Operating system

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Revision as of 23:05, 19 September 2007 by NigelPearson (talk | contribs) (Mac OS X isn't frontend only.)

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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 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 GNU/Linux

Debian GNU/Linux is a widespread distribution; it 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:

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 ( Down as of 2-24-2007 )

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

The local wiki page best describing the process is: Installing MythTV on Fedora Core. This page describes the process very well.

Other general support for PPC on Fedora can be found at PlayStation page. A detailed remote page also exists.

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 Mandriva

Mandriva - One of the big distributions (formally known as Mandrake) with a large community of users. The distribution uses RPM packages similar to Red Hat and Fedora. The MythTV RPMs for Mandriva are available from the PLF mirrors as Mandriva does not include them in the distribution. Several guides are available to aid the setup of MythTV:

Other guides which describe the install process for older releases of the distribution are also available:


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" CD/DVD. The install will load a preconfigured Fedora Core 6 installation on your computer as well as install and configure MythTV-0.20-1. 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.

mythTV wiki articles

Wikipage.png - openSUSE 10.3 mythTV wiki page

Wikipage.png - openSUSE 10.2 mythTV wiki page

Additional sources

Webpage.png - MultiMedia and Digital TV with openSUSE - acaciaclose.co.uk

Webpage.png - JArpack

Package repositories

Download.png - pacman.links2linux.org

Download.png - version6.net apt apt repository where development SVN builds are available

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

Pluto is 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 who use this for both backend as well as frontend purposes.

Suselogo.png SuSE

SuSE is now called openSUSE.

Commercial (enterprise) versions are called SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED).

UbuntuIcon.png Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Debian based solution.

Take a look at our comprehensive list of Ubuntu guides. Don't miss out on the official guides!.

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. PS3Penguins has setup a blog to track links related to MythTV on the PS3. MythTV builds and the frontend runs on the PS3, however, there is currently no accelerated video driver available so playback is not actually usable.

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.