Setting up Plex with my new System76 Meerkat
Meerkat + Ubuntu + time^internet → Plex
Spurred on by the universe giving me a big shove toward get rid of my gaming laptop, I decided to take the plunge. So far, it’s been a relatively simple adjustment.
Unfortunately, I didn’t foresee one thing: Sarah and Liam (and apparently a few of our close friends) all regularly use Plex, for which my laptop was the server. Big oversight. No ‘Party Down‘ and no ‘Cars’ do not make for a happy household.
Now, anyone who knows me even in passing would raise an eyebrow at this. “Kurt leave new electronics uninstalled for longer than 24 hours?!! Should we send flowers or a donation in his honor?”
What can I say? I was intimidated. I hadn’t really touched Linux in ten years!
I can now say, dear traveler, that it’s not that bad. However, it’s not as easy as you might be lead to believe. I did have to wipe my Meerkat and start again from scratch (only) once due to overzealousness. (Luckily, my system was brand new and I’d only installed Plex on it, so this was about as painless a factory reset as there is.)
Of note: Not all FAQs and How Tos and Walkthroughs actually give you everything you need, but System76’s guide to restoring the Meerkat to original condition is high-quality.
Ultimately, these were the guides that actually got me to the finish line (from the starting line):
- Addictive Tips’ guide to setting up Plex: Do the first part of this guide, then go to the second link (below). When you’re done with that, finish the second part of this guide.
- ChuckPA’s walkthrough: This goes over (in incredibly useful step-by-step detail) how to permanently mount an external hard drive and to allow the plex user (that the Plex app automatically creates and defaults to) to access those files.
It took me a good long while of dead-end tutorials and unhelpful YouTube walkthroughs to find those. So hopefully you find them useful. I certainly did!