Setting Up Your Own HomeLab Plex Server: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you tired of relying on streaming services for your media needs? Do you want to take control of your entertainment experience and have access to all your favorite movies, TV shows, and music in one place? Look no further! With a little bit of tech know-how and the right hardware, you can set up your own HomeLab Plex Server.

Hardware Requirements:

To get started, you’ll need an old laptop or desktop with a decent processor. I’d recommend using an Intel Core i7 processor-based machine for optimal performance. You don’t need anything too fancy, just something that can handle the demands of running a media server.

Software Installation:

Once you have your hardware in place, it’s time to install the necessary software. For this setup, we’ll be using Ubuntu, a popular and user-friendly Linux distribution. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Format the Hard Drive: Before installing Ubuntu, make sure to format the hard drive to ensure that all data is erased and the operating system can be installed cleanly.
  2. Install Ubuntu: Insert the Ubuntu installation media (USB drive or CD/DVD), restart your machine, and follow the on-screen instructions to install Ubuntu.

Configuring Your Plex Server:

Now that you have Ubuntu up and running, it’s time to set up your Plex Server:

  1. Install Plex Media Server: Open a terminal window and run the command
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install plexmedia-server
    to install Plex Media Server.
  2. Configure Plex: Launch the Plex Media Server application and follow the setup wizard to create an account, set up your library, and configure other settings as desired.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Make sure you have enough storage space: Depending on how many media files you plan to store, you may need a larger hard drive or consider using external storage devices. Or consider investing in a Synology NAS to store your media.
  • Invest in a reliable power supply: Your HomeLab Plex Server will be running continuously, so make sure your power supply is reliable and won’t cause any downtime.
  • Secure your server: As with any online service, make sure to secure your Plex Server by setting strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and keeping your operating system and software up-to-date.
  • Fast network: You want to go that extra step? invest in buying a 10gbs switch and a network adapter to get that extra bandwidth for transfer speed. No more buffering and seamless speed.


Setting up a HomeLab Plex Server is an excellent way to take control of your media experience. With the right hardware and software, you can create a centralized hub for all your favorite movies, TV shows, music, and more. Follow these steps, and you’ll be enjoying your own personalized entertainment paradise in no time!

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