Questions about Linux - TiVo Operating System

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  • The TiVo Digital Video Recorder (DVR) operating system is called Linux. Linux is written and distributed under the GNU General Public License, which means that its source code is freely distributed and available to the general public.
  • In compliance with GPL Version 2, TiVo will provide the modifications made to the Linux Kernel to the general public upon request.
  • NOTE: The TiVo client application itself (the program that you interact with when you use your DVR) is proprietary software developed by TiVo Inc. Use of the TiVo client application is governed by the applicable TiVo Service Agreement. The TiVo client application is NOT in the public domain, and the terms of GPL Version 2 do NOT apply to that application.

  • TiVo has updated the license in all TiVo Service Agreements to specifically exclude GPL code from restrictions on reverse engineering, decompiling, modification, distribution, etc. TiVo subscribers, and the public in general, are free to use and modify all GPL code, as long as they do so in compliance with GPL Version 2. The updated Service Agreements may be found at


In compliance with the terms of GPL Version 2, TiVo is pleased to provide our modifications to the Linux Kernel, as well as a few new commands, and some tools to get you into the code. The code is provided on the TiVo web site, please go to

NOTE: If you are unable or unwilling to download our modifications from, you may instead request to receive a CD-R with our modifications. To do so, please send a written request to:

TiVo Inc.
Attention: Customer Care - GNU/Linux Source Code Request.
2160 Gold St.
Alviso, CA 95002-2160

Please include a check in the amount of $15.00 to cover reproduction, shipping, and handling costs, as allowed by GPL Version 2. Please allow 2 weeks for shipping once we receive your request.


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