Closeup of a computer monitor with the Jellyfin logo in focus.
Jordan Gloor / How-To Geek
On Windows, you can update Jellyfin by downloading the latest version and installing it on top of the existing version. On Mac, download the latest DMG and copy it to the Applications folder, replacing the old version. On Linux, use your package manager to update Jellyfin.

Jellyfin is a free and open-source Plex alternative for streaming media locally and remotely. The server doesn’t include a self-updater, so updating Jellyfin is a manual process.

Check Which Version of Jellyfin You Have Installed

Before attempting to update Jellyfin it’s a good idea to check whether you need to. You can do this by starting the server and launching the web UI on your platform of choice. By default, this is located at localhost:8096/web/index.html.

Access the sidebar on the left side of the screen and click on “Dashboard” under the “Administration” heading.

Check which version of Jellyin you're running

At the top of the screen, you should now see the name of your server, followed by the currently installed version. Make a note of this number since you’ll need to check it in the next step.

How to Update Jellyfin on Windows

Before you begin, stop your Jellyfin server if it’s running. You can do this by finding the Jellyfin icon in the system tray in the bottom-right corner of your Windows desktop, right-clicking on it, then choosing “Exit” to quit the server.

Quit Jellyfin on Windows

Now head to the Windows release page and take a look at the latest stable server download at the top of the list. The version number is in the file name. If the two versions match, you already have the latest version installed. If you see a newer version, download the executable.

With your server stopped and the new version ready to install, all you need to do is install the new version of Jellyfin on top of the old one. When you run the installer you will be notified that an existing Jellyfin installation has been detected and that your server settings will be preserved.

Update Jellyfin for Windows by running the installer

Click “OK” to proceed then follow the update process by clicking “Next” as if you were installing the server for the first time. When all is complete, the media server will be up to date.

How to Update Jellyfin on Mac

First, stop the Jellyfin server using the menubar icon in the top-right corner of your macOS desktop. Click on the Jellyfin icon and then choose “Quit Jellyfin Server” from the menu that appears.

Quit Jellyfin on macOS

Now it’s time to download the latest version of the Jellyfin server from the macOS release page. Check to ensure that the version you are downloading is newer than the version you currently have installed (the version number is in the filename).

Once you’ve downloaded the latest version of Jellyfin, mount the DMG by double-clicking on it and dragging the “Jellyfin” application to the “Applications” folder (you can use the shortcut within the disk image to do this).

Jellyfin DMG file on macOS Ventura

You’ll be notified that a version of the Jellyfin server already exists within the applications folder. Click on “Replace” to replace the old application with the new one.

Replace Jellyfin .APP file on macOS

Now launch Jellyfin. You’ll see the standard macOS “new app” alert asking you if you really want to open an app you’ve downloaded from the internet. Click “Open” to start the server. You won’t lose any of your existing settings or media information by doing this.

Confirm you want to open the updated Jellyfin server application

Alternatively, if you’ve installed Jellyfin using the macOS command line package manager Homebrew, you can update it using a single command. Open the Terminal and run the following:

brew upgrade jellyfin

How to Update Jellyfin on Linux

How you update Jellyfin on Linux depends largely on which version of Linux you are running. Update instructions for the most common Linux distributions (Ubuntu and Debian) are pretty simple assuming you followed the curl or wget installation instructions on the Linux download page.

These add the Jellyfin repository to your package manager. You can then keep everything up to date by launching Terminal and running:

sudo apt update

This will fetch a list of packages that can be updated. Now you can action those updates using:

sudo apt upgrade

To only update Jellyfin (or any individual app) run  sudo apt install jellyfin instead. You will either see a message informing you that Jellyfin is already running the latest version or get the option to update to a newer version where available.

Update Jellyfin with Terminal on Ubuntu

Other distributions have their own package managers. For example, the Arch release of Jellyfin uses the Arch User Repository. CentOS and Fedora have separate file downloads, which you can install like you would a standard RPM file.

How to Update the Docker version of Jellyfin

The easiest way to update the Jellyfin container within Docker is to use Watchtower. This Docker container will watch other container base images for updates and pull them down as necessary. By default, it will watch all containers for changes, though you can exclude certain containers using the instructions in the Watchtower documentation.

Once you’ve installed Docker and have Jellyfin running, download and start Watchtower by running the following command in Terminal:

docker run -d \
--name watchtower \
-v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
containrrr/watchtower

You should now notice a new container running the Watchtower image appear in your Docker containers menu. Make sure it’s running, then click on the container and browse the “Logs” section to ensure everything works correctly. You should see that Watchtower has logged it checking all containers for updates, and a log notifying you of the next check (buy default, 24 hours later).

Check Watchtower logs in Docker

Jellyfin and Other Plex Alternatives

Jellyfin is a highly capable media server that doesn’t put anything behind a paywall, unlike Plex. The desktop versions (Windows, macOS, and Linux) are much easier to get on with compared to the containerized (Docker) app, which instead relies on use via the command line.

Jellyfin is just one of the Plex rivals you can try. Check out our other recommended Plex alternatives including Kodi and Emby.

Profile Photo for Tim Brookes Tim Brookes
Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He's invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf.
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