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This page is dedicated to helping you interface with your TiVo DVR. The instructions here are written for an unmodified Series 2 box unless otherwise noted.

TiVo Desktop Software

TiVo puts out an application for Windows and Mac OS X called TiVo Desktop. This is part of the TiVoToGo that allows you to transfer recordings to & from your TiVo using your PC. The following sections describe solutions for Linux to get similar behavior

Web Browser

You can actually download recordings from your TiVo to any OS via a standard web browser. Simply open your browser and go to an secure address of your TiVo's IP (e.g. The user name to use is "tivo" and the password should be the Media Access Key for your TiVo (this can be found through your TiVo menu or online. You can then browse the "Now Playing" list for your TiVo and download selected files. This is by far the easiest method to download a recording from your TiVo.

You can also add the following to your /etc/hosts file so that you can use "tivo" instead of having to remember the IP:

File: /etc/hosts    tivo

Unfortunately, you can't upload recordings through the web interface.


Galleon includes a lot of the functionality found in TiVo Desktop, with some extras on top. You can download recordings, provide movies for upload, share music & pictures with your TiVo, and more.

There is no ebuild currently available to emerge Galleon onto your system. To install Galleon, first download and unzip the Linux source on your system.

# mkdir -p /usr/src/galleon/
# cp /usr/src/galleon/
# cd /usr/src/galleon/
# unzip

You can then use the supplied makefile to build and install it.

# make install

Galleon should now be installed, but we have to tweak the shell script to get it to run under Gentoo.

File: /usr/share/galleon/bin/galleon
# Change line 14 to the following:
. /etc/init.d/

# Update the values for the following variables

You should now be ready to start the Galleon server.

# /etc/init.d/galleon start

You can also add Galleon to the default runlevel if you'd like.

# rc-update add galleon default

You can now run the GUI to help configure your setup.

# /usr/share/galleon/bin/

Adding a script to /usr/bin/ can help make things a little easier.

File: /usr/bin/galleonGUI

Set the permissions, and you can now simply call galleonGUI from the command line.

# chmod 755 /usr/bin/galleonGui

It may be a bit nicer to simply symlink to the ui script instead:

# ln -s /usr/share/galleon/bin/ /usr/local/bin/galleonui


I was not able to get a recent version of JavaHMO to work on my system. Anyone who does have it working, please add instructions here.



Converting from .TiVo to .Mpeg

The recordings that you transfer from your TiVo come in a .TiVo file format that is not playable on a PC. However, there is a tool called Tivodecode that allows you to convert a .TiVo file into a standard MPEG 2 format that you can play using MPlayer.

Since the Tivodecode source is not in portage, we need to set it up as a custom ebuild.

First we need to make sure you are setup to do overlays and custom ebuilds. To do this, you have to specify the PORTDIR_OVERLAY in your /etc/make.conf file. If you don't already have this, add it by doing the following.

# echo 'PORTDIR_OVERLAY="/usr/local/portage"' >> /etc/make.conf

Next create the directory structure for the overlay.

# mkdir -p /usr/local/portage/media-tv/tivodecode/

Then you need to create a custom ebuild file for the Tivodecode package. Luckily, this already exists. You can get the ebuild for Tivodecode here. Download the ebuild into the above directory.

Now you need to create the digest for the new ebuild.

# ebuild /usr/local/portage/media-tv/tivodecode/tivodecode-0.1.4.ebuild digest

This downloads the source files for the ebuild.

Note that you will probably need to unmask Tivodecode in order to perform the emerge. You will know for sure by checking the emerge first.

# emerge -pv tivodecode

To do this, edit the /etc/portage/package.keywords file:

File: /etc/portage/package.keywords
# Unmasked packages to allow Tivodecode to be emerged
media-tv/tivodecode **

Now all the setup is complete and you can emerge Tivodecode.

# emerge -av tivodecode

Once emerged, converting a .TiVo file into a .mpeg is as simple as:

# tivodecode -m xxxxxxxxxx -o OutputMovie.mpeg InputMovie.TiVo

Note that "xxxxxxxxxx" is your Media Access Key for your TiVo.

Related Links

Coming soon.

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Last modified: Thu, 04 Sep 2008 01:26:00 +0000 Hits: 5,693