How to install Plex Media Server on a VPS running CentOS 6


Installing Plex Media Server on a local machine is not very difficult, but it’s a bit more difficult when you’re trying to install it on a VPS. Therefore, we put together this guide to help you install Plex on a VPS more smoothly. Also, we put together a little video below so that you can get an idea of what the installation entails. As you can see in the video, you can install Plex in about 5 minutes. Please turn on “Closed Captioning” in Youtube to see our comments.


1. Let’s create the Plex repo. This will allow us to install and update Plex easily.

nano /etc/yum.repos.d/plex.repo

If nano (a text editor) is not installed, please install it by typing

yum install nano

2. Copy the text below and paste it in nano by right clicking in the terminal (it will automatically paste). Save and exit by pushing CTRL X then “y”.


3. To update the packages, type these commands, click “y” when prompted

yum clean all
yum update

4. Import the GPG key. It’s used to verify if packages have been altered.

rpm --import

5. Install Plex Media Server with the following command, click “y” when prompted

yum install plexmediaserver

6. Plex Media Server automatically installs as a service and is enabled on CentOS, so it should automatically start when the VPS boots. To make sure, type setup to enter the “Text Mode Setup Utility”


and you should see something like below. Select “System Services” and make sure that “plexmediaserver” is enabled. It should be enabled by default.


7. Reboot the VPS so that we can check to see if the Plex Media Server starts on boot.


8. Once the VPS has booted, you can check to see if Plex Media Server is running by listing all of the processes

ps -e

You should see something like below


Alternatively, you can run the following the command to see what the status is of plexmediaserver

/etc/init.d/plexmediaserver status

and you should see an output like below

PlexMediaServer (pid 469) is running...

This means that Plex Media Server will automatically run whenever your VPS boots up. That’s good.

9. Under normal circumstances, we would just open up a browser to configure Plex. However, since there’s no graphical user interface on the VPS, it makes things a bit more difficult. We’re going to trick the Plex server in thinking that we’re connecting to its “trusted” local area network. We do that byway of SSH Tunneling. First thing that we have to do is launch PuTTy and put in the IP address or domain name associated with the VPS server, input in the port number and click on “Tunnels”.


Once you’re in “Tunnels”, put 8080 for “Source port”, select “Dynamic” and “Auto” and push “Add”.


You should see “D8080″ like below. Click “Open” and login to the VPS server.


Once you are logged in, you can minimize PuTTY (but keep it running).

10. Open up Firefox, go into “Options”, select “Advanced” then “Network” then “Settings”, as seen below


Click on “Manual proxy configuration”. In the box on the right of “SOCKS Host:” put in the IP address or domain name of your VPS server. For “Port”, enter in 8080 (as that’s what we used before in PuTTY). Select “SOCKS v5″ if not already selected and push “OK”


Restart firefox.

11. Once you’ve restarted firefox, all internet traffic in this browser will be passing through your VPS server. The VPS will be acting as a proxy. This will allow you to connect to your Plex Media Server as it now thinks that you’re on its local area network. Navigate to Replace with the IP address or domain name associated with your VPS. You should now see something like below. If you don’t already have a plex account, make one now and login.


Once you’ve logged in, you should see something like below. Click on the little wrench icon the top right.


Click on “myPlex” on the left.


Sign in again and then click “Show Advanced Settings”, then check “Manually specify port” and make sure that it says “32400″. If that looks correct, push “Publish Server”, it should take 5-10 seconds.


Once the server has been published, we don’t need the proxy server any longer. Therefore, to avoid any future confusions on why webpages aren’t loading in Firefox, it’s best to turn off the proxy settings that you just added in Firefox.

That’s it! Plex Media Server is now installed on your VPS and you can access it from any computer :)

  • Lester L. Rice


  • Bezen

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial. Small correction : in firefox you need to put as the proxy adress and not the VPS adress.

    • Hippowise

      Hi Bezen. Thanks for the comment! I checked again and I’m not sure if it should be changed. The proxy server is running on the VPS (not on localhost), therefore that’s why the VPS IP address should be put into firefox as the proxy server. We’re trying to fool firefox into thnking that we’re on the same LAN as the VPS.

  • nick

    i get myplex could not reach your server error.. any idea on how to solve it?

    • Hippowise

      It could be a firewall issue on the VPS. Try to see if you can ping your VPS from your home computer.

      • nick

        PING ( 56 data bytes

        Request timeout for icmp_seq 0

        64 bytes from xxxxxxxx: icmp_seq=1 ttl=53 time=425.360 ms

        64 bytes from xxxxxxx: icmp_seq=2 ttl=53 time=595.618 ms

        64 bytes from 1xxxxx: icmp_seq=3 ttl=53 time=353.982 ms

        64 bytes from xxxxx: icmp_seq=4 ttl=53 time=412.627 ms

        64 bytes from 1xxxxxx: icmp_seq=5 ttl=53 time=442.240 ms

        64 bytes from xxxxxxxx: icmp_seq=6 ttl=53 time=253.418 ms

        64 bytes from 1:xxxxxxx icmp_seq=7 ttl=53 time=263.685 ms

        64 bytes from 1xxxxxx: icmp_seq=8 ttl=53 time=303.232 ms

        64 bytes from 1xxxxxx: icmp_seq=9 ttl=53 time=341.465 ms

        64 bytes from 1xxxxxxx: icmp_seq=10 ttl=53 time=405.604 ms

        64 bytes from 1xxxxx: icmp_seq=11 ttl=53 time=417.814 ms

        • nick

          dammit didn’t see that first ip, can u edit it?

          • Hippowise

            There is an “edit” button if you login to disqus so you should be able to edit your posts. It looks like if the packets reach your VPS server, but they never reach you on the return trip–probably because of the long latency (high milliseconds so it “times out”). I’m not sure what the problem is, but you can try disabling SELINUX (if you’re using RedHat/Fedora/CentOS) and disabling the firewall in step 4 and 5

      • nick

        thanks. it pings fine

  • Joe

    How do i add plugins after install? Everything works fine but no plugins at all show up:/