you buy version 5 and you got to buy version 6 etc?

Side note OS people what's a free desksharing program that doesn't need to give me a number to allow me to login to everytime I need to log in? If I could login like unraid that would be dope.
 

jmilcher

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I run A plex server on Linux Mint. It was really no harder than installing it on a windows box. But my actual media is contained on a separate NAS on the network. So it took some configuring to connect plex to the nas through the network but once it was set up, it’s been rock solid. Pretty easy and I’m not a Linux guru by any means.
 

Wrecked Em

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I should note that while I am providing the hardware/setup/install the main user of this server isn't super savvy so I want to make it easy. What version of linux is it based on, I'm really surprised you can do 1 click installs.
As for what you get with the price is it a one time fee and do you get all future updates? Or is it like you buy version 5 and you got to buy version 6 etc?

One and done. The license is a little odd in that it marries itself to a usb stick, which unraid boots from. Some don't like it because if your usb stick dies, you need to request a free replacement key, but unraid doesn't write to usb in use, so they should never really wear out.
I actually like the license mechanism because it doesn't phone home for verification, so it works 100% offline. Even better, it doesn't know what hardware it's on, so you can just move it over to a completely different system if you want, with no issues.
The free demo is fully functional, so if you don't mind it wiping your hard disk, you could at least try it.

I believe it's debian based, but not sure on the version.
 

Spartacus09

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Side note OS people what's a free desksharing program that doesn't need to give me a number to allow me to login to everytime I need to log in? If I could login like unraid that would be dope.
Unless you’re tech savvy about doing ip and port passthrough (as well as securing your network) I would stick with something like teamviewer personally.

If its just local connection VNC server would be my go to.
 

SpongeBob

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VNC server
Okay so now that is interesting. So it’s similar to say chrome screen sharing or logmein but not a complete hassle or requiring a code to be generated? I saw a free one, anyone ever use TightVNC?

Is Unraid picky about USB drive?
 

B00nie

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Okay so now that is interesting. So it’s similar to say chrome screen sharing or logmein but not a complete hassle or requiring a code to be generated? I saw a free one, anyone ever use TightVNC?

Is Unraid picky about USB drive?
Vnc servers are included in the repositories of pretty much every linux distro on the planet. You just run it and it opens a remote display to your port of choosing (default port is 5901).
You should not run vnc on open internet, best practice is to have vnc run on localhost only and then ssh tunnel to it.
 

Spartacus09

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One thing additional if you didnt want to mess with codes you can use a teamviewer account to store all the machine information and setup a static password so you just initiate the remote connection and type in the password.

TightVNC is a great client of VNC thats what I normally use, as I noted VNC I recommend for local connection only. If you need remote setup a VPN or use the above for teamviewer is my recommendation.
 

SpongeBob

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If I was to run Linux I would probably go for Mint. I tried it out like 10 years ago with a livecd or whatever they called them and it was pretty decent. I always thought Ubuntu would be a lot tougher to use in comparison but Plex server I don't think is officially supported with Mint like Ubuntu. Although I feel like Ubuntu server would be a lot more difficult to figure out what I'm doing that just straight Ubuntu and then I have to try and teach my gf what's going on.

Unraid looks promising I might mess around with this. Can I just install it to a usb drive and play around with the OS without having to format any of my drives? Does it ever go on sale, you never know.

TightVNC or if anyone else can recommend another free VNC I'll check those out (it would be for out home network). If she has a VPN running on her laptop can she still log into TightVNC without issue?
I'll look into teamviewer again, I used to use the commercial version for a previous job. It did the job but was it ever laggggggy.
 

Lunar

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I'd say use what you think you'd be most comfortable with. For me, I run Plex on Ubuntu Server 18.04 in a headless configuration. If you think Windows is the best for you to work with, especially if you are managing the installation for someone else, then go with that. Although, the suggestion made in an earlier post by someone to use a Synology NAS with hardware transcode support isn't a bad one. Just depends on how much the end user is willing to spend. I use a Synology 2 bay NAS for network storage duties as well as a few other services, and couldn't be happier with it. Super easy to setup and manage, and it's been going strong for almost 6 years and is still getting software updates from Synology. My unit doesn't support hardware transcode though, so that's why I have a separate Plex server setup.

Also, one other thing to think about is the NVIDIA Shield Pro. It also can be used as a Plex Server with transcode support. I personally haven't used a Shield as a Plex server, but I've heard that it does the job fairly well. Not to mention it could also be used by the end user as their set-top box along with being their Plex server.

EDIT:
I'll look into teamviewer again, I used to use the commercial version for a previous job. It did the job but was it ever laggggggy.
One thing to keep in mind is that any remote desktop service is going to have some lag, especially when outside of the local LAN. In my experience Teamviewer is one of the best, but it's just unavoidable. VNC and Windows RDP also have lag and compression artifacts. It's just the nature of what you're trying to accomplish. The main limiting factor really is lackluster upload speeds on non-commercial internet connections. You may have 200+ Mb/s download, but your upload may be as low as 15 Mb/s.
 

jmilcher

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I have the newest 4 bay Synology NAS and it handles some transcoding, but would chug with multiple clients. If you are not doing any transcoding, the Synology is a great host. They have a native Plex app and it works well.
I ended up offloading the server to a spare quad core i5 8700 box. It handles on the fly transcoding much better.
 

bigddybn

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I have the newest 4 bay Synology NAS and it handles some transcoding, but would chug with multiple clients. If you are not doing any transcoding, the Synology is a great host. They have a native Plex app and it works well.
I ended up offloading the server to a spare quad core i5 8700 box. It handles on the fly transcoding much better.
If you have a Plex Pass (and really why not?) then you can enable hardware transcodes which use virtually no CPU. I'm also curious what clients you are using that need transcoding?
 

blackmomba

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If you have a Plex Pass (and really why not?) then you can enable hardware transcodes which use virtually no CPU. I'm also curious what clients you are using that need transcoding?

Most of my clients if not all support directplay, and last I checked, it was the only tangible benefit for me from the Plex pass. So I never bought one

Why else would you want a Plex pass tbh?
 

Vermillion

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My Plex is a headless Ubuntu Server 20.04. XFCE was installed separately for use with X2GO for when I need a UI. I went a slightly different route than others here. Unraid is a great option but I went with Snapraid and fsmerger. So that's probably a bit more advanced than you want for that. However, X2GO is great for managing the Plex on the LAN and it works well when I'm away from the house and connect via my VPN.
 

jmilcher

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If you have a Plex Pass (and really why not?) then you can enable hardware transcodes which use virtually no CPU. I'm also curious what clients you are using that need transcoding?
Much of my media is in 4k. In the end for my setup with multiple devices it works better.
 
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SpongeBob

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I don't think I really want to do the Synology route. We've been running our current windows based server for a few years and it's been fine up until a drive crapped out. Plus I don't want to spend the money on the hardware when I'm about to retire my i7 4770K for my new 3800X rig so I might as well use the i7 for the new server. We've been using an older laptop with an external HDD which has done the job but since we have the hardware might as well use it.

Just need a couple of new drives so I can do something with mirroring. If we don't go the unraid path and stick to windows are there any good free mirroring software you guys would recommend?

Also WD Blues vs. Seagate BarraCuda? Again it's for a PLEX server not something super strenuous running 24/7 at 100%. I've had better experience I think with WD but I have no idea the current state of HDD's honestly I never thought I'd be buying one again.
 

Spartacus09

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Is Unraid picky about USB drive?
Not really, I use this drive for both my unraid boxes works perfectly: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MDXBT87/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
the tiny USB 3.0 drives tend to get hot even when not really used that much, the usb 2.0 work perfectly fine as it just loads the OS into memory to run anyway.
Unraid looks promising I might mess around with this. Can I just install it to a usb drive and play around with the OS without having to format any of my drives? Does it ever go on sale, you never know.
Nope no sales/discounts, at one point time they had a buy one get one half of license but that was like 5 years ago.
Also WD Blues vs. Seagate BarraCuda? Again it's for a PLEX server not something super strenuous running 24/7 at 100%. I've had better experience I think with WD but I have no idea the current state of HDD's honestly I never thought I'd be buying one again.
So if you do go with unraid keep in mind you're limited to the speed of each disk,that said I'm using the 5400 rpm disks and can do about a dozen 1080p streams off one drive.
I would go with shucked drives depending on the size you're looking for for each drive. it'll give you the cheapest options for drives you can pull out of external enclosures: https://shucks.top/
I used the BestBuy easystores for all 2 dozen of my 8TB drives in both of my unraid servers, they're WD red equivalent drives, haven't had any issues with any so far in the past 3 years.
 

bigddybn

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Actually I change my suggestion. Definitely go unraid. F' Synology.
 

jmilcher

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Actually I change my suggestion. Definitely go unraid. F' Synology.
If you have the kind of money for their enterprise solutions, you probably have the money for unraid. I’ve never liked Synologys enterprise options. The SOHO offerings though are great if you don’t want to roll your own.
 

Spartacus09

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QNAP is also a solid option if you didnt want to DIY or Synology.
That said you get a much more substantial bang for buck by building your own.
 

Mazzspeed

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If you're not tech savvy and if you think the use of a terminal is 1982, use a Synology NAS.

That has a web based interface and pretty pictures.
 

Time2Kill

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anything wrong with using remotedesktop.google.com for remote viewing? Been using it for a few months myself and works pretty good.
 

jmilcher

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If you're not tech savvy and if you think the use of a terminal is 1982, use a Synology NAS.

That has a web based interface and pretty pictures.
And actual tech support. And an actual active community that supports the software.
 

Grimham

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I have a spare win10 key so not worried about that but I like the logging into the server with a web browser like a NAS/Router. I just love that. Not sure if there is something like that for windows? Screen sharing software ehhh not a big fan of been trying some out.
If you go with Win10 just use remote desktop.
 

Mylex

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I'm suggesting unraid also, I had my server on xpenology which is the etymology is wedged ghetto style in your own hardware. It was awesome until fighting with updates,as its not made for the specific hardware the security updates would break it and your would have to get the newest boot loader. Second time in a year after having zero issues for 2 years made me look elsewhere. Unraid was actually easier and I already thought the synology route was as easy as it gets. You pay once and get the updates free. The app selection is vast and support availability is pretty good via numerous YouTube walkthroughs or forum posts. Point and click will get you through a great deal before needing to Google and the times you do will make you feel like you over thought it.
 

Spartacus09

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No clue, havent looked into (security wise) it nor do I use it
 
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ThreeDee

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I'm mainly a Windows guy .. but I run a TrueNAS server in my basement with Plex installed in a "jail" .. I'm a FreeBSD noob but I was able to get everything installed and up and running fairly easily (I'm a noob that can follow directions lol). TrueNAS is free (formerly FreeNAS) and has been a rock solid solution for me for a few years now. I use a $15 120GB M.2 NVMe SSD for a boot drive .. way overkill on size, but their cheap on ebay and work great.. any SSD would suffice though. I was using a cheap 120gb SSD with a SATA to USB adapter for a boot drive for a long time due to using up all my SATA ports on my previous box.
 

Spartacus09

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I'm mainly a Windows guy .. but I run a TrueNAS server in my basement with Plex installed in a "jail" .. I'm a FreeBSD noob but I was able to get everything installed and up and running fairly easily (I'm a noob that can follow directions lol). TrueNAS is free (formerly FreeNAS) and has been a rock solid solution for me for a few years now. I use a $15 120GB M.2 NVMe SSD for a boot drive .. way overkill on size, but their cheap on ebay and work great.. any SSD would suffice though. I was using a cheap 120gb SSD with a SATA to USB adapter for a boot drive for a long time due to using up all my SATA ports on my previous box.
My only hangup has always been that you have to have a bunch of drives to expand the array or at least 'should' have equivalent size vdevs.
I much prefer the option to expand a single disk at a time, which unraid and the prebuilt boxes seemed to be the best solution for at the time I built mine.
 
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