get_iplayer installation guides


Install guides are provided on a 'best effort' basis only!

Installation instructions may change. I do not have access to all these systems to test installations so if you see something wrong, start a support thread in the forum.

Package maintainers are encouraged to submit instructions/changes either via the forums, GitHub or via email.

Before you begin: Linux/Unix packages are maintained by volunteers and may not be updated for some time after a new release of get_iplayer, thus the version of get_iplayer packaged for your system may be obsolete. You can find the version number of the latest get_iplayer release here. If the version packaged for your system is older than the latest release, it is likely that some functionality is broken. After following the instructions below, you may wish to uninstall the get_iplayer package and use the manual installation instructions to install the latest get_iplayer CLI and Web PVR Manager.


These instructions are for FreeBSD / PC-BSD 10.2. The instructions assume that you are logged in as root, but the installation commands may also be performed with sudo.

Command-line Interface (CLI)

  1. Install Perl

    pkg install perl5

    NOTE: Perl will likely already be installed if you installed a desktop environment.

  2. Install get_iplayer

    pkg install get_iplayer
  3. Install additional external programs

    pkg install AtomicParsley id3v2 ffmpeg

    FreeBSD Only: The --aactomp3 option for get_iplayer will not work with the packaged version of ffmpeg because it is not built with support for the LAME MP3 encoder.

  4. Install additional Perl modules

    pkg install p5-MP3-Tag p5-MP3-Info p5-Net-SMTP-SSL p5-Net-SMTP-TLS-ButMaintained
  5. Run CLI:

    get_iplayer [...]

Web PVR Manager (WPM)

The WPM is installed as a system service, but it is broken as delivered. Instructions to fix it are given below, but you are encouraged to use the manual installation procedure.

  1. Create a location to store preferences, caches, and downloads

    As installed, the WPM will not work because it does not have a writeable location configured for get_iplayer preferences and caches. The default download location is /tmp, which means your downwloads would be wiped on reboot.

    Create a working directory for the WPM service with the commands below. The WPM service runs as the get_iplayer user, so the directory must be writable by that user.

    mkdir /usr/home/get_iplayer
    chown get_iplayer:get_iplayer /usr/home/get_iplayer
  2. Patch the WPM service script

    The rtmpdump utility requires that the HOME environment variable point to a writeable location in order to store the .swfinfo file used for SWF verification. get_iplayer also uses HOME to locate preferences and caches. The WPM service runs as the get_iplayer user, but HOME is set for the root user and cannot be written by the WPM. The effect is that no caches can be saved and thus no programmes appear in the WPM search results. SWF verification also will fail.

    Open the WPM service script (/usr/local/etc/rc.d/get_iplayer) in a text editor. The last line of the script should be:

    run_rc_command "$1"

    Insert the line below immediately before the last line:

    export HOME="${get_iplayer_chdir}"

    The last two lines in the script should now be:

    export HOME="${get_iplayer_chdir}"
    run_rc_command "$1"

    Save the edited file.

    These changes have the effect of setting HOME for the WPM service script to the working directory created in #1. The get_iplayer user - and thus the WPM service and rtmpdump - can write to that location. Preferences and caches for the get_iplayer user can be stored and the WPM will work correctly.

  3. Configure the WPM service

    Add the following lines to /etc/rc.conf:


    These settings:

    • Enable the WPM service. It will now start at boot time.
    • Set the WPM working directory. This is where downloads will be saved by default.
    • Set the port where the WPM listens for connections. The default value in the FreeBSD port is 9370, but has been reset here to 1935, the value typically used on other platforms. Port 1935 is used to support RTMP streaming from the WPM. If you don't require that functionality, you can omit the get_iplayer_bind_port setting and keep the default port.
  4. Start the WPM service in a terminal window with this command

    service get_iplayer start
  5. Once the WPM is running, connect to it by opening this URL in your browser:


    if you kept the default FreeBSD port setting.

  6. After the WPM has opened in your browser, click the Refresh Cache button. A new tab or window will open that shows the cache being refreshed. Leave that tab or window open to have the cache refreshed automatically every hour. You can also manually refresh the cache at any time.