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This installation guide was been adapted from a good one I found here … it’s very similar to my installation, and I’m borrowing the many screen shots, adding my own commentary, while trying to de-babelize some of the jargon speak.


You’ve built the computer … installed your HDHomeRun Connect on your wired network (also hooked it up to the antenna), and created your TV listings source at Schedules Direct. You downloaded the mythbuntu iso file and created a bootable USB stick, as suggested in Part 3.

Step 1: Boot mythbuntu from the USB drive

You know how to boot from USB, right?

When you see the Welcome screen, choose your preferred language and pick “Install Mythbuntu.” image11

Do not select “Download updates while installing.” You’ll have a chance to update after you are up and running.

I like to tick the box to install the third-party software, but this is up to you.

Click on “Continue”

Provided that you don’t have anything you want to keep on the hard drive that you have installed in this PC, confidently choose “Erase disk and install Mythbuntu” image59
Select the hard drive you want to install to then select “Install Now”. This will format the hard disk and install Mythbuntu — which is simply a custom-configured version of the popular Ubuntu linux operating system — with a few important differences.

Unlike Windows and Mac OS, linux users can choose from a variety of “desktops.” Mythbuntu uses Ubuntu’s core system, but substitutes the less fancy and easier to use (I think) XFCE desktop environment instead of the “Unity”  desktop that comes with Ubuntu as a default. Mythbuntu also removes all the extra apps and stuff not needed for a DVR appliance.



 Choose your time zone, and keyboard layout (boring, but important) image04image55
Enter a name, computer name, username and password. The username cannot be mythtv (that name is reserved for the system).

Select “Log in automatically”, and Continue”.


The setup script offers some jargon here — because Mythtv was designed in way that divides its workload across two major components that can be run either by themselves and connected by your network, or together on one machine that does both jobs. The “backend” is the server that records and stores the TV shows, and the “frontend” is what you see from the couch and use to watch the shows you have recorded.

Select “Primary Backend w/ Frontend” if you are a linux beginner — the other options are certainly do-able but require some extra voodoo and tribal know-how. See if you like it first. 



Additional services give your computer added file sharing and connectivity.  VNC stands for “Virtual Network Computing.” You can use a VNC client on your laptop to control your linux desktop as if you had a keyboard and mouse plugged directly into it. SSH stands for Secure SHell … ’cause those command-line freaks love themselves a terminal window! Samba is for sharing files with windows — NFS works great to share with other Linux computers  (Macs too) but it’s a steeper learning curve item. Mythtv service — just tick the box.

If you are a child of the millennia, by all means try the QR code to use your phone as a remote.

Boomers like me want a proper remote. If you have a remote control, tick the button for USB and Serial Remote and use the the drop down to select yours.

I’ve had good luck with Windows Media Center Remotes (which can be found under “Windows Media Center” in the drop down box)

 Go get a cup of coffee or steaming cup of STFU if you want — and then it is done!

Reboot that bad boy.



Next, up is Part 5: CONFIGURATION!