MythTV on Fedora Core 1
- a New Zealand (and Linux N00b) Perspective-

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Hey wow, someone is visiting this page, well - err... welcome, it's always nice to have people drop by. You're probably here because you either know me and are simply browsing my site or you've been dropped onto this page by a search engine.
Either way, I trust your mouse click hasn't been wasted and I can at least in some way help in the quest for more knowledge.

Skip the bollocks and get to the MythTV stuff

This document will endeavour to document the trials and (hopefully) tribulations of my experience getting MythTV running on a PC I had sitting idle, used only for fairly infrequent Battlefield 1942 sessions with my friends.

I'm no stranger to computers, I work in the IT industry and have done since some time back in 1993. I'm also a big fan of Windows as it makes stuff easy on the end user, while some may want to flame me for liking what Bill and the boys (and girls) in Redmond have done, if it lowers barriers to entry for the average Joe then I see that as a positive. In saying all of this I'm by no means a one-eyed OS proponent, I'm not really a stranger to Linux - we've just had a rocky past in which I tend to run into a problem with a distro and run out of either time or patience before I can resolve it. Because of this I'm taking the opportunity to leverage the open source community in the building of this Home Theatre PC (HTPC) - I hope to learn something of Linux and get a stable machine 'that just works' out of the process. By reading this document I hope that you too will have some success in building yourself a box (or at least be entertained by my experiences.

I will cover off this project as many others have, using the following format for ease of navigation:


Right - well things had previously gone horribly wrong (par for the course where *nix and I'm concerned), I'd tried doing a default Fedora Core 1 Distro install and ran into problems getting a sound driver for MythTV which needed ALSA, which wouldn't install as I had a rather old kernel and couldn't figure how to update it without using up2date, which itself was out of date and needed me to register with RHN which failed so I've started again and am following through the instructions laid out in the very good HOWTO which you can find at - [cached] this is a well written and easy to follow guide and seems to be the default point of reference on the MythTV users mailing list - known as Jarods guide - which is a suitible name as the author is called Jarod...

So why not just link there and be done with it? Well the guide is great if you have a Hauppauge WinPVR 250 or 350 - but as I'm trying to do this on the cheap I've gone with an existing TV Tuner card I had kicking around and Jarods guide doesn't (for me anyway) seem to clear as to what is and isn't capture specific. This guide will be more of a supliment to his (since he's a lot smarter about these things and done this a heap more) and will cover just the differences in hardware between his system and mine.

[Update 27/07/2004] After helping out some friends who are on holiday in Singapore after their flatmate borked their PC with 11 Viruses and 4 p0rn diallers, I'm getting a Hauppauge WinPVR250 which they'll be picking up for me as a thanks - Shweet! :)

[Update 09/08/2004] It's here, it's here, it's here!!. Now added a bright shiney new Hauppage WinTV-PVR250 to the Hardware list (and installed it in the PC of course)

Case: Enermax FS-710B Big for a HTPC but this will probably end up being the back end server
PSU: Enermax 550W EG651P-VE Again big - 550W (peak 650W) is more than the average system needs, but these are quiet units and I'm expecting to have a large amount of disk in this unit at the end of all this. - [Review]
Motherboard: ASUSTeK A7V333-RAID (VIA KT333 Chipset)
CPU: AMD Athalon 2100+
RAM: Generic 512MB PC2700 DDR
Hard Drive: Maxtor Apollo 40GB UATA133 2MB Cache
Optical: LG DVD ROM
Video Card: Leadtek Winfast A350 TDH MyVIVO (GeForceFX 5900) 128MB - [cached]
Sound Card: Onboard (C-Media CM8738)
NIC: Onboard (3Com 3C905B)
Video Capture Card #1: Hauppauge WinTV-PVR250 (PAL-B/G) [48014 Rev F408] - [cached]
Video Capture Card #2: Lifeview FlyVideo 2000 (PAL) - [cached]
Software » Visit Jarods Guide »

As stated at the top of this page, we're aiming to get MythTV up and running on the Fedora Core 1 distro. As per Jarods Guide, you can grab this Distro from any number of mirrors, I got mine from the NZ Mirror at: though it may also be available on the Jetstream Realm (NZ DSL Users should know what to do to access this server)

Briefly, you'll need to boot from the fedora core 1 CD-ROM, choose your language, keyboard and mouse, and select custom partitioning (configured as below:

Partition Mount Point Size
/dev/hda1 /boot 50-100MB
/dev/hda2 swap same as RAM (eg: 512MB)
/dev/hda3 / 5-10GB
/dev/hda5 /video Everything else

Select all the defaults from here on out - you can change these things later if they bother you (like DHCP etc). I did however choose a custom Host name (HTPC.[domain]).

I didn't install a firewall as I'm running this box behind a hardware firewall at the front of the LAN. Set your system language (English, New Zealand) and choose the correct time zone (Pacific / Auckland). Set the root password.

You'll want to customize the software packages installed (probably - you don't need things like an office suite if this is going to be a dedicated box, and it all takes up drive space that you could be using for recording TV shows!)

X Window System -Base packages plus:
  • XFree86-twm
  • firstboot
  • redhat-config-date
  • redhat-config-network
  • redhat-config-packages
  • redhat-config-services
  • redhat-config-soundcard
  • redhat-logviewer
  • rhgb
  • switchdesk
  • vnc-server
KDE Desktop Environment - Base packages plus:
  • Autorun
  • Kdeaddons
  • Kdeadmin
  • Kdeutils
  • Switchdesk-kde
Editors (choose your favorites, you'll need to be able to edit config files etc.
  • Emacs
  • vim-enhanced
Graphical Internet - base packages plus:
  • Mozilla (or your browser of choice - handy for following guides and cutting / pasting commands into terminal windows!)

Sound and Video - I selected everything

Server Configuration Tools- base packages plus:
  • redhat-config-httpd
  • redhat-config-samba
  • redhat-config-securitylevel
  • redhat-config-services
Webserver Tools- base packages plus:
  • httpd-manual

Windows File Server - handy for sharing your recordings with windows PCs on your network

SQL Database Server
  • mysql-server
Development Tools (not necessarily required, but can prove useful if you need to start hacking source and stuff)

Kernel Development (not necessarily required, but can prove useful if you need to start hacking source and stuff)

Administration Tools - I just chose all of them, graphical tools are my friend.

Right, now it's time for a coffee, or two - maybe lunch (depending on the speed of you machine) with an occasional walk past to swap between the 3 CD-ROMs. Reboot when complete, collect $200 and head to the next section.


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