Plex Permissions in FreeNAS 11.3

Plex Media Server is a popular Plugin available for FreeNAS, allowing the user to stream media directly from their FreeNAS system. Because Plugins reside inside a jail, Plex must have access to the media files to be shared which are generally stored in a separate dataset that is mounted inside the Plex Plugin jail. A media dataset can also be mounted in multiple jails to allow access to other Plugins like Radarr, Sonarr, or Sabnzbd to manage and share the centralized media.

Once Plex is installed, its permissions will be in a default state set during the initial creation of a dataset on FreeNAS. Unless otherwise modified, this means the dataset will be owned by the user “root” and group “wheel”. Because Plex Media Server runs as the user “plex” in the default configuration, Plex will not be able to read or write to the media dataset and thus not be able to access the media files stored there. To create an ACL for the media dataset with the correct Plex user ID, first verify that user ID by running id plex in the Plugin Jail’s shell. This should be 972; with that information, launch the FreeNAS 11.3 ACL manager:

      1. Click the three dots next to the media dataset; in this example, it is called “media”
      2. Select “Edit ACL”
      3. Click the “Add ACL Item” button. A new section will appear at the bottom of the list of existing ACL items.
      4. Fill in the following:
        Who: User
        User: 972 (Don't worry if it says "Could not find a username for this ID")
        ACL Type: Allow
        Permissions Type:
        Basic Permissions: Full Control
        Flags Type: Basic
        Flags: Inherit

      5. If files already exist in the dataset, select the “Apply permissions recursively” checkbox.
      6. Click “Save”
      7. Add media in Plex Media Server through its web interface as normal

Other popular Plugin user ID’s include:

  • Radarr = 352
  • Sonarr = 351
  • Transmission = 921
  • Sabnzbd = 350

Visit the General Plugin Discussion in the FreeNAS Forums for more information and enjoy your media serving with FreeNAS!


  1. Steve

    I can’t see the option to edit ACLs. I click on the ellipsis at the end of my dataset under Storage>Pools and my options are Add Dataset, Add ZVol, Edit Options, Edit Permissions, Delete Dataset, and Create Snapshot.

    Running FreeNAS-11.3-RELEASE

    Any ideas?



    • Steve

      I’ve just checked again and the Edit ACL option is now there! I had only just updated to FreeNAS-11.3-RELEASE and it appears that a period of time was required for the web interface to update.

      • Joon Lee

        It’s so satisfying when an issue resolves itself!

        • Aloysius


          Can we have a separate web portal for users where they can check the files they have uploaded?
          It will be the same like we access through the explorer but here the user will be logging into the web brower, Enter the desired login credentials and have access only to his area?

          • Joon Lee

            Hi Aloysius,

            That’s a great suggestion. Please create a suggestion ticket here for our Engineering Team:

  2. Michael Gallaher

    How do you do this if your “Media” dataset is at the root of the pool? The option to “Edit ACL” is disabled.

    • Brian C

      Move your dataset off the root? Set a mount point to the original path if you are worried about breaking paths you have set in Plex.

    • Joon Lee

      We don’t recommend keeping your media or any other data in the root pool, given that it home to iocage itself and the .system dataset. Moving your media to a dedicated dataset should solve the problem.

  3. sepphod

    First: Why do I want that Plex can write on my media data? That seems to me like an error by design.
    second: I have the same issue like Steve.
    third: That new UI suck!


  4. Simon

    I have edited the ACL’s as listed in the blog post, but Plex can still not read the folder where my media is. Any idea what I can do here?

  5. Don

    Thank you very much!!! That worked perfectly fine for me!

    • Joon Lee

      Thank you for your support! That’s great news!

  6. Roldany Rosa

    Make sure you’re on 11.3 otherwise you’ll have issues!

  7. Mark W.

    My plex media server is now able to write to my pool, however, none of my SMB shares are accessible. Do I add another ACL item for @everyone underneath the user: 972 one, or would that mess everything up?

    • Michael D

      Could you post a screen shot of your ACL management screen?

  8. Sam

    Regrettably typing ‘id plex’ in the shell simply shows ‘no such user’. From version 9 until 11.x I had no issues with my dataset, smb shares or Plex. Since 11.x it’s been an unstable, unusable mess. I imagine the ACLs have a specific way they need to be but like others in this discussion I lose SMB share abilities and/or Plex abilities. What’s really frustrating is that my some of media works and some doesn’t (depending on the mount points).

    • Conor

      Author of the blog post here.
      Plex creates the plex user automatically during package installation. What version of Plex are you running and have you manually specified another user? Check via running “cat /etc/rc.conf” in the jail. With Plex running, inside the jail run “ps -awx -l” and look for the Plex proccesses. The UID number will be displayed next to it. Take note of that number and use it in place of “972” in the ACL creation wizard as depicted in the blog post. Make sure to apply recursively.

  9. Joshua Montano

    Alright, I understand adding 972 as the ACL user, but… I have a bigger issue which I’m sure is simple.

    When I set 972 to own that share, I’m unable to access that folder using my samba share methods. Everything else is visible, but just the plex share that I’m adding 972 to, is invisible. When I set my user to own it, it comes back to the samba share.

    Do I use the group to allow control from both? If so, how?

    TIA. 🙂

    • Joon Lee

      Keep the owner user as desired. If there is not one already, add an owner@ and group@ ACL with your desired permissions. Add an explicit entry for a user set as the ID 972 in the ACL manager. It may coexist with all your other ACL’s. Hope that helps!

  10. rho3cwm

    Thank you so much for the clear explanation, the ACL permission issue with adding media files to the plex library had been driving me nuts. There are lots of other guides out there which suggest that you create new users, specific datasets etc on all sorts of versions of FreeNas and I was getting nowhere with them. Having used Windows for too long now I really do need basic ‘monkey see monkey do’ instructions to follow. The solution was simple in the end.

  11. Jose

    New Freenas 11.3 install and did the following: setup a pool, setup data sets, setup SMB shares, setup user, installed Plex (plexpass version) plugin, setup mount point, added ACLs for user to access SMB shares and 972 user to both SMB and dataset. I can access the SMB shares across my network. I can launch the Plex webpage but it doesn’t see the Plex media server…What am I missing?

    • Joon Lee

      This may indicate something went wrong with the Plex Media Server installation. Assuming you installed via plugin, try restarting the plugin. If that does not work, try reinstalling the plugin entirely and watch out for any errors.

  12. Steve

    How does this work for clamav? When I’m in that jail’s shell, it says I’m logged in as root which shows up as uid 0. When I add an ACL rule for user 0, it resolves to root, but doesn’t allow scanning in the dataset back inside the clamav jail. Any hints?

    • Michael Dexter

      ClamAV is likely not running as root. Try running ps -aux to see running processes and their users. You can also run ps -aux | grep clam to clean up the output some.

  13. gogo

    Adding ‘movies’ library didn’t work but adding ‘other videos’ worked

  14. Alexey

    Hello. It is work. I don’t have a problem with “Movies” and “Other videos” library. But, a have a problem with “Serials”. What can i do?

  15. RayTwoDeeTwo

    Can I also create a group called “media” and add users 972 (for Plex), 352 (for Radarr), 351 (for Sonarr) and 350 (for Sabnzbd) then theoretically add the group “media” to the ACL?

    • ConorB

      It’s probably easier to just add multiple ACL’s for each user. For this to work the system that accesses these needs to be able to look up group membership.


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