Installing MythTV on Ubuntu

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Software-update-available.png This page is up-to-date as of MythTV version 0.27.6, the current release is 31.0


This page describes how to install on Ubuntu, using the package manager.

Choose Your Package

Decide what type of installation you need.

If this is your first system and you are using a single box for recording and watching, you need a complete frontend, backend and database. Choose the mythtv package.

If you are adding a Frontend to an existing system, to allow for watching on another TV or computer system, choose the mythtv-frontend package.

If you are adding a Slave Backend use mythtv-backend. This is an advanced usage that few people will need.

There are packages for installing a complete system, or for installing parts of a multi server system.

Available Packages
mythtv Complete frontend and backend system with database.
mythtv-frontend Frontend that connects to a separate backend.
mythtv-backend Backend without database. This is either a master backend where there is a separate database server or a slave backend.
mythtv-backend-master Master Backend with database.
mythtv-database MythTV database only. Advanced use where there is a separate database server from backend. You will need to also install mysql server when using this.
mythplugins Plugins for a frontend system. Install this after installing your main package from earlier in this list.
mythbuntu-control-centre Mythbuntu Control Center is a part of MythBuntu but can be installed on any Ubuntu system to help with configuration tasks. It is not essential, all of the functions it provides can be done with other tools. Install this after installing your main package from earlier in this list.

Check Available Version

Check which version of your package is available as follows:

sudo apt-get update
apt-cache policy packagename

For packagename substitute one of the available names in the table above. The display will show something like this:

peter@liberator:~$ apt-cache policy mythtv
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: 2:0.27.0+fixes.20140324.8ee257c-0ubuntu3
  Version table:
     2:0.27.0+fixes.20140324.8ee257c-0ubuntu3 0
        500 trusty-updates/multiverse i386 Packages
     2:0.27.0+fixes.20140324.8ee257c-0ubuntu2 0
        500 trusty/multiverse i386 Packages

The number following "2:" is the Release that is available in your repository. The current latest release is 31.0. You will want to install this Release unless you are installing a new frontend or slave backed to a backend that runs an earlier Release. In the case of the above example you can see we do not have the latest release available in the repository.

Install PPA

If the version in the repository is not the latest, you will need to install a PPA. The MythTV PPA has a PPA for each major version of MythTV. Install the ppa using the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mythbuntu/0.XX

0.XX is the major version that you are installing, for example 0.27. Note that even if the Current Release (31.0) has three numbers separated by periods, the PPA name only uses the first two levels of the version number. After running this command, repeat the instructions above to check the available version.

Install Software

Prior to MythTV 31 there are some issues with MythTV packaging in the Ubuntu repositories and the mythbuntu PPA which result in problems with the initial installation. A solution (not required for MythTV 31 and beyond) is available at MythTV forum post

A number of users are experiencing problems with network tuners e.g. HD Homerun which results in failed recordings. The root cause is mythbackend being started at boot time before networking has been fully established. This issue can also affect remote mythtv frontends connecting to mythbackend server. A solutions is available (courtesy of Stephen Worthington), see

Once you have the correct Release version in your repository, install the package, as follows:

sudo apt-get install packagename

The packages do the following:

  • Install mythtv software and all prerequisites.
  • Install MySQL database software.
  • Create a MySQL database user for MythTV
  • Set up the MythTV configuration file.
  • Create an upstart configuration that automatically runs the backend at system startup time.
  • Configure a weekly backup of the database using Anacron.
  • Create desktop entries to launch MythTV and the MythTV setup from the GUI menus (Unity, Gnome or other desktops you may have installed).

Once the software is installed, proceed to Configuring MythTV.