My TiVo Airnet
Upgrade Diary - Tivoweb Installation.
Here are the steps I took to Install Tivoweb onto Tivo.
Tivoweb is an application that runs on a networked Tivo. It uses
a web based front end, generated on the Tivo itself, to allow
you access to the normal Tivo functions - and some functions
that Tivo does not normally give you.
Items to obtain: Tivoweb software. ui file
change (for UK users). A FTP program (such as ACEFtp or
Part 1 : Obtaining the
The first step is to get hold of the software of Tivoweb. For
that head over to http://tivo.lightn.org/ to grab a copy of
the latest software - it's free!
At the time of writing, the latest version is 1.9.4 (final).
The software will arrive in a tar.gz compressed format.
If you are in the UK, you will also need this file this file (26k). This is a replacement
ui.itcl file that you should use instead of the supplied ui.itcl
as that you download with the Tivoweb software.
Part 2 : Placing the
Software Onto Tivo.
You should have already installed a network connection onto your
Tivo. Whilst you did this, you would have also set up a ftp
server on Tivoweb. This will allow you to move data to and from
Tivo from another machine on your network.
To use the FTP, you first need to create a directory into
which your software is installed.
Open up a DOS box on a PC connected to your Tivo via your
network. In this DOS box type the following:
and press enter. Note replace the ip number above with
the IP address of your own Tivo.
If the command works correctly, you should see a command
This shows that Tivo is ready for your input. It is referred
to as the Bash prompt.
At the prompt enter (all this is case sensitive) :
and press enter. This will move you into the /var directory.
Now you need to create a directory called "hack"
into which you'll copy Tivoweb :
Now you should go to your FTP program (ACEFtp, CuteFTP or
many others. Not using Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer as
the FTP program is not reccommended when connecting to
Tivo. Connect your FTP program to Tivo by giving it the ip
address of your Tivo. Connect as anonymous with the default
Once connected, navigate to the /var/hack directory on your
Tivo. Then copy over the tivoweb-tcl-1.9.4.tar.gz
software you downloaded earlier into this folder. Be sure you
are using binary mode when moving the file.
Once this has copied over, return to the bash prompt in your
DOS box. Enter the following :
To move into
the hack directory. Then type :
gzip -d tivoweb-tcl-1.9.4.tar.gz
To unzip the
compressed file. Finally, type :
/bin/cpio -H tar -i < tivoweb-tcl-1.9.4.tar
To install the program.
Return to the FTP program and refresh the view - you sould
now see a new folder inside the /var/hack called tivoweb-tcl.
It is inside this folder that Tivoweb has been installed.
Part 3 : UK Model upgrade.
This part is only required if you
have a UK Tivo machine.
After the introduction of Tivoweb, the UK version of the Tivo
software altered their categories somewhat. This had a direct
effect on Tivoweb so a new version of Tivoweb was required to
work on the UK machines.
You need to replace a single file in the newly installed tivoweb-tcl/modules
Still in FTP, navigate into the tivoweb-tcl
folder then into the modules sub folder. Scan
through and you should see a file called ui.itcl.
Delete this file from your modules
folder on Tivo.
Once this has been done, FTP over the new ui.itcl
that you downloaded earlier in step 1. Remember to unzip it
before FTPing it across).
After the FTP has replaced the ui.itcl, you should now find
you'll be able to access the 'user interface' menu link that
would not have been there had you not updated the ui file.
Part 4 : Starting Tivoweb.
At this point, TivoWeb should be ready to run.
Return to the bash prompt and enter the following :
After about 20 seconds, you should see the message : Accepting
Once you see this message, Tivoweb is ready to accept your
Start up a web browser and in the address bar enter :
note: replace the ip address with that of your own Tivo.
If all has worked correctly, you should see the TivoWeb page
load up in a few seconds...
You may not see all of the options shown above, some have
been added as Tivoweb modules which extend the original
Tivoweb functionality. However, one function you should see is
the User Interface option. If you can see this then you
have correctly installed the ui.itcl file (see part 3 - UK
You can now click links on your browser and use TivoWeb!!
Part 5 : Making Things
Now you have Tivoweb running, there are some things that need to
Since this is a web application, it might be that you have an
internet connection that could allow someone to connect to your
Tivoweb process from somewhere else. This would be no use if
someone managed to connect to your Tivoweb and delete all your
programs or season passes!!
We will add a password to the process first off. This will
require the connecting user to enter a predefined user and
password before gaining access to Tivoweb.
Using your FTP program, connect to Tivo and navigate to
/var/hack/tivoweb-tcl. Inside this file you should see a file
called tivoweb.cfg. Download this back to your
You need to edit this file. I would strongly suggest using a
good text editor such as ultra-edit so as not to disrupt the
linefeed characters that can happen if you use Notepad. Under
no circumstances use a word processor on this file !
If you look at the file, you'll see something like the
Port = 80
DescriptionHover = 1
MulitDelete = 1
Here you can add a userid and password to access Tivoweb.
UserName = fred
Password = itsn0thard
If you want Tivoweb to run off a non-standard port, you can
change the following line:
Port = 200
Changing the port number means you have to type http://192.168.1.200:200
in your browsers address box.
You might also like to give your address a prefix by changing
the prefix value.
Prefix = tivo
This has the effect of requiring you to enter http://192.168.1.200:200/tivo/
in your browser to access tivoweb.
You can change the appearence of your Tivoweb by downloading
a customised 'skin' and placing the
resulting file (normally a CSS file) inside the
/var/hack/tivoweb-tcl folder. You can then specify Tivoweb to
use this skin when it starts up by placing the name of the skin
on the Theme line of the tivoweb.cfg file. e.g.
Theme = redbook
Once complete, save the file and FTP it back to Tivo,
replacing the original file.
You'll need to restart Tivoweb - the quickest method is just
to restart Tivo itself. Ensure you're not already recording
something important before you restart it!
Once rebooted, return again to the bash prompt
(use your own Tivo's IP address of course)
Now enter the start up command once again :
After about 20 seconds, you should see the message : Accepting
This time when you enter the Tivoweb address into your
browser, you should see a logon box pop up. Once you've entered
your userid and password you should be sent over to the normal
Tivoweb main page.
Part 6 : Autostarting
Having to start Tivoweb yourself each time can become a bore!
There is a way of telling Tivo to start Tivoweb automatically
everytime Tivo is rebooted. You should never need to start
Tivoweb up again - it'll always be available. To do this we need
to slightly change the main Tivo start up routine. This routine
resides on a locked drive, so we have to unlock this temporarily
to make the change then restore it to the original status
note: the following is all case sensitive - type
carefully, you might cause problems with Tivo if you make any
Start up a DOS box and telnet into Tivo again.
Wait for the bash prompt.
Once it appears enter :
-o remount,rw /
the o is a lower case letter O. note the space after ,rw
This will make the main Tivo drive writeable
note the space
before and after the >>
This will write
the line /var/hack/tivoweb-tcl/tivoweb to the start up
file rc.sysinit.author. Note that this is the same command that
you entered directly at the bash prompt to start up Tivoweb.
Next we need to
ensure that the rc.sysinit.author file has the correct
authorities to execute when Tivo boots up. Enter the following
at the bash prompt :
The 700 is the number seven hundred. There is a space
before and after the 700.
Finally, we need
to restore the drive to it's protected status. Still at the bash
prompt, enter :
mount -o remount,ro /
Again note the letter O and the space after ,ro
Now re-boot Tivo again through the 'messages and settings ->
Restart recorder' menu option.
Once Tivo has restarted and returned to the main menu, start
up your browser and enter the ip address of your Tivo
If things are working correctly, you should see the Tivoweb
screen (or the password prompt if you added that option too -
see section 5).
Part 7 : Taking Tivoweb
Having got Tivoweb set up, you should now be able to access it
from both inside your network and via the internet. However,
there is one more step you might want to consider. You could set
up a proxy running on a separate PC (that needs to be on all the
time you want to access Tivoweb). This proxy will accept all
requests to Tivoweb and set up a secure connection to the
requestor. This connection will encrypt the transmissions
between the PC and the requestor thus making hacking even less
likely. The proxy then passes the requests on to Tivo and then
passes the results from Tivo back to the requestor (again
encrypted). You should see the padlock on your browser showing
you that the connection is secure.
This way you get to access Tivo from the internet without
Tivo actually being connected directly to the internet.
Instructions for how to do this (quite straightforward - no
Linux required !) can be found here.
If you decide to install and use
Orenosp, you should not use a password in the
Remove both the userid and password
values, leaving it blank. Then resave the file onto Tivo.
Finally, do a quick reload of Tivoweb to pick up the changes
(use the quick reload option on the Restart menu on Tivoweb.
On the plus side, it means that if you
access Tivoweb from inside you network (by entering the
Tivo IP address directly), you don't need to enter the password
anymore. Orenosp will protect Tivoweb from outside the network.
Written June 2004.