Sickbeard is a great program for you if you like to watch shows and you use raspi as multimedia center. It watches for new episodes of your favorite shows and when they are avaliable it sends them to download, organizes, and downloads info about them. 

This is a first tutorial in series to make full setup for a couchpotato ;)

From sicbeard site:

Sick Beard is a PVR for newsgroup users (with limited torrent support). It watches for new episodes of your favorite shows and when they are posted it downloads them, sorts and renames them, and optionally generates metadata for them. It currently supports, NZBMatrix, Bin-Req, NZBs’R’Us,, and any Newznab installation and retrieves show information from and

First, check if you have python installed and which version it’s

For sickbeard recommended versions are 2.5, 2.6 or 2.7. If you have other please update it, as they can cause problems.

Then we are going to update and upgrade our system:

To install and use sickbeard git and Cheetah are required. Git is a tool for version revision management and source code control, Cheetah is a open source template engine and code generation tool.

Now, using git retrieve the sickbeard source, pick any directory you like, but remember that any move after install will need some work.

Start manually sickbeard by going into install directory and typing:

Congratulations, you have working install of sickbeard. Yet, there are 2 things to do: setup sickbeard to start automatically and setup favorite shows.

Creating start script have one big advantage over running sickbeard with above command (you can stop it by pressing CTRL+C ;) ) – you do not have to have any shell window open with python script running, this will be working in background.

First, copy script init.ubuntu from your install catalog to /etc/init.d/ (If you have one already there check if you can overwrite it)

Notice that I change original script name to more suitable one – sickbeard. Now, add execute rights:

Then, setup environment variables by editing /etc/default/sickbeard (You have to have root privleges to edit files in this folder, that’s why I use sudo)

Below example content of such file with my setup (example can be found also in init.ubuntu file as a comment in header).:

If you do not want to change any value you can delete line with particular variable or comment it using # (hash) sign as first character of line. Probably most of values will work with default just fine, I’ve only set SB_USER and SB_HOME, because I’ve installed sickbeard in my home folder.

And now, you can start sickbeard by typing:

Stop it with:

Restart with:

To make sickbeard autostart with system use:

Now, let’s setup sickbeard and download some shows.

To access sickbeard interface you have to have your raspi connected to local network, then on any other device go to, replacing [your_raspi_ip_or_hostname] with appropriate value:

For now, head straight to config menu, General section. I strongly recommend Check for update option as sickbeard is still in alpha state and development is still ongoing (yet, software is stable and reliable). Next, let’s config Search settings. I, personally use Usenet to download all shows, I find it much faster and convenient, yet this is not free service and setup will require some time. So, I will explain how to setup sickbeard both with Usenet and with torrents.

Most of options are self explanatory and I think explanations provided with sickbeard will be sufficient so I will focus on main setup choices that you need to make. Of course, if you have any questions regarding them, ask in comments area we will help you :).

  • Search Frequency – time interval between searches of new episodes. I did not experience any slowdown of pi when sickbeard searches new episodes, although there probably can be some in certain setups.
  • Search NZBs – check this and configure one of 3 options for download NZBs: SabNZB+, NZBget or Black Hole. I will cover setup and install of SabNZB+ and NZBget in separate tutorials. Black Hole option let you choose catalog to which NZB will be donloaded, this option can work with any NZB downloader.
  • Search Torrents – check this option and configure path to which .torrent files will be downloaded. From there torrent client pics them and processes.

Next, Search providers tab:

  • Provider Priorities – choose and prioritize NZB/torrent providers, below this section you will find custom configuration for certain providers that need one.

Forward to Post Processing tab. Use sickbeard abilities to organize your show library only if you are not using any external tool to do the same (SabNZB+ have such). I personally use sickbeard as it have more show oriented features than SabNZB+.

  • TV Download Dir – pick a path where your downloader (either NZB or torrent) will place finished downloads, sickbeard will search there for newly downloaded episodes and move them to Shows folder.
  • Keep Original Files – I recommend to check this option, this will save you some space on your drive.
  • Rename Episodes – This is very useful option, as different releases of one show can have different naming convention sickbeard will rename it to suit your preferences and unify it across all episodes, seasons and shows.
  • Naming – Choose naming convention you like to have.
  • Metadata – Sickbeard can download metadata for each episode like miniature, episode info and etc.

If you want sickbeard to notify you about new episodes that are ready to be seen head to Notifications tab and configure notifications.

And finally, picking shows you like. Head to Home and select Add show, you will be presented with two oprions:

Add new show – this is to start watching new show, you do not have any episodes of it.

There will be three steps:

1. Find a show on the TVDB

Just type a name, pick language of metadata and select show from list, hit next.

2. Pick the parent folder

Add new directory where you want show episodes to be stored.

3.Customize options

Choose quality for sickbeard to search and initial state of missing episodes, you can select from:

  • Skipped – you do not want sickbeard to download it.
  • Wanted – you want sickbeard to search for this episode and download it.
  • Archived – you already have thid episode somwhere else.
  • Ignored – you do not want this episode.

Add existing shows – if you have been following shows and want sickbeard to take care of it further on choose this option.

 This option lets sickbeard search your shows folder, find your shows and setup them. All you need to do is to select folder, pick quality you want and status of missing episodes. Sickbeard will take care of rest. Tip: It’s easier for sickbeard to detect your shows properly if you have been keeping them in separate folders.

From now on you can manage episodes and shows from home menu:

sickbeard home

sickbeard home

And see when new episodes are coming:



sickbeard comming episodes

sickbeard comming episodes

Questions? Comments? Please do ask, we will be glad to help :)
Here is your raspberry pi ampilight system!