Installing MythTV on Debian

Here is my method for setting up MythTV on Debian 7 (Wheezy). I chose Debian as I found it the most stable Linux distribution and also allowed for a very minimal installation. This is a backend only setup as I use XBMC as the frontend on another PC.

Note: The commands below are run as the root user unless specified.

  1. Install Debian. I used the network install ISO, set up on a USB stick. During installation I did not choose to install any packages other than SSH.
  2. Login via SSH. I use PuTTY on my Windows machine. In order to get mythtv-setup to work, you will need to install an X Windows server. I use Xming.
  3. In PuTTY, enable X11 forwarding. Enter localhost:0 for the X display location. Make sure Xming is running before connecting.
  4. Update /etc/apt/sources.list. We need to add the repository at deb-multimedia.org, so MythTV can be installed.
    deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org wheezy main non-free
    deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org wheezy-backports main
    
  5. Add non-free to the existing sources as well. This was required to download the firmware for the Sony PlayTV tuner I’m using.
  6. Run the following to install the deb-multimedia package source.
    apt-get update
    apt-get install deb-multimedia-keyring
    apt-get update
    
  7. Here I’m installing the firmware for the tuner, as well as ntp client and the X Windows Server.
    apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree xorg ntp
    
  8. Install MythTV. We need to install from the Wheezy-Backports repository as the stable one does not have the latest version.
    apt-get -t wheezy-backports install mythtv mythweb
    
  9. I open access to Apache for access to MythWeb on the local subnet. Edit /etc/mythtv/mythweb.conf.
    Allow from <Subnet>/24
    

    Where is your LAN IPv4 network address.

  10. Restart the Apache server for the above change to take effect.
    /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
    
  11. Create MythTV storage directories. I have a drive mounted to /mnt/storage, and create a directory here called mythtv. Under this I create two directories, one for recorded TV, the other for the live TV buffer. I then give the mythtv user read and write permission on the directories.
    cd /mnt/storage
    mkdir mythtv
    mkdir mythtv/recordedtv
    mkdir mythtv/livetv
    chown mythtv:mythtv recordedtv/
    chown mythtv:mythtv livetv/
    chmod 755 recordedtv/
    chmod 755 livetv/
    
  12. Run mythtv-setup as your non-root user. Refer to the MythTV Wiki for setup help.
  13. Make sure mythtv-backend is running. You can start the backend like so.
    /etc/init.d/mythtv-backend start
    
  14. The MythTV backend should now be ready.
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