Posts tagged: infra red

XBMC, from the couch with an IR Remote

There’s not a whole lot of coverage on how to get your XBMC working with a remote control. Here’s the short of it. If you’ve followed my guide for installing MCE remote control using LIRC with Ubuntu 8.10, and assuming that worked, then this may very well work for you.

Open up a terminal and start irw. We want to echo the keypresses from the IR remote. Mine does something like this for the Play, Left Arrow and Power buttons (just for example).

USER@PC:~$ irw
000000037ff07be9 00 KEY_PLAY mceusb2
000000037ff07bdf 00 KEY_LEFT mceusb2
000000037ff07bf3 00 KEY_POWER mceusb2

Which means when I press the Play button, XBMC is going to want to know that it should be looking for the “KEY_PLAY” message. Here’s how we do that.

First, back up your XBMC Lircmap.xml file. Mine was found in /usr/share/xbmc/system/

sudo cp /usr/share/xbmc/system/Lircmap.xml /usr/share/xbmc/system/Lircmap.xml.orig

That’s just so you’ve got an original to fall back on if things really mess up. Next, download my Lircmap.xml configuration.


Stick the Lircmap.xml file in /usr/share/xbmc/system/

sudo mv lircmap.xml /usr/share/xbmc/system/Lircmap.xml

NOTE: Keep a copy of your configured Lircmap.xml handy. I just turned on XBMC today and found that my remote wasn’t working. My customized Lircmap.xml was overwritten (possibly through an update) so I had to find my configured Lircmap.xml and overwrite the default one again.

irw should show you that your keys map the same way mine did (KEY_PLAY, etc). If they don’t, open up the /usr/share/xbmc/system/Lircmap.xml and replace the KEY_X with whatever irw tells you it is.

Here’s a snippet of what my Lircmap.xml looks like:

    <remote device="mceusb2">

One thing you may notice, and this is very important, is the <remote device=”mceusb2″> part. Remember irw told me that my Play button echos

000000037ff07be9 00 KEY_PLAY mceusb2

Well, pay attention to that mceusb2 part there. If yours does not say mceusb2 then change <remote device=”mceusb2″> to reflect whatever yours may be (perhaps just mceusb).

And contrary to other tutorials out there, you do not need a Keymap.xml file in your ~/.xbmc/userdata directory for this to work.

Ubuntu, from the couch with an IR Remote.

irw is the command to test if your IR Remote is working. I’m using a “Windows Vista Certified” MCE remote. irw becomes available when lirc has been installed, so go ahead and install lirc now if you havent’ already.

sudo apt-get install lirc

superm1 at the Ubuntu forums says:

Start out by installing lirc-modules-source
sudo apt-get install lirc-modules-source

Next grab the lirc_mceusb2.c source file from LIRC CVS.

Drop it in the appropriate directory in /usr/src/lirc-0.8.3/
sudo cp lirc_mceusb2.c /usr/src/lirc-0.8.3/lirc_mceusb2

Now issue these commands:
sudo dkms -m lirc -v 0.8.3 build
sudo dkms -m lirc -v 0.8.3 install

Remove and reload the module
sudo rmmod lirc_mceusb2
sudo modprobe lirc_mceusb2

Restart lirc to try it (assuming that it has been configured for a mceusb2 properly)
sudo /etc/init.d/lirc restart

Now you can give irw a try from the command line. It’ll start listening for button presses from the remote. If you press play and it shows that you pushed the play button (or left arrow, right arrow, stop, pause, etc) and the buttons match then that’s good.

Troubleshooting (like I had to do)

If you do this

sudo dkms -m lirc -v 0.8.3 build

and you get this

Error! This module/version has already been built on: 2.6.24-19-generic
Directory: /var/lib/dkms/lirc/0.8.3/2.6.24-19-generic/x86_64
already exists.  Use the dkms remove function before trying to build again.

Then you’ll have to do what it says and use the dkms remove function like this

sudo dkms remove -m lirc -v 0.8.3 --all

followed by

sudo dkms add -m lirc -v 0.8.3

And then pick up from the build stage again. That should set things straight.

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