Before you can build Tvheadend you will need several packages installed on your development machine.

The specific details will vary between distributions so we only cover the major ones here.


$ sudo aptitude install build-essential git pkg-config libssl-dev bzip2 wget


$ sudo aptitude install libavahi-client-dev zlib1g-dev libavcodec-dev libavutil-dev libavformat-dev libswscale-dev libavresample-dev

Redhat / Centos / Fedora

Redhat/Centos/Fedora Build assumptions

Redhat/Centos/Fedora are a package managed OS and as such tvheadend should be installed from an rpm on a production system.
But you may run tvheadend from the build tree, of course.
sudo yum groups install "C Development Tools and Libraries" 
sudo yum install zlib-devel avahi-devel dbus-devel openssl-devel python


TODO: this needs adding

Get Source

Next you must obtain the source code, this is hosted on github.

To clone the repository simple run the command:

$ git clone


TVHeadend comes with a configuration script that allows you to enable/disable optional components and set install paths, etc.

Most people will be fine with the defaults and can run:

$ ./configure

However for more advanced options, please run the following:

$ ./configure --help

And then re-run configure with the required options, i.e.:

$ ./configure --disable-dvbscan


To compile Tvheadend run:

$ make


It is possible to install Tvheadend using make, based on the ./configure options, by running:

$ sudo make install

However it's recommend that you run from the build directory for development/testing (see Development):

$ ./build.linux/tvheadend

NOTE: its VERY important you run test builds from git root, so command should look similar to above.

And that you build a package if you wish to install Tvheadend permanently and hook into the system start scripts etc.

Use of make install is not very traceable and so removal can sometimes be painful, and it might overwrite an existing installation.


For more information about packaging Tvheadend please see here

Reporting Problems

If you have problems with a custom compiled version of Tvheadend its important that any issue reports include details of the specific version of source you used. For more details please see here.