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Debian includes packaged versions of VDR and a selection of VDR plugins You can use Aptitude or Synaptic to search for available vdr packages. eg.

richard@vito:~$ aptitude search ^vdr
p   vdr                             - Video Disk Recorder for DVB cards
v   vdr-daemon                      -
id  vdr-dev                         - Video Disk Recorder for DVB cards
v   vdr-kbd                         -
v   vdr-lirc                        -
p   vdr-plugin-bitstreamout         - Plugin to vdr for playing AC3-Sound via yo
p   vdr-plugin-console              - Plugin for vdr that implements a virtual t
p   vdr-plugin-dvd                  - Plugin to vdr for playing DVD's
p   vdr-plugin-examples             - Plugins for vdr to show some possible feat
p   vdr-plugin-femon                - DVB frontend status monitor plugin for vdr
p   vdr-plugin-freecell             - Plugin to vdr that implements the card gam
p   vdr-plugin-games                - Plugin to vdr for playing tetris, snake an
p   vdr-plugin-mp3                  - Plugin to vdr for playing mp3's
p   vdr-plugin-osdteletext          - Teletext plugin for vdr
p   vdr-plugin-prefermenu           - Plugin that implements a preferred channel
p   vdr-plugin-remote               - Plugin for vdr to support the built-in rem
p   vdr-plugin-sky                  - Plugin for using a Sky Digibox with vdr
p   vdr-plugin-vcd                  - Plugin to vdr for playing (S)VCD's
p   vdr-plugin-weather              - Weather plugin for vdr
v   vdr-rcu                         -
p   vdradmin                        - Web-based administration tool for vdr
  • Use Aptitude or Synaptic to install the base "vdr" package and any plugins that interest you.
richard@vito:~$ sudo aptitude install vdr
  • You will be prompted and asked to make decisions about:
    • DVB kernel modules (in my experience DVB modules are automatically loaded)
    • Default recordings directory (it recommends /var/lib/video.00 and asks to create it, I always say no and manually create a /srv/vdr folder, it's up to you)
    • Choose your card type


  • If you have a Full-featured DVB Card (one with a builtin MPEG decoder chip) then these packages will probably be all you need to get started.
  • If on the other hand you have bought a so called budget DVB card, you will need to install a software decoder plugin. You can either compile and install it manually, or compile the latest Debian packaged version.