Raspberry Pi 2 as Plex Media Player with RasPlex - Complete Guide and Setup


       Currently I am using a custom windows HTPC for main media player and whs 2011 server hosting Plex Media Server. It plays everything I throw at it flawlessly and you can see previous posts on that setup. I do have a few issues with display and sleep/wake issues where it doesn't all show up on screen. This isn't a big issue for me as I know a couple of buttons to try that will wake it up, but the wife gets confused sometimes and complains. I will probably work on that in the future, but with the new raspberry pi 2 I decided to give it a go and see how well it works. We are moving shortly and will add second tv in bedroom so this would be perfect device to add to second tv.

What parts to order

Buy a preconfigured Kit




Optional Remote


Optional for initial Setup (USB Keyboard)


1. Go to this website and download RasPlex for whatever you operating system you will be using to install Rasplex. I have a mac so chose OSX.

2. Open up GetRasPlex program

3. Enter your computer's password into the terminal window that opens up. This will open up a graphical interface of RasPlex

4. Insert your microSD card into an adaptor and plug it in to your computer

5. Under 'Select Your Device' choose Raspberry Pi 2

6. Under 'Select Version' choose 0.5.1 (currently the most current build)

7. Under 'Select Device to Flash' choose your memory card that you inserted

8. Click Download (this will download the version you selected)

9. Once its done downloading you should be able to select 'Write SD Card'

10. Once its done you can remove the SD card and put it in the Raspberry Pi memory card slot


11. Go to this FLIRC website to download the software to program remote

12. Open up FLIRC

13. Now you need to choose how complex you want your remote to be. The basic standard setup would be useful is you want to use an Apple Remote (from Apple TV). I chose to use Kodi as it is similar to Plex. Go to Controllers at the top of the screen from menu bar and select which device you want to use.

NOTE: Before you continue you should have already programed your harmony remote to use with Plex and have that activity working and active when setting up FLIRC remote. Harmony has a special device for plex so when setting it up choose Plex as the manufacturer as well as the model.

14. Grab your harmony remote (make sure the plex activity is active on the remote) and program the remote by selecting the button with the software and then pressing the corresponding button on the remote. Their should be feedback from the software that says pairing complete.

        - I paired Up, Down, Left, Right, Enter/Select, Fast Forward, Rewind, Info, Back, Home (Exit)

15. Unplug FLIRC from computer and plug it into USB port of Raspberry Pi


16. Use Plex app instead of remote control


17. Network - You can plug in Wifi adaptor that comes with canakit or use ethernet for better performance. Note-I have read of usb issues when using wifi adaptor and other usb devices at same time


18. Power on raspberry pi by plugging the power cord in

19. Go through initial RasPlex Setup

20. Optional - Overclock Raspberry Pi to speed things up. 
         There are two ways to do this. Locally with microSD card attached to computer or through ssh. 


21. For some reason the CEC adaptor and my FLIRC were being interfered and the responsiveness of the remote just wasn't up to par. So if you are having remote issues and you see a CEC adaptor enabled when loading RasPlex I recommend going disabling CEC.
22. Other options for speeding up RasPlex

rasplex performance
rasplex performance
rasplex performance
24. Install Media Codecs (If needed to play some content on Plex)
  • What You will Need 
    • An MPEG-2 (~$4)and/or VC-1 license(~$2) purchased from the Raspberry Pi store.
    • Access to the command prompt on the Raspberry Pi 
  • First, I will walk you through getting the serial number off the board and purchasing the licenses you need. After that, I’ll show you how to manually add the licenses to your Pi.
  • Purchasing the Licenses
    • In order to purchase the licenses you need, you will have to retrieve the unique serial number for your Raspberry Pi board. This number is not printed anywhere on the circuit board but is instead stored in the hardware; it must be retrieved using the command prompt.
    • Retrieving the Serial Number: First, visit the command prompt via an SSH tool such as Terminal. 
    • The default password for RasPlex is rasplex.
    • Once at the command prompt enter the following command: cat /proc/cpuinfo
    • Your Pi will spit back 11 lines of text, but the only one of interest to us is the last line labeled Serial. Copy the unique 16 digital serial number (partially obfuscated in the screenshot here).
    • Because the license is granted to each specific Raspberry Pi board, repeat the above process for all Raspberry Pi boards you wish to purchase a license for.
    • Once you have the the serial number for each individual unit, it’s time to purchase the licenses from the Raspberry Pi foundation.
  • Purchasing the License: Visit the Raspberry Pi foundation’s purchase page for the MPEG-2 license and/or VC-1 license.  Enter your Raspberry Pi serial number in the appropriate blank beneath the price. Add the license to your cart. Repeat this process for all the licenses on all the units you wish to add the codecs to.
  • Although the foundation indicates that it could take up to 72 hours for your license to arrive via email, we received ours in about 24 hours. When your email arrives it will include a code for each license formatted like such:
    • decode_MPG2=0000000000
    • decode_WVC1=0000000000
    • The 0000000000 portion of the license is your unique 10-digit alphanumeric license code.
  • Installing the Licenses
    • Now that we have the license codes, it’s time to add them to your Raspberry Pi and get to enjoying enhanced media playback.
    • type  mount -o remount,rw /flash
    • edit /flash/config.txt using nano: nano /flash/config.txt
    • Cut and paste the formatted license entries you received in your email below the lines that include the # (This denotes a note in computer code so the OS knows to ignore anything after this point. Therefore when you copy the licenses make sure there is no # before them.)
    • Hit 'control + X' on keyboard
    • Type 'Y' to save file
    • Hit 'Enter' on keyboard to confirm overwrite
    • Type reboot and hit enter in terminal to reboot raspberry pi
    • You can verify that the licenses are installed correctly by ssh into your pi and type the following
      • vcgencmd codec_enabled MPG2 
      • vcgencmd codec_enabled WVC1 
    • Should say license is enabled