Add shepherd XMLTV Grabber To Ubuntu Plex Server

Now that Plex has dropped guide data support for the Live TV / DVR component of their Plex Pass feature set, it’s necessary to configured your Plex server to download XMLTV guide data by other means.  Below is my take to configure a Ubuntu Plex Media Server with the guide data script Shepherd.

<code>sudo su
apt-get install libcrypt-ssleay-perl (maybe not required)
apt-get install liblwp-protocol-https-perl libxmltv-perl
apt-get install libalgorithm-diff-perl liblist-compare-perl
sudo plex
mkdir source
cd source
wget ‘’
perl shepherd
cd ~
Go through the prompts to configure the script, answer no to any MythTV specific questions.  Also don’t enter an admin password to create the symbolic link(s)
<code>./shepherd –component-set augment_timezone:timeoffset=+0800</code>
MythTV’s guide data has always been in local time, but I’ve identified Plex wants it in GMT time with a timezone argument, the above command sets this within the output.xml.  Warning this method gets a little tricky with daylight savings, which Perth doesn’t have to deal with, so I have no insight here with how to resolve this issue.
Now lets download your first data set, this will take hours, not because it takes this long but because the script is very low impact with the data providers in an attempt to not be blocked.  So please be patient here, and don’t look at the methods to speed it up, for the good of all.
<code>./shepherd –noautorefresh</code>
Once this is complete we can setup automatic downloading
<code>vim /etc/crontab
add the line “11 */12 * * * plex /var/lib/plexmediaserver/.shepherd/shepherd –noautorefresh”
ls /var/lib/plexmediaserver/.shepherd/</code>
With the above you should see a output.xml copy this path and file name and drop it into making you DVR settings path to xml box.

At this stage Plex doesn’t seem to have the ability to assign the channel labels correctly to their channels, or the channel icons, I’ll see if I can correct this soon, update to come.

Back note: I am certainly aren’t holding Plex, being a MythTV user since 2005 I know how screwed up media content and end user rights are.  I have been struggling this TV guide data for many many years, and I was so surprised Plex was able to throw it in.  But as always eventually the network carriers win and the system breaks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.