Open Source Plex Alternative | LAS 383

Open Source Plex Alternative | LAS 383

Emby is an open source home media server, that brings all of your media together into one place & automatically converts and streams your media on-the-fly to any device. In other words, a legitimate Plex competitor. We give you our in-depth look.

Plus Microsoft announces its own Linux distribution, why it’s the year of the Linux Desktop in China, why it might be time to drop VirtualBox & more!

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— Show Notes: —


Brought to you by: System76

Emby – The open media solution


Bringing all of your media together into one place has never been easier. Your Emby Server automatically converts and streams your media on-the-fly to play on any device.

Prepare your media

Emby identifies your media according to folder structure, file name, and the type of library to which it is assigned. Once identified, Emby downloads information like posters, descriptions, and ratings that make media selection a rich experience. The requirements for organizing and naming files are quite flexible, but will require some basic structure.

The general recommendations are:

  • Separate media into appropriate folders (e.g., Movies in a “Movies” folder, TV shows in a “TV Shows” folder, music in a “Music” folder, photos in a “Photos” folder, etc.)

  • Movies should be named as “Name (Year).exe”, for example “Brave (2012).mp4”

  • TV shows should include season and episode numbers in the name, and be stored in separate folders per show. For example: “\TV\Homeland\Homeland s01e01.mp4”

  • Music should be stored within artist and album folders, such as “\Music\Artist\Album\tracks”

Install the Server

Once your media is named and organized, it’s time to install the Server. The server is available on a number of platforms ranging from Windows to Linux, Mac, FreeBSD and Nas devices.

For more information, see installation.

Add Users

You may wish to add users and invite your friends. Users can have their own personalized media libraries, user data, recommendations and more.

For more information, see users.

Advanced Features

  • Has support for advanced features power users love, that likely does not appeal to the majority of Plex users.

Emby Supports Live TV

Live TV Support

Built-in Live TV support, and support for external services.


  • Watch live streaming HD TV on your phone or tablet wherever you are in your home
    • Cut the cable and cut the subscription costs
    • Watch live HD TV on up to 2 devices simultaneously on your wifi or wired network
    • One click of our App to view live TV on Android or iOS
    • TV antenna required

Emby for Android

Emby for Android

Bringing all of your personal media together into one place has never been easier! Emby unites your personal videos, music, and photos and streams them to your devices.

Emby Online Web Client

Visit from any web browser and sign in using Emby Connect. You’ll be able to connect any of your servers and enjoy all of your media.

Branding Support

Branding Support

Some basic support for branding, which could make Emby powered deployments for business a real nice option.

Donate and You Get More Features

Donation Features

Becoming an Emby supporter brings a number of additional benefits and bonus features. As an Emby Supporter you can enjoy:

The sync feature allows you to copy content to external devices for backup purposes, archiving in multiple resolutions, and offline viewing.

Emby for Kodi

Emby for Kodi

Emby for Kodi is an add-on to enable connectivity to your Emby library within Kodi.

Emby Apps


Minimum Requirements — no transcoding
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor 1.6 GHz or better
  • At least 1GB RAM for Windows/Mac OS X
  • At least 512MB RAM for Linux
  • Windows: Vista or later
  • OS X: Snow Leopard 10.6.3 or later
  • Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS or SuSE Linux
Recommended Configuration — transcoding HD Content:
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor 2.4 GHz or better
  • If transcoding for multiple devices, a faster CPU may be required
  • At least 2GB RAM
  • Windows: Vista or later
  • OS X: Snow Leopard 10.6.3 or later
  • Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS or SuSE Linux

  • Chris has noticed better compatibility under Firefox than Chrome, for playback, and Metadata management.

  • Decoding Performance seems be worse than Plex… However both are using ffmpeg on the backend. Not sure why.
  • My specific use case is a bit different than normal. I am running with a minimum amount of media. Enough to last the Finding Linux roadtrip, and maybe a bit more. I’m not loading it up with hundreds of TV shows and movies.

  • Emby/ at master · MediaBrowser/Emby · GitHub


FileBot – The ultimate TV and Movie Renamer / Subtitle Downloader


FileBot is the ultimate tool for organizing and renaming your movies, tv shows or anime, and music well as downloading subtitles and artwork. It’s smart and just works.


Runs Linux

Disney’s light-bulb Runs Linux, supports TCP

Now, boffins working for Disney Research have taken LED-based comms a step further, adding a Linux TCP/IP network stack to a consumer lamp.

Desktop App Pick


Privoxy is a non-caching web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for enhancing privacy, modifying web page data and HTTP headers, controlling access, and removing ads and other obnoxious Internet junk. Privoxy has a flexible configuration and can be customized to suit individual needs and tastes. It has application for both stand-alone systems and multi-user networks.

Weekly Spotlight

sshuttle · GitHub

As far as I know, sshuttle is the only program that solves the following
common case:

  • Your client machine (or router) is Linux, FreeBSD, or MacOS.
  • You have access to a remote network via ssh.
  • You don’t necessarily have admin access on the remote network.
  • The remote network has no VPN, or only stupid/complex VPN
    protocols (IPsec, PPTP, etc). Or maybe you are the
    admin and you just got frustrated with the awful state of
    VPN tools.
  • You don’t want to create an ssh port forward for every
    single host/port on the remote network.
  • You hate openssh’s port forwarding because it’s randomly
    slow and/or stupid.
  • You can’t use openssh’s PermitTunnel feature because
    it’s disabled by default on openssh servers; plus it does
    TCP-over-TCP, which has terrible performance (see below).

— NEWS —

Microsoft Has Own Distro

Microsoft has developed its own Linux distribution. And Azure runs it to do networking.

Redmond’s revealed that it’s built something called Azure Cloud Switch (ACS), describing it as “a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux” and “our foray into building our own software for running network devices like switches.”

But it appears Redmond couldn’t find SDN code to fits its particular needs, as it says ACS “… focuses on feature development based on Microsoft priorities” and “allows us to debug, fix, and test software bugs much faster. It also allows us the flexibility to scale down the software and develop features that are required for our datacenter and our networking needs.”

ACS Diagram

ACS believes in the power of Open Networking. ACS together with the open, standardized SAI interface allows us to exploit new hardware faster and enables us to ride the tide of ASIC innovation while simultaneously being able to operate on multiple platforms. Running on Linux, ACS is able to make use of its vibrant ecosystem. ACS allows to use and extend Open Source, Microsoft, and Third Party applications. The main functional blocks from top to the bottom of the ACS stack are shown in the figure below.

VirtualBox No Long to Provide Info about Security Vulnerabilities

This update fixes an unspecified security issue in VirtualBox related to
guests using bridged networking via WiFi. Oracle no longer provides
information on specific security vulnerabilities in VirtualBox.
To still
support users of the already released Debian releases we’ve decided to
update these to the respective 4.1.40 and 4.3.30 bugfix releases.

Ubuntu Hardware Store

It just got even easier to buy Ubuntu laptops, desktops and phones from India’s biggest online retailer.

Canonical has opened a brand new “brand store” for Ubuntu products on Snapdeal, who are the exclusive stockists of the Bq Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition and E5 Ubuntu Edition smartphones in India.

China’s Year of the Linux Desktop

For years, the “year of the Linux desktop” was right around the corner: Open-source software would displace Windows (or Window$), and usher in a glorious, peaceful revolution in the computing industry.

If Dell is to be believed, that revolution is happening now.

Dell’s head of China told The Wall Street Journal that NeoKylin Linux is shipped on 42 percent of the PCs it sells into the country, primarily for the commercial and government PCs that Dell specializes in. Hewlett-Packard also ships NeoKylin-equipped PCs to China, the paper said, but it’s unclear how many they sell with the OS installed.

America’s crackdown on open-source Wi-Fi router firmware

Analysis America’s broadband watchdog is suffering a backlash over plans to control software updates to Wi-Fi routers, smartphones, and even laptops.

In a proposed update [PDF] to the regulator’s rules over radiofrequency equipment, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would oblige manufacturers to “specify which parties will be authorized to make software changes.”

In addition, it proposes that “modifications by third parties should not be permitted unless the third party receives its own certification.”

AMD Confirms Vulkan Driver For Linux, But To Start Off As Closed-Source

AMD has finally revealed some basic details concerning their support of Vulkan on Linux. AMD has a Vulkan driver but it will begin its life as closed-source, reports Phoronix. In time the AMD Vulkan driver will transition to being open-source. This Vulkan driver is built to interface with their new AMDGPU kernel DRM driver that’s part of their long talked about AMD open-source strategy for Linux. This closed-then-open Vulkan driver will be competing with Valve’s Intel Vulkan driver that will be open from day one.


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