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This is the INSTALL file for the MythWeb package. It contains the installation
requirements and instructions for MythWeb. Please see README for other
June 6, 2010
1.0 Requirements
2.0 Source
3.0 Experts
4.0 Everyone Else
4.1 Install Overview
4.2 Permissions
4.3 Webserver
5.0 Apache
5.1 Apache Config
5.2 Apache Security Config
6.0 Lighttpd
7.0 PHP
PLEASE, PLEASE read this document. People seem to skip over this, under the
mistaken assumption that MythWeb will just work with no configuration. While
we've tried to make it as auto-detecting as possible, it usually still needs
some hand-editing to account for variances in install preferences, etc.
Please also read the FAQ in the README file, since it answers several common
post-install questions/concerns.
1.0 Requirements
First of all, you need MythTV, which you should be able to track down at:
In addition to all the various things required to get MythTV up and running
(which are documented in the main MythTV source), you need Apache, Perl and PHP
up and running on either the same machine as MythTV, or one that is not blocked
from communication by a firewall:
Current versions of these in use by the MythWeb developer(s) are 2.2.x for
Apache, 5.3.x for PHP, and 5.8.x for Perl. Make sure to build both Apache and
PHP according to the instructions at the PHP home site, and be sure to include
support for session, MySQL, pcre, posix and json when building PHP.
It is also possible to use MythWeb with Lighttpd (Lighty):
2.0 Source
There are two official ways to download MythWeb. You can either download it as
part of the MythPlugins tarball from or you can grab it
directly from a subversion checkout, as described at
Regardless of which method you end up choosing, you should be left with a
directory named mythweb, which contains mythweb.php, and a handful
of other files/directories (including this file).
* Note, if you would like to check out ONLY MythWeb, you could do something
like the following:
svn co
Where ## is replaced with the version you want. For instance for the 0.21
release, replace it with "0-21".
3.0 Experts
If you are not an expert, please skip to section 4.0. Experts, the following
commands should be enough for you to figure out what's going on:
cp -r mythplugins/mythweb/* /var/www/html/
vi /var/www/html/mythweb.conf.apache
mv /var/www/html/mythweb.conf.apache /etc/httpd/conf.d/mythweb.conf
/etc/init.d/httpd restart
4.0 Everyone Else
If you are reading this section, we're going to assume that you have only
minimal experience configuring both Linux and a webserver. For those of
you somewhere in between novice and expert, we hope that you do not find
the following sections too boring, but please pay attention in case you
overlook something important.
4.1 Install Overview
Most people will be running their MythWeb installation on the same system that
hosts the MythTV backend server, and will not be running any other web services,
so we will be expecting that you will want to access your machine directly,
The second most common situation would look something like this:
The differences between these situations are trivial, and if you cannot figure
out how to do the second location from this guide, please don't hesitate to
drop into #mythtv-users on to ask for help.
For the purpose of this guide, we will assume that you want to access your
machine directly (first situation above) and that your Apache document root
directory is:
This is not the case on every system, and you may find that your chosen
distribution has placed it somewhere else, e.g.:
Once you figure out where your copy of Apache is looking for files, copy your
MythWeb files into that directory:
cd mythplugins/mythweb
cp -R * /var/www/html/
4.2 Permissions
The next thing you need to do is make sure that your web server can write to
MythWeb's data directory. This should be as simple as:
chgrp -R apache /var/www/html/data
chmod g+rw /var/www/html/data
Please note that different distributions use a different userid for Apache
(e.g. Ubuntu uses www-data). Please be aware that you may need to consult
Apache's httpd.conf (often found at /etc/httpd/httpd.conf) file to verify which
user/group Apache is set to run as.
As a last resort, you can make the directory world-writable:
chmod a+rw /var/www/html/data
However, I strongly discourage this, since it is a slight security concern to
give write permissions to any arbitrary user on your system.
In order for MythWeb to display channel icons, they must exist in a directory
that MythWeb can access. Many current distributions create user home
directories with permissions of 700, which will stop MythWeb from being able
to access icons located in a user's ~/.mythtv/channels directory. The location
of each channel's icon is stored in the MythTV database.
In order to resolve this issue, icons can be manually copied to MythWeb's
data/tv_icons directory and chown'd to apache:apache. Another method to provide
access to icons located within a user's home directory is to alter the
permission of the home directory itself. Older distributions have used 0755
permissions, however this represents a large security risk as all other users
on the system will have read access to that user's home directory, so it is not
4.3 Webserver
As of 0.21, MythWeb contains configuration files for both Apache and Lighty.
You will need to choose ONE of these files and install it in your webserver's
configuration directory. This will be explained later.
The first thing you must do is find the configuration file for your chosen
webserver, and then follow the instructions in the appropriate subsection:
mythweb.conf.apache (See section 5.0)
mythweb.conf.lighttpd (See section 6.0)
Please do not use Lighttpd unless you know what you are doing.
5.0 Apache
MythWeb relies on two Apache modules that are sometimes built in or
enabled by default:
If you compiled Apache yourself, or are experiencing server trouble loading
MythWeb, please make sure that these are enabled.
There are also three documented sections in the conf file that are disabled by
default, but I strongly recommend that you enable. They require:
To enable these on most systems "a2enmod" will work, for instance on
Ubuntu you need to type these commands before MythWeb will work:
a2enmod rewrite
a2enmod deflate
a2enmod headers
a2enmod auth_digest
5.1 Apache Config
The directions below will have you set up MythWeb without any authentication
at first, make sure you disconnect the machine from the network for these
steps. For most this will work:
ifdown eth0
But you can also just unplug the network cable temporarily.
First, open mythweb.conf.apache in your favorite editor and look for what
should be the first non-comment line in the file:
<Directory "/var/www/html/data" >
You should change that path to match MythWeb's data directory. It is a
subdirectory within the directory you copied the MythWeb files to above in
section 4.1. The purpose of this Directory section is to place specific
restrictions on MythWeb's data directory.
The following <Directory> section is for the main MythWeb installation
<Directory "/var/www/html" >
As before, you should change that path to match the directory that you installed
MythWeb into (but this time to the MythWeb root directory).
Continue on in the file and find the following lines:
setenv db_server "localhost"
setenv db_name "mythconverg"
setenv db_login "mythtv"
setenv db_password "mythtv"
You should update these so that they match the settings required to connect to
your MythTV database server.
There are other settings in this file, too, which should be fairly well
documented. Please read through the comments in the file itself to see if you
can benefit from features that are disabled by default, or settings required
for some of the more exotic installation possibilities.
Finally, you should put this file into Apache's "extra config files" directory.
On Fedora, this is:
Other distributions might use something like:
Generally if a /etc/apache2/sites-available or similar directory exists you
will want to place this file there and then run:
a2ensite mythweb.conf
You will have to figure out the correct path on your own, but once you do, move
the MythWeb config file into place like so:
mv mythweb.conf.apache /etc/apache2/conf.d/mythweb.conf
Then start/restart Apache with:
/etc/init.d/apache2 stop
/etc/init.d/apache2 start
(or similar, this depends on the distribution).
At this stage, you should be able to open MythWeb in a browser on the machine
on which you installed it by opening
If MythWeb does not load or you receive an error, please review the settings
in the mythweb.conf file, the MythWeb README file, and this document for any
potential mistakes you may have made. Please read the next section before
re-enabling the network. If you still can't get it to work, disable Apache,
using something like:
/etc/init.d/apache2 stop
Then re-enable the network using:
ifup eth0
or by plugging the network cable back in, depending on how you disabled it
earlier. Now google for the error message you see at the end of:
tail /var/log/apache2/error.log
or similarly named error log for Apache. Chances are someone else has
had the same problem before and found a solution.
5.2 Apache Security Config
The next step is to make sure everyone in the world can't take over your
machine and that web crawlers don't automatically delete all your recordings.
In the mythweb.conf file there is an authentication section. For this
to work you will need to run this for the first user:
htdigest -c /etc/mythweb.password.digest MythTV username
And this for each additional user:
htdigest /etc/mythweb.password.digest MythTV username
Uncomment all the directives in this section of the file and change
/var/www/htdigest to /etc/mythweb.password.digest or whatever else
you want to call the password file. Do not place the file anywhere
below /var/www or it will be world accessible. /var/www/htdigest
would be the absolute worst name to use, since it appears in the
MythWeb documentation which the bad guys read for easy breakins.
The next step is to reload Apache so it can use the new configuration:
/etc/init.d/apache2 stop
/etc/init.d/apache2 start
(or similar, this depends on the distribution).
Now when you access the MythWeb pages, it should prompt you for a username
and a password. Type these in and make sure things work.
OK, if you reached this step you are almost done! Just plug in the network cable
or type "ifup eth0" if you used "ifdown eth0" to disable the network earlier.
6.0 Lighttpd
Sorry, no documentation here yet...
7.0 PHP
PHP tries to determine the system's local timezone settings automatically
but may not be successful on every distribution. To ensure that PHP uses
the correct timezone, edit php.ini and configure the date.timezone variable
to your local timezone.
For example, to set the PHP timezone to Europe/London:
vim /etc/php.ini
add/uncomment the date.timezone variable:
date.timezone = Europe/London
and then restart Apache (exact commands depend on distribution):
/etc/init.d/apache2 stop
/etc/init.d/apache2 start
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