Setting Up Multiple Remote Frontend for a MythTV Backend

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After you have setup your MythTV with a master backend and frontend server setup (both of which are probably located on the same machine), you would like to install multiple remote frontends which can connect to the master backend server to let you view live TV and recording from any computer on your network. I am going to tell you how to do it on a Ubuntu 10.04 system, but it should work the same way for any Linux distribution except for the installation commands.

Before we setup the frontend on the remote machine, we need to get the machine with the backend ready to accept connections from the frontend. Here are the steps to make MySQL accept the connection from remote machines on the local area network (LAN).

Step 1: On the backend machine, open the /etc/mysql/my.cnf file in gedit by doing this

sudo gedit /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Enter the password at the prompt and then when the file opens, comment the line that begins with bind-address bu placing a # in front of it, so that it looks like this

# bind-address          = 127.0.0.1

Now restart the MySQL server by doing this

sudo service mysqld restart

Step 2: Again on the backend server login to the mysql by running the following command in a terminal

mysql -u root mythconverg -p

Enter the password for the root user  (it might be blank if you didn’t change it during the MythTV or MySQL installation).

Step 3: Now at the mysql> prompt, enter the following to allow users from remote machines to make the connection

grant all on mythconverg.* to mythtv@"%" identified by "mythtv";

The “%” above would allow the connection from all ips and domains, if you want to restrict it to your LAN ips, you can replace “%” with “192.168.2.%” or the suitable address as per your LAN setup.

Step 4: Now you need to change the password for the user mythtv@”%”, this is a very important step which most of the guides on the net were missing and it took me a while to figure it out for myself when I was setting up for my LAN. Ok so to do this, quit the previous MySQL prompt, by typing quit and pressing enter. Now

mysql -u root -p

Enter the password to get the mysql > prompt. Now enter the following at the prompt

set password for 'mythtv'@'%' = password('mythtv');

change the content of string inside the password box to whatever you please and if you chose “192.168.2.%” above do the same for the above step. Quit the mysql prompt. Now we need to move to the frontend machine to setup the frontend.

Step 5: For getting the front end working you only need to install the MythTV frontend component, which you can do by doing

sudo apt-get install mythtv-frontend

Once the installation gets over, launch the MythTV frontend from the Applications > Sound & Video menu, it would ask you to add to user to mythtv group, say yes and then it would ask you to logout. Log back in again and launch the MythTV frontend again.  Now we would need to enter the information to do the final setup. Select your language at the first setup screen and then press next, if it doesn’t log in correctly you would need to enter the following in the setup screen:

Host name: enter the ip of your backend server
(it would be detected automatically in most cases)
Database name: leave it to the default value
User: mythtv
Password: mythtv (or the one you chose in the step 4)

Click next again to let the frontend connect to your master backend and you should be all set to watch live tv on all your frontends. HD TV works quite well, even on a 802.11g wireless connection. Free software rocks. I would tell you soon to setup your Windows Media Center remote to work seamlessly with MythTV.

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has written 1285 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

8 Comments on “Setting Up Multiple Remote Frontend for a MythTV Backend”

  • linnegatan wrote on 23 July, 2010, 10:01

    Itried to follow your instruction but on my mythbuntu 8.04 it failed at sudo service mysqld restart maybe there is another command for the old ubuntu . I found one mysqld file i /usr/sbin folder but it maybe messes something up if I use that ?

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  • lifehacker wrote on 23 July, 2010, 11:21

    Just use the following to start it, to restart use restart instead of start!
    /etc/init.d/mysql start

    Originally Posted By linnegatan
    Itried to follow your instruction but on my mythbuntu 8.04 it failed at sudo service mysqld restart maybe there is another command for the old ubuntu . I found one mysqld file i /usr/sbin folder but it maybe messes something up if I use that ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Reply]

  • linnegatan wrote on 23 July, 2010, 15:30

    I finally tried a reboot of the backend machine and it made the difference. The frontend on an another machine machine found the backend….but.. unfortunateky the database of the 8.04 backend seemed to old for the 10.04 frontend so all the effort was for nothing. Now I have to upgrade the mythbuntu 8.04 to 10.04. I cross my fingers and hope nothing get broken during the process.

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  • lifehacker wrote on 23 July, 2010, 16:06

    Wait.. wait wait… don’t yet upgrade the entire Ubuntu installation if that is not essential for you. You can just upgrade the MythTV installation by following the instructions given here, this should work for older MythTV too.

    http://www.hackourlives.com/upgrade-mythtv-0-22-to-0-23-on-ubuntu-9-10/

    Originally Posted By linnegatan
    I finally tried a reboot of the backend machine and it made the difference. The frontend on an another machine machine found the backend….but.. unfortunateky the database of the 8.04 backend seemed to old for the 10.04 frontend so all the effort was for nothing. Now I have to upgrade the mythbuntu 8.04 to 10.04. I cross my fingers and hope nothing get broken during the process.

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    [Reply]

  • linnegatan wrote on 29 July, 2010, 10:52

    Ok Now I have made a fresh install of the 10.04 and tried your suggestions. But i just get the message that I can not reach the main recorder server. On the backend machine everything became very unstable after the changes. Could it be I have to change the password on the frontend on the combined backend-frontend also?

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  • lifehacker wrote on 29 July, 2010, 11:05

    @linnegatan
    Its not very clear, what is working and what isn’t.
    1. Is your backend – frontend setup working on your master backend computer: you need to make sure that the backend configuration is correct i.e. you are using correct lan ips and not localhost for your ip setting, see this http://www.hackourlives.com/master-backend-server-and-single-mythtv-setup-on-a-ubuntu-10-04-box/ for details.
    2. Once the local frontend at the master backend machine is able to connect properly, then you can try to fix remote frontends using the configuration given in the current post.

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