SABnzbd+ and Sick Beard on Ubuntu Linux

There are heaps of guides out there on the Internets for setting up SABnzbd+ and Sick Beard for automated download goodness – but most of them assume you’re setting up SAB and Sick Beard on a computer that’s being used as a regular PC, rather than a media server. As a result, the instructions out there could use some tweaking..

Recipe, pre-requisites and assumptions:

  • You’re using Ubuntu Linux
  • You have a user account to use on the media server (your own account, another account .. just not the root account)
  • You already have details for a news server

Step 1: Install SABnzbd+

Add the SABnzbd+ repository, update apt:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jcfp/ppa
sudo aptitude update

Install SAB and all its’ dependencies:

sudo aptitude install sabnzbdplus

Configure SAB as a service – set USER= to the user account you’ve chosen and set HOST= to – everything else is fine to leave as is:

sudo vim /etc/default/sabnzbdplus

Start SAB:

sudo service sabnzbdplus start

Run the configuration wizard by going to http://servername:8080/sabnzbd/ and following the prompts. You’ll need to enter the news server details; also make sure that ‘I want SABnzbd to be viewable by any pc on my network’ is selected and set a username and password (optional).

How to install SABnzbd on Ubuntu?
SABnzbd Manual – Ubuntu PPA Repository

Step 2: Install Sick Beard

Sick Beard installation needs git – if you don’t have it already:

sudo aptitude install git

Create the directory for installation:

sudo mkdir /var/lib/sickbeard

Pull down a copy of Sick Beard via git, then change ownership of the whole lot to the chosen user account:

sudo git clone git:// /var/lib/sickbeard
sudo chown -R username.groupname /var/lib/sickbeard/

Change to the Sick Beard directory, copy the init file out to where it belongs:

cd /var/lib/sickbeard
sudo cp init.ubuntu /etc/init.d/sickbeard
sudo update-rc.d sickbeard defaults

Edit the defaults file and add the following lines (changing out the username and home directory):

sudo vim /etc/default/sickbeard

Start the Sick Beard service:

sudo service sickbeard start

Sick Beard should now be available at http://servername:8081/

Installing Sick Beard on Ubuntu Server

Step 3: Configure SABnzbd

Wherein the download directories are selected and Sick Beard configuration magic is made:

Load the SAB configuration section: http://servername:8080/sabnzbd/config/

In Folders, configure the Temporary Download Folder and Completed Download Folder items. Don’t choose directories that are the final destination for the TV – and make a note of the Completed Download Folder for later. Next, configure the Post-Processing Scripts Folder item – it should be /var/lib/sickbeard/autoProcessTV, but it depends on where Sick Beard is installed.

Scroll to the bottom, Save Changes and then Restart SABnzbd.

In General, make a note of the API Key for later.

In Categories, the magic to notify Sick Beard that the download has completed is configured – this is where the Post-Processing Scripts Folder comes in to play. Configure a new line on the table as follows:

Folder/PathThe Completed Download Folder from above
Groups / Indexer tagstv

Save – SABnzbd+ is now configured.

Step 4: Configure Sick Beard

Wherein the newznab services are configured and Sick Beard learns how to play with SAB . A few assumptions:

  • You have an account with a newznab service
  • The directory structure for your TV shows looks a little like this:

Load the Sick Beard configuration section: http://servername:8081/config/

In Search Settings, check Search NZBs, select SABnzbd from the dropdown and enter details for the SAB installation..:

SABnzbd URLhttp://servername:8080/
SABnzbd UsernameUsername, if any
SABnzbd PasswordPassword, if any
SABnzbd API KeyAPI Key from above
SABnzbd Categorytv

Test SABnzbd – if everything works, Save Changes.

In Search Providers, configure a newznab service according to the documentation from the provider. None of the built-in providers seem to work particularly well; configure a Custom provider for best results.

In Post Processing, the downloaded file gets picked up and put in to the final directory structure. The base directory for the TV show is configured elsewhere; this is just the season and file name configuration. The important things to change are..:

TV Download DirFolder from above (SAB’s Completed Download Folder)
Keep Original FilesUnchecked
Move Associated FilesUnchecked
Rename EpisodesChecked
Scan and ProcessUnchecked
Name PatternSeason 02/Show.Name.S02E03.HD.TV-RLSGROUP (from dropdown)
Multi-Episode StyleRepeat

Metadata is probably important if using XBMC, but it can be configured later.

Step 5: Test!

Wherein a new TV show (that hasn’t previously been downloaded) is added and an episode is downloaded to make sure the automation works:

Load the Sick Beard home page: http://servername:8081/home/

Select Add Shows then Add New Show. Start with a show that hasn’t been downloaded to test; add the others later. In Step 1, search for and select the show to download. In Step 2, select the directory that contains subdirectories with TV shows (/drive/tv/ from the above directory structure). Set this as the default. In Step 3, select the download quality, Save Defaults and Add Show. Wait a minute while Sick Beard gets the show details from the Internets..

The show ought to have been added with all episodes set to ‘Skipped’ – change one episode to ‘Wanted’ and within a minute it should begin downloading in SAB (and be transferred in to the appropriate directory once the download is complete). 🙂

If everything works, go back to Add Shows and then Add Existing Show. Based on the defaults set when adding a new show, Sick Beard should be able to see any other show downloaded; they can all be added to Sick Beard by stepping through the wizard to make sure the show name and directory have been correctly guessed. Enjoy! 😀