Operating system

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A computer operating system (OS) that will run MythTV includes many "flavors" of Linux, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD. MythTV was originally built on Linux, but has been extended to a couple other platforms, including Mac OS X (frontend only) 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.


A.M.I.C.U.S. - An automatic MythTV installer with a guide and menu script specifically designed for new users of GNU/Linux and/or MythTV.

  • Lightweight hardware requirements suitable for older/low end PCs.
  • Available as a script for Debian installs or as bootable CD ISO image
  • Seeking new users, testers, and developers Sourceforge Project Page
  • New major release version 0.04

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:

  • MythTV Installation Guide for Debian
  • www.geocities.com/dlou99/mythtv.html Debian Guide (disabled the link, to bypass the Spam Filter --Gregturn 20:51, 6 April 2006 (UTC))
  • Another Debian Guide the owner of this guide has removed it, with a note saying it is outdated.
  • You can also check out Pluto Home (see below) which is a preinstalled Debian Core distribution with MythTV included

There are also several Debian pages in this wiki.

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

You can also check out MythDora (see below) which is a preinstalled Fedora Core distribution with MythTV included.

There is also the Fedora Core 2 Guide

Gentoo.png Gentoo

Gentoo - If the command line scares you, 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 for 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 is what it was made to do. It is mainly oriented towards dedicated MythTV boxes (though of course it runs a complete GNU/Linux OS, so no worries about serving music or other files). Insert the CDROM disc into a "blank" PC and you will be running MythTV after a few minutes. It is Knoppix-based (a Debian derivative) and, as a special trick, MythFrontend will run from the CDROM disc without installing.

See also, the KnoppMyth article.

External links:

Mandrake.png Mandrake

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


Minimyth was originally developed to boot over a network and run MythFrontend on diskless Via EPIA mainboards that have either CLE266 or CN400 hardware MPEG2 decoders (e.g. Via EPIA M or Via EPIA SP mainboards). This is great for 'satellite' systems - like having one in the bedroom or kitchen...

Minimyth[1] has since evolved to support more hardware and different boot methods.

http://resources.mini-box.com/online/iMedia%20MythTV%20Linux/imedia-mythtv-linux.gif iMedia MythTV

iMedia MythTV is smallest out-of-the-box MythTV distribution for Via EPIA mainboards. It fits in 128Mb Compact Flashes (including 2 weeks of program info) and has ability to store recordings to external usb drives, harddrives, NFS mounts. Is designed to run without any configuration on VIA mainboards and Hauppauge PVR like cards. Support for other hardware can be provided thru custom packages. Includes optimised kernel for i686 and Eden CPU and XWindows drivers for MPEG/3D/DRI acceleration.

http://g-ding.tv/themes/pushbutton/Site_logo.png MythDora

MythDora is a Fedora Core and MythTV "All-In-One" DVD. The DVD will load a preconfigured Fedora Core 5 installation on your computer as well as install and configure MythTV-0.20. There are extras included with MythDora such as MythArchive, MediaMVP and MythStreamTV for some extra fun.

Suselogo.png openSUSE

openSUSE, The openSUSE project is a community program sponsored by Novell. With the launch of the openSUSE project, openSUSE is now developed in an open model—public development builds, releases, and sources will be posted frequently here and you will have access to our Bugzilla database for defect reporting.

http://plutohome.com/images/logo.gif Plutohome

Plutois the only all-in-one solution for your home that seamlessly combines media & entertainment, home automation, security, telecom and computing. You can control your whole house with a mobile phone, a touch-screen tablet or a web-interface. A Pluto system is like an appliance - not a computer. It is self-configuring, maintaining and updating. No technical skills are required to use or install Pluto. Pluto is above all simple. The devices are all plug and play. Pluto is also an open platform, offering unlimited expansion potential, and requiring no special cabling. This is Pluto: a complete, comfortable and secure solution for your home.

Redhaticon.png Red Hat

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

Slackware.jpg Slackware

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

Suselogo.png SuSE

SuSE is now called openSUSE

Commercial (enterprise) version is called SUSE Linux Enterprise Server/Desktop (SLES & SLED)

Important.png See the openSUSE section at this mythTV wiki: http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Suse#openSUSE


UbuntuIcon.png Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Debian based solution.

Xebian (for Xbox)

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

Yellow Dog (for Playstation 3)

Yellow Dog Linux - This is the default Linux distribution for the Playstation 3. Unknown if MythTV works on the PS3 yet. PS3Penguins has setup a blog to track links related to MythTV on the PS3.

Non-linux distributions

FreeBSDLogo.png FreeBSD

FreeBSD isn't a Linux distro, but MythTV runs on it too. FreeBSD as with all "flavors" of BSD is Unix-based, and Linux is also Unix-based.

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!

Microsoft Windows

A MythTV frontend has been written using the Microsoft .NET Framework (at http://winmyth.sourceforge.net/). However, it's still pretty flaky.

Native MythTV code works in Cygwin to a limited degree. Hopefully, it will eventually be possible to compile MyhTV easily in Windows under Cygwin.