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Initial Assumptions

Saltbox presumes you have a basic understanding of Linux, Docker containers, BitTorrent, and Usenet, and are also familiar with Sonarr, Radarr, NZBGet, qBittorrent, and Plex/Emby.

The Saltbox setup is all done on the command line in the linux shell. There is no GUI and there are no plans to add one. If you want to run Saltbox, you will need to be familiar with Linux.

The guides in this wiki are only meant to setup Saltbox specific settings into the various apps that are installed with Saltbox (e.g. Sonarr, Radarr, Plex, etc) and are not meant to be a full setup for, or an introduction to, the workings of these apps. However, you may pick up a few things as you go thru the guides.

If you wish to learn more about them in detail, you can easily find a ton of guides for them online (e.g. HTPC Guides, YouTube, etc).

There are, broadly, 4 prerequisites to installing Saltbox:

System Requirements

Operating Systems

At this time, we only support LTS releases of Ubuntu Server 20.04, 22.04, or 24.04, freshly installed.

Warning

Desktop editions are excluded. While Saltbox may technically run alongside a desktop environment, we will decline all forms of support around this use case.

Server

For best results, the assumed server environment for Saltbox is:

  • a dedicated remote server [not a VPS or a virtualized setup like proxmox],
  • with a processor compliant with the x86_64/amd64 [arm NOT SUPPORTED] architecture,
  • running a brand new fresh install of the server version of Ubuntu 20.04, 22.04, or 24.04,
  • from a server provider like Hetzner, OVH, kimsufi, etc.,
  • nothing else [docker, for example] preinstalled,
  • with at least 500GB of disk space, and
  • allowing root access.

See here for more details about server requirements.

Domain

You will need a domain name as Saltbox apps are only accessed via https://appname.yourdomain.com (see Accessing Apps).

Ports are [for the most part] bound only to the internal saltbox docker network, which means they are not visible on the host; you won't be able to connect to the apps using IP:PORT.

If you use Cloudflare for DNS [which is free and doesn't require that you register your domain through Cloudflare], the Saltbox setup can make the required DNS settings for you. If you aren't using Cloudflare, you will have to set this up at your DNS provider yourself. See here for more information about setting up a domain and DNS settings for use with Saltbox.

Cloud Storage

The default assumption in Saltbox is that you are storing your media on cloud storage. Saltbox can be set up to use any cloud storage provider that Rclone supports. Google Drive via G-Suite Business has historically been the preferred choice among users, but with recent changes to the Google offering Dropbox was a primary choice for a while, but they have followed Google's lead in tightening restrictions. Both work well as long as you stay within their restrictions, but the days of storing thousands of media files on cloud storage for pennies are past.

Some of the components are designed expressly for Google Drive, like the A-Train Google Drive monitoring in autoscan and the service-account rotation in cloudplow. Recent Google changes have also rendered service accounts of little value with regard to increasing data transfer volume.

THAT SAID, cloud storage is not a requirement; you can run saltbox without it, storing your media locally in a variety of ways.

See here for more details about Cloud Storage requirements and running Saltbox without it.

Plex Account

If you want to use Plex you'll need a Plex account, if you don't already have one.

Should you not wish to use Plex on a Mediabox install you should look into overriding the media_servers_enabled variable using the inventory.

See here for more details about Plex account requirements.

Usenet or Bittorrent sources

If you are planning to set up a standard Saltbox or a feederbox, you will need a source of media; Usenet, Torrents, or both

You won't need these particular [media source] details for the initial install, but you will need them for application setup.

See here for more details about media source requirements.

Next, let's discuss Saltbox Install types.