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Deploying JellyFin via Docker on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

As a long-time Plex Pass user I had become increasingly frustrated with three core issues:

  • The abysmal Amazon FireStick App – namely the need to constantly switch off the ‘new’ player due to its inability to play certain content.
  • The Docker containers insatiable appetite for memory, and its recent second course of /tmp storage to boot.
  • Content, that I don’t want and isn’t young kid friendly, especially when I’m paying for the platform.

Couple the above with a couple of ‘epic’ failures in consuming synchronized content offline (imagine a 3 year old, getting onto an 11 hour flight unable to access *anything*)… it’s safe to say I was ready to move on to pastures new.

I’d come across Jellyfin 12+ months back, but has dismissed it because there was no FireStick App, and with a young family ease of use is a must. Well… all that changed at some point in the last year as there is now an ‘approved’ FireStick app. After a couple of months of use, I’m pleased to have made the move, experiencing only a couple of minor niggles.

I opted to deploy Jellyfin using Docker, so the steps below assume you are already running Docker CE on your host/ media server. I also chose to enable Hardware Accelerated Encoding, using VAAPI.

First, create required directories, note, you may want to adjust for your environment.

mkdir -p ~/jellyfin/config
mkdir -p ~/jellyfin/cache
mkdir -p ~/jellyfin/transcode

sudo chown -R 1000:44 ~/jellyfin/

Now create the docker-compose.yml:

vi ~/jellyfin/docker-compose.yml

Paste contents as below, ensure you update volumes to reflect locations of your media:

version: '3.2'

    user: 1000:44
    image: jellyfin/jellyfin
    container_name: jellyfin
    network_mode: "host"
        max-size: "10m"
        max-file: "5"
    restart: unless-stopped

    - /mnt/media:/media:shared:ro

      # VAAPI Devices
      - /dev/dri/renderD128:/dev/dri/renderD128
      - /dev/dri/card0:/dev/dri/card0

Note that user 1000:44 enables access to the VAAPI devices required for Hardware Accelerated Encoding.

You can now bring-up your Jellyfin environment:

sudo docker-compose up -d

Finally, browse to http://<server-name/IP>:8096 to access your Jellyfin instance.

You can enable Hardware Acceleration by browsing to Dashboard | Playback (tested on Intel QuickSync-enabled CPU):

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