Frequently asked questions – Buffalo + Plex

There were some questions regularly asked regarding the Buffalo + Plex firmware, I tried to put them all on this page. Feel free to keep asking other questions on the blog and on the forums.

1. I don't see the new options on the administrative interface

If you have successfully installed the new firmware but you don’t see the new settings like the Plex Media Server settings, your browser has cached the old pages.

Clear your browser cache, that should solve this issue. The administrative interface is heavy on Javascript and most browsers cache the content for reuse.

2. I can't add libraries with Plex / Language drop-down not populated

If you have successfully installed the new firmware and you have started Plex, you may notice that you can’t go through adding libraries in Plex. When you click “Add section”, the first page that has the drop-down for language selection doesn’t populate with languages. Hence the “Next” button is not clickable.

For some unknown reason Plex takes a lot of processing power on that panel and on my LS-WVL which has a 1.6GHz processor, it can take up to a minute to show the language dropdown on the first run. On subsequent runs this issue does not surface, the language button is properly populated. If you have older models, like the LS-CHL (600MHz processor) or the LS-WXL (1.2GHz processor), this can take up to 2-3 minutes on the first run.

Be patient. Wait 3 minutes for the language dropdown to show and if it doesn’t try it again. On the second try it always worked for me.

If the “Next” button becomes clickable but the dropdown didn’t populate, do not click “Next”, you will not be able to finish your setup. You have to cancel the window and start again by clicking the plus sign.

By default the first language that should show in the dropdown is “English”. On subsequent runs, this issue didn’t seem to happen, although that particular window is quite slow.

If you tried all the above and nothing seems to work, there is one more desperate option you can try. (I didn’t get any feedback if this worked for anyone yet.) On this custom NAS this can be achieved by pushing the “Reset Media Server Settings” button but be aware that you lose your Plex settings and metadata with it. If you are tech savvy and you enabled SSH, you can go and remove the two bundles manually from under [your drive]/PlexDebug/Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/Plug-ins/System.bundle and [your drive]/PlexDebug/Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/Plug-ins/Framework.bundle then restart Plex. (And wait 5-10 minutes.)

3. I can't play anything, why? (Transcoding not supported error)

You have to understand how Plex works. The NAS version of Plex Media Server does not support transcoding. This means that anything you add on your NAS will have to be decoded by the client player. If you want to play your video on an iPad, your iPad needs to be able to play the file natively. iPads (and most tablets and browsers) are limited in video file formats, usually they can only play H.264 encoded MP4 files. Anything else (MKV, AVI, etc) is out of their reach and the Plex server on the NAS cannot help you. If you go to the project page, right above the download button on the left you will see which client can play what type of files. The Plex for Home Theather application can usually play anything as the PC/Mac can decode all kinds of format as well as Samsung TVs.

You can also convert all your video files to the native format of your player (again, usually MP4). Last but not least, you can install Plex Media Server on a PC and use it from there. On a PC, Plex supports transcoding, which means that your iOS device (or other tablet) will receive a format of your video that is natively usable for them. Your PC is going to recode it in a supported format on the fly.

Some people say they can play the same file over DLNA, which is only partly true. DLNA doesn’t do any kind of transcoding either, so your iPad is only going to be able to play the supported files. Some iOS players might be able to transcode on the newer iPads, I never tried. All other DLNA players (Apple TV gen 1, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, WD TV Live, software players) will play the file on the client device just as Plex does and they will only be able to play the files that the device supports.

4. Can I roll back to the original firmware?

Yes, you can. Download and install the below firmware.


Rollback for Windows Rollback for Mac

5. Is SSH enabled? Why on port 2222?

Yes, the first version in 2015 (version 1.69-3.59, dubbed “Chris”) has SSH integrated and it can be enabled from the web interface. Go to Network -> Settings and open the “Services” dropdown. You will see “SSH for root on port 2222”. Click it so you see the green tick on the right side.

SSH for root is only enabled on port 2222 not on port 22. This is because port 22 is already used for SFTP for regular users and enabling root might have caused security issues. Using port 2222 ensures that only those people enable it who know what they are doing. For development access this works, and SFTP for root is also available on port 2222.

PLEASE CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD THE FIRST TIME YOU LOG IN ON PORT 2222. Default password is “password”, the same as the web interface. You may need to reset your NAS after you upgrade from the original firmware to the custom firmware.

In the older versions (2014) you had to install one of the DEV firmwares to enable SSH.

6. Is the LS200 / LS400 series supported?

 No, unfortunately the newer Linkstation series (LS200, LS210, LS400, LS420, etc) use a newer ARM processor and a different firmware. I would need to own one of these devices to create a compatible firmware. Feel free to donate, I’m planning to buy more NASs if enough money comes together. (If you have a preference, you can mention it in the donation’s comment section, I’ll put that money aside for that specific hardware.)

If you know Linux (BASH, glibc dependencies, Speedy/Perl, some JavaScript) you can create your own version of the firmware by going through the “source code” I put together here. You will have to modify it for your firmware or just take the parts that interest you and build your own firmware from scratch.

7. Would you implement feature X?

Not at this time. I’m doing regular maintenance of the current features (bugfixes and new versions) but I don’t have the time to implement more features. Look at this blog post to see features that were discussed but not implemented. There is also a link there to the source code which explains all differences compared to the original firmware.