Operating system

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Revision as of 19:13, 14 February 2006 by Gregturn (talk | contribs) (Make this a more OS-oriented article, vs. linux-only.)

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MythTV was originally built on linux, but has been extended to some a couple other platforms, including Macintosh OS X and FreeBSD.

Linux distributions

A linux distro (distribution) is a complete, installable operating system based around the Linux Kernel.

There are some that are especially good for dedicated MythTV boxes (the kind you'd have on a HiFi stand in the lounge), others are especially suited for use as workstation PCs -- though you can use them to run MythTV as well, if you're sufficiently motivated.

alt DebianLogoDebian

Debian is a widespread distribution, Debian has a huge community and is probably the most 'free' and socially driven distribution - an excellent choice and MythTV is well supported. There are a couple of guides:

Fedora.png Fedora

Fedora is a very popular distro - especially well supported by the famous Jarod's Guide. Some work is also being done to write a single "kickstart" script based from Jarod's Guide. You can find this script here

There is also the Fedora Core 2 Guide

Here is a pointer to some resources: Fedora_Core2

Gentoo.png Gentoo

Gentoo - If you are scared of command prompts, Gentoo is not for you. On the other hand the installation is extremely well documented in the Gentoo Handbook. Gentoo is more customizable than other 'binary' distros and each install can be optimized to the specific processor you use.

Gentoo MythTV setup guides:

Official Gentoo MythTV Guide:

Kanotix.png Kanotix

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.

Knoppmyth.png KnoppMyth

KnoppMyth is probably the easiest way to install MythTV. After all - that's what it was made to do. It's mainly oriented towards dedicated Myth boxes (though of course it runs a complete GNU/Linux OS so no worries about serving music or other files). Insert the CD into a 'blank' PC and you'll be running Myth after a few minutes. It's Debian based and, as a special trick, MythFrontend will run from the CD without installing. (Also see the KnoppMyth page).

Mandrake.png Mandrake

Mandrake - Another of the big distributions - and there's a Mandrake Guide too.


MiniMyth boots over a network and runs MythFrontend on diskless Via EPIA M systems. (i.e. you need another 'proper' machine too!) This is great for 'satellite' systems - like having one in the bedroom or kitchen...

Redhaticon.png Red Hat 9

Red Hat - Now oriented as more of a commercial distribution and philosophically superceded by Fedora, Red Hat nonetheless has it's devotees and a Red Hat 9 guide.


Slackware is one of the eldest linux distributions and still going strong. Historically often used for servers. Some of the MythTV users use this for both backend as well as frontend purposes.

Suselogo.png SuSe

SuSe, a popular distro in Europe and the US. Known for it's YaST installer. The company was recently purchased by Novell.






UbuntuIcon.png Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Debian based solution.

Xebian (for Xbox)

Xbox-linux - With this distro you can run MythFrontend on your Xbox (ie you need another 'proper' machine too!). Most are for the Xebian distribution which is based on Debian. Here are some guides:

Non-linux distributions

FreeBSDLogo.png FreeBSD

FreeBSD (or any BSD for that matter) isn't really a Linux distro, but Myth runs on it too. (Plus, it's a BSD, which are UNIX-based, and Linux is also UNIX-based.)

  • FreeBSD - Stacey Son has provided a FreeBSD port of MythTV

Mac OS X

Yes, Mac OS X is UNIX-based (as is Linux), as I'm sure you already know from Apple's Mac OS X site, and MythTV runs there too!

Open Darwin is a distribution that runs on Mac hardware - the Myth on Mac OS X guide is right here on the wiki :) Also here is Mac OS X Frontend build instructions