File README.SuSE-vdr.txt of Package vdr

VDR - Video Disk Recorder

VDR (Video Disk Recorder) is a video playing and recording application for DVB
(Digital Video Brodcast) cards.

File system layout

The vdr package is adapted to fit seamlessy into the SUSE Linux filesystem

  • /etc/vdr contains configuration files that you might want to modify to
    suite your needs (e.g. channels.conf). See man 5 vdr for the syntax of
    those files.
  • /var/spool/video is the place where recordings are stored. If you are low
    on space you should consider putting this on a separate partition.
    Recordings can take up several Gigabytes.
  • /usr/lib/vdr contains shared libraries for plugins. If you compile you own
    plugins you need to put them there.
  • /usr/include/vdr contains header files necessary to compile plugins.

Start scripts

You almost never want to run the vdr binary itself. Use /etc/init.d/vdr to
start vdr as daemon on console 9 or runvdr to start it in the current terminal.
You can configure several parameters for these scripts in /etc/sysconfig/vdr.

Note: vdr as packaged on SUSE LINUX does not run as root but under a special
vdr user account to reduce the risk of damage to the system in case of
(security-)bugs. Do not try to re-use the vdr start scripts for a self-compiled
version without applying the necessary patches!

Setting up the channel list

vdr as packaged on SUSE LINUX contains a minimal /etc/vdr/channels.conf for
Astra-19.2E (DVB-S). You can create you own using dvbscan. For example if you
live in Nuernberg, Germany and want to create a channels.conf for DVB-T you
would run

 dvbscan -o vdr /usr/share/dvb/scan/dvb-t/de-Nuernberg > /etc/vdr/channels.conf

Using vdr with a TV set attached

If you have a full-featured card and intend to run vdr on a dedicated machine
just like a regular VCR, you probably want also use a remote control unit to
control vdr. Unfortunately, the remote control unit shipped with the popular
Hauppauge DVB cards is not supported out of the box. You need to install the
Remote Control-Plugin contained in the vdr-plugins package. For home-brew
hardware or if you also have an analogue card with remote you might want to use
lirc. Use the yast runlevel editor or chkconfig to have dvb, lirc and vdr
started during boot.

Using vdr on a desktop machine

With a full-featured card you can use xawtv for watching TV on your desktop.
You should append /usr/share/doc/packages/xawtv/vdr.config to your ~/.xawtv
file to control vdr from within xawtv.

Using vdr on budget cards

Budget cards do not have an mpeg decoder so you can't connect a TV set to them
nor use v4l applications like xawtv or kvdr to watch TV. Instead you may use
the xine-plugin for vdr (package vdr-plugins). To tell vdr to use this plugin
set the following values in /etc/sysconfig/vdr:


When vdr is running press the "VDR" button in xine (package xine-ui) to get the
live TV picture. You may need to install additional codec packages to be able
to view mpeg streams like the one from the dvb card.

Compiling your own plugins

Normally, vdr plugins expect to be compiled inside the vdr source directory.
This is of course not possible with a prebuilt package. Fortunately, most
plugins can still be easily compiled using the following command:

 make VDRDIR=/usr/include/vdr LIBDIR=/usr/lib/vdr all

If you add the plugin name to VDR_PLUGINS in /etc/sysconfig/vdr, it will be
loaded automatically when vdr starts. Please read the associated comment in
that file for details. Some plugins require additional treatment because vdr is
not running as root. The osd-teletext plugin for example wants to put files
into /vtx. You have to create that directory yourself and change it's owner to
vdr. Other plugins like the dvd plugin open device files, you need to adjust
permissions for these as well.