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Emby (think "M.B." or "Media Browser") is best described as "like Plex but different" 😁 - It's a bit geekier and less polished than Plex, but it allows for more flexibility and customization.

Emby Screenshot

I've started experimenting with Emby as an alternative to Plex, because of the advanced parental controls it offers. Based on my experimentation thus far, I have a "kid-safe" profile which automatically logs in, and only displays kid-safe content, based on ratings.

Emby Requirements


Already deployed:



Setup data locations

We'll need a location to store Emby's library data, config files, logs and temporary transcoding space, so create /var/data/emby, and make sure it's owned by the user and group who also own your media data.

mkdir /var/data/emby

Prepare Emby environment

Create emby.env, and populate with PUID/GUID for the user who owns the /var/data/emby directory (above) and your actual media content (in this example, the media content is at /srv/data)


Emby Docker Swarm config

Create a docker swarm config file in docker-compose syntax (v3), something like the example below:

Fast-track with premix! 🚀

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version: "3.0"

    image: emby/emby-server
    env_file: /var/data/config/emby/emby.env
      - /var/data/emby/emby:/config
      - /srv/data/:/data
        # traefik common
        - traefik.enable=true

        # traefikv1
        - traefik.port=8096     

        # traefikv2
        - "traefik.http.routers.emby.rule=Host(``)"
        - ""
        - "traefik.enable=true"
        - traefik_public
      - 8096:8096

    external: true


Setup unique static subnets for every stack you deploy. This avoids IP/gateway conflicts which can otherwise occur when you're creating/removing stacks a lot. See my list here.


Launch Emby stack

Launch the stack by running docker stack deploy emby -c <path -to-docker-compose.yml>

Log into your new instance at https://YOUR-FQDN, and complete the wizard-based setup to complete deploying your Emby.

Chef's notes 📓

  1. I didn't use an oauth2_proxy for this stack, because it would interfere with mobile client support. 

  2. Got an NVIDIA GPU? See this blog post re how to use your GPU to transcode your media! 

  3. We don't bother exposing the HTTPS port for Emby, since Traefik is doing the SSL termination for us already. 

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