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Hey, what’s going on. Today, we are going to set up the Community Applications plugin on Unraid and install some of the best plugins that you must have on Unraid.

What is the Community Application plugin?

The Community Applications plugin, aka CA, provides an App Store-like experience where you can find other plugins, Docker containers and easily install them on an Unraid server.

Backup your flash drive before installation

Before installing the CA plugin, you want to create a backup of your flash drive, so if you have any issues, you can always recover your setup using that backup.

To backup your flash drive, go to the Main tab on your Unraid server, and under Boot Device, click on Flash. Then click on Flash Backup, and a new backup file would download to your computer for save keeping.

Install the Community Apps plugin

To install the Community Apps plugin, go to the Plugins tab, click on Install plugin, enter the URL below, and then click on Install.

When the installation completes, refresh the page, and the Apps tab would now be available on the menu bar.

Click on it, and you now have access to a large list of available plugins and Docker containers that you can easily install on your Unraid server.

For this guide, we’ll concentrate on plugins and not Docker containers. We’ll go over a few popular plugins that I think everyone should install after setting up a new Unraid server. Docker applications require a few more steps to configure. So, I will be covering some of them on individual tutorials.

Fix Common Problems Plugin

Alright, the first plugin to install is the CA Fix Common Problems. This plugin can find issues on your server and provide suggestions on how to correct configuration problems or other issues found onUnraid.

So, search for the plugin, click on the install button, and when the installation completes, click on the Gear icon to open the settings. In the settings, there are a few options that you can configure. For example, you can set up the plugin to run a background scan every hour, daily, weekly, or monthly. You can also set it up to send notifications for any errors or warnings. When you complete the configuration, click on Apply. When issues are found, they will be displayed at the bottom and will provide suggestions for you to get the problem resolved.

Preclear Disk

The following plugin to set up, which is a must-have, is Preclear Disk. This plugin is super helpful because you can use it to run tests on new drives and find potential issues before adding them to the array.

So, search for Preclear Disk, install it, and click on the Gear icon to open the settings. When you have any unmounted drives on your Unraid server, the drives will show up in there. Keep in mind that all data on the drive will be erased when you run a preclear test. So, if you are going to preclear a previously used drive, make sure that you check for any unsaved data.

To start a Preclear test, click on Start Preclear. A pop-up comes up where you can configure the test. You can select the script you want to run, the type of operation, the number of cycles. You can choose to get a notification at different stages of the test or when the script finishes. You can also select if you want to either skip the pre-read or post-read. When you start the test, the process can take a long time, and it will vary depending on how big the drive is.

When the process completes, you will get a notification letting you know the preclear finished. You can then click on the Preview icon on the right and view the Preclear report.

System Buttons

Next, we have the System Buttons plugin, a very convenient plugin because it provides shortcuts to stop the array, shutdown, and reboot the Unraid server. After you install the plugin, refresh the page, and the System buttons would now be available on the right side of the menu bar.

Appdata Backup/Restore

Another handy plugin to set up is the Appdata Backup/Restore. When you install Docker applications on Unraid, the data information from those containers is saved on the Appdata folder. So, with this plugin, you can quickly backup that folder and restore the data in the event of a cache drive failure.

After installing the plugin, go into the settings. A warning pop-up comes up, stating that when a backup is running, all Docker applications will stop and restart once a backup completes. There are a few settings that you need to configure. So under Appdata share, select the location for that folder which would be use/appdata. Then, under Destination Share, select the folder where you want to save the backups. Make sure that you set up a dedicated folder for the backups because when a backup runs, it could potentially remove any other folders or files under that specific folder.

For most options, you can leave them set to default. However, for the option, Delete backups if they are this many days old, you want to set it up to a few days. Depending on how often you’ll run the backup. Then, under Scheduled Backup Frequency, select when to run the backup. And also, set the time when you want to run it. Just make sure that the schedule doesn’t interfere with other tasks on your server. Lastly, click on Apply to save the configuration.

If you need to restore the Appdata, you can go back into the settings and, under the Restore Appdata tab, select the specific backup file that you would like to restore. Keep in mind that any files in the current Appdata folder will be replaced with the files from the backup.

Appdata Cleanup

Another very useful plugin is the Appdata Cleanup. When uninstalling Docker applications, the folders and files used by those containers are not automatically deleted from the Appdata folder. This plugin scans for those folders that are no longer being used and allows you to delete them to free up space.

After you install it, click on the Gear icon to access the settings, and if the plugin finds any folders no longer being used, it will show them towards the bottom. You can then select them and quickly delete them.

Auto Update

Next, we have the Auto Update plugin, which can update your plugins and Docker applications automatically. When you access the settings, there are several options that you can configure for both your plugins and Docker applications.

For the Plugin auto Update Settings, you can set up to get notifications about updates. Choose to update the plugins after the update is a certain number of days. Select if you want to update individual plugins or all of them. Select how frequently you want to check for updates. Also, depending on how often you check for updates, you can select the day of the week or day of the month. Lastly, you can set up the specific time that you want to check for updates.

If you go to the Docker Update Settings tab, you have the same settings that you can configure to update your Docker applications.

Active Streams

Active Streams is another excellent plugin to have. When you have it installed, you can open the plugin and see in real-time who is accessing your server, what folders and files they are currently viewing, and you can also stop the stream to a specific device. If several devices are under the same username,  you can go into the User Names tab and change the username to reflect the specific device’s name instead. This would make it easier to identify which device is accessing the shared folders.

Unassigned Devices and Unassigned Devices Plus

Another helpful plugin to install when having hard drives not assigned to the array or when connecting external drives is the Unassigned devices plugin. With this plugin, you can see any unassigned devices in the UI, format them, and share them within the home network.

When you install this plugin, you also want to install the Unassigned Devices Plus (Addon), which adds extra functionality, like the ability to format a drive.

After installing the plugin and the add-on, go to the Settings tab, and under User Utilities, click on Unassigned Devices. Then, enable, Destructive Mode and click on Apply.

After that, go to the Main tab, and there is a new section towards the bottom for unassigned devices. If you have a drive not assigned to the array or connect an external drive, it will show up in that field. You can then format the drive and select the type of file system that you want to use on the drive.

After the drive is formatted, click on Mount, and go into the settings. There are several options that you can enable. For example, you can enable to mount the drive automatically when the array starts. You can also enable the share option so you can access the drive through the network. Click on Done, and if you open your file explorer and access your server’s shared folders, you would now see the shared folder for the unassigned drive.

If you want to change the name for the shared folder, unmount the drive, click on the plus icon next to the drive’s name and then click on the folder’s name. On the pop-up that comes up, enter a new name and then click on Change. Then, mount the drive again, and if you access the shared folders, it will now show the new folder’s name.

System Info

Next, we have the System Info plugin, which provides a detailed list of all the components in your Unraid server—for example, information about your motherboard, processor, memory RAM, and even BIOS details. So, definitely a helpful plugin to have.

System Temp

Another useful plugin is the System Temp plugin, which provides real-time temperature information from your motherboard and processor. This plugin uses the Perl programming language, so you’ll need to install the NerdPack plugin to easily install Perl. After installing the NerdPack plugin, go in the settings, search for Perl, enable it, and then click on Apply. The NerdPack will download and install the latest version of Perl.

Go back to the Apps tab and open the settings for the System Temp. Under Available Drivers, click on DetectSave, and then click on Load Drivers. Under Sensors, you can select the probes for the processor and the motherboard.

There is also the option Array Fan Speed, where you can select the fans in your case and get information about how fast the fans are spinning. Click on Done and if you go back to the Dashboard, you can now see the motherboard and processor temperature. You also have a section called Airflow which shows you the speeds for each fan in your case. And, if you noticed, you can also see all this information on the footer of the Unraid website, so you pretty much can see that information on any page.

There are a lot more available plugins that you can install. However, these are my top 10 plugins to have. There is also one more that I didn’t cover and is the WireGuard plugin. WireGuard is a modern, open-source VPN protocol that you can use to connect from any public hotspot and have a secured connection to your home network. This plugin requires several steps to configure. So, I’ll be covering WireGuard on a separate video. Definitely stay tuned for that.

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