PS3 Media Server on Ubuntu 10.04

If you’re like me and you like to reduce the clutter in your loungeroom, but still want to be able to watch all your recorded TV shows and backed up DVDs, PS3 media server(PMS) might be something worth looking at. It’s stupidly easy to get up and running on Windows (i.e. as long as you have java installed you can just click and run), but on Linux it needs an extra step or two.

Many thanks to Mjohns930 over at the forum for his post which was the basis for this howto.

Step 1: Get the pre-requisites.

Open a terminal and run the following command, answering yes when it asks you to confirm that you want to install these packages:

sudo aptitude install mplayer mencoder ffmpeg sun-java6-jre

Step 2: Get PMS and unpack it.

Download the latest linux/unix Stable release from here and save it to your home folder, then extract it with the following command.

cd ~/
tar xzf pms-linux-x.xx.x.tgz

Step 3: Move PMS to the opt folder and give it rights to run.

mkdir /opt
mv ~/pms-linux-x.xx.x/ /opt/pms
cd /opt/pms
sudo chmod +x
sudo chmod +x linux/tsmuxer

Step 4: Modify the config.

gedit PMS.conf

Delete anything which is already there and pop in this basic config:

thumbnails = true
thumbnail_seek_pos = 300
mencoder_ass = true
folders = \/path\/to\/folder\/1, \/path\/to\/folder\/2
hide_videosettings = true
hide_enginenames = true
audiochannels = 2

Step 5: Run PMS and see if it works correctly. Fire up your PS3 so it’s ready to run, then do:

cd /opt/pms

The terminal will fill with text, and the PMS main window should pop up. When you check on your PS3, you should be able to browse the folder you added and play some videos.

If it all works the way you want it to, close the window. You can launch it like this whenever you need it, but it’s best to have it autolaunch in headless mode when your system starts so it doesn’t clutter your desktop.

Step 6: Making PMS start on boot.

cd /etc/init.d
sudo gedit startpms

In the new file, paste the following:

cd /opt/pms
nohup ./ &

Save the file, then make sure it’s executable:

sudo chmod +x startpms

and insert it into your startup config

sudo update-rc.d startpms defaults

14 thoughts on “PS3 Media Server on Ubuntu 10.04

  1. Fantastic, works really well.
    I am running it on a Virtualized guest of Ubuntu 10.04 on my HP proliant server.

    I did get stuck on the fact that once it loads up on startup there is no gui to accompany it. Is there a way of starting the GUI up?

    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Neil,

      Normally you should just have to browse to the correct folder in a terminal session, and type ./ to fire up the GUI. However, if you’re connected via an SSH session, or if you don’t have Xorg and Gnome/KDE installed on your PMS server, you’ll have to be a bit craftier.

      Connecting with “ssh -X your.server.ip.address” from another Linux box will mean you can launch applications and they will be rendered on your local X server (hence the -X operator). So all you’ll need to do is browse to the directory and type ./

      If you’re using Windows, have a squiz at the guide I wrote for X over SSH a while ago:


  2. Thanks for taking the time to share this. Made it easy to move my media server from windows to linux.

  3. Thank you very much my friend. You are the bomb. No your a nuke ;)! really though thanks for the guide big help

  4. This is a great article, thanks for it.

    I did want to comment on Ubuntu 10. I had some trouble installing the sun-java6-jre port. Here is what I did to get it installed:

    apt-get install python-software-properties
    add-apt-repository “deb lucid partner”
    apt-get update
    aptitude -y install sun-java6-jre

  5. how would you go about stopping or restarting pms once you had installed this script?

  6. I cant get it to work, it worked fine the first time I started the program but the second time I tried to open it it wouldnt open

  7. Quite some time from last comment, but the PMS still gets problems every now and then, especially now as the new version came up for some time ago. Stupid me updated working platform and had to reinstall whole thing…

    Now I have had issues with access rights while trying to get this “startpms” script to autostart PMS at startup. It gives error about access rights in /tmp folder and seems that it creates two files with root priviledges everytime you boot up.
    It doesn’t help if you change ownership as it re-creates these two files every time you boot up.

    I think I found a solution: Do not hit the last command “sudo update-rc.d startpms defaults”.
    With that command, it starts the “startpms” script with root priviledges. It creates two folders in /tmp with root’s ownership and then it tries to write into those folders without access rights. If you change ownership, you may get the service up and running, but after reboot you get same problem again.

    Instead you can use this:
    sudo pico /etc/rc.local
    su -c /etc/init.d/startpms username &
    exit 0

    I have spend two days with this issue and I’m feeling now that this is working solution, at least for me.

    Hopefully this helped someone


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