Mythbuntu Control Panel

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Software-update-available.png This page is up-to-date as of MythTV version 31, the current release is 31.0


Mythbuntu Control Panel (MCP) is installed after installing Ubuntu or Xubuntu, and it is used to install MythTV and perform MythTV related administration tasks. MCP aims to minimize the need to perform tasks using the command line to configure the system. Also, MCP aims to be compatible with the most recent stable version of MythTV. Ubuntu can be downloaded from When installing Ubuntu, the minimal install option can be chosen to avoid installing applications that are not needed, such as a word processor. The most recent LTS version of Ubuntu or Xubuntu is recommended since some packages such as XMLTV can be outdated in older repositories.

Installing MythTV Using Mythbuntu Control Panel on Ubuntu or Xubuntu

The instructions below describe how to install Mythbuntu Control Panel, add a Mythbuntu MythTV Updates repository, install MythTV Backend and MythTV Frontend, perform required system setup tasks, launch MythTV Backend Setup, and set MythTV Frontend to start automatically when the computer starts.

Installing Mythbuntu Control Panel

Use the first option below to install MCP on the most recent long-term-support version of Ubuntu or Xubuntu and receive automatic MCP updates. Use the second option to install MCP on Ubuntu or Xubuntu without enabling automatic MCP updates. With either option, MCP can be used to add a Mythbuntu MythTV Updates PPA to automatically receive MythTV updates.

Option 1:

Open Terminal, and copy the commands shown below.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mythcp/mcp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install mythbuntu-control-panel

Option 2:

Adding a Mythbuntu MythTV Updates Repository

Using a Mythbuntu MythTV Updates PPA is recommended as it is updated more frequently as compared to the version of MythTV found in the Ubuntu Software application.

Add a Mythbuntu MythTV Updates PPA:

  • Start Mythbuntu Control Panel by clicking on the icon in the Ubuntu or Xubuntu applications menu.
  • Click on the Repositories tab.
  • Click on the check box to activate the MythTV Updates repository.
  • Select the MythTV version to be installed.
  • Click on Apply, and confirm the change.
  • Close MCP, start Software Updater, and install any updates found.

MCP scrnshot repos 02.png

Installing MythTV and Related Software

If you want to watch and record content using the computer being configured, install the primary backend and desktop frontend. If the computer will be used for recording and not viewing content, install the primary backend. If the computer will be used for viewing and not recording content, install the desktop frontend. Select the XMLTV option to install XMLTV if needed for your guide data source. XMLTV is required for using Schedules Direct with MythTV starting with v31. Apply the SSH option to enable Secure Shell (SSH) access. Applying the SSH access option is typically done on the backend computer. The XMLTV, SSH and additional software options can be applied after installing MythTV.

Install MythTV:

  • Click on the System Roles tab.
  • Select the applicable roles.
  • Click on Apply, and confirm the change.
  • Close MCP, and reboot the computer.

Owners of an HDHomeRun tuner by SiliconDust can optionally install HDHomeRun Config, which is a command line configuration program. Alternatively, HDHomeRun Config GUI is a configuration program with a graphical interface. Some configuration options can also be accessed using the device's internal web page by visiting in a web browser. HDHomeRun Config is required if using the HDHomeRun networking option on the MCP Setup tab.

MCP scrnshot roles 05.png

Performing System Setup Tasks

Some of the items on this tab may have already been completed when installing MythTV. If a method other than using MCP was used to add the user to the mythtv group, it may be necessary to use MCP to remove the user from the mythtv group and add the user to the mythtv group again using MCP. If only the frontend was installed, some if the items will remain grayed out. The networking option will remain grayed out until the backend is configured and running. Enable the networking option to have the backend wait for the network to be active before the backend starts when booting the computer and to allow other devices on the network to access the backend. Apply the option to run MythTV Backend Setup using the mythtv user if needed for the setup tasks being completed, or apply this option whenever launching MythTV Backend Setup. Enabling the option to run MythTV Backend Setup as the mythtv user will allow MythTV Backend Setup to configure XMLTV as described at, or additional manual tasks will be required to configure XMLTV. Select and apply the option to stop MythTV Backend before launching MythTV Backend Setup, and do not reboot before launching MythTV Backend Setup. When exiting MythTV Backend Setup, do not run mythfilldatabase when prompted if not running setup as the mythtv user. If the mythtv user is being used when running MythTV Backend Setup, mythfilldatabase can be allowed to run, but do not start the backend when prompted.

The option to have the backend wait to start until the network is up when booting the computer has three methods. The Basic method does not actively verify the network is up, but this method can be used if the other two methods are not feasible. The Ping method ensures that a device on the network is accessible before the backend starts. After selecting the Ping method, a text entry box will appear. Enter the IP address or DNS name of a device that is pingable when the computer will be booting up. The HDHomeRun method ensures that an HDHomeRun device is accessable on the network before the backend starts. The HDHomeRun method requires HDHomeRun Config (hdhomerun_config) to be installed. An option to install HDHomeRun Config is included on the MCP System Roles tab.

Perform applicable setup tasks:

  • Click on the Setup tab.
  • Select the option to add the user to the MythTV group.
  • Click on Apply, and confirm the change.
  • Close MCP, and reboot the computer.
  • Select the option to add a link to config.xml.
  • Click on Apply, and confirm the change.
  • Select the option to run MythTV Backend Setup as the mythtv user if needed or preferred as described above.
  • Click on Apply, and confirm the change.
  • Select the option to stop the backend.
  • Click on Apply, confirm the change and do not reboot.
  • If the backend was installed, click MythTV Backend Setup.
  • Configure the backend depending on what you want MythTV to do, the hardware you have, and the guide data source as described in the wiki.
  • Close MCP, and reboot the computer.
  • If other devices on the network need to access the backend, enable the networking option.
  • Click on Apply, and confirm the change.

MCP scrnshot setup 04.png

MythTV Frontend Startup Behavior

It is common to access Settings in the Ubuntu or Xubuntu menu, and set the computer to log in automatically if the frontend will be used frequently. If it is desired to have the frontend start automatically when the computer boots, enable this option.

Select the option to start the frontend directly if desired to not use the default startup script. This option will be available in MCP if the current user is included in the mythtv group. This option will preserve proper logging. This option will not allow the frontend to automatically restart if it exits unexpectedly, which is the default behavior.

Set the frontend startup options:

  • Click on the Startup Behavior tab.
  • Select the desired options.
  • Click on Apply, and confirm the change.

MCP scrnshot startup 03.png

Installing MythTV Plugins

The Plugins tab can be used to install and uninstall MythTV plugins. Plugins add additional functionality within MythTV. Hover the cursor over each plugin name in MCP to see a description of the plugin, or see for more information. The plugins available using MCP are limited to the plugins that are included in the Mythbuntu MythTV Updates PPA for the latest stable MythTV version. Prior to installing a plugin, start Software Updater and check for updates.

Install plugins:

  • Click on the Plugins tab.
  • Select the desired plugins to install.
  • Click on Apply, and confirm the change.

MCP scrnshot plugins 01.png

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. When installing Ubuntu or Xubuntu, should mythtv be entered as the username? Should the user be switched to mythtv before running MCP?
Use your name or any username other than mythtv when installing the operating system. All of the MCP testing was done without switching the user to mythtv before running MCP. MCP can optionally switch the user to mythtv before running MythTV Backend Setup (mythtv-setup).
Q2. Should the mythtv user be created using the command line?
The mythtv user will automatically be created when installing MythTV via the MythTV Updates repository. There is no need to manually create the mythtv user.
Q3. Should MySQL Server or anything related to MySQL be installed?
There is no need to install anything related to MySQL. MySQL software will automatically be installed when installing MythTV Backend via the MythTV Updates repository.
Q4. How does activating a MythTV Updates repository in MCP differ from installing MythTV from the default Ubuntu repository?
A build is automatically made when the MythTV developers commit upstream fixes. The MythTV version from the default Ubuntu repository is not updated often.
Q5. Should the desktop or server version of Ubuntu or Xubuntu be chosen for the backend?
Choose the desktop version for the backend and frontend.

Known Issues and Notes

Using the minimal install option when installing Xubuntu 21.04 does not install update-manager (Software Updater). Install Software Updater by starting Terminal, copy the command below, and reboot.

sudo apt install update-manager

Using "sudo apt install mythtv" to install the backend and frontend is not recommended when using Mythbuntu Control Panel. Doing this will prevent MCP from correctly detecting that the backend is installed. Install MCP instead, and use it to install the backend and/or frontend.

If something appears to not be working as expected, please open Terminal and start MCP using the command below. This will create a log file in your home folder. Please report the issue at or contact MythTV forums member heyted, and include the log file and any messages shown in the terminal.

mythbuntu-control-panel --debug -l ~/mcplog.txt

Also refer to

Mythbuntu Control Panel Development

If you are familiar with Python, you can help add functionality to MCP by submitting code edits for consideration. The MCP code is available at Also, you can request to join the MCP Team on Launchpad. An individual MCP plugin (also known as module or tab) can easily be added to MCP without editing any other portion of the MCP code by including the new Python file in usr/share/mythbuntu/plugins/python and the new GUI file in usr/share/mythbuntu/plugins/ui. The GUI file can easily be created by modifying one of the existing GUI files using Glade without manually editing the GUI file. MCP automatically loads the modules that have the indicated file in these two directories.