How to Install Jellyfin Media Server on Debian 9

Jellyfin is an open-source fork of Emby Media Server that allows you to organize and stream your movies, shows, music, and photos. In this guide we’ll step through how to install Jellyfin on a Cloud Server, making the media available from any remote location.

Update Your Server

Before installing Jellyfin, you’ll want to make sure your server’s package management repositories are fully up to date. Run this command to get the latest package listings and update installed packages to their latest versions:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Download and Install Jellyfin

Jellyfin is nice and easy to install and keep up to date on Debian as there is an official repository.  First, install apt-transport-https.

sudo apt install apt-transport-https

Next, download the gpg key and install the repo.

sudo wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo echo "deb [arch=$( dpkg --print-architecture )] $( lsb_release -c -s ) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jellyfin.list

Now update your package listing and install Jellyfin

sudo apt update
sudo apt install jellyfin

Create Library Path

We’ll create a movies directory in /jellyfin-library. You can also create a shows, music, or photos directory at this time. The library directories can be created anywhere the jellyfin user has read access to.

sudo mkdir -p /jellyfin-library/Movies

SSH Tunnel

Jellyfin requires you to access your server from the local network for initial setup. We can get around this with an SSH tunnel. If your local machine is a Mac or Linux-based, create the tunnel by running this command from your local machine’s terminal, replacing with your cloud server’s IP address:

ssh root@ -L 8888:localhost:8096

Linux and Mac users can now skip to the Jellyfin Setup step.

If you are running Windows, the most popular way to run SSH is using the free PuTTY tool which can be downloaded here. Windows 10 also has a built-in SSH client, but enabling this feature still requires a lot of advanced configuration changes and is outside the scope of this guide.

If you’re using PuTTY, and you now have it up and running, input your Cloud Servers IP address in the Host Name (or IP address) field.

Click on the plus next to SSH and then select Tunnels.

Input 8888 into Source port and your Cloud Server IP address followed by :8096 into Destination.

Click Add and then Open.

Jellyfin Setup

To start setting up Jellyfin, navigate to http://localhost:8888 in your web browser.

Select your language and click Next.

Create a username and password. Click Next.

We’ll add a library later on. For now, just click Next.

Confirm your language and country. Click Next.

Make sure the Allow remote connections to this Jellyfin Server option ins enabled. Click Next.

Click Finish.

Add a Library

After setup is complete, Jellyfin should ask you to sign in. Go ahead and enter your credentials and sign in.

Click on the icon in the top right corner of the portal to get to settings.

Click Libraries.

Click Add Media Library.

Select your content type and give it a name. Click Folders.

Select the library directory you created earlier and click ok.

Click ok.

Add Media to Your Library

The easiest way to upload your media is with SFTP.

These two Emby wiki articles will show  you how to properly organize your media so Jellyfin can understand it and fetch the proper metadata.


TV Shows:

Once you’ve added your media, you’ll need to scan your library files before Jellyfin will see them. Do this by clicking on the three dots next to your library and clicking Scan Library.


Jellyfin does not come with SSL built in. If you want more privacy and to protect your login credentials from potential compromise, it’s a good idea to add SSL. Once you have obtained a certificate and uploaded it to your server, click on the icon at the top right of your Jellyfin portal.

Click Networking.

Add the certificate path under Custom ssl certificate path.

Enjoy Your Media!

Congratulations! Everything should be working at this point. Now you can enjoy your media with one of Jellyfin’s client apps or in your web browser by navigating to http://:8096

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