Installing MythTV on Kanotix

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Installing MythTV On A Kanotix Based Debian System From Scratch

Kanotix is one of the many Debian based Live CDs, which itself is based on the popular Knoppix Live CD, except Kanotix has the ability to be easily installed on to a harddrive, from which a fully working easy to maintain Debian system is had.

Why Kanotix?

I have been using Kanotix for a while now, and my familiarity with it has led me to build (or re-build) several MythTV systems from it. With the latest release as of this writing, 2004-4, much of the software needed by MythTV at new versions are available directly on the CD with no need to upgrade:

  • Kernel
    • With amd64 or i386 versions
  • X-Org 6.8.2
  • ALSA 1.0.10rc1
  • udev 0.079-1

This makes a great way to custom build a Debian based MythTV machine.


Because there may be differences between Kanotix32 and Kanotix64, I should mention that the following steps will be for Kanotix64.

Booting the Live CD

Assuming you have built the system, downloaded the Kanotix ISO, verified it, and burned it to a CD, go ahead and boot your system off the CD. At the GRUB menu choose the Extra Menu in your language of choice, then choose Console Only with DMA, etc ON.

Now you should see Kanotix loading, searching your hardware, etc. Once at the prompt we're ready to begin installation!

Setting Up the Filesystems

Many options are available for filesystems in linux, a few are particularly well suited for the MythTV application. It is recommended that you have a dedicated root partition, with other partitions for recordings, archival, etc. It is also recommended that you use a seperate harddrive for your system files, keeping your recordings and other media drives seperate.

Here we will use /dev/hda as the main system drive.

I will use ext2 for /boot, this is where the GRUB files will be installed, ext2 is a stable filesystem and GRUB easily boots off of it.

For the root filesystem, /, I will use JFS. It is fast, stable, and relatively easy to recover in case of unforseen problems.

If you require a swap file one can be created at this point as well.


Once your at the prompt run 'cfdisk /dev/hda'. cfdisk is the "Curses based disk partition table manipulator for Linux". Once up you should see an empty entry for hda and selectable options at the bottom of the screen. First we will create the /boot partition.

--Steveadeff 19:39, 10 January 2006 (UTC)