In this article, We will be discussing the best Linux distributions for Plex Media Server. Linux has many distributions and Plex does not work the same on all distributions.
What is Plex Media Server?
Plex is one of the top media servers for streaming media content. It is a streaming and organization tool through which you stream content such as music, videos, podcast, games, and self-created content all in one place which makes plex a little different from others. You can share it with your friends or family.
It consists of a server and clients. It has both free and paid versions and is easy to access from almost all devices.
Top Linux Distributions for Plex Media Server
It takes a lot of time trying to install plex on different distros. So, here are the best linux distros for Plex Media Server:
Ubuntu is the best linux distro suited for both beginners and advanced users. Ubuntu has different versions of operating system but most popular ones are ubuntu desktop and ubuntu server. Basically, both Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu server are similar.
Ubuntu Desktop comes with many of the essential application pre-installed, supports many desktop environments, and is a lot easier to install so it is perfect for beginners.
Ubuntu Server only comes with server related pre-installed packages but you can download other packages or applications manually.
You can modify both the version as ubuntu is open-source and user-friendly. So, Its one of the best option for running Plex Media Server. Minimum system requirements are 4GB of ram, 20GB storage and 2GHz processor.
2. Cent OS
Cent OS is an alternative for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) which is a paid distribution. RHEL is for commercial use and CentOS is a free version offering almost all the packages except the paid ones. This distro is also known for its stability as it was founded by RedHat developers. CentOS is quite popular for commercial use as it is free to use and give better performance.
For beginners, install a initial desktop environment to turn it into beginner-friendly. CentOS have two variants namely CentOS Linux and CentOS Stream. CentOS Linux is more stable and user-friendly and CentOS Stream is a bit complicated, so CentOS Linux is ideal for Plex media server.
Minimum system requirements are 2GB of RAM, 20GB of storage and 2GHz processor.
3. Open SUSE
OpenSUSE is one of the most stable operating system among all the linux distros. OpenSUSE also has two variants namely OpenSUSE Leap and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed. One for home users and other for developers and power users.
Unlike CentOS, OpenSUSE’s both distros are very stable and are good for all users. OpenSUSE Leap only releases updates when there is a major patch update while OpenSUSE Tumbleweed is known for its stability as it is tested multiple times without rolling a patch update. It is suitable for using Plex Media Server.
Minimum system requirements are 2GB of RAM, 5GB of storage and Pentium4 1.6GHz processor.
Debian was released in 1993 and is not easy to use. So if you are a beginner, it’s not the best option to start with. However, it’s good for plex media server because of its stability and flexibility. Debian doesn’t have very high system requirements and has access to more than 51k packages.
Debian comes with Xfce by default but also support other desktop environments like Cinnamon, MATE and Kde Plasma. It was overshadowed by its offspring- Ubuntu but it is one of the most stable distro out there. Latest stable version is Debian 11.
Minimum system requirements are 512GB of RAM, 10GB of storage and 1GHz processor.
Fedora was initially released in 2003 and it is very popular among linux community because of its association with Red hat, CentOS and other projects. It was mainly designed for developers and was also the best distro of Linus Torvald- creator of linux and he is continuously working on improvement of Fedora.
Fedora also has two variants, Fedora Workstation and Fedora server. Both the variants are good for using Plex Media Server but Fedora Server is a bit difficult to work with.
Fedora Workstation is good for good for beginners because of Gnome 3 which gives a very good desktop environment. It also supports other desktop environment like Xfce, KDE Plasma, Cinnamon and MATE. It has many Fedora Spins to try with except Sugar (a Stick Spin) that does not support Plex media server. Latest stable version is Fedora 34.
So, it is a good option for using Plex Media Server. Minimum System requirements are 2GB or RAM, 20GB of storage and 2GHz processor.
There are other distros like Linux mint, Arch Linux, etc that also supports Plex Media Server but they are pretty hard to work with for beginners. Plex Media Server is easy to use and can be used to access all media content anytime, anywhere. If you want to try different distros for Plex, You can install these distros on a virtual machine like VMware, VirtualBox, etc. Refer this article for installing Vmware: How to install VMware Workstation Pro on Ubuntu?