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Plex in Docker on a Synology NAS (Hardware Transcoding)

UpdateDate
New guide released06/12/2021
Added note around Ryzen based models27/12/2021
Updated Environment Variables to ensure server is updating to latest version02/02/2022

In this guide I am going to take you through the setup of Plex in Docker using Docker Compose.

As of writing the Synology UI does not have the capability of passing through specific hardware to a container, this means we will need to set up Plex via SSH (terminal). However, don’t freak out as it’s not that difficult!

Plex Pass

You will only benefit from hardware transcoding if you have an active Plex Pass either monthly or lifetime. if you don’t have one you can either follow this guide or jump over to the non hardware transcoding version.

Does my Synology support Hardware Transcoding?

Before we do anything else, you need to make sure your model of Synology has Intel Quick Sync. You need to do a quick lookup via the two pages below, on the first one, find your NAS model then on the Intel site lookup it’s CPU specifications. (If you are using a new model with a Ryzen v1500b it does not have hardware transcode capabilities)

For example the DS920+ has an Intel Celeron j4125

If we then look up the j4125 on the Intel site we can see it is capable of Quick Sync

Quick Sync is Available

If you find that Quick Sync is not available on your model you can jump back over to the standard guide here

Lets Begin

As usual, it’s important you complete the two proceeding guides which will get your folder structure and docker, user setup.

Docker Compose

We will be using Docker Compose to set up the Plex container. In a nutshell we will be creating a text file (YAML formatted) which tells Docker exactly how we want to set up a specific container.

The next steps can be done either using a code/text editor such as Notepad++ or to keep things simple for this guide we will be using the Synology Text Editor which can be installed from the Package Center.

Install Text Editor from the Package Center

Open up Text Editor and click on File then New to start a new file.

You can now copy and paste the details below into the new text file, it is important you don’t change the spacing as YAML has to be formatted correctly in order to be read by Docker Compose.

version: "3.8"
services:
  plex:
    image: lscr.io/linuxserver/plex
    container_name: plex
    network_mode: host
    environment:
      - PUID=YOURID
      - PGID=YOURGID
      - VERSION=latest
    volumes:
      - /volume1/docker/plex:/config
      - /volume1/data/media:/media
    devices:
      - /dev/dri:/dev/dri
    restart: unless-stopped

Environment Variables

We need to make some changes in order for the container to have the correct permissions to save its configuration files and to have access to your media.

PUID and PGID

When you created your docker user you would have noted down these IDs add these to the compose file in the ‘environment:’ section

Volumes

We can now pass through our file paths into the container they are mounted using the volume’s section of the compose file.

I have pre-filled this section to pass the correct paths, the only thing that you may need to change is the /volume1/ if your file paths are on a different volume.

Your final file should look similar to the one shown below.

The final
file

Saving the Compose File

We now need to save this file into our docker share.

Click on File then Save As, navigate to the ‘Docker’ share and create a new folder called ‘plex’ (lower case)

You need to change the ‘File name’ to plex.yml and save it in the ‘plex’ folder

SSH and Docker-Compose

It’s time to get logged into you Diskstation via SSH, you can do this in the same way as when you obtained your IDs in the ‘Setting up a restricted Docker user‘ guide.

Once you have logged in you will need to give 2 commands, you can copy and paste these one at a time — you will need to enter your password for the command starting with ‘sudo’

First we are going to change directory to where the plex.yml is located, type the below and then press enter.

cd /volume1/docker/plex

Then we are going to instruct Docker Compose to read the file we created and complete the set-up of the container. Again type the below and press enter.

sudo docker-compose -f plex.yml up -d

When the command has completed you should be able to see Plex running in the list of containers in the Synology GUI.

Plex Initial Setup

After a few minutes you should be able to access the server and go through the Plex setup by going to the IP of your NAS in your browser followed by port 32400/web/

e.g 192.168.0.45:32400/web/

You will be asked to sign in or sign up for an account if you don’t have one already.

You should now be able to add your media which will be in the /media folder within Plex

We mounted everything to /data, so you can find your media in that folder and add each of your Movie / TV libraries

Once you have got to the main Plex interface make sure you go into the settings and turn on

  • Enable HDR tone mapping
  • Use hardware acceleration when available

That’s it you are all setup. When a new server update is available you will just need to restart the container, and it will automatically download the latest update.



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52 Comments

  1. Sid Sid

    Plex says “Not authorized, You do not have access to this server” when I run it for the first time. I followed all instructions. Any tips?

    • Sid Sid

      Resolved that part, now it won’t allow me to add media from the nas. Giving an option of get media server link. I guess that’s a plex issue rather than a technical install issue?

      • Dr_Frankenstein Dr_Frankenstein

        Hey Sid, sounds like a Plex setup error. Are you able to jump on Discord or use the contact page (top left under the logo) to send a screenshot over?

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