March 9, 2015 - mikeyD

How to Add Plex and Other Media to SteamOS


You may want to checkout my automated scripts over on Github for a more updated and cleaner approach to adding the repositories. A summary of the actions required is below:

sudo apt-get install -y git
git clone
cd SteamOS-Tools
sudo ./add-debian-repos
sudo ./ install plex

In this guide, I will demonstrate how to add Plex / Plex Home Theater to SteamOS. So what exactly will this get you? Aside from access to your home server’s (or local to SteamOS) media library. What this also gets you, is access to Youtube, Pandora One, Crackle, and quite a few other app channels. The original source for much of this is linked a the bottom of the guide in the links section

Note: for those who wish to bring this up in Ice Weasel on SteamOS, here is a short link to enter if you are reading this not on SteamOS:

1. Installing Plex

Open up a terminal window session by click activities in desktop mode, and typing “terminal”. You will need to first make sure (if you haven’t already) add the password for the desktop user so you can use sudo access.


1.1 Adding the proper sources

Enter ‘desktop’ as the password, or whatever your choice. Now, on to the good stuff.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wheezy.list

Paste the following into that file (change this to a mirror that suits you)

deb wheezy main contrib non-free
deb-src wheezy main contrib non-free

Save with ctrl+o and quit with ctrl+x

1.2 Adjusting aptitudes preferences

sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences

Paste the following into that file (if you hand type this, yes that is a lower case “L”)

Package: *
Pin: release l=Debian
Pin-Priority: 110

Package: *
Pin: release a=wheezy-backports
Pin-Priority: 100
Package: *
Pin: release l=SteamOS
Pin-Priority: 900

Save with ctrl+o and quit with ctrl+x

1.3 Updating system packages and pre-requisites

sudo curl | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb wheezy main non-free" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/deb-multimedia.list
echo "deb wheezy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/plex.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install deb-multimedia-keyring
sudo apt-get update

2. To install PHT

Unfortunately, unlike the original guide from the Plex forums, you will hit a wall if you try to install plexhometheater now. You will get slapped with the notice that ‘ttf-ubuntu-font-family’ is a dependency of plexhometheater.

2.1 Correcting the Ubuntu font dependency

To correct this error, you will have to install this font package manually. Now, I have tested this with the Ubuntu Trusty (14.04) package, but due to the fonts package being so basic in its requirements and contents, you may be able to use a newer package. Should the package disappear, I have saved a copy here.

Once you have downloaded the font package (.deb), we need to manually install it

cd ~/Downloads
sudo dpkg -i ttf-ubuntu-font-family*.deb

2.2 Installing the client (finally)

Once you do this, you will be able to install Plex Home Theater. This is also the same command you can use to install XBMC.

sudo apt-get -t wheezy install plexhometheater

3.  Adding Plex to SteamOS / BPM

Time to add Plex Home Theater to SteamOS and rock out. Return to Steam, using the shortcut on your desktop called “Return to Steam.” Go to the bar underneath the Store / Library and so on, and click the “+” icon to add a “non-game” to Steam. You should now see Plex as an option to choose.

Add program steam

PHT will now be available in SteamOS/Big Picture mode

3.1 The Extras

Since you now have Plex installed, you should now have access to not only your media, but some nice channels as well. This means you can finally play Youtube and Pandora in SteamOS, with the controller! This section may expand further as I mess around more with the whole suite in SteamOS.

3.2 A word to the wise

Some channels are a bit odd, in that you need to sign into the application using the settings gear icon in the top right of the website, where you manage your servers.

3.3 The notable channels

Some channels you may want to add are:

  • Youtube
  • Crackle
  • Pandora (Pandora One subscription required)
  • Anime Vice
  • Break
  • Comedy Central
  • Game Trailers
  • HD Trailers
  • IGN
  • Revision 3
  • Twit.Tv
  • Vimeo
  • The Nerdist

Of course there are others, which you can freely browse at add-on the Plex interface on SteamOS, or your browser on your laptop or desktop.

3.4 Youtube

I’ve found that Youtube requires you sign into your account via a real browser. You may be able to set up this in the SteamOS browser or Ice Weasel on the desktop., This is a necessary step, especially if you have 2-factor authentication. Once I signed into my account via on my Chromebook, I was able to freely see my subscriptions and queues on Plex under SteamOS.

Also, head into the account section and hit the dpad right once or twice. You’ll get a much nice looking interface. You’re welcome!

4. Conclusion

So Plex on SteamOS does work, and works quite well! I especially like that the Youtube channel pops up with what quality you want (1080p / 720p / 480p), so you can choose the right quality for your connection. While it doesn’t have everything, this greatly reduced my need to switch input over to my Roku for things I do most (Youtube and Plex). Sadly, there is no Hulu that I know of. It is my hope Valve has some sort of solution in the works this year for video-based applications.

Whether it be contributing an article online, engaging with the community, or diving head first into unknown waters, Linux is the focal point of my computing hobbies.

Gaming / How-To / Software / Steam / SteamOS Plex for Steam / Plex Home Theater / steam / steamos / valve /