Guide: How to install Plex on a ZyXEL NAS520

My friend recently purchased a ZyXEL and was wondering if you could install PLEX Media Server on it. After some quick google searches, I realized that it was indeed possible. This, however, ended up being a little bit of a challenge. In the end, it ended up being just a dumb mistake that held me up.


Lets get started!


Upon taking the NAS520 out of the box, I plugged in both the power and the Ethernet cables and turned it on. To get it all setup, you have to access the WebUI which can be accessed by simply opening your internet browser and typing in the IP address of the unit. I logged into my router, and looked up the assigned IP address, however, before going into all that trouble.. try simply typing in “NAS520/” to see if it automatically redirects you to the web interface.


I followed the very easy setup guide, which allowed me to create my admin account with the password that I got to choose.


My only goal was to setup PLEX, so I didn’t spend too much time tinkering around with the settings. By default, most of the “add-on” features are turned off. This is good because I didn’t want to waste any of the processing power or RAM on anything other than PLEX.


In order to install PLEX, you first need to install FFP. Visit their website and grab the latest version of the ffp program..


Once you’ve downloaded the zip folder, extract the compressed files by right clicking on it, and choosing the “extract here” option. Drag the extracted files to a USB stick of your choice. The only catch here, is that you need to format your USB stick to FAT.


Insert the USB stick into the back of your NAS520. Before rebooting the device, ensure that your Ethernet cable is connected to the “LAN1” port and not the “LAN2” port. This is the problem that I made, and reboot the NAS.


When the NAS fully boots, it starts telnet, and you should be able to connect to it. If you’re currently on windows, you might need to install the telnet add-on application. Click here for more details..


Once you’ve connected, utilize the following command to enable an ssh server (this is much more secure than telnet)

chmod a+x /ffp/start/
/ffp/start/ start


Next, connect to your NAS through SSH to ensure that it is actively working. You should log in using the username: admin, and the password that you set up associated with the admin account. Putty is the SSH client that I decided to use for this purpose, and it can be installed on windows. Click here to grab a copy of Putty.


Once you’ve successfully connected via SSH, make sure you disable the telnet service so that others can’t compromise your device. Execute the following commands via your SSH connection:

/ffp/start/ stop
chmod a-x /ffp/start/


At this point, I followed the following guide, but I’ll summarize it for you! Before continuing the installation, read every step carefully, and then proceed!


Start by opening your SSH connection, and executing the following command:



Next we want to install the PMS (Plex Media Server) package from the Mijzelf repository. You can easily do this by executing the following command:

slacker -UaA mz:plexmediaserver

Note that the package itself doesn’t contain PMS, only a script that allows your NAS to go out and fetch a copy of it.


To start the PMS download, execute these commands:

sh /ffp/start/


This will launch a guide to install plex. Once you are able to install it, it’ll prompt you to start it. Once you start the PMS service, give your NAS at least 30 minutes to complete the setup. This is a very demanding process, so it needs time. If you accidentally leave the installation, you can execute the following command to start the service:

sh /ffp/start/ start


After 30 minutes have passed, you can access your PMS Web interface by going to https://”ip_address_of_NAS520″:32400/web, but first you’ll want to enable the autostart feature of Plex. Do this by executing this command via your SSH connection:

chmod 755 /ffp/start/


You now have a working plex media server on your NAS! For more information, visit the guide I listed above, or post a topic on their forum at

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About the author : motermouth15

11 comments to “Guide: How to install Plex on a ZyXEL NAS520”

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  1. Nitrist - December 6, 2016 Reply

    I’m having some real issues with this. I’ve connected both with Telnet and SSH, and both can be enable through the webinterface it seems. I’ve connected the usb stick nonetheless tho, but when i try to execute the command: slacker -UaA mz:plexmediaserver. It says it can’t open it, even tho I’ve typed the su command to change my rights or whatever. Any tips?

    • Nitrist - December 6, 2016 Reply

      Btw a good and easy guide to follow, just dont work so well for me 🙁

    • motermouth15 - December 6, 2016 Reply

      One thing that I quickly learned is that logging into SSH enabled in the webinterface of the NAS520 doesn’t work. When you log into your NAS through telnet or SSH, the screen should say something similar to “BusyBox v1.19.4.” Are you getting that message?

      Also, you can tell if the USB stick worked by logging into the web interface after the NAS has been restarted with the USB inserted. If you navigate to the screen that shows you the available drives, you should see the USB stick listed twice indicating that 2 partitions have been created on it. Do you see both partitions?

      I personally ran into the most problems installing this because I had the Ethernet cable connected to the wrong LAN port. Because it wasn’t recognizing it as a way to access the internet, FFP wasn’t able to do “it’s thing” because it wasn’t able to download the appropriate files. I discovered this by using the web interface to navigate to the log files located on my USB drive. Those log files contained errors of not being able to DNS resolve the FFP URL needed to download the files. You could try switching the LAN port and rebooting to see if that works.

      Hopefully, this helps! And best of luck!

    • wifi - February 23, 2017 Reply

      did you try su command first?

  2. Marco Wüst - March 26, 2017 Reply

    Do i have to leave the USB-drive in the NAS or can i take it out when i am done?

    I cant get the installer to get the installation file for PMS, it says “ERROR 403: Forbidden”. I even tried the download URL-link in a web browser and the link is invalid.


  3. Nitrist - June 5, 2017 Reply

    Hello, gave up on the installing the plexmediaserver on the NAS for awhile, but now figured I’d give it another shot as I’m tired of my computer running it. Got some steps further than before, but I’m running into problems when trying to install the plexmediaserver through SSH. I get to run the script, but can’t get the installation to start cause it cant download it through the internet, option 2 doesn’t work (dno what that is), and I can’t seem to figure out where to put the file to use the local file option. Screenshots:

    Any tips?

    • Nitrist - June 7, 2017 Reply

      Got it installed, but now it won’t start. Had to follow a different path for the installation, but it seems to have brought me closer to a solution atleast.

      Any ideas where I go further? 🙂

      • Joakim Jensen - August 1, 2017 Reply

        Hey Nitrist,

        Also stuck cant get it to download. How did you choose the local file? please answer really struggling 🙂

      • Roger - May 23, 2018 Reply

        Almost a year later and I am in the same situation. Was able to move the install file to a different location and looks like it installed successfully. When I SSH in and try to run it, I get an already running message, but when trying to navigate to the Plex Web I get a 404 – Not Found so it is not fully functioning. Is there any way to see this from the Zyxel control Panel (I am running this on a NAS 540).

  4. carlos - June 15, 2017 Reply

    it’s possible to install plex on NAS Zyxel 326 ?
    is the same ?

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