[mythtv-users] MythTV on AppleTV

Scott D. Davilla davilla at 4pi.com
Sun Jun 8 15:12:18 UTC 2008

>I've spent the last two days trying to get MythTV Frontend installed 
>on my AppleTV. Has anyone been able to do this? I've followed every 
>set of instructions I've found about getting Linux installed on 
>AppleTV - even the ones that take you through booting into linux and 
>end with "Ok, now install the Linux distro of your choice and you're 
>all done!". Argh!
>Anyway, I'm at the point where I can boot the AppleTV either on its 
>own or with a USB drive and get to the penbuntu login prompt. I can 
>log in as root. I can format file systems, mount file systems, etc. I 
>have a partition on my USB drive with the contents of the 
>MythBuntu .iso copied onto it.
>To get this far, I followed: 
>Then I followed the instructions to get the MythBuntu install to 
>launch correctly. Then I went through the steps of installing 
>MythBuntu following these directions:
>The Post Install Fixes instructions were a little confusing because 
>while I was using a USB drive to boot, I installed onto the internal 
>drive of the AppleTV.
>Anyway, the process appeared to finish correctly. I reboot the machine 
>and it drops me to the same penbuntu login prompt as I got before I 
>started the install. WTF? What now?
>Any other tips from people who have done this? I've installed about 5 
>times now with Debian, Ubuntu, MythBuntu and they all have their own 
>issues. If someone has some solid instructions on how to do this from
>beginning to end with a USB drive I would love to hear it.

It's pretty easy once you understand a few items;

1) The AppleTV needs a GPT formatted disk to be able to boot 
atv-bootloader. This can be the internal or and external disk/flash.

2) atv-bootloader is a secondary boot loader that uses kexec to boot 
another kernel (the real one). atv-bootloader has several modes 
controlled by the "atv-boot=" parameter in com.Boot.apple.plist. For 
"atv-boot=auto", it needs to find a proper /boot/grub/menu.lst file 
in order to translate grub boot params into kexec boot params. If you 
don't have a grub menu.lst and "atv-boot=auto", then it will drop to 
the login. One can always craft a custom boot using "atv-boot=manual" 
in which case atv-bootloader will search and execute the file named 
"boot_linux.sh". Inside this file, one would put the kexec boot 

3) Once a Linux distro is booted, there are a few device fixes 
required for supporting the AppleTV. These fixes are distro specific.

MythBuntu 8.04 is the easiest to get running on either the internal 
or an external disk/flash.

My suggestion is to follow the install for Mythbuntu 8.04 and post a 
question in the atv-bootloader discussion group if something does not 
make sense.

My first guess it that the atv-boot param is set to "none" or 
"manual" or the grub menu.lst does not exist.

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