Discussion - Don't run Plex in Docker | PlexGuide.com

Discussion Don't run Plex in Docker

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hr1232

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May 14, 2018
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Plex has support for hardware accelerated transcoding (Intel QuickSync Video) which has been part of Intel Core Processors for a long time. Utilizing this, Plex can transcode several videos at once without breaking a sweat, even on a low level processor.

Sadly no kind of virtualization (including docker) provides access to mor than the most basic processor functions. By locking away plex into a docker container, transcoding has do without modern processor functions which makes it mich slower.

You should consider installing Plex directly into Ubuntu instead of using docker. While docker is certainly mor convenient it is making the transcoding slow und gives you low quality results. Especially with several people using the server at once it will pretty soon be at its limits.

The only argument against Plex running outside of docker is the fact that it doesn't have an auto update function. That problem can be eaily circumvented by using Plexupdate [1] which runs as a cronjob every day and can even automatically install PlexPass versions.

Sadly the directory structure of your docker containers doesn't conform to the structure of the host system (/mnt/unionfs on the host is /unionfs in the container), so it will not be possible to have notifies from sonarr/radarr/headphones etc. to Plex through their Connect features. Considering the fact that Plex can watch the folders itself that isn't a real problem but as monitoring file system changes is much mor resource intensive you should change the mountpoint from /unionfs to /mnt/unionfs for all docker containers so the Connect features of Sonarr and co. will work again.

[1] https://github.com/mrworf/plexupdate
 
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RegnaM

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Jul 26, 2018
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Plex has support for hardware accelerated transcoding (Intel QuickSync Video) which has been part of Intel Core Processors for a long time. Utilizing this, Plex can transcode several videos at once without breaking a sweat, even on a low level processor.

Sadly no kind of virtualization (including docker) provides access to mor than the most basic processor functions. By locking away plex into a docker container, transcoding has do without modern processor functions which makes it mich slower.

You should consider installing Plex directly into Ubuntu instead of using docker. While docker is certainly mor convenient it is making the transcoding slow und gives you low quality results. Especially with several people using the server at once it will pretty soon be at its limits.

The only argument against Plex running outside of docker is the fact that it doesn't have an auto update function. That problem can be eaily circumvented by using Plexupdate [1] which runs as a cronjob every day and can even automatically install PlexPass versions.

Sadly the directory structure of your docker containers doesn't conform to the structure of the host system (/mnt/unionfs on the host is /unionfs in the container), so it will not be possible to have notifies from sonarr/radarr/headphones etc. to Plex through their Connect features. Considering the fact that Plex can watch the folders itself that isn't a real problem but as monitoring file system changes is much mor resource intensive you should change the mountpoint from /unionfs to /mnt/unionfs for all docker containers so the Connect features of Sonarr and co. will work again.

[1] https://github.com/mrworf/plexupdate
Not sure what's the issue with docker plex. I can do HW transcoding/decoding just fine with it.
 

hr1232

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Original poster
May 14, 2018
15
6
Just some quick facts on how slow transcoding within Docker really is:

My homeserver has a 4th gen i7 processor. Running within Docker, Plex manages one, sometime two transcodings at once and the CPU is constantly at 100%. Running Plex directly on the host system it can utilize all the modern CPU features not available through Docker (especially Intel QuickSync Video). I can transcode 10 movies (1080p) at once and still keep the CPU at 85%.
 
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RegnaM

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Jul 26, 2018
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Plex docker work perfectly fine with Intel Quicksync (i've tried it on a i7-2600, i7-3770, i7-4770, i7-6700 and i7-8700
 

hr1232

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Original poster
May 14, 2018
15
6
No it doesn't even the Plex devs themselvs say so on their site. It gives you the option (as it always does) but it doesn't use it:

Quote from Plex.tv
At this time, we do not formally support hardware acceleration inside of a Docker container. Some users of Docker (on Linux only) have been able to accomplish this by adding platform-specific custom configurations that expose host hardware to the container.

As long as you don't do some ugly hacks docker will not expose any cpu technologies developed after MMX2 (Pentium II generation, 1990s).

Even if you do those hacks (google search is full of them) it will always stay a dirty hack and never give you the same experience as you will have by installing Plex on the host system. Just look at the numbers (2 transcodings inside Docker vs. 10 transcodings when running on the host system).
 

hr1232

Citizen+
Original poster
May 14, 2018
15
6
You obviously didn't read my original post completely.

I'm aware of the fact that there are ugly hacks (like the one you posted) that expose hardware into the docker containers. First of all it is never a good thing to expose hardware directly into the virtualization layer. Secondly your post is about GPU, not CPU transcoding, so it is *NOT* what I was talking about. Thirdly, my numbers that that uggliest of all hacks into account (2 vs. 10 simultanious transcodings).
 

RegnaM

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Donor
Jul 26, 2018
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2
Sorry if i read wrong, i thought you were arguing that Intel Quicksync transcoing wasn't available in plex docker (which if not true).
My current setup with plexguide can hardware decode/transcode with intel quicksync just fine in H264 and HEVC.

---- Automatically Merged Double Post ----

in any way, i believe you can still run plex outside docker and have all plexguide features working. just point your folder to /mnt/unionfs instead of just /unionfs/.
 
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hr1232

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Original poster
May 14, 2018
15
6
It actually is not available (at least not completely). So are all the other modern cpu extensions that were developed after 1995.

Plex tells you it is because your ugly, dirty hack exposes hardware and makes Plex think that it is available. Plex even gets some (tiny) improvement because of your exposed hardware. But if you stop quoting and re-quoting and re-re-re-re-re-quoting your hack-post you might find time to really test it like I did. Install Plex on the same machine directly into the host system. and for a 4th Gen i7 you will find 2 simultanious transcodings inside docker, 10 outside.

Also as I said before, there have been much more CPU enhancements than this single one. All of them together contribute to a much better system which you will *NEVER EVER* achieve with all the dirty, ugly, security-circumventing hacks in the world!
 

hr1232

Citizen+
Original poster
May 14, 2018
15
6
Another one who hasn't read and/or understood the original post.

SInce when is Nvidia Quadro a CPU?

I know the defference is just one letter, but if you try really hard, you might notice it.

Also, I said something about 2 against 10 transcodings *WITH* *WITH* *WITH* activated transcoding (trough the hack). Please read again completely.

---- Automatically Merged Double Post ----

Considering the fact that transcoding works 5 times faster when not inside a docker container it actually doesn't work in side Docker. Saying otherwise is like saying my bicycle works as well as a Porsche. Sure, my bicylce can drive on a stret to, but everything else is just a lie.
 
Last edited:

RegnaM

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Donor
Jul 26, 2018
5
2
in any way, i believe you can still run plex outside docker and have all plexguide features working. just point your folder to /mnt/unionfs instead of just /unionfs/.

At the end of the day, plex ju
Another one who hasn't read and/or understood the original post.

SInce when is Nvidia Quadro a CPU?

I know the defference is just one letter, but if you try really hard, you might notice it.

Also, I said something about 2 against 10 transcodings *WITH* *WITH* *WITH* activated transcoding (trough the hack). Please read again completely.
I'm not sure why you're so toxic with your answers. I'm out, have fun
 
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hr1232

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Original poster
May 14, 2018
15
6
typical forum trolls, every anwer you two wrote below my original post was not an answer to my original post. if you cannot even see the difference between cpu and gpu you are obviously not interested in anything but trolling around and trashing the original post.

this will be my last post before leaving for good. have fun with your snail-trail version of hw transcoding. i will be using the the real one.
 

armsby

Active
Staff
Apr 28, 2018
32
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I know that, but as you say you should not run plex in docker because CPU hw transcoding is not working, than I say who cares Xeon E5+ or the new Scale able cpus dont support Intel Quick sync at all, so in those cases it does not matter and you can run plex in docker as you need hardware to do the transcoding anyway.


So in other words dont run plex in docker if you dont have the hardware to do it, not dont run plex in docker
 
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Admin9705

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Jan 17, 2018
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Hey team, just locking the post :D It's all good everyone has their say so, but everyone has to be mindful of everyone. Good points are made all about and @hr1232 , i run many streams fine via plex docker; so there is some truth to what they are saying :D See ya guys around :D
 
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