Archived:HOW TO Installing DVB

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This page contains information to help an "end user" install a DVB device on his or her GNU/Linux system. NOTE: Some of the following steps are specific to debian-based distributions, however these instructions should still be helpful to uses of other distributions as a guide.

Required Software

Before starting, you'll need to have installed the following software:

  • mercurial: needed to download the latest source from the Version System used by LinuxTV developers
  • kernel-headers: needed for compiling the the driver
  • compiling suite: tools for compiling and installing the driver
    • make
    • gcc

This guide does not include steps to accomplish the installation of the above software for all distributions.

Required Software: Ubuntu, Debian and Debian-based

On Ubuntu you can use the following command to install all the required software:

 sudo apt-get install mercurial linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential gcc make

Obtain latest source

Now that we have all the software installed you should be able to download the latest source with the following command:

 hg clone

Let's assume that we have executed the command from the /usr/src directory, so we end up with /usr/src/v4l-dvb

Compiling the latest Driver

Let's go inside the directory that contain the just downloaded driver, continuing with our example means to run the command:

 cd /usr/src/v4l-dvb


 cd v4l-dvb

Now we have just to compile the source with


If get any trouble here you can contact the developer by irc at:

  • Channels: #linuxtv #dvb

Obtain the firmware

To obtain the firmware need by your device you need to know the name and model of the device.

Discovering the Device Name and Model

The device name and model are usually written on the device, on the box or/and the manual of the device itself, but you can also uso the command:

 lspci -v

if your device is connected by PCI or

 lsusb -v

if your device is connected by USB to discover such information.

Selecting right firmware

Now that you know which device is in your hands you can look at the list of the supported device at:

and there you can find which firmware is need by your device

Downloading and Installing the firmware

The firmware can be found on one of the folloing address:

and must download on the directory used by you're hotplug, that usually depens on the distro that you're using but usually the directory are:

 /lib/firmware/$(uname -r)           [Ubuntu use that directoy one for each kernel installed]

Installing driver

Now you have to install the driver and then connect the device to your pc. To install the driver you have to execute:

 sudo make unload
 sudo make install

Connect the device now and then start you're prefered program for watching DVB like Kaffeine

Appendix A: Next Steps

Next step can be read at:

Appendix B: FAQ

Q: My device was working perfectly but now is not recongnized anymore?

A: Probably now you're using a different kernel so you have to install the driver again and ensure that the firmware is reached by hotplug system. Beacuse some distro(like Ubuntu) use a firmware directory for each kernel version installed

Q: My DVB device is recognized but I'm not able to use it?

A: You should check that the user that is trying to access DVB device have right to read and write on the /dev/dvb directory that contains all virtual file where each of them rappresent a DVB device discovered by your system

Q: I have download the firmware but no /dev/dvb are present on my system

A: Probably you're saved the firmware on directory that's used by the hotplug system for discovering the available firmware or the firmare is not readble by ALL the user.

Appendix C: Credits

This page is been created by:

  • Stefano "Kismet" Lenzi