Aaron Presley


Setting up SABnzbd + SickBeard March 7, 2015

It took me a long time to figure out the best workflow for my media center setup. After a lot of trial and error, I've finally found something that works for me.

Step 1: Sign up for a Usenet account

  • You can do your research on which usenet service to sign up for, but I used Astraweb. Once you sign up, they should give you a host, port, username and password to use later on.

  • If you are not sure that you want unlimited, you can also purchase Gigabytes in blocks. Sick Beard recommends: http://www.billing.blocknews.net/go.php?r=4386&i=l0 (yes that’s an affiliate link, but it goes to Sick Beard, not me!) With this you pay a flat fee for say 200GB which never expires. When you use up 200GB you then buy another block. This is good if you don’t think you’ll use what the unlimited offers. You end up saving ~5-7$ a month using this method if you only average ~80GB per month.

    From Sick Beard:

    • “Block" accounts don't have any monthly limit, you just buy a set amount of data and then use it as fast or slowly as you want. If you use it up very quickly it's cheaper to buy an unlimited account, but if you use it slowly the block account is significantly cheaper.

    • If you download less than 80GB/month it's not worth it to pay for an unlimited account, it's better to get a block account. Assuming you buy 200GB+ blocks your monthly payment can be the equivalent of $7 to less than $3 depending on your usage (25GB/month is less than $3/mo). Lots of people don't use 80GB/month, especially if your ISP caps your bandwidth or you download mostly SD stuff. The block provider I'd recommend is BlockNews, they have the best/cheapest accounts I've found.”

Step 2: Setup SABnzbd+

  1. Download and install from http://sabnzbd.org/

  2. Open up local site and do initial setup

  3. After setup, go to Config > Folders

  4. Set “Temp Download Folder” to where incomplete files will be downloaded (they will be moved out of this directory when download is complete).

  5. Set “Complete Downloaded Folder” to where completed files will be saved (this won’t be where the file will end up, it’s just where the file is “unpacked”).

  6. Set the “Watched Folder” directory (it monitors this folder for new .nzb files set by SickBeard).

  7. You will need to set the “Post-Processing Scripts Folder” once you get SickBeard setup, but not yet.

  8. Go to Config > General

    • Copy the API Key

  9. Go to Config > Servers

    • Enter the credentials from your Usenet Server you signed up for in Step 1

Step 3: Setup SickBeard

  1. Download and install at http://sickbeard.com/

  2. Open up local site and do any initial setup

  3. After setup, go to Config > Search Settings > NZB Search

    • Make sure it’s checked

    • Choose “SABnzbd” from dropdown

    • Enter your SABnzbd info from the previous install

    • Paste in API Key

    • Enter “tv” in category (lowercase)

  4. Go to Config > Search Providers

    • Check “Sick Beard Index” - you can sign up for any of the other services, but this one is all I use

  5. Go to Config > Post Processing

    • Only check “Rename Episodes” (leave everything else blank since you’re using SABnzbd)

    • Under the “Episode Naming” section, choose how you want your files to be named.

  6. In your SickBeard clone, rename Sick-Beard/autoProcessTV/autoProcessTV.cfg.sample to Sick-Beard/autoProcessTV/autoProcessTV.cfg If you changed your host, added a user/pass to Sick-Beard, or changed your port you will need to update this file. Without this file you will get the following error: Loading config from /path/to/Sick-Beard/autoProcessTV/autoProcessTV.cfg... ERROR: You need an autoProcessTV.cfg file - did you rename and edit the .sample?

Step 4: Back to SABnzbd

  1. Go to Config > Folders again

    • There should be a folder named “autoProcessTV” in the root of your SickBeard files. Enter the location to that directory in the “Post-Processing Scripts Folder”. Note: Only the folder, don’t point it to a specific file here.

  2. Save changes, go to Config > Categories

    • Add a new row of data as follows:

      • Category: “tv” (just like you set up in SickBeard in Step 3e)

      • Priority: Default

      • Script: sabToSickBeard.py (Might be a different file on Windows)

      • Folder Path: (left blank)

      • Group / Index: (left blank)

Step 5: First Download (in SickBeard)

  1. Go to Home > Add Show

  2. Type whatever show you want to see, hit next

  3. Choose your parent folder - this is where your final video files will be saved and that your Boxee / whatever will read from (you can set a default you don’t have to do these steps after this)

  4. Hit next, choose whatever prefs you want, click Add Show

  5. Go back to Home, you should see that show listed after it processes it. Click on show title

  6. Choose an episode you want, then set its status to “wanted” - you should see a notification popup Pulse style.

  7. Should be able to see DL processing in SABnzbd. Once DL is done should see the file renamed in your folder. If it’s not, the file will be in the “Completed” directory you chose in SABnzbd.

Step 6: Start Sick-Beard on boot as a daemon

Ubuntu (probably other linux variations)

  1. From the downloaded source open `init.ubuntu` or other init.* file that is associated with your version of Linux. Set the following parameters:

    • APP_PATH - Set to full path to your clone of the source, i.e. /home/user/Sick-Beard

    • RUN_AS - Set this to your username, i.e. myusername

  2. Copy your config.ini from your app directory to ~/.sickbeard/ (make sure sickbeard is not running. When you stop sickbeard it will overwrite the config.ini in ~/.sickbeard/. It took me 10 minutes to figure out why my config file kept getting overwritten :)

  3. Copy your init script, in my case init.ubuntu to /etc/init.d/sickbeard.

  4. Run sudo update-rc.d sickbeard defaults

  5. Viola! Sickbeard will now start up as a daemon process when you boot up!

Mac OS X

To run SickBeard as a daemon

  1. Run the following command: /Users/[username]/SickBeard/SickBeard.py -d

To start SickBeard on Login

  1. Run the following command to run any script on login: sudo defaults write com.apple.loginwindow LoginHook /Users/[username]/SickBeard/SickBeard.py