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The easiest way to install a complete Myth system on OS X. Download the installer from SourceForge

Goal: Full MythTV system...Easy

So you want a personal video recording system and you are a Mac user. The all-in-one installer is the quickest and easiest way to get a complete Myth system up and running.

The documentation on this page will focus on running the Myth master backend (version 0.28.1), including the MySQL database server, on an OS X machine. Using the MacPorts install it is also possible to run the machine as a slave backend or job queue server. It may be possible to run the machine as a Myth media server; this configurations hasn't been tested. If you do, please share the results by updating these pages!

What's new in the 0.28.1 installer?

  • up-to-date version of MythTV 0.28.1!
  • install process simplified--no more Terminal commands required to get the database up and running!!
  • WebFrontend -- check out the initial version of planned replacement for MythWeb
  • lots of pesky little things (like fonts) are fixed.
  • Now requires OS X version 10.9 or later. Successfully tested on OS X 10.9 through 10.12.

Download or build?

Most users will want to download the pre-built installer:

However, don't use the downloaded installer if any of the following are true:

  • You want a version earlier than 0.27.
  • You already have MacPorts installed for other software.
  • You think you might want to install MacPorts to use some of the thousands of other software packages available.
  • You like watching the compiler churn away building millions of lines of code!  ;)

See Building Myth for Mac with MacPorts for details on that process.

Seriously, most users will want to download the pre-built installer. It will give you a complete install of MythTV for OS X, including:

  • backend and MySQL, the background processes that are the heart of Myth's recording system
  • frontend, the interface to setting recording rules and enjoying TV, videos, etc.
  • MythWeb, for accessing and controlling your Myth system via a web browser
  • all the support packages to make everything 'just work'!

The main difference between installing from the pre-built installer and building your own is the path to all the files. The pre-built installer loads everything under "/opt/dvr" while building your own puts everything under "/opt/local". For example, the frontend program is at '/opt/dvr/bin/mythfrontend' from the pre-built installer while the version you build yourself will be at '/opt/local/bin/mythfrontend'. The following instructions assume you're using the pre-built installer. If you built your own, change every instance of '/opt/dvr' to '/opt/local' in the following.

DON'T MIX THE TWO INSTALL METHODS! The two install methods are not compatible. Ask for help if you have trouble with your chosen install method. Using one and then the other almost always results in chaos.

Initial Installation

Upgrading? See the following section.

The installer is "all-in-one"--everything needed to run MythTV on Mac OS X is included. Fire up the installer, follow the instructions and let it work away for a few minutes. You need about 1.2 GB of free space for all the software that is installed. And much more for the video you'll be recording.

Media Storage Locations

Myth needs to be told where to store all your media. It is common to dedicate one or more external disks--and usually not the startup disk--to hold your recordings, videos, music, etc. At the bare minimum, create at least one new folder to use as the default for everything that Myth wants to store. More commonly, you'll have separate directories for TV, Videos, Music, Images, and Metadata. It will be simpler to use volume and folder names that do not include spaces. On OS X, the path to a folder on an external drive is "/Volumes/<drive_name>/<folder_name>".

The User Manual also has general information on how to Setup Storage Directories for MythTV.

Myth Setup

After you've created the directories you want to use (and made note of the paths), you must run the mythtv-setup program. You can do this from the command line but there is also an Applescript (Myth_Setup) short cut. Be sure to review/complete each of the steps.

Capture Cards and Video Sources

Pretty much the only Capture Cards that are supported on OS X are the HDHomerun tuners from Silicondust...although some IPTV or HTTP Live Streaming services may also work. From the linked page, find the model you are using (Prime, Plus, Dual, etc) and follow the instructions to add and configure the tuners. Your video source depends on which tuner you are using and where in the world you are located. SchedulesDirect is highly recommended for North America. In mythtv-seup, create an appropriate Video Source and connect it to your Capture Card(s) using the Input Connections screen.

You will likely need to run Myth_Filldatabase at this point to populate the fill in all those television programs that your tuner(s) will be able to record. Unfortunately, the Applescript can't show the progress of this program as it runs. Activity Monitor should list mythfilldatabase as it is running and it should finish within a few minutes.

Start the backend

The MacPorts installation of Myth included a handful of simple Applescript applications to make common activities just a little more convenient:

Under Applications > MacPorts > mythtv.25

Myth_Stop_Start provides a simple way to start the Myth backend and to schedule daily log file rotation and pruning. Note that the Myth backend is run as a server process. That means, if enabled, it starts automatically when OS X is started--no user needs to be logged on. Similarly, f you click "Stop MythBackend", the server process will remain disabled through restarts, etc.

Offers to Stop MythBackend, if running

When you have finished with mythtv-setup, it is time to start the backend using the Myth_Start_Stop helper. In Activity Monitor you should see a new line for "mythbackend".

Myth generates a LOT of log files. We use logrotate to keep the most important ones (mythbackend, mythfrontend, mythtv-setup, etc) for two months and to delete those created by some of Myth's 'utility' programs (mythpreviewgen, mythcommflag, mythfilldatabase, mythmetadatalookup, etc) more frequently.

Launch the frontend

The grand finale: start up the frontend with the Myth_Frontend helper. You may want to drag the Myth_Frontend icon onto your Dock if you plan to use it regularly. Hopefully all has gone well and you're off and running with Myth on OS X!!

If you switch to Activity Monitor (via Command-Tab), you'll see mysql, the backend and the frontend all running:


Upgrading an Existing Installation

If you previously installed Myth 0.27.5 from the all-in-one installer, you can simply upgrade by running the 0.28.1 installer. Your recordings, other media, database and settings will not be affected. Just use Myth Stop Start to stop the backend before you install and then use it afterward to start up the new version.


MythWeb is installed automatically with the pre-built installer. If you don't want to use it, just ignore it. (It only takes up a MB's of disk space.

To get started using MythWeb, see MythWeb via MacPorts for instructions.

Known issues

For some users, mythbackend takes 5 minutes to start up after a reboot. It appears that some service is not ready when mythbackend is automatically launched after a reboot--likely the network. Still looking for a solution but the workaround is just to wait. The backend will automatically attempt another launch in 5 minutes and then all will be well.

On certain screens, Myth may stop accepting key presses (either keyboard or remote). This happens in mythtv-setup and in certain setup screen in mythfrontend. Workaround: click with a mouse! Clicking anywhere on the screen with a pointing device will restore focus to the screen and make key presses work again.


One of the strengths of Myth is the ability to customize the system to your particular needs, often using scripts written in Python, Perl or Bash (shell scripts). See User Job Scripts for examples.

You can run all these kinds of scripts on your OS X machine although there is one 'gotcha' to watch for with Myth via MacPorts. Perl and Python scripts often use "bindings" provided by MythTV to simplify the programming required to interface with Myth's database. Those bindings are built and installed with Myth under MacPorts--but you will probably have to make a slight modification to such scripts so they make use of the bindings.

Modifying Perl scripts

Change the first line of the script from




Modifying Python scripts

For example, Change to first line of the script from

#!/usr/bin/env python



MacPorts-delivered scripts

Currently, Myth via MacPorts includes a handful of scripts which have already been modified and are ready to use. These include the backup and restore scripts

/opt/dvr/share/mythtv/ /opt/dvr/share/mythtv/

Also, a couple of contributed scripts, and



To do: running the Job queue on other OS X machines ...