tvheadend - Man Page

Advanced TV streaming server/relay and personal video recorder.


tvheadend [Options]


Tvheadend is a streaming server/relay supporting a variety of sources  and multiple output formats. It can be used as a standalone  PVR or in conjunction with media players such as Movian (Showtime),   Kodi (XBMC), VLC and others.


All arguments are optional.

Generic Options

-v,  --version

Show version information.

-h,  --help

Show built-in help information (may be more up to date).

Service Configuration Options

-c,  --config

Specify an alternative config path; the default is ${HOME}/.hts/tvheadend

-B,  --nobackup

Don't backup configuration tree at upgrade.


Fork and become a background process (daemon). Default is no.

-u username, --user username

Run as user username. Only applicable if daemonizing. Default is to use the uid of 1 ('daemon' on most systems).

-g groupname, --group groupname

Run as group groupname. Only applicable if daemonizing. Default is to use the 'video' group. If the 'video' group does not exist, gid 1 ('daemon') will be used.

-p pidpath, --pid pidpath

Specify alternative PID path file (default /run/

-C,  --firstrun

If no user account exist then create one with no username and no password. Use with care as it will allow world-wide administrative access to your Tvheadend installation until you edit the access-control from within the Tvheadend UI.

-U,  --dbus

Enable DBus.

-e,  --dbus_session

DBus - use the session message bus instead of the system one.

-a,  --adapters

Only use specified DVB adapters (comma separated, -1 == none).


SAT>IP RTSP port number for server (default: -1 = disable, 0 =  webconfig, standard port is 554).


Disable SAT>IP client.


URL with the SAT>IP server XML location.

Server Connectivity

-6,  --ipv6

Listen on IPv6.

-b address, --bindaddr address

Specify an interface IP address on which incoming HTTP and HTSP connections will be accepted. By default, connections are accepted on all interfaces.


Specify alternative http port (default 9981).


Specify alternative http webroot.


Specify alternative HTSP port (default 9982).


Specify extra HTSP port.


Specify User-Agent header for the http client.


Use XSPF playlist instead of M3U.

Debug options

-d,  --stderr

Enable debug on stderr.

-n,  --nostderr

Disable debug on stderr.

-s,  --syslog

Enable debug to syslog.

-S,  --nosyslog

Disable syslog (all messages).

-l,  --logfile

Enable debug to file.


Enable debug subsystems.


Enable trace subsystems.


Add file and line numbers to debug.


Add the thread ID to debug.


More verbose libav log.


Enable web UI debug (non-minified JavaScript).

-A,  --abort

Immediately abort on startup (for debug).

-D,  --dump

Enable coredumps for daemon.


Do not perform any access control checking.


Disable DVB bouquets.

-j,  --join

Subscribe to a service permanently.

Testing Options


Specify number of tsfile tuners.


Use ts file (mux file) as input.


All activity inside Tvheadend is logged to syslog using log facility LOG_DAEMON.


Access to video adapters

In order for Tvheadend to control the video adapters on the system it must be granted access to those devices. Most systems have a 'video' group with write access to the video adapter devices. When Tvheadend is started as a daemon it will automatically change its primary group to 'video' in order to access these groups.

If your system is configured in a different way you can either change  the group membership of the video adapters (/dev/dvb, etc) or reconfigure  the Tvheadend startup parameters. This is most likely the behavior if you  have installed Tvheadend from a distribution package.

If Tvheadend is started without the '-f' argument it will neither daemonize nor change its primary userid/groupid. Instead, it will run with the permissions granted to the user executing the binary. If that's the case then you must make sure that the current user is granted access to the video devices.


All configuration in Tvheadend is maintained via its embedded web server running on port 9981. Just point your browser to:


By default everyone (also from remote hosts) is allowed full access to all features / settings in the web user interface. If this is the first time you're setting up Tvheadend, you are strongly encouraged to enter the web user interface, selected the 'Configuration' + 'Access Control' tab and make reasonable changes. Further help and documentation can be obtained inside the web interface.


Settings are stored in the current user's home directory. Thus, if Tvheadend is run as a system daemon a dedicated user needs to be created and Tvheadend should be launched with the '-u' argument. Also notice that XMLTV will read/ store cache and configuration from the same user home directory.

If daemonizing, Tvheadend will writes its pid in /run/


Tvheadend and this man page is maintained by the Tvheadend team. Please see the  application for credits.

You may also visit #hts at

See Also