Setting up Sonarr with Plex Media Server

One of the most time-consuming aspects of maintaining a Plex server is keeping your media organized and keeping track of upcoming episodes and movie releases. This guide will focus on two tools to automate that process.

Disclosure: This guide in no way condones nor promotes piracy. Where you get your media is your choice, and while the tools in this guide are capable of “snatching” media from legally-questionable sources, this guide simply walks through the setup of those tools to facilitate the (re)organization of media you already have, and media you add later.

Tools We’ll Be Using:

  • CouchPotato – A tool for organizing and moving/renaming video files automatically, using naming conventions you specify
  • Sonarr – A tool similar to CouchPotato, but for TV shows instead of movies. Sonarr is also much more configurable in many regards.
  • Radarr – A fork of Sonarr for movies


As usual, this guide is written for Ubuntu 14.01+ and will assume you’ve gone through the previous guides, Getting Started with Plex and Using Amazon Cloud Drive with Plex Media Server on Ubuntu… And Encrypting It!, otherwise you’ll need to substitute your own directories and usernames. Let’s get started!

CouchPotato Installation/Configuration

Because Sonarr is so great with indexing and managing TV shows, I’ve decided to completely move over to using Sonarr’s fork for movies, Radarr. It’s still technically in development, but is more than usable and already much more functional and feature-filled than CouchPotato. Find the guide for Radarr here!

Sonarr Installation/Configuration

Step 2.1 – Downloading/Installing Sonarr

Start off by installing a required package called Mono:

sudo apt-get install -y mono-devel

Make sure it installed properly in the right directory by typing:

which mono

This command should return “/usr/bin/mono” as the binary path. Now you’ll have to add the Sonarr repository to your apt sources:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys FDA5DFFC
echo "deb master main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sonarr.list

And now update your apt sources and install Sonarr (the package is still called nzbdrone):

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y nzbdrone

Sonarr should have installed to the /opt/NzbDrone directory, so let’s make sure it’s there:

ls /opt/

If you see a directory named “NzbDrone” then we’re all set. We’ll change the ownership of the directory and everything inside to our plex user and then move on:

sudo chown -R plex:plex /opt/NzbDrone

Step 2.2 – Start Sonarr Automatically at Boot

Let’s go ahead and create a systemd config file for Sonarr:

mkdir /opt/NzbDrone/init
nano /opt/NzbDrone/init/sonarr.service

And when Nano is open, copy and paste the following text:

Description=Sonarr Daemon


ExecStart=/usr/bin/mono /opt/NzbDrone/NzbDrone.exe -nobrowser


Press “CTRL+X” and “Y” to save the file, and then copy it to your systemd directory and enable it for startup at boot:

sudo cp /opt/NzbDrone/init/sonarr.service /lib/systemd/system/sonarr.service
sudo systemctl enable sonarr.service

Now let’s start Sonarr, but first we will open the required port on our firewall:

sudo ufw allow 8989
sudo systemctl start sonarr.service

And let’s make sure it’s running:

sudo systemctl status sonarr.service

If you see “active (running)” then everything is all set! Open your browser to http://localhost:8989 and click the “Settings” icon on the top menu. Go over to the “General” tab, and change the “Authentication” drop-down to “Basic” or “Forms” then create a username and password for accessing Sonarr. That’s it! You can look through the options available here and configure Sonarr however you’d like. Just as with CouchPotato, I’ll be writing a guide in the coming days to get Sonarr configured to minimize the amount of maintenance your Plex server requires.

Now that Sonarr is up and running, why not check out our guide for automating some common tasks in Sonarr? To get the most from that guide, be sure to set up Amazon Cloud Drive with encryption on PMS first!


So that’s Sonarr and CouchPotato in a nutshell. This guide is a simple setup guide for these tools, and as you’ve probably noticed, there are tons of settings and options. Many of them are self-explanatory, and many of them aren’t. If you need any help with the setup portion covered in this guide, you can leave a comment here or hit me up on Reddit. Otherwise, keep checking back for the next guides going further with Sonarr and CouchPotato! I’m also going to be writing a guide on further automating your Plex server with scripts to convert media, and also to automate uploading media with rclone from our next guide, Using Amazon Cloud Drive with Plex Media Server on Ubuntu… And Encrypting It! Speaking of which, why not keep going with that next guide:

Section IV – Using Amazon Cloud Drive with Plex Media Server on Ubuntu… And Encrypting It!

And after that’s all set up, check out our Script Hub for some useful scripts to further automate your Ultimate Plex Setup!

9 thoughts on “Setting up Sonarr with Plex Media Server

  1. Pingback: The (Almost) Complete Guide to Creating the Ultimate Plex Server | enzTV

  2. Pingback: Setting up the Plugin for Plex Media Server | enzTV

  3. Any suggestions regarding how to handle quality upgrades in Sonarr when the acd mount is ro? It appears to be causing weird behavior where Sonarr ‘deletes’ the file pending import, but it doesn’t work properly when uploading next time.


  4. Loving the guides. Thank you so much for putting them together!

    I’m stuck on how to automate uploading Couchpotato downloads once they’re finished. I’ve got a 40GB VPS and downloading 15GB movie files requires babysitting or doing so one at a time. I’ve been scouring the forum for tips or scripts to automate but can’t find anything that is explained as well as the guides you’ve written. Any idea when that guide will be coming out?


  5. This is not working on Ubuntu 14.04.. there is no systemd or systemctl commands.. any way to convert this over to upstart?


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