MythTV - Ubuntu Installation Guide

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What is MythTV

MythTV is an application that allows you to watch TV on your computer and record it on your hard disk.

About this article

Better follow the guide at and only look at this one if you find it's missing something. First, install Ubuntu, then add the necessary repos to apt-get. To do this you need to modify your /etc/apt/sources.list file. I don't remember the exact changes I had to make to my sources.list, but I think that adding this line to the file will do it.

deb breezy custom mythtv-stable mythtv-svn all

There is also an official Ubuntu repo that carries the MythTv packages, but as of Mar 18 2006 this repo has a more updated version of MythTv. After adding this line run

sudo apt-get update

This updates apt-get about the new repository and its packages.

The next step is to configure your capture card. Depending on what capture card you have, you will have to configure it differently. For the kworld 878, as root you will have to add a new text file to your /etc/modprobe.d with the following lines.

alias char-major-89 i2c-dev
alias char-major-81 bttv
options bttv card=78 tuner=2 radio=1

bttv is a driver for a family of capture cards. The card, tuner, and radio options are used to tweak it for a specific card. A similar procedure would have to be done for any other unrecognized capture card, although the driver and or options would be different. Some bttv card option can be found here The driver can usually be guessed from the chips on the card itself. Common drivers are bttv, saa7134, and cx88. For more info, take a look at v4lwiki.

If you not sure if your bttv compatable card is configured correctly there is a very simple way to test it. Use apt-get to download tvtime and open it up. If you get video, sound and can change the channel, everything is probably working correctly.

Also, instead of reediting the modprobe file each time, the options can be configured on the command line. Keep trying to run a command like this until everything works:

rmmod bttv; modprobe bttv card=1 tuner=1; tvtime

The card option will control which inputs are available, the video, and the sound. The tuner controls how channels are changed. I recommend trying combinations of card and tuner together until some kind of tv picture shows up, even if it black and white, fuzzy, and the wrong channel.

From there, change the card number until the sound works and the tv inputs are correct. Then change the tuner until the channels can change correctly. You mostly likely will also need to run alsamixer to change the volume of line in on your sound card.

Once the capture card is configured MythTv mysql can be installed via:

apt-get install mysql-server mythtv

When MythTv is installed its installation script makes a database in mysql called mythconverg and a user on your machine named 'mythtv'. Note: this is the only user that can start up the graphical part of mythtv. Trying to start up mythtv-setup as another user doesn't seem to work. If anyone knows how to change this please put it here.

Now log out of and log back in again as the 'mythtv' user. Start up mythtv-setup and go through the steps. Don't worry too much about the last step, setting up the channels, because once the zapit labs account is setup in the mythtv-setup and mythfilldatabase is run, the channels will be automatically entered. One last small, but VERY, VERY, VERY IMPORTAINT piece of information is that to be able to access the mythbackend remotely you must comment out this line in /etc/mysql/my.cnf

bind-address            =


No error type from QSqlError? Strange...

If you get

No error type from QSqlError? Strange...

Install qt3-mysql

See also