Systemd mythbackend Configuration

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Some newer Linux distributions replace the traditional LSB init script startup management process with a program called systemd, which does things differently; here are some notes on how to make MythTV play nicely with systemd. A cheatsheet from the traditional init scripts to systemd is available on the Fedora wiki pages.

Note that much of the example startup code that follows is based on the rpmfusion packaging of MythTV by Richard Shaw.

Default configuration

Save the configuration file below in /etc/systemd/system/mythbackend.service

Script.png /etc/systemd/system/mythbackend.service

# MythTV backend service

Description=MythTV backend service mysqld.service
# Uncomment to make sure httpd is started if it is not already.
# Wants=httpd.service


# Uncomment *one* ExecStart, see the 1st note following this box.
# 0.24 and below:
# ExecStart=/usr/bin/mythbackend --logfile /var/log/mythtv/mythbackend.log
# 0.25 and above:
# ExecStart=/usr/bin/mythbackend --syslog local7 
# ExecStart=/usr/bin/mythbackend --logpath /var/log/mythtv


Important.png Note: Starting with 0.25, there has been a change in the logging. You must adjust the ExecStart line above based on the active release and logging preference (in 0.25 and later.) See: Logging for details.

To enable the backend to start at the next boot, issue the command 'systemctl enable mythbackend.service'. To start the backend immediately, issue the command 'systemctl start mythbackend.service'.

Important.png Note: The example runs the backend as user mythtv. You will need to insure that your files/directories/capture cards can be accessed by the mythtv user, or run the backend as root (not recommended).

Delay starting the backend until tuners have initialized

Some tuners take a long time to initialize (typically, firmware loading) and may therefore not yet be available when the backend starts. Since the backend checks for the presence of tuners upon startup, tuner initialization needs to be completed before the backend is started.

This can be accomplished by adding additional Wants= and After= stanza to the unit file, but to have systemd create device units, you must first add a rule to the udev rules directory.

Script.png /etc/udev/rules.d/99-mythbackend

# Create systemd device units for capture devices
SUBSYSTEM=="video4linux", TAG+="systemd"
SUBSYSTEM=="dvb", TAG+="systemd"
SUBSYSTEM=="firewire", TAG+="systemd"

With the udev rule tag, systemd will create a device unit at startup that one can add to the [Unit] stanza in the startup. Note that one must use the systemd mangled names (generally /dev/some/thing is mangled into dev-some-thing.device). It is highly recommended that you use udev persistent names rather than base names such as /dev/video0.

Script.png device wait code for a typical v4l2 device


Script.png device wait code for a typical dvb device


Systemd has a built-in timeout on device units so that startup will not wait forever for a failed device startup.