I recently received a Pine64 through the post and thought I’d write up how I got Plex Media Server running on it.

If you’ve already read my posts on WiFi Lightbulbs and Multi-room Audio, you’ll know how much I love OpenHAB for Home Automation, and Plex Media Server links in nicely with all of the above using the OpenHAB Plex binding.

The Pine64 uses 64-bit architecture and is a quad-core Cortex A8 processor, so should pack a reasonable punch as a Plex Media Server compared with existing Raspberry Pi’s, so let’s give it a go and see what we find!

The first thing to be aware of is that this is an “arm64” architecture, and therefore we seem to need to jump through a few hoops before we can use the “normal” raspbian install mode and @uglymagoo‘s repos.

Step 1: Prepare the system

Download the longsleep Debian 8 image from https://www.pine64.com/downloads and burn it to an SD card. If you don’t know how to do this, then the Raspberry Pi Foundation have a good guide at https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/README.md for Mac, Windows and Linux.

One thing I did notice is that the initial root partition is only 3.5G in size. You’ll need to grow this using gparted or a similar tool before you boot, otherwise Plex will fail because it runs out of disk space.

Step 2: Install the software

Once you’ve booted the Pine64 successfully, we can proceed with the installation of the Plex Media Server.

I followed the instructions at http://www.htpcguides.com/install-plex-media-server-on-raspberry-pi-2/ however, when it talks about adding the debian package repository, you need to do a few things slightly differently via the following commands:

# Run add the ARMHF architecture to the Debian Packages that can be installed here
sudo dpkg --add-architecture armhf 
# Make sure that we install the correct version of the arm package
echo "deb [arch=armhf] https://dev2day.de/pms/ jessie main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pms.list
# Update the package lists
sudo apt-get update
# Install the media server and all the dependencies
sudo apt-get install binutils:armhf plexmediaserver-installer -y

This should then install and start the media server.

Issues

So far, the main issue I’ve found is the architecture one. I’m hoping that at some point, Plex will release an Arm64 version of the code natively so that this cheap little computer can handle it all

As with all small-board versions of Plex that I’ve tried, I’ve had the most success by using “Direct Play” instead of Transcoding, however the web interface is nice and quick to respond, and streaming to my PlexApp (sideloaded on to my NowTV) seems to work well.

NOTE: If you are using the Roku App on a white NowTV then you will only be able to play audio for ACC3 / Stereo Feeds.  It does not support DTS and therefore you will only get video, no sound, for bit-copy blue-ray rips etc.

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