Laptop as full time PLEX server ?

raksrules

Well-Known Member
Elite
Aug 30, 2007
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Mumbai
I am considering running a Plex server (for personal use) on my home laptop. Is this a good idea? Reason being, my almost brand new laptop is almost useless at this point since its (touch) screen has gone bad and it does not light up and only way to use it is to connect to TV Via HDMI. This makes it impractical to use like a laptop and I just have to eat the $600 "loss" on this laptop. Since screen replacement is not available, I am trying to determine alternate use of the machine.

I am currently searching on internet to setup plex server as well as sonarr etc things that auto download stuff. My laptop has SSD in case that is something that impacts my decision (good or bad). Laptop has Windows 10 as OS.

Machine Config:
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
16GB RAM
256 GB HDD (can add USB pen drive or something)



I know that there may be cheaper option but it will require me to buy additional hardware, something I am not planning to do.

Any opinions?
 
Last edited:

netant

Well-Known Member
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Oct 12, 2012
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if by "Full Time" you mean running it 24x7 - the concern i see is the thermals, laptops are not meant to run for longer period of time. Plus Windows OS is another bottleneck for this tasks.


>> sonarr etc things that auto download stuff. My laptop has SSD in case that is something that impacts my decision (good or bad)

streaming from ssd fine, but for primary download using sonnar/smilar stuffs, ssd is not recommended - it will kill the longevity due to random writes of every block every few seconds. Since you have 16 gig ram, can configure 12gig as RAM disk to download the files as workaround, This feature is somewhat depended on your download client.

Check if you swap this ssd with a 2-4Tb of mechanical HDD - it will be noisy but this laptop will became your media centre, storing almost all you media files your. If i install a big fat storage, install owncloud/nextcloud for additional usage of this hardware.
Else an usb3 pen drive can be used for the primary download location & later move completed files to ssd.

if i had to make something like that, I would replace windows with Lubuntu (my preferred, will run headless ) or Arch (all the latest stuffs latest stuffs) or CentOS (rock solid), and run a seedbox script.. which will give be pretty much everything to automate the downloads as well as organise the files in meaningful way. Plus will take care of my online security.
Script them & forget them. for example - download, move/rename/organise), wait x-weeks & delete the file. no human intervention required at all. can configure push bullet when you are running low on disk space or new stuffs downloaded.. the possibilities are endless with Linux.

Instead of plex, i would go for miniDLNA, this will enable me to stream the content even with pretty old devices such as blu ray players, something running android 2+, where i cant install plex front end.
Downside of miniDLNA this wont auto encode on the fly & the hardware player must have the codecs built in to play, issues if anyone trying to play DivX/XviD in latest hardware or H.265 in old hardware.


Most of the Linux based OS will manage the power far far better then windows. if laptop placed in a good ventilated place, and sleep + wake on LAN configured, you can restart it once every 2-3 year if you wish to :)
Post automatically merged:

to direct answer to you quest check this out - https://chubbable.com/headless-ubuntu-plex-media-server-installation
 

vaalkai

Active Member
Disciple
Nov 22, 2017
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What is going to consume content from Plex? if you are not going to transcode, then that laptop is way too overkill for what you are trying to achieve. Simple DLNA sharing requires only a fraction of the horsepower. Why do they say the display cant be changed? May be try to sell it at the forum, you might get better use out of it that way. You can maybe buy a proper NAS, or set up a htpc for the price that you manage to get it sold for.