NAS OS for Plex for Custom Server

First time poster.

I’m planning to build a custom PC server that will be utilized to run a Plex Media Server and that’s all. It will be connected to a Synology NAS DS1817 that will hold all of my disks and be strictly used for data storage only. My disc setup on the Synology is BASIC - I don’t care if I lose all my movies or TV shows on a hard drive because I will re-download them all (on a pvt torrent server).

My question for all of you is, what OS should I run on the PC? TruNAS, UnRaid, Windows, Ubuntu, etc. I’d love to be able to access the PC remotely, just in case we are away and the power goes out and I can restart the server remotely. I’m not a Terminal guy or coder - I’m pretty comfortable in Windows, so its my preferred choice, but I think accessing the PC remotely won’t be as easy. Windows also has a clutter with its OS.

You may ask why am I going to have a PC server and a Synology NAS - the cpu in my NAS is junk, since it isn’t the plus model. I need the ability to have 5 transcodes going remotely at a single point in time remotely from 1080p to 720p (2 mbps) for people on shitty internet connections. I’m thinking about picking up the Intel 11700K as my cpu for this build for QuickSync HW transcoding. Will it handle the load?

Many thanks for your assistance.


I’d do Proxmox and then an ubuntu VM.

If Proxmox passthrough GPU/QuickSync tutorials seem too technical, then just Ubuntu using the guides here

I think most people around here would recommend following this guide if all you want is Plex Server. Install Ubuntu, set the bios to reboot if power is lost, and use something like xrdp to remote into the Ubuntu machine.

HP S01 or HP 290 are often available on ebay for under $150.

There are channels on Discord and many people willing to answer your questions there.

Thanks for sharing that detailed post for Plex. I see its advising me to use Ubuntu Desktop with the Windows limitations for HW transcoding. It will kind of be my first time using Ubuntu - I’m not a fan of using a terminal to be honest.

Would there be any issues with Ubuntu being able to see the files on my Synology NAS? I’m currently using SMB file services at the moment (to my knowledge). Would I need to turn on NFS? Any issues with simply turning it on with 40TB of storage across all my drives?

You need to do very little terminal work. I’ve outlined every piece of the install process in that guide so it should be very easy to follow.

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That’s what I like to hear - thanks for putting that together!

I also found this guide, which seems to be pretty spot on.

If you want to use Ubuntu you can still get into it remotely but you’ll need to learn about ssh and setup a VPN or something like Tailscale or Zerotier that’s how I manage my server remotely although I rarely ever have to.

There is also a web ui in linux called Cockpit that is still being developed but I found it somewhat limited in what you can actually do with it.

I know I was uncomfortable in the terminal when I got more into all this stuff and now I prefer it for a lot of tasks. My plex server I’ve never ever seen it from a gui the whole time I’ve run it other than the initial install. That’s been a couple years now and it’s rebooted maybe a 5 times.

You could probably get a cheap laptop with a 6th or 7th gen Intel processor and tinker around that would give you a battery backup and something to tinker with as you get your feet wet.

Thanks for the details on accessing it remotely. Hopefully I will never need to…

I built the media server PC tonight.

Here is the hardware I went with:

I’ve installed Ubuntu and the Plex Media Server correctly.

Now I need to figure out how to discover the Synology NAS network drives, so that the Plex Media Server can pick them up. Does anyone have any guidance for a first time Ubuntu user?

The server is up and running on Ubuntu. Thank you for your assistance.