HDTV and Kodi in your living room - based on Nvidia VDPAU, VDR and Ubuntu Linux

Announcing yaVDR-0.6.1

Avatar of hepihepi - 03. March 2016 - yaVDR

Dear users and fans of yaVDR,

We are very happy to announce the release of yaVDR 0.6.1. The ISO image can be downloaded via our download page as usual.

yaVDR 0.6.1 is the first bugfix/stability release to yaVDR 0.6.0 and should fix some slightly annoying problems with the kernel used during the installation and the Nvidia driver that affected a number of users. It also includes the latest packages updates and also the latest version of Kodi.

As explained on this blog a couple of days ago, we use this opportunity to provide you with a detailed overview over yaVDR 0.6.



yaVDR 0.6 contains numerous new features and improvements. The most important noteworthy changes are:

Updated basis and drivers

  • yaVDR 0.6 is based on Ubuntu 14.04.1 (64-bit) and kernel 3.13. You can decide to upgrade to a more recent kernel version using the LTS Enablement Stack: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/LTSEnablementStack
  • The yaVDR ISO image contains nvidia-current (304.131). But depending on the Nvidia card you use a different driver version might be needed, so please note the following: If an internet connection is available during installation (recommended) the ubuntu-drivers utility will be run with option "autoinstall" to load and install recommended drivers for nVidia cards, Virtual Box etc.
  • We did also package recent versions of media-build-experimental-dkms and Digital Devices dddvb-dkms that might improve your experience in case you need them for specific DVB adapters you own.

A choice of audio engines: ALSA or PulseAudio

  • Regarding audio output, you can now choose between ALSA and PulseAudio. PulseAudio should enable you to give different applications access to the sound harware at the same time. But if you are planning to use passthrough, you should probably stick to ALSA audio output as not all Passthrough modes are supported by PulseAudio. PulseAudio runs in system mode and can be controlled and configured via

Installation advice: Upstart jobs, mounts, etc.

  • Please note that the upstart jobs have been modified to some extend, so custom templates from a yaVDR 0.5 installation might need to be adapted.
  • If you decide to mount an existing partition to /srv or /srv/vdr during installation there must be not more than one of the folders /srv/vdr/video.00 or /srv/vdr/video existing, so that the install script can create a symlink to the video directory (needed for compatibility by some scripts).
  • Some patience might be required during installation:
    • The preseed phase can take a while on slower systems - some DKMS packages are being compiled here. Use keyboard shortcut Alt-F4 to display the debug console to see what is happening (switch back using Alt-F1.)
    • On first boot of you newly installed yaVDR system the upstart script first-vdr-start is run. Please don't reboot the system as long as this script is running. Once it is finished, it will remove itself from the file /etc/init/first-vdr-start.conf) and start VDR and the VDR frontend next.

Comes with latest stable VDR Version 2.2.0

sudo mkdir -p /srv/vdr/video.new
sudo rsync -Logprt /srv/vdr/video.00/* /srv/vdr/video_new/
# if everything went well, delete old directories
sudo rm -fr /srv/vdr/video.{00..99}
# move the recording directory to it's new place
sudo mv /srv/vdr/video.new /srv/vdr/video

  • The hide-first-recording-directory patch allows to hide the first level of subdirectories in vdr's VIDEODIR and show all recordings together
  • Most options have been removed from /etc/default/vdr, see /usr/share/doc/vdr/README.Debian.gz for further details

 Refactored configuration of VDR and plugins

  • The configuration for the start arguments of VDR and it's plugins has been changed. /etc/vdr/plugins/order.conf is no longer being used and has been removed in favour of the new ARGSDIR configuration scheme.
  • On startup vdr reads all *.conf files in /etc/vdr/conf.d/ which contain the start arguments for the vdr itself and it's plugins using a variant of the conffile syntax. A section begins with either "[vdr]" or the plugin name in square brackets. Each argument is written in a new line.
  • You can use the new tool vdrctl to enable, edit or disable configuration files. See "vdrctl -h" for details.
  • "expect stop" has been removed from vdr's upstart job. If you need to start another job after vdr is read, you can use either an upstart job with the start condition "start on started vdr" or the tool on_vdr (see  "on_vdr -h" for usage information)
  • dbus2vdr is considered an essential plugin and must not be deactivated (unless the depending scripts are modified, too)

VDR frontends


  • You can attach and detach the softhddevice frontend with your keyboard by pressing SUPER-a and SUPER-s
  • We dropped the option to use Kodi as primary frontend option because there is no way for a controlled shutdown respecting running recordings an hooks from the lifeguard-addon

Kodi 16

  • Kodi 16.0 Jarvis (previously XBMC)
  • The Kodi PVR addon used to access VDR is VNSI instead of XVDR.
  • if you want to enable all shutdown options for kodi, create the file /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/10-vdr.pkla with this content:

[Actions for vdr user]

  • Note that neither active VDR recordings nor the VDR lifeguard-addon will prevent a manually triggered shutting down of the PC. Also VDR has no chance to set a wakup time for the next recording during a manual shutdown from KODI - so you need to create your own skript to be run as wakeup command - see kodi.wiki/view/Configuring_live_TV_settings

New: Avahi-Linker

  • avahi-mounter has been replaced by avahi-linker
  • avahi-linker uses autofs to mount NFS shares. There is a 60 second timeout to release unused shares (which can be configured in /etc/auto.master.d/avahi-linker.autofs), so it is not necessary to disable the lifeguard option for NFS shares anymore
  • If a second VDR box (used as a client) is replaying a recording and pause is called, a helper script will prevent that the NFS share with this recording is unmounted. You can disable this by creating the file /etc/init/prevent-umount-on-pause.override with the content "manual".
  • avahi-linker uses the <name> tag of an announced share. If you prefer to see the hostname instead, you can set the following option in /etc/avahi-linker/default:

use_hostname = True
- the subdirectory paths have been changed to allow to sort by category:
# avahi-mounter:
# avahi-linker:
# using use_hostname = True:

  • There are two upstart jobs for sending and receiving notifications when the a recording directory on a yaVDR on the network has been modified (/etc/init/vdr-update-monitor.conf and /etc/init/vdr-net-monitor.conf), so newly started, moved and deleted recordings should be visible on all yaVDR 0.6 instances.
  • if you want to disable the avahi-linker, set "ENABLED=0" in/etc/default/avahi-linker.
  • it is possible (but not recommended) to mix yaVDR 0.5 with avahi-mounter and yaVDR 0.6 with avahi-linker in the same network since avahi-mounter can cause the vdr to hang if more than two machines running it are active at the same time.

Updated vdr-addon-lifeguard

  • We replaced the option to check for aptitude by checking für apt and apt-get in the webfrontend
  • Added possibility to check for a lock file (can be added to /etc/vdr/lifeguard.conf):

file /path/to/my/file A\ reason\ why\ shutdown\ was\ cancelled

Automatic setup functions

If another yaVDR 0.5 or 0.6 is found during the first start after installation,

  • the channel list will be copied from it and
  • the streamdev-client plugin will be set up to connect to it, if there is no local dvb device or a Sat>IP server available.

Outdated plugins were removed

Some VDR plugins are not maintained anymore or have become incompatible to our VDR package. We moved them to a separate PPA: launchpad.net/~yavdr/+archive/ub…iscontinued-vdr

Affected are for example:

  • vdr-plugin-lcr (ungepflegt)
  • vdr-plugin-tvtv (der Dienst wurde AFAIK 2013 eingestellt)
  • vdr-plugin-rotorng (inkompatibel zu den Änderungen in VDR 2.2.x)
  • vdr-plugin-ttxtsubs (würde einen zusätzlichen Patch für den VDR erfordern)
  • vdr-plugin-lastfm (libsocket ist nicht mehr in den Ubuntu-Paketquellen verfügbar)


A German language documentation for version 0.6 (work in progress) is available here: http://www.yavdr.org/documentation/0.6/de/

Your feedback

Please note:


We would like to thank Klaus Schmidinger, author of VDR core, all VDR plugin and addon authors, the VDR community and our testers.

I personally would also like to add a thank you to all yaVDR team members (currently active, currently inactive like myself) for their long-term commitment and passion towards this project. I'm especially impressed by those guys within our team who consistently have remained active and productive for an astonishing long period of time and had the energy to push yaVDR 0.6 out of the garage into the "public domain" against all odds. Thank you!

To all yaVDR fans who had the stamina to read through this whole blog posting: Have fun with yaVDR 0.6.1!

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