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 openSUSE filesystem
hierarchy:

  • /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,lib64}/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, if the
      package vdr-devel is installed.

Start scripts

You almost never want to run the vdr binary itself. If the package
runvdr-extreme-systemd is installed, you can configure the start parameter in the
file /etc/runvdr.conf and start vdr in the background using

 systemctl start vdr.service

If you want to start vdr automatically on boot run

 systemctl enable vdr.service

Note: vdr as packaged on openSUSE 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 openSUSE 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

 scan -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 systemctl 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 to watch TV. Instead you may use the
xine-plugin for vdr (package vdr-plugin-xine). To tell vdr to use this plugin
add -P'xine -r' to your vdr start script, or if using runvdr-extreme-systemd
add the following to /etc/runvdr.conf

 AddPlugin xine -r

When vdr is running press the "VDR" button in xine (package xine-ui) to get the
live TV picture. Instead of xine-ui you can also use any xine based media
player like kaffeine by opening the url vdr://var/lib/vdr-xine/stream#
demux:mpeg_pes

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

See also openSUSE:Packaging_vdr for instructions how to properly package vdr
plugins to fit into package management.

Normally, current vdr plugins can be compiled and installed as any standard
software using make && make install, but old 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 LOCALEDIR=/usr/share/vdr/locale all

To tell vdr to use the plugin add -P'pluginname' to your vdr start script, or
if using runvdr-extreme-systemd add an "AddPlugin" line to /etc/runvdr.conf.
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.

Updated Packages

Packages for the most recent stable vdr version are available via the openSUSE
build service

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