Ubuntu 9.10 & VDR: Setup with Hauppauge Nexus-S and Hauppauge Nova-S

This is a step by step instruction how to setup a (basic) VDR system on Ubuntu 9.10 and two Hauppauge DVB-S TV tuner cards:

1. Install Software

Just go through the the Ubuntu setup process as described here; at best:

  • Download and burn the appropriate image from here.
  • Boot with the CD and follow the installation instructions.

Since I’m  running the VDR on a VIA Epia-M board with a Via C3 Nehemiah processor and I do not need any graphical user interface I have chosen the Ubuntu 9.10 server 32Bit edition.

After the Ubuntu setup is completed and the system has restarted you will find the following output from the boot process:

[    9.123371] dvb 0000:00:13.0: firmware: requesting dvb-ttpci-01.fw
[    9.259412] dvb-ttpci: could not load firmware, file not found: dvb-ttpci-01.fw
[    9.259475] dvb-ttpci: usually this should be in /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware or /lib/firmware
[    9.259526] dvb-ttpci: and can be downloaded from http://www.linuxtv.org/download/dvb/firmware/

You have to download the firmware for the DVB devices manually from http://www.linuxtv.org/downloads/firmware/ and save it as /lib/firmware/dvb-ttpci-01.fw (version 2622 is the latest version released by linuxtv.org):

# sudo wget http://www.linuxtv.org/downloads/firmware/dvb-ttpci-01.fw-2622 -O /lib/firmware/dvb-ttpci-01.fw

Before your reboot the system it is a good opportunity to get the system up-to-date:

# sudo apt-get update
# sudo apt-get upgrade
# sudo reboot

Install the VDR software is straightforward:

# sudo apt-get install vdr

In the VDR setup select “satellite” and let the wizards create the /var/lib/video.00 video directory. LIRC is installed automatically to enable support for remote controls. To use Hauppauge’s remote control select the following options:

  • Remote control configuration: “Hauppauge DVB-s card (ver. 2.1)”
  • IR transmitter: “none”

2. Configure LIRC

Before we start the VDR we have to tell LIRC to use the right (event) input device. You can use /proc/bus/input/devices to list the installed devices:

# sudo cat /proc/bus/input/devices
I: Bus=0001 Vendor=0070 Product=9202 Version=0001
N: Name="cx88 IR (Hauppauge Nova-S-Plus "
P: Phys=pci-0000:00:14.0/ir0
S: Sysfs=/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/input/input4
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=kbd event4
B: EV=100003
B: KEY=100fc312 214a802 0 0 0 0 18000 41a8 4801 9e1680 0 0 10000ffc

I have connected the IR receiver to the Nova-S and the above output shows that it’s input event is /dev/input/event4 (see the line “H: Handlers=kbd event4”). You can test the device by (replace X with your event number):

# sudo cat /dev/input/eventX

Pressing any key on the remote control should output some characters (strg+c cancels the test).

Since the event numbers are consecutively numbered and can change if you connect or disconnect input devices like a keyboard or a mouse, it is a good idea to use a custom udev rule to identify the input device by it’s name instead of a static event number. Create the file /etc/udev/rules.d/00-persistent-vdr-ir.rules (the name attribute is copied from # cat /proc/bus/input/devices output above) the and reboot the system to create the symlink /dev/input/vdr-ir:

KERNEL=="event*",ATTRS{name}=="cx88 IR (Hauppauge Nova-S-Plus ",SYMLINK+="input/vdr-ir"

Next, edit /etc/lirc/hardware.conf and change the keys REMOTE_DRIVER and REMOTE_DEVICE to:


Restart lirc:

# sudo /etc/init.d/lirc restart

After LIRC has been restart you can use the program irw to test the configuration. Start the program and press some keys on the remote control. The output should look like (strg+c quits irw):

000000008001001c 03 Ok HVR-1100
0000000080010067 04 Up HVR-1100
0000000080010003 00 2 HVR-1100

3. Start VDR

Edit /etc/default/vdr to enable VDR’s init-scripts:


Start the VDR with the init script:

# sudo /etc/init.d/vdr start

At VDR’s first start a wizard to train the VDR for your remote control commands is shown. The remote control configuration is saved in /var/lib/vdr/remote.conf. If you would like to rerun the remote control setup again just remove or backup this file and restart the VDR.

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