To use LIRC's setup.sh script you need the dialog
package. It already should be installed on most systems. The
setup.sh script makes configuration of LIRC much easier but
using it is not obligatory.
If you want to compile and use all tools, you also need an
installed svgalib (used by smode2) and the X
Windows header files (needed by irxevent and
xmode2). You can get svgalib from
configure script will notify you if some necessary files are
missing and the according tools won't be compiled.
Irman (=UIR) : To use your Irman with LIRC you need the
libirman library. At the time this has been written
the current libirman version was 0.4.3. Former versions won't
work. Please also read Updating from
Kernel modules: All devices that require a kernel module
will need the properly configured kernel sources being available
somewhere in /usr/src/. During the build process of this package
the kernel Makefile and the current kernel configuration will be
used to work around some other problems that would arise if we
used our own Makefile. That means that you might have to build
your own kernel which is a good idea anyway. Make sure you use
the standard kernel which you can download at www.kernel.org. Don't use any
kernel sources that have been modified for your
distribution. For example you won't be able to compile some
modules for kernels that come with S.u.S.E. 7.0. Please refer to
the documentation of your distribution or read the
README file in the kernel source directory to get more
information on how to compile and set up an own kernel. More
documentation is available at the Linux Documentation
If you are still running a stock kernel that came with your
distribution and don't want to compile a new kernel you can try
the following. Install the kernel sources package of the
currently running kernel. Most distributions provide rpm/deb
packages of their stock kernels. Double-check that you selected
the correct kernel sources. Now make sure that there is a file
called .config in the root directory of the kernel source
tree. This file holds the configuration used to compile this
kernel. If it is not available and you can't get it from a
different source (/boot/config-version (Debian),
/proc/config.gz (SuSE) or
/usr/src/linux-version/configs/ (Red Hat) are good
places to look into) you are out of luck and will have to
configure and compile your own kernel. Otherwise call make
oldconfig && make dep inside the root directory of
the kernel source tree. After that you should be able to compile
the LIRC modules without problems. Just make sure that the
configure script for the LIRC package picked the correct kernel
source directory. But be aware that there might still be some
problems due to incompatible extensions of the distribution
kernels as mentioned in the last paragraph. There are even more
pitfalls. The modules should be compiled with the same compiler
version. Otherwise you might see strange lockups and kernel
oopses. Another problem might be that some distribution vendors
also modify the kernel version variables inside the Makefile of
the kernel and e.g. add something like custom to the
EXTRAVERSION variable. This will result in the modules being
installed in the wrong directory. In such cases it is common
practice to remove the custom string before proceeding
with kernel compilation. This has been only a list of known
problems. If you run into such problems I won't be able to help
you, so don't even ask.
If you want to use a home-brew receiver, an Anir Multimedia
Magic, a Packard Bell receiver, the IRdeo or if you want to use
the SIR IrDA driver, I suggest that you compile the Linux kernel
serial port driver as a module (however, you can choose not to
do so if you use setserial properly, see below). The according
kernel option that should be set to M is
Standard/generic (dumb) serial support
(resp. Standard/generic (8250/16550 and compatible UARTs)
serial support for 2.4 kernels) in the Character
devices section of the kernel configuration
dialogue. Usually the serial port driver grabs all ports it
auto-detects as soon as it is loaded and the LIRC modules won't
be able to use any of them.
There are two solutions for this problem. Either you load the
LIRC module before the kernel serial port driver is loaded
(that's why you have to compile it as a module) or you call
setserial /dev/ttySx uart none to release the according
port. setserial usually is already called during boot-up in some
init script whose location depends on the distribution you
use. Be aware that setserial might also be the cause of
trouble. The reason for this is a kernel bug (known to be true
for 2.2.20, patches are on the way). If you tell setserial to
configure a port that is already claimed by a LIRC module, the
kernel serial driver will steal the port from the LIRC module
and LIRC will stop working. So check your setserial
configuration to only configure available ports. Debian users
should adjust their /etc/serial.conf.
TV cards: To use any remote control receivers connected
directly to a bttv based TV card you will need a working bttv
setup in your kernel. For most TV cards we rely on bttv
autodetection. That way you don't have to give any parameters to
the module as they are selected internally depending on the
information the bttv module gives us. This means that you should
pay attention that your TV card is detected correctly by bttv.
Technisat MediaFocus I: You will have to install the driver for this
Generally speaking everything that can receive or send infrared
signals can be supported by LIRC. The project began with support
for home-brew receivers and transmitters for the serial port and
later support for analogous hardware for the parallel port was
added. At that time the focus of the project was to provide an
infrared solution that is both very cheap and easy to
assemble. The following links point to instructions how to build
your own receiver/transmitter.
Current versions of LIRC now support many more commercially
available solutions. Examples are the Irman, built-in IrDA ports
or TV cards. Drivers for even more hardware are likely to appear
in the future. If you are a programmer who wants to maintain
such a driver you are welcome to join the project.
You should locate your device in this list
of supported devices and see if there is additional
information available regarding the setup of your device.
Before compiling the binaries you have to choose which driver to
use. This can easily be done with the setup.sh
script. Just type ./setup.sh from the shell
prompt. After selecting your driver you can exit the setup with
"Save configuration & run configure".
If you don't have dialog installed you will have to do
it the hard way and give the correct parameters to the configure
script manually. See ./configure --help for a detailed
description of the possible parameters. You will have to at
least choose a driver with the --with-driver=X
There are three special drivers:
will build multiple drivers into lircd and runtime selection
will be possible using the --driver option. However,
not all drivers are included, so in some cases you will have
to select the appropriate driver and not all. This
option will also compile all available kernel modules. Some
kernel modules are only supported with recent kernel
versions. That means that compilation of these drivers might
fail with older kernel versions. If this happens for you, you
should consider using the userspace driver described
below and only compile the kernel modules that you need
will only let lircd talk to other lircd's though the network and
not to any local hardware.
behaves like the all driver option except that no
kernel modules will be built.
When running the configure script, please pay attention at its
output. At the end of the configuration checks, it will tell you
which kernel module (if any) will be required for your
hardware. You can also look up this information in the device table. After having configured the
package just type make and lean back.
Note: You won't find a configure script in the source repo
version of LIRC. You will have to generate it first by executing
./autogen.sh. You need at least libtool-1.3.3,
automake-1.4 and autoconf-2.13 to do this properly.
Installing the compiled programs is really easy, just type
make install. All binaries and modules should be
installed at the usual places. The necessary devices should be
generated in the /dev/ directory and all configuration
files should be copied to its proper destination if you happen
to use some hardware where configuration files are already
When you are using devfs or sysfs with your
kernel, the /dev/lirc device node will disappear again once you
reboot your machine. In that case the LIRC kernel module will
generate the required entry every time it is loaded. But the
device node won't be visible as /dev/lirc, but might be located
in a different location like e.g. /dev/lirc/0. Please be aware
of this fact when starting programs that access the device node
like mode2 or lircd. You will have to use the --device command
line option of these programs to point them to the correct
location. When using sysfs together with the udev daemon you
should copy the lirc.rules file located in the contrib
directory of the source package to
/etc/udev/rules.d/. This will make sure that the device
node will be created.
The core program of LIRC is lircd, the LIRC system
daemon that does all of the decoding of infrared signals. LIRC
comes with a second daemon program: lircmd. lircmd
depends on lircd and translates remote control activity to mouse
movements. Just like all other daemons both lircd and lircmd
should be started at system boot time and do their work in
background. If you want to start them automatically at boot time
you will have to add an init script for them to your
system. Unfortunately the syntax and location of this init
script is highly dependent on the distribution you use so you
will have to figure it out yourself how this works on your
system. Good news is that there already are some init scripts
available in the contrib/ directory of the LIRC
Warning: Never compile daemons with "Disable
daemonize" turned on and place them in some init script
unless you have a rescue disc nearby...
Now you should adjust the file permissions of
/var/run/lirc/lircd (this is the Unix domain socket that clients
use to connect to lircd) so others than root can
connect to lircd.
chmod 666 /var/run/lirc/lircd
should do. You can also create a special group for this purpose.
If your hardware requires a kernel module you should make sure
that the kernel will find the correct module if a program tries
to access /dev/lirc. This can be done by inserting the
following line to your /etc/conf.modules
(/etc/modules.conf for current kernel versions):
alias char-major-61 lirc_driver
Note that here driver is a placeholder for the actual
driver you are using (serial, parallel, etc.).
If your driver requires some special parameters to work you can
specify them at the same place. For example you can set the IRQ
and I/O base the serial port drivers shall use by adding the
following line to /etc/conf.modules:
options lirc_serial irq=4 io=0x3e8
This will override the default values you have selected during setup.
The configure script will tell you which kernel module you need.
Finally you might want to add /usr/local/lib to
/etc/ld.so.conf so the lirc_client library is
found by the run-time linker. Don't forget to call
ldconfig afterwards for the change to take effect.
Testing your hardware & configuration
If you have build the infrared hardware yourself you are
probably eager to find out if it really works. If you have not
build the hardware yourself you can skip the first test. For
most receivers it even won't work because it makes no
Type su to get root privileges and start mode2
(Warning: don't confuse mode2 with mode3: mode3 will set
your video card to a vesa mode using the vesa bios
calls...). This should load the kernel module into the kernel
and display the infrared signals. Hold your remote control to
your infrared receiver and press some buttons. You should see an
output like this (the values of your remote will probably be
If you don't see anything, try to find out: (a) if you selected
the correct driver with the correct settings (I/O base address,
IRQ), (b) if you use a remote which works and (c) if your
hardware works. The voltage input of the infrared receiver
should be 5V +/- 0.5V, the output pin of the receiver should be
about 0.5V less than the input voltage.
From time to time there should be long spaces (>30000). If you
can see very long pulses this usually means that sense auto
detection of your serial port IR receiver circuit has
failed. You can override sense auto detection by loading the
device driver with the following option:
modprobe lirc_serial sense=0 if your receiver circuit is active
modprobe lirc_serial sense=1 if your receiver circuit is active
Well, the driver seems to work, now let's test if lircd also
does its job. This only works, if lircd uses a config file which fits to
your remote control. Use irrecord in the case the LIRC
distribution doesn't provide a config file suitable for your
remote and it still is not available at the LIRC homepage. A
more detailed discussion of creating new config files is
available in the section about, you guess it: Adding new remote controls.
Then start the decoder daemon with (make sure it is in your
path): lircd [config file]
The following program dumps the decoded key codes from lircd to
This looks like this (depending on your remote):
0000000000f40bf0 00 1_DOWN ANIMAX
0000000000f40bf0 01 1_DOWN ANIMAX
0000000000f40bf0 02 1_DOWN ANIMAX
0000000000f40bf0 03 1_DOWN ANIMAX
0000000000f40bf0 04 1_DOWN ANIMAX
0000000000f40bf0 05 1_DOWN ANIMAX
0000000000748bf0 00 1_UP ANIMAX
0000000000748bf0 01 1_UP ANIMAX
0000000000748bf0 02 1_UP ANIMAX
0000000000718ef0 00 RED_BUTTON_UP ANIMAX
If the driver test did work, but you now see nothing, then check
/var/log/lircd. If you still see nothing suspicious
compile lircd in DEBUG mode and look at the log file again. In
debug mode lircd has an additional command line option that lets
you choose the detail level of debug information.
Sending infrared signals
The LIRC package contains the irsend tool for
sending infrared signals to e.g. your TV or CD player. For
reliable transmission a good config file is even more important
than for receiving. A discussion of all the infrared protocols
is way beyond the scope of this manual but when creating a
config file at least read the hints at the end of this
manual. You can find exact timing specifications for most common
inside the remotes/generic/ directory of the LIRC package.
If you want a graphical interface for controlling your devices
using LIRC, you should have a look at xrc. You can download the
xrc package from the LIRC homepage. xrc is a Qt based
program. Setting up xrc and Qt is a bit tricky so if you don't
manage to compile it you can still use irsend. It has the full
functionality you need.
- Remove the installed binaries, and device nodes:
- Remove the config files, if you don't need them anymore:
rm /etc/lirc/lircd.conf /etc/lirc/lircmd.conf /etc/lirc/lircrc ~/.lircrc
Module specific information
This module receives scan codes from the GPIO register of bt88
chips using polling or interrupts if the card supports this. It is a
"plugin" for the lirc_dev module. It loads
bttv and lirc_dev modules if they are not
The following gives a list of parameters for the module. If your
TV card is already listed as supported than you don't need to
care about parameters except debug and card
because all other are set to the correct values
automatically. Setting the values manually only makes sense
while adding support for a new TV card so that you don't have to
recompile the module each time you try a different value.
- debug (0) - value other than 0 (zero) enables
printing more log messages
- card (0) - number of TV card from which receive scan
- minor (-1) - minor device number for
- gpio_mask (0) - bit mask used for extracting usable
bits from GPIO value
If this parameter is equal to 0 then
the module tries to autodetect the TV card and the remaining
parameters are ignored.
- gpio_lock_mask (0) - if this value "anded"
with GPIO value is non zero than it indicates that scan code
is not ready (value of 0 of this parameter disables
- gpio_xor_mask (0) - bitmask applied (by xor
operation) to GPIO value before lock_mask is checked
- soft_gap (0) - minimal gap (in milliseconds) between
two scan codes (value of 0 disables checking)
- sample_rate (10) - how often (times per second) GPIO
will be polled, set to 0 for interrupt driven input
- bttv_id (unknown) - force given bttv id, signals from
some cards are translated to match original codes
Usage example would be e.g:
modprobe lirc_gpio gpio_mask=0x1f00 gpio_lock_mask=0x8000 gpio_xor_mask=0 soft_gap=400 sample_rate=12
Autodetection is performed using the API from the bttv
module - this means that if bttv doesn't properly
recognize the card type the remote control won't work.
Updating from lirc-0.5.4
This section only describes changes that break compatibility
with older versions. Please read the NEWS file to learn
about all new features of this release.
The config files of lircd and lircmd are now
located in /usr/local/etc/ instead of /etc/
per default. Most people prefer to make /usr/local/etc/
a link to /etc/.
The modules no longer are uniformly installed as lirc.o
but are called lirc_driver.o depending on the driver
you are using. Therefore you might have to edit your
/etc/conf.modules and change the line
alias char-major-61 lirc
to whatever you need.
LIRC now supports the Irman directly. lirmand is no
longer necessary. Before installing this version you should call
rm /dev/lirc to remove the FIFO that was
used in lirc-0.5.4. /dev/lirc now should be a link to
the device the Irman is connected to (e.g. /dev/ttyS1).
Updating from lirc-0.6.2
The lirc_gpio_p has been renamed to lirc_gpio. It now also
contains support for TV cards that are able to generate
interrupts if infra-red commands are received. The lirc_gpio_i
driver that implemented this has been removed. The lirc_fly98
also has been removed as it is now supported by the lirc_gpio
The lirc_haup module has been renamed to lirc_i2c.
The transmit code in lirc_serial has been modified
slightly. If you have problems transmitting decrease the
frequency value in the lircd config file by approximately 2000.
There have been major changes to the SIR driver. If you used
this driver before you may have to generate new config files for
your remotes. Transmitting is now more likely to work.
The config file for the old AVerMedia TVCapture and TVPhone
cards (pre 98) has changed. Please use the new config file that
you can find in remotes/avermedia/lircd.conf.avermedia.
Updating from lirc-0.6.3
lircd.conf and lircmd.conf are in /etc again.
Two independend bugs were fixed in the IRdeo and home-brew
transmitter code that affected correct pulse/space timings in
some situations. This might break config files that did work
with previous versions.
Updating from lirc-0.6.4
AVerMedia TV cards with ID 0x00011461 and 0x00041461 should
finally work with the provided config files. That means they
will no longer work with the config files you have created
The I/O base address for some modules now is set with the
io parameter. (formerly: lirc_sir = iobase, lirc_serial
and lirc_parallel = port).
Updating from lirc-0.6.5
The config file for the Pixelview PlayTV pro and compatible TV
cards has changed. Please use the config file in
The config file for the Winfast TV2000 and compatible TV cards
has changed. Please use the config file in
Updating from lirc-0.6.6
The config files for all FlyVideo TV cards have changed. Please
use the config file in
The config file for the Winfast TV2000 TV card has
changed. Please use the config file in
The lirc_sir now should generate better signals for some
remotes. Due to the change some old config files generated with
previous versions of the driver might stop working. In this case
you should just create a new config file using the new
driver. If you want to get the old behaviour of the driver
(deprecated) you can insert the module using the
threshold=2 parameter. The default of
threshold is now set to 3. You might even want to try
When you are using LIRC with the Linux input layer
driver, make sure that your config file contains the following
line in its header:
Otherwise lircd will not recoginise any events.
Updating from lirc-0.7.x
There is a new program that you probably want to use: lircrcd reads the .lircrc config file
and synchronises the mode that the LIRC clients using this
config file (irexec, irxevent, etc.) are in. Using lircrcd has
to be explicitly enabled in the config file by adding the
following line at the beginning of the file:
Updating from lirc-0.8.1
The config file for the Pinnacle Systems PCTV (pro) receiver has
changed. Please use the config file in
The config file for the Creative Infra Receiver/CIMR100 has
changed. Please use the config file in
Updating from lirc-0.8.4
Newly added iMon LCD displays with device ids 15c2:0038 and 15c2:0045
use a larger buffer to enable all remote and panel buttons. Consequently,
config files for earlier iMon receivers are not compatible with these
new devices, and vice versa. Be sure to select the appropriate 64-bit
config for a newer iMon LCD. (Early cvs support for the 0038 used only
a 32-bit buffer).
For the 0038: remotes/imon/lircd.conf.imon-ultrabay.
For the 0045: remotes/imon/lircd.conf.imon-antec-veris.
The behaviour of the quit flag in the .lircrc config file
has changed slightly concerning button sequences. Previously the
quit flag had no effect on button sequences which had partly
been entered. Now the quit flag will make execution of further
configurations stop even though just part of the button sequence
has been entered.
There was an interface change in the lirc_dev kernel
module. If you get an error message like
lirc_serial: Unknown symbol lirc_unregister_driver
lirc_serial: Unknown symbol lirc_register_driver
when trying to load any of the lirc kernel modules, then you have
probably an old version of lirc_dev loaded. Make sure
that the lirc_dev version that comes with this release is
Updating from lirc-0.8.5
The lircd socket was moved from /dev/lircd to
/var/run/lirc/lircd to conform to the Filesystem Hierarchy
Standard. The default pid file location was moved from
/var/run/lircd.pid to /var/run/lirc/lircd.pid.
The default location of lircd, lircmd and lircrcd config files
was moved to /etc/lirc/lircd.conf,
/etc/lirc/lircmd.conf and /etc/lirc/lircrc. If
the config files are not found in that location, they are still
searched at the old location in /etc/.
The functionality of the lirc_mceusb2 driver has been
merged into the lirc_mceusb driver. The
lirc_mceusb2 driver is now obsolete and has been
removed. You should use lirc_mceusb from now on.
Updating from lirc-0.9.0
Building kernel modules is not supported from 0.9.1. Most tests are
done using 'with-driver=userspace'. Using other options is deprecated
and will not be supported in upcoming releases.
From 0.9.1 it's not necessary to setup the kernel rc driver using
something like 'echo "lirc" > /sys/class/rc/rco/protocol"; this is
done automagically by lircd. Doing it twice does no harm.
From 0.9.1 lirc uses a new configuration file for default option
values, normally /etc/lirc/lirc_options.conf. The idea is that
setting up the lirc services should not be distribution dependent.
From 0.9.1 lirc has a rather complete systemd support. By default,
services are installed in /usr/lib/systemd/system. Note that the
service to run lircd is lircd.socket, not lircd.service.
From 0.9.1 the documentation is built by a plain make (earlier, this
required a specific target). As a result, the built docs are not part
of the distribution. Note that ./ configure affects how the docs
By default, stub configuration files are installed. This can be disabled
using the new --with-install-etc configure option.
The LIRC Manual, last update: 10-June-2014