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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 cuteFTP).

Part 1 : Obtaining the Software.

The first step is to get hold of the software of Tivoweb. For that head over to 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 prompt thus:

bash-2.02# _

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) :

cd /var

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 :

mkdir hack

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 password.

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 :

cd /var/hack

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 folder.

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 Connections.

Once you see this message, Tivoweb is ready to accept your connection.

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 only).

You can now click links on your browser and use TivoWeb!!


Part 5 : Making Things Safer.

Now you have Tivoweb running, there are some things that need to be tweaked.

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 PC.

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 following:

UserName =
Password =
Port = 80
Prefix =
Theme =
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 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 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 Connections.

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 Tivoweb.

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 afterwards.

note: the following is all case sensitive - type carefully, you might cause problems with Tivo if you make any mistakes.

Start up a DOS box and telnet into Tivo again.


Wait for the bash prompt.

Once it appears enter :

mount -o remount,rw /

the o is a lower case letter O. note the space after ,rw

This will make the main Tivo drive writeable

echo "/var/hack/tivoweb-tcl/tivoweb" >> /etc/rc.d/

note the space before and after the >>

This will write the line /var/hack/tivoweb-tcl/tivoweb to the start up file 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 file has the correct authorities to execute when Tivo boots up. Enter the following at the bash prompt :

chmod 700 /etc/rc.d/

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 Security Further.

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.

Important Note:

If you decide to install and use Orenosp, you should not use a password in the Tivoweb.cfg file.

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.

Written by SteveC