How to use Zimaboard as hardware transcoder for Plex with Synology NAS

Note: Zimaboard sponsored a tutorial on how to setup Plex with zimaboard connected to Synology

How to install Plex on zimaboard and mount it to a Synology for media

This tutorial assumes that you are able to ssh into a device and run basic terminal commands.

Step 1: SSH Into the Zimaboard

The default username and password for zimaboard should be casaos and the hostname is as well

ssh casaos@casaos.local

(then input casaos as the password)

Step 2: Install plex

Here we are just going to enter the debian distro commands from Plex’s how to

Step 3: Setup the drives to auto mount on boot from the synology

First create a user on DSM that has a random password and is setup with access to your media folder

Now execute the following commands to create the folder

sudo mkdir /mnt/plexmedia

Now we want to install a few SMB utilities, just in case

sudo apt install cifs-utils
sudo apt install cif-tools

Now we want to setup the drive to be mounted on boot by editing the /etc/fstab file

sudo nano /etc/fstab

and add the following line

//<NAS IP>/<folder name with your media> /mnt/plexmedia cifs username=<username on synology>, password=<password on synology>,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777 0 0

Note: to close use control+x

Now mount the media to test it

sudo mount -a

if you see files within /mnt/plexmedia then you are good to go! give a reboot to test

Step 4: Add your media within Plex

Now just go into Plex and add the appropriate media folder. This should now also work after a reboot with no problems!

Step 5: go ahead and change the casaos passwords!

@Will - Intriguing. Will the PLEX app be hosted on the Zimaboard, instead of Synology, with the Synology as the data repository?

Thanks for the tutorial although it was not super clear how this sits between the NAS and a TV. Looks like a cool device, but concerning to add Chinese hardware to your network, this could be a deal breaker for me.

Currently I use the Plex app on an Amazon Fire stick, does this install the same way as a NAS directly by scanning DLNA servers of the network and the Zima board is simply plugged to a switch? Are there other devices that can do transcoding and use a NAS for storage?

I am considering purchasing a 1520+ that is fully configured or a the 1522+ diskless that I would really like to purchase so that I can configure and expand as needed. However, I do have a fair amount of media that I am currently using PLEX. I am interested in the Zimaboard’s performance when serving up and or transcoding the media. Any performance numbers available?

Fantastic tutorial.

I got my zimaboard, my NAS and my movies ready to follow your instructions but I just found Plex in the AppStore and I got it running vey fast, no command line required (I just hit a snag trying allow Plex to find my movies stored in the NAS) but other than that, is up and running.

I have a question: The Plex’s metadata for my movies (descriptions, posters, credits, etc.) took a good chunk of the space from Zima drive and I would like to move this information to my NAS or to an SSD connected to Zima.

I have tried these two options (copying the information from the /DATA/AppData/plex/config folder to another location and then update the settings within Plex, when I restart the Plex application it runs, but double clicking on it does nothing; undoing the changes brings Plex back to life…

Can I change the location where Plex stores all the metadata for my movies?

Thank you


Thanks for posting these instructions supplemental to your video. It seems important to also assign a static IP to the Synology NAS if looking to use IP addresses? Also, can you cover the NAS local address option in this instruction so that IP doesn’t need to be set as static?

While we are at it, I was trying to use these instructions to set up JellyFin, but directing to mnt/jellymedia location was not seen in the media folders. I was wondering if you could do a tutorial about setting up JellyFin using the CasaOS package from start to finish.