Adventures with HTPC Manager

I’ve been keeping an eye on HTPC Manager ( for a while, and decided that it was time to give it a try. One new VM install later (I need to update my images) and I was ready to start, but the big green download button was too simple to be true.

The first hurdle, rather easy to solve

But alas, it was too simple

A quick glance back at the website confirmed that there were a few dependencies to install, namely PIL and it’s requirements. The site listed example commands, but they needed a little updating for Debian. I ended up using

which got all the dependencies and PIP installed.

EDIT: I’ve since been informed by Styxit that PIL is recommended, not required.

The next step was to install the PIL using PIP, which should have been as simple as
pip install PIL but even that was too simple. I was met with a couple of pages of compile errors, ranging from WARNING: '' not a valid package name; please use only.-separated package names in  to _imaging.c:3152: error: expected =, ,, ;, asm or __attribute__ before functions
My first thought was that I needed to install G++, ld, and everything else required to compile C extensions. Debian makes this nice and easy, with a meta-package that has everything as dependencies (It’s called build-essential), but installing it made no difference to the torrent of errors.
Wait, Debian loves to make stuff easy. Let’s see if there’s a pre-compiled .deb of the extension on any of the repos, however a quick aptitude install python-pi  puts an end to that idea. My next step was to try and update PIP to the latest version. Linux software loves updating itself while running, and PIP is no different. pip install --upgrade pip  is the command required, but that borks up everything

So maybe that was a bit too simple. A quick Google brings up the site of Andrea Grandi, who was having the same issue after self-updating PIP. He quite helpfully includes a translation of the fix from For reference, it is as follows:

Essentially this removes PIP and then re-installs it using the old python library tool, easy_install. After this, PIP’s self-update procedure works fine, but I’m still stuck at the list of compile errors from PIP.
So what else needs to be installed to compile python libraries? *facepalm* the python dependencies!. A quick search in aptitude and (amongst the 1276 other packages) lies python-dev.
A short aptitude install later, and PIP gives me a nice Successfully installed PIL message.

Python 0-1 Jacob

Or not, I’m still getting the argparse error message. Could this be as easy as pip install argparse ?
Turns out it is, after a few seconds of install, starts up fine and I’m ready to point it to my servers

One thought on “Adventures with HTPC Manager”

  1. My gosh, that was a painful install! I’m glad I found your blog..I was running out of ideas.

    pip install argparse was what I needed!

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