Thursday, February 26, 2009

Install Tv tuner in Debian 5

My tv tuner in Fedora 10 intermittently fails after installation which gives me some motivation to install a fresh new debian and hope it could work better.

1. Install driver of Hauppauge HVR-1600 just like we did in Fedora 10.


# uname -r % get the kernel version number denoted in the following by $KERNEL_VERSION

# apt-get install mercurial linux-headers-$KERNEL_VERSION build-essential

# hg clone

# cd v4l-dvb
# make
# make install
# make unload
# modprobe cx18

# wget
# tar -xzvf cx18-firmware.tar.gz
# cp cx18-firmware/*.fw /lib/firmware
# shutdown -r now

2. Use the graphic console to install VLC player and ivtv utilities.

Open VLC, File -> open Capture Device -> PVR -> OK

#ivtv-tune -c44 % This terminal command will be used to choose channels.

If 1-2 steps works for you, then congrats. If not, go to

3. Use the graphic console to search packages with "tv" in descriptions. Install some packages like xawtv/metv/effectv/v4l/, as well as some libraries and codecs relating to tv. (kdetv is not necessary here)

4. Repeat 3 until it works eventually.

P. S.

vlc player failed playing TV again. Disgusting...... I have to give up.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nvidia Driver in Debian 5

Nvidia driver was mostly easily installed in Fedora 10 in the previous posts. Here we install the same nvidia video driver in Debian. It took me a couple of hours googling for a solution. The following is just for my records to save some time if I update my Debian linux kernel later. We should note that even we do not bother installing the driver, there is still a graphic interface. But, the video card fan keeps howling and would totally make you mad.

1. Install packages such as binutils/ gcc /make /kernel/kernel-header/kernel-devel, which would be necessary for compiling a working video driver. I suggest we search for "kernel" as a keyword in graphic interface to install kernel-related packages. It could happen that we need extra packages when we install the video driver and their names would be suggested in the error information of the installation.

# apt-get install binutils
# apt-get install gcc
# apt-get install make
# apt-get install kernel (also search it in windows)

2. Download from for a video card driver for linux, namely, NVIDIA*.run. Save it to a place accessible for root user.

3. Edit the xorg.conf file

# nano -w /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Then add the following line to the "Device" section of xorg.conf
Driver "nvidia".

Section "Device"
Identifier "Device0"
Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"

4. Obtain non-graphic console to login. Note that the runlevel 2-5 in debian are identical. One has to remove the gdm xdm kdm to get non-graphic console. Remember to reinstall after the video driver installation.

# apt-get remove xdm kdm gdm

5. Reboot to nongraphic console and login as root, change to the directory where the video driver is in.

# sh NVIDIA*.run

6. During the installation it could suggest that something is not appropriate but try to install anyway unless it is totally not proceedable.

7. # apt-get install xdm kdm gdm

8. Have fun..... but most likely not. I tried several round to add all the necessary packages.


It turns out that Debian 5 has some optional driver packages for nvidia video card. I did not know this before I manually installed a working one from However, it caused x-windows failure when I curiously re-installed the debian nvidia video driver. So I just removed the debian one and went through the steps 1-7 once more.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Install TV tuner in Fedora 10

It is a tough task to install tv tuner in linux. Here I install Hauppauge HVR-1600 in Fedora 10.

There are lots of TV softwares for linux, but most of them can not work without tons of Problems after installation!!!

1. Install drivers:

See here (

2. Customize vlc

open VLC player;

File -> open Capture Device -> PVR -> OK

then you can do (in terminal)

ivtv-tune -c25 (25 is channel number)

which changes the channel.

ivtv-tune -h

3. After 2, there could be no audio:

In terminal, do

v4l2-ctl --set-ctrl=volume=65500,mute=0