How to Install Plex on a Synology NAS

This tutorial will take a look at how to install Plex on a Synology NAS.

Plex is one of the best applications that you can run on a Synology NAS. In general, most people who purchase a Synology NAS store their media files in a shared folder, which makes running Plex on a Synology a great option as you’re running it on the same device that is storing your media. Please keep in mind that the tutorial below is for a brand-new setup on DSM 7, so if you’re looking to update Plex from DSM 6 to DSM 7, please watch this video.

1. How to Install Plex on a Synology NAS

Prior to January of 2023, installing Plex on a Synology NAS required you to manually download and install the Plex package from Plex’s website. However, the package has been updated on the Package Center and can now be installed that way!

1. Open Synology DSM 7 and navigate to the Package Center, then search for Plex and install it. The package will download.

how to install plex on a synology nas - installing the plex package

2. Select the volume that Plex should be installed on (you may have completed this step with a prior Package Center install already), then select Next.

plex media server volume installation

3. You will be prompted with two options. The first is to run the normal installation and claim the server (link it to your Plex user account) at a later time. It’s generally easiest to claim the server now so that it’s automatically attributed to your Plex user account as soon as the installation finishes. Select Install using Plex Claim Token and then click Get Plex Claim Token.

isntalling plex with a claim token

4. You will then need to sign in to Plex.

signing in with an account into plex

5. After you sign in, a claim token will be shown. Copy the claim code.

copying the claim code from the plex website

6. In the Plex install, paste the claim code and select Next.

pasting the claim code to install plex

7. Select Done to install Plex on your Synology! Plex will take a few minutes to fully install and when it’s done, you’ll see that it’s successfully claimed by your user account.

confirming settings for plex on dsm

This is how the Synology Plex server will look when it’s successfully claimed.

plex successfully claimed message

8. You will receive a message stating that permission must be granted in order for Plex to access your media. There are very clear instructions given by Plex, but the main thing you need to do is modify the permissions of the shared folders where Plex will be reading your media and give the PlexMediaServer user the correct permissions.

plex user permission settings.

Example of permissions being altered

modifying the user permissions in plex.

9. Open the Package Center, then select Open to launch Plex.

package center plex icon

You’ll receive a message stating that Plex would like to sign into your user account. Sign in to proceed.

signing in to plex website

10. Plex will automatically bring you to the home page. Select Settings in the top right (wrench icon).

selecting the settings icon in plex

11. Scroll down on the left-hand side and select Libraries.

selecting libraries in plex to add new libraries

12. Select Add Library, then select the Library Type and add the folder. You’ll have to navigate to the volume you have (most people will have their media in /volume1), then the actual folder holding the media. Please keep in mind that you’ll have to create one for each media type (Movies, TV Shows, Music).

selecting the location of the media files

13. Your media files will now start to crawl in the covers and titles!

1.2 How to Install Plex on a Synology NAS using Docker

You can easily run Plex on Docker using your Synology NAS. The benefit to this is that if you’d ever like to move this Plex installation to a separate device, you can copy the mounted volumes and easily migrate your media library. If you’re interested in installing Plex on Docker, please follow these instructions.

1.2.1 Synology Plex Hardware Acceleration

As of right now (and most likely forever), you can’t run Plex and use Hardware Acceleration with the package installation above. However, you can use a combination of both and easily get Hardware Acceleration working. If you’re interested in using Hardware Acceleration, please watch the video below!

1.3 How to Manually Update Plex on a Synology NAS

Periodically, Plex will release a new update that brings new functionality or improved performance that can be installed manually. In order to update to the latest version, you’ll need to download it from Plex’s website.

You can then run the same install process as above by manually installing the package to upgrade to the latest version. Please keep in mind that as of right now, updates are not pushed to the Synology Package Center, so this is the only way to update Plex and it must be done manually.

Please watch the extremely quick video below to learn how to upgrade Plex on a Synology NAS!

2. Conclusion – How to Install Plex on a Synology NAS

This tutorial looked at how to install Plex on a Synology NAS. There are technically three ways that you can install Plex on a Synology, and each option has its own benefits. If you’d like to use Hardware Acceleration, you’ll be forced to use Docker, but the package installation method above will work for most people.

Thanks so much for checking out the tutorial on how to install Plex on a Synology NAS. If you have any questions on how to install Plex on a Synology NAS, feel free to leave them in the comments of the YouTube video above!