How to Set Up a Home Media Server with Jellyfin on Ubuntu

Jellyfin is a media server for streaming and organizing pictures, videos and audio. Unlike other solutions on the market, Jelly powder It’s completely free, with no paid features or premium upgrade plans, giving you complete control over your media. Any device with a modern web browser can access and stream from Jellyfin, and there are apps for Android, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

You can use Jellyfin to set up your own media streaming server in the following ways.

Before you start

You will need a 64-bit device running Ubuntu 18.04 desktop or server version. From an old laptop you carry with you to a high-end dual-socket server, everything is fine, but make sure you have enough storage space for all your media files. For better performance, use a wired network connection instead of Wi-Fi.

You also need to set a static IP address on your Ubuntu computer.

Install Jellyfin

First update your Ubuntu system:

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade

Install curl (HTTP client) and apt-transport-https, Enable HTTPS support for APT:

sudo apt install -y curl apt-transport-https

Enable Universe Ubuntu repository:

sudo add-apt-repository universe

Add the Jellyfin software repository:

echo "deb [arch=$( dpkg --print-architecture )] $( lsb_release -c -s ) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jellyfin.list

The GPG signing key is used to ensure that the downloaded file has not been tampered with. Add Jellyfin signing key:

curl | sudo apt-key add -

Update the package list:

sudo apt update

Install Jellyfin:

sudo apt install -y jellyfin

If you want Jellyfin to start automatically at startup, run:

sudo systemctl enable jellyfin.service

Start Jellyfin:

sudo systemctl start jellyfin.service

Using the installation wizard

Browse to http: // IP_ADDRESS: 8096, where “IP_ADDRESS” is the static address you configured.

Select a default language and click Next.

Enter your name and password to create an administrator account, and click Next.

Jellyfin Wizard User Account

You can add libraries later, so click Next to skip this step for now.

Jellyfin Wizard Library

Metadata contains various information and data such as age rating, overview, posters, etc. Select your language and country, and click Next.

Jellyfin Wizard Metadata Language

If you plan to stream from Jellyfin to home, enable these options. Otherwise, uncheck them. Click Next, then click Finish to exit the wizard.

Jellyfin Wizard Remote Connect

Add library

Jellyfin uses customizable libraries to organize media files. To create the first one, log in to Jellyfin at http: // IP_ADDRESS: 8096 / and click the icon in the upper right corner to open the management dashboard. In the left sidebar, under Servers, click Library, and then click Add Media Library.

Select a content type and name your library, then click the plus sign to add a folder.

Jelly add library

Enter the full path of the folder where you want to store the library file, and then click OK. Repeat this process for other folders (if any). You don’t have to change other library settings because the default settings work well in most cases.

Jellyfin add folder

To add new media, simply add it to one of the selected folders. Jellyfin scans these folders regularly and updates your library accordingly.

Add user

The default user account created by the wizard has administrator access and should not be shared. Instead, you can create other Jellyfin accounts for family, friends, and more.

Under Servers in the Administrator Dashboard, click Users, and then click the plus sign to add a user account.

Jellyfin add user

Enter a name and password, and if you do not want this user to have access to all libraries, clear the Enable access to all libraries check box. Click Save to create the account.

Install Jellyfin plugin

To add functionality, you can install plugins, such as the popular OpenSubtitles plugin, which automatically downloads subtitles.

In the administrative console, under Advanced, click Plugins, and then click the Catalog tab.

Jellyfin plugin directory

Click the plugin you want to install.

Jellyfin plugin installation

If you need a specific version, select it. Otherwise, select the latest version and click Install. When you see the “Plug-in has been successfully installed” message, click Restart to restart Jellyfin from the home page of the admin dashboard.

Jellyfin server restart

After restarting Jellyfin, your plugin is ready to use.

You should now have a functioning media streaming server. Please enjoy!