Plex Media Player — Screenshot

Configuring WiFi for Plex Embedded OS

Austin Barrett
Feb 5, 2019 · 4 min read

Recently I decided that my 1st generation Chromecast just wouldn’t cut it anymore for streaming 4K content from my Plex Media Server (PMS). As a result I chose to take one of my unused NUCs and build a Plex Media Player (PMP) PC.

After going through the basic install, I began digging around the settings trying to find away to configure WiFi. Now if you are reading this, then have mostly like discovered the same thing I had. There is no network settings. According to the official docs PMP Embedded OS only supports wired ethernet connections. However with a little know how and a basic knowledge of linux we can achieve a WiFi connection.

Terms and Tools

Before we are able to configure WiFi there are a few terms we will need to understand, and some tools we’ll need.

  • ssh : Secure shell is a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network. Or in english a text based remote connection to your computer.
  • terminal : The aforementioned text based interface. A.K.A. Cool hacker thing.
  • linux : Linux is a family of free and open-source software operating systems based on the Linux kernel. Translation, the thing that runs PMP.

If you are using Windows you will need to download a ssh client like PuTTY, but if you are on MacOS or Linux ssh is built in. All you will need to do is open your terminal and follow the instruction below.

If you haven’t already downloaded and install PMP please do so.

Let’s begin.

Instructions

Using ssh connect to your PMP. From the terminal type ssh root@pmpIpAddress.The default password is plex. In my case the command looked like this

ssh root@192.168.1.123

Once logged in ensure that connman daemon is running:

ps faux | grep connmand

If you see something like below, then you are good to go:

OpenELEC:~ # ps faux | grep connmand
862 root 0:00 /usr/sbin/connmand -nr
1033 root 0:00 grep connmand

If you only see:

OpenELEC:~ # ps faux | grep connmand
1033 root 0:00 grep connmand

Then you will probably need to startup connmand manually.
Note that this will not be persistent, i.e. it will not autostart next time you boot your machine.

To start connmand manually, do:

$(/usr/bin/connmand -nr)

Now we need to ensure there is a network adapter for your WIFI card or USB dongle or whatever.

ifconfig

You should see an adapter starting with wlan in the list. Here the result of the command in my hardware:

eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr B8:27:EB:0F:01:A0
inet addr:192.168.0.115 Bcast:192.168.0.255
Mask:255.255.255.0
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:2307 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1268 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:320940 (313.4 KiB) TX bytes:159217 (155.4 KiB)
lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:65536 Metric:1
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:13:EF:20:01:8A
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

Enable connman WiFi technology:

$ connmanctlconnmanctl> enable wifi

You may see something along the ways of wifi is already enabled, if it's the case just continue to then next step.

If connman fails to enable wifi, there might be something wrong with the wifi card (wrong linux driver maybe).

Scan for WiFi network nearby:

connmanctl> scan wifi

List found WiFi network:

connmanctl> services

This will list all known services. A services is device that connman can connect to. This includes WiFi, ehternet, bluetooth (if enabled) and more. Sample output below.

*AO iot        wifi_cc2f71ac08ff_696f74_managed_psk
Crebs-2.4 wifi_cc2f71ac08ff_43726562732d322e34_managed_psk
Singh wifi_cc2f71ac08ff_53696e6768_managed_psk
Rezzy365 wifi_cc2f71ac08ff_52657a7a79333635_managed_psk
XFINITY wifi_cc2f71ac08ff_5846494e495459_managed_ieee8021x

All the entrees starting with wifi_ are available WiFI networks. The suffix _psk means it's a protected network.

If my case, the network I want to connect to is iot, so its service id assigned by connman is wifi_cc2f71ac08ff_696f74_managed_psk.

Connecting to Your Network

connmanctl> agent on

This option enables connman to interactively accept WiFi Password.

Using the network ID you found from the previous step, connect to your network.

connmanctl> connect wifi_cc2f71ac08ff_696f74_managed_psk
Passphrase? *******

If your connection succeeds you will see message like this:

Connected wifi_cc2f71ac08ff_696f74_managed_psk

Now you can quit connmanctl console

connmanctl> quit

Conclusion

Though PMP may not support WiFi by default, with a little know how, and some typing I (and now you) are able to use WiFi with your PMP PC.

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