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You need:

  • Qt 5.9.5
  • cmake 3.1 or newer
  • ninja is recommended for building
  • FFmpeg 3.x and mpv from github

Building on Mac OS X


If you're happy just building from the command line then run CMake for the ninja build tool:

  • Install ninja with homebrew:
    • brew install ninja
  • Install mpv and other dependencies with homebrew:
    • brew install mpv --with-shared --HEAD
  • mkdir build ; cd build
  • cmake -GNinja -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=output ..

Build (ninja):

  • ninja

Make a distributable package:

  • ninja install (be patient, it's slow)

Or if you prefer working in Xcode, run CMake for the xcode build):

  • mkdir build ; cd build
  • cmake -GXcode ..

Building on Linux

Plex Media Player officially requires Qt 5.9.5. Our users have indicated that Qt 5.10 and Qt 5.11 also builds correctly. However, Qt 5.11.0 and 5.11.1 versions are incompatible and should be avoided. Qt 5.12 may work for you. Please consider building PMP within a dedicated VM or Docker container if your system has a Qt version installed newer than 5.9.5. Downgrading a system Qt will cause issues in other applications depending on a newer Qt version.

These instructions are for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and up. They were tested on a fresh install without extra options and with auto-updates applied.

First, some preparations:

  • sudo apt install autoconf automake libtool libharfbuzz-dev libfreetype6-dev libfontconfig1-dev libx11-dev libxrandr-dev libvdpau-dev libva-dev mesa-common-dev libegl1-mesa-dev yasm libasound2-dev libpulse-dev libuchardet-dev zlib1g-dev libfribidi-dev git libgnutls28-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libsdl2-dev cmake
  • mkdir pmp
  • cd pmp

Systems not based on Debian/Ubuntu will have similar packages, but you'll need to figure out their names yourself.

Downloading and installing Qt

If your distro provides a Qt 5.9.5 package, try to use it. Otherwise, download a supported Qt version from

On Windows and OSX, you can omit the -DQTROOT argument to use the Qt built by Plex. (Untested whether this works reliably.)

Building mpv and ffmpeg

While most distros have FFmpeg and mpv packages, they're often outdated. It's recommended to build a current version, or to get them from 3rd party sources (some are listed on

Here are instructions how to build them locally. First you need to install some build prerequisites:

  • git clone
  • cd mpv-build
  • echo --enable-libmpv-shared > mpv_options
  • you can also add echo --disable-cplayer >> mpv_options to prevent mpv CLI from being built
  • ./rebuild -j4 (this steps checks out all sources and compiles them and takes a while)
  • sudo ./install
  • sudo ldconfig

With this, libmpv should have been installed to /usr/local/. It does not conflict with the system. In particular, it does not install or use FFmpeg libraries. (The FFmpeg libraries are statically linked in libmpv when using mpv-build.)

You can also attempt to skip the installation step, and change the paths in the PMP build step to the build directory, but this is more complicated.

Building plex-media-player

Assuming that everything else has installed correctly, building Plex Media Player should now be fairly straightforward:

  • cd ~/pmp/
  • git clone git://
  • cd plex-media-player
  • mkdir build
  • cd build
  • cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -DQTROOT=/opt/Qt5.9.5/5.9/gcc_64/ -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local/ ..
  • make -j4
  • sudo make install

You should now be able to start PMP as plexmediaplayer from the terminal.

If you use your distro's Qt, use -DQTROOT=/usr or similar.

Normally, the Ninja generator (via -GNinja) is preferred, but cmake + ninja support appears to be broken on Ubuntu 16.04.

If you want, you can wipe the ~/pmp/ directory, as the PMP installation does not depend on it. Only Qt and libmpv are needed.

Sometimes, PMP's cmake run mysteriously fails. It's possible that is causing this. Try the following:

  • locate Qt5CoreConfigExtras.cmake of your Qt build/installation
  • comment set_property(TARGET Qt5::Core PROPERTY INTERFACE_COMPILE_FEATURES cxx_decltype) with #

Sometimes, PMP will pick up SDL 1.x libraries. This is not supported and will lead to build failures. You need SDL 2. You can disable use of SLD with -DENABLE_SDL2=off (it's used for some remotes).


Plex Media Player is licensed under GPL v2. See the LICENSE file. Licenses of dependencies are summarized under resources/misc/licenses.txt. This file can also be printed at runtime when using the --licenses option.