Lincoln D. Stein
and 1 contributors

NAME - Mount Fuse filesystem to display TV recordings managed by a MythTV backend


 % [options] <Hostname of Backend> <mount point>


  --pattern=<pattern>          filename pattern default ("%T/%S")
  --trim=<char>                 trim redundant occurrences of this character (no default)

  --mountpt=<path>              mountpoint/directory for locally stored recordings (no default)
  --Port=<port>                 HTTP request port on backend (6544)
  --cachetime=<time>            cache time for recording names (10 minutes)

  --unmount                     unmount the indicated directory
  --foreground                  remain in foreground (false)
  --nothreads                   disable threads (false)
  --debug=<1,2>                 enable debugging. Pass -d 2 to trace Fuse operations (verbose!!)

  --option=allow_other          allow other accounts to access filesystem (false)
  --option=default_permissions  enable permission checking by kernel (false)
  --option=fsname=name          set filesystem name (none)
  --option=use_ino              let filesystem set inode numbers (false)
  --option=direct_io            disable page cache (false)
  --option=nonempty             allow mounts over non-empty file/dir (false)
  --option=ro                   mount read-only
  -o ro,direct_io,etc           shorter version of options

  --help                        this text
  --man                         full manual page

Options can be abbreviated to single letters. For example you can abbreviate "--pattern=<pattern>" to "-p <pattern>".


This script will create a virtual filesystem representing the recordings made by a MythTV ( backend. You must provide the name or IP address of the backend host, and the path to an empty directory to mount the virtual filesystem on.

Filename patterns consist of regular characters and substitution patterns beginning with a %. Slashes (\/) will delimit directories and subdirectories. Empty directory names will be collapsed. The default is "%T/%S", the recording title followed by the subtitle. Run this command with "-p help" to get a list of all the substitution patterns recognized.

A special pattern is %PLX, which is intended to be used on its own. It creates a hierarchy of directories and video files using the Plex Media Server filenaming conventions ( Example of its usage is as follows:

  % -p %PLX MyBackEndHost /tmp/mythfs
  % ls -r /tmp/mythfs
    Movies  STATUS  TV Shows  UPCOMING

   District 9 (2009)       House of Flying Daggers (2004)     Pitch Perfect (2012) 
   Happy Go Lovely (1951)  Made for Each Other (1939)         Some Like It Hot (1959)
   Henry V (1945)          Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)  Stardust (2007)
   His Girl Friday (1940)  Perfect Alibi (1994)               The Breakfast Club (1985)
   /tmp/mythfs/TV Shows/Orphan Black:
   Season 3   Season 4
   /tmp/mythfs/TV Shows/Orphan Black/Season 3:
   Orphan Black - s03e01 - 2015-04-18 - The Weight of This Combination.mpg

Note that where I live at least the on air EPG data is terrible and season/episode fields tend to be missing. This module uses various heuristics to compensate.

By default, files will be streamed as needed from the MythTV backend. However, if the recording files are accessible directly from the filesystem (e.g. via an NFS mount), you can provide the path to this directory using the --mountpt option. The filenames will then be presented as symbolic links.

Command line switches can abbreviated to single letters, so you can use "-p %T/%S" instead of "--pattern=%T/%S".

If you request unmounting (using --unmount or -u), the first non-option argument is interpreted as the mountpoint, not the backend hostname.


This is a FUSE filesystem for MythTV ( It uses the Myth 0.25 API to mount the TV recordings known to a MythTV master backend onto a virtual filesystem on the client machine for convenient playback with mplayer or other video tools. Because it uses the MythTV network protocol, the recordings do not need to be on a shared NFS-mounted disk, nor does the Myth database need to be accessible from the client.


To mount the recordings contained on the master backend "MyHost" onto a local filesystem named "/tmp/mythfs" use this command:

 $ mkdir /tmp/mythfs
 $ MyHost /tmp/mythfs

The script will fork into the background and should be stopped with fusermount. The mounted /tmp/mythfs directory will contain a series of human-readable recordings organized by title (directory) and subtitle (file).

To unmount:

 $ fusermount -u /tmp/mythfs


 $ -u /tmp/mythfs

NOTE: Do NOT try to kill the process. This will only cause a hung filesystem that needs to be unmounted with fusermount.

There are a number of options that you can pass to, including the ability to customize the filesystem layout and set the interval that the backend is checked for new and deleted recordings. Call with the -h option for the complete help text.

Local Recordings

The default behavior of this filesystem is to use the Myth API to stream recordings across the network when you attempt to read from them. This is done in an efficient way that fetches just the portion of the file you wish to read. However, if the underlying recording files are directly accessible (either in a regular director or via an NFS mount), you can get better performance by passing the --mountpt option with the path to the directory in which the recordings can be found. The filesystem will then be set up as a set of symbolic links that point from a human readable file name to the recording file.

The main advantage of creating symbolic links is that NFSv4 can be noticeably faster than the backend streaming protocol -- about a 25% improvement on my local network. The main limitation is that this mode does not understand storage groups, so all recordings need to be located in a single storage group in a locally-accessible directory. However if a recording file is not found in local directory, then will fall back to the streaming protocol, so the recording is accessible one way or another.

The Default Directory Layout

Recordings that are part of a series usually have a title (the series name) and subtitle (the episode name). Such recordings are displayed using a two-tier directory structure in which the top-level directory is the series name, and the contents are a series of recorded episodes. The corresponding pattern (as described in the next section) is "%T/%S".

For recordings that do not have a subtitle, typically one-off movie showings, the recording is placed at the top level.

If needed for uniqueness, the channel number and time the recorded was started is attached to the filename, along with an extension indicating the recording type (.mpg or .nuv). The file create and modification times correspond to the recording start time. For directories, the times are set to the most recent recording contained within the directory.

Here is an example directory listing:

 % ls -lR  /tmp/mythfs
 total 35
 -r--r--r-- 1 lstein lstein 12298756208 Dec 30 00:00 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.mpg
 -r--r--r-- 1 lstein lstein 14172577964 Dec 25 16:00 A Heartland Christmas.mpg
 dr-xr-xr-x 1 lstein lstein           5 Mar 11 03:00 Alfred Hitchcock Presents
 dr-xr-xr-x 1 lstein lstein           8 May  2 00:00 American Dad

 /home/lstein/Myth/Alfred Hitchcock Presents:
 total 3
 -r--r--r-- 1 lstein lstein 647625408 Dec 25 15:30 Back for Christmas.mpg
 -r--r--r-- 1 lstein lstein 647090360 Dec  7 00:00 Dead Weight.mpg
 -r--r--r-- 1 lstein lstein 660841056 Mar 11 03:00 Rose Garden.mpg
 -r--r--r-- 1 lstein lstein 647524452 Dec 25 00:00 Santa Claus and the 10th Ave. Kid.mpg
 -r--r--r-- 1 lstein lstein 649819932 Dec 27 00:00 The Contest of Aaron Gold.mpg

 /home/lstein/Myth/American Dad:
 total 4
 -r--r--r-- 1 lstein lstein 3512038152 Apr 24 00:00 Flirting With Disaster.mpg

The size of directories corresponds to the number of recordings (not counting subdirectories) contained within it. The modification time of directories is the start time of the most recent recording contained within it.

Two automatically-created files are always present at the top level of the directory. "STATUS" contains a human-readable description of what happened the last time the script attempted to refresh the list of recordings from the backend. It is useful in diagnosing connection problems. ".fuse-mythfs" contains version and copyright information for this script, and can be used to detect if the Myth filesystem is mounted.

Customizing the Directory Listing

You may customize the directory listing by providing a pattern for naming each recording using the -p option. For example:

 $ -p '%C/%T:%S (%od-%ob-%oY)' mythbackend ~/Myth

This will create filenames that look like this:

 Sitcom/The Simpsons:The Food Wife (13-Nov-2011).mpg

Patterns contain a combination of constant strings plus substitution patterns consisting of the "%" sign plus 1 to three characters. A slash will be interpreted as a directory level: multiple levels are allowed.

Commonly-used substitution patterns are:

    %T   = Title (show name)
    %S   = Subtitle (episode name)
    %C   = Category
    %TC  = If part of a series, then Title, else Category
    %ST  = If part of a series, then SubTitle, else Title
    %cn  = Channel: channel number
    %cN  = Channel: channel name
    %y   = Recording start time:  year, 2 digits
    %Y   = Recording start time:  year, 4 digits
    %m   = Recording start time:  month, leading zero
    %b   = Recording start time:  abbreviated month name
    %B   = Recording start time:  full month name
    %d   = Recording start time:  day of month, leading zero
    %h   = Recording start time:  12-hour hour, with leading zero
    %H   = Recording start time:  24-hour hour, with leading zero
    %i   = Recording start time:  minutes
    %s   = Recording start time:  seconds
    %a   = Recording start time:  am/pm
    %A   = Recording start time:  AM/PM

A full list of patterns can be obtained by running " -p help".

Patterns are largely compatible with the excellent ( script, but there are a small number of enhancements, such as the ability to generate the month name. Also, the patterns that generate the month name without a leading zero are not supported.

You may wish to use a delimiter to separate fields of the recording name, for example "%T:%S" to generate "Title:Subtitle". Occasionally a recording field is empty, leading to names like "The Wild Ones:.mpg". To avoid this, pass the --trim option with the delimiter you use, and dangling/extra delimiters will be trimmed:

<pre> $ -p '%T:%S' --trim=':' backend /tmp/myth </pre>

If after applying the pattern to a recording the resulting path is not unique, then this script will make the path unique by appending to it the channel number and recording start time, for example:

 Masterpiece Classic/Downtown Abbey_17_1-2013-02-11T02:00.mpg
 Masterpiece Classic/Downtown Abbey_17_1-2013-03-10T06:00.mpg


New and updated recordings will appear in the filesystem after a slight delay due to the manner in which the script caches the recording list. By default the backend is only checked for updates every 5 minutes, but you can adjust this using the --cachetime option, which takes the interval in minutes at which the system checks for new and updated recordings.

For example, this command will reduce the update interval to 2 minutes:

  $ MyHost --cachetime=2 /tmp/mythfs

You can provide a fractional number, such as 0.5, for sub-minute intervals.

File Removal

Removing a file (with the rm command) will cause the backend to delete the corresponding recording. You may recursively delete entire directories, and all the recordings contained within them will be deleted. Mount the file system read-only ("-o ro") to make it impossible to delete recordings inadvertently.

Fuse Notes

For best performance, you will need to run this filesystem using a version of Perl that supports IThreads. Otherwise it will fall back to non-threaded mode, which will introduce occasional delays during directory listings and have notably slower performance when reading from more than one file simultaneously.

If you are running Perl 5.14 or higher, you *MUST* use at least 0.15 of the Perl Fuse module. At the time this was written, the version of Fuse 0.15 on CPAN was failing its regression tests on many platforms. I have found that the easiest way to get a fully operational Fuse module is to clone and compile a patched version of the source, following this recipe:

 $ git clone git://
 $ cd perl-fuse
 $ perl Makefile.PL
 $ make test   (optional)
 $ sudo make install


Copyright 2013, Lincoln D. Stein <>


This package is distributed under the terms of the Perl Artistic License 2.0. See