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This is a "plugin" for the Video Disk Recorder (VDR).
Written by: Lars Hanisch <>
Project's homepage:
Latest version available at: git://
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
See the file COPYING for more information.
This plugin will expose some methods via DBus to control the vdr.
dbus2vdr will use the system bus so your box has to be configured that the user
in which context your vdr is running is allowed to connect to it.
Copy the de.tvdr.vdr.conf file to /etc/dbus-1/system.d and adjust it to your needs.
It is prepared that only the user 'vdr' can own the used destination and every user
can call its methods.
In the bin-directory you find a helper script for sending dbus messages to the vdr.
Instead of calling:
dbus-send --system --type=method_call --dest=de.tvdr.vdr \
--print-reply /Plugins/<pluginname> \
de.tvdr.vdr.plugin.SVDRPCommand string:'command' string:'parameter'
you can call: /Plugins/<pluginname> plugin.SVDRPCommand string:'command' string:'parameter'
Debian/Ubuntu packages:
libdbus-1-dev, libglib2.0-dev, pkg-config, libjpeg-dev, libpng++-dev
Objectpaths and interface names are restricted to some naming conventions. Only letters, numbers
and the underscore are allowed. DBus doesn't provide any official escaping, so dbus2vdr won't do it.
The only part of the names, which could contain other symbols are name of plugins. But "officially"
there are also no other characters than letters and numbers allowed. And I only knew about
streamdev-server/-client which break this rule. I think they should get fixed...
Multi Instance Support
The default destination address is "de.tvdr.vdr". In case of a vdr version above 1.7.4 and an
instance id (vdr parameter -i) greater than 0, this instance id is appended to this address,
e.g. "de.tvdr.vdr1". If you use this feature you have to clone the dbus-policy file and change
the address. Also is not ready for this - use dbus-send or whatever you use to
communicate with dbus2vdr...
Commandline Arguments
-s, --shutdown-hooks=/path/to/shutdown-hooks
uses all files in the given directory as shutdown-hooks
usually it's /usr/share/vdr/shutdown-hooks
-w, --shutdown-hooks-wrapper=/path/to/shutdown-hooks-wrapper
path to a program that will call the shutdown-hooks with suid
-o, --osd
creates an OSD-provider which will save the OSD as PNG files
(see comments below at section "OSD")
use sd_notify to notify systemd
-u, --upstart
enable Upstart started/stopped events
-n, --network
enable network support
(see comments below at section "Network")
connect to the session D-Bus daemon
don't connect to the system D-Bus daemon
don't start GMainLoop
(don't use this option if you don't understand)
creates an output device, which does nothing
can be activated to suspend in/output of DVB streams
if "force" dbus2vdr will set this device as primary device on startup
Interface "channel"
- get count of channels /Channels channel.Count
- get current channel /Channels channel.Current
- get channels between from_index and to_index /Channels channel.GetFromTo int32:from_index int32:to_index
- list channels like SVDRP command CHAN /Channels channel.List string:'[ :groups | <number> | <name> | <id> ]'
The returned array contains the channel number and the string from the channels.conf.
Interface "device"
- get current primary device /Devices device.GetPrimary
- get index of the nulldevice (-1 if not created) /Devices device.GetNullDevice
- request switch to primary device /Devices device.RequestPrimary int32:index
- list devices /Devices device.List
The returned array contains the device index, number, a boolean value "hasDecoder",
a boolean value "isPrimary" and the name of the device.
Interface "epg"
- disable EIT scanner with timeout (default: 3600) /EPG epg.DisableScanner int32:3600
- enable EIT scanner /EPG epg.EnableScanner
- clear EPG data with a value for inactivity timeout of eit-scanner (default: 10) /EPG epg.ClearEPG string:'channel' int32:10
- add EPG entry /EPG epg.PutEntry array:string:'C ...','E ...',...
The end marker argument '.' will be added if not provided.
- read EPG data from file /EPG epg.PutFile string:'/path/to/epg/data'
- get current or next event of given or all channels if string is empty /EPG epg.Now string:'channel' /EPG epg.Next string:'channel' /EPG epg.At string:'channel' uint64:time
The events are returned as an array of structs.
Each struct contains a string as a key and a variant as its value.
Possible keys and their variant type are:
ChannelID string
EventID uint32
Title string
ShortText string
Description string
StartTime uint64
EndTime uint64
Duration uint64
Vps uint64
RunningStatus int32
ParentalRating int32
ContentID[i] int32 (0 <= i <= MaxEventContents)
Content[i] string (0 <= i <= MaxEventContents)
Interface "plugin"
If a plugin's name contains a hyphen, it will be replaced with an underscore in its
object-path, e.g. streamdev-server will be found at /Plugins/streamdev_server.
- send SVDRP commands to plugins /Plugins/<pluginname> plugin.SVDRPCommand string:'command' string:'parameter'
If the SVDRP command doesn't take a parameter you must pass an empty string.
- call Service method of plugins /Plugins/<pluginname> plugin.Service string:'id' string:'data'
Interface "pluginmanager"
- list all loaded plugins /Plugins pluginmanager.List
You'll get an array of structs containing two strings, the name and the version of the plugins.
Interface "recording"
- trigger an update of the list of recordings /Recordings recording.Update
- get info about one recording /Recordings recording.Get [ variant:int32:number | variant:string:'path' ]
The following is returned:
struct of
int32 number of recording
array of
string key
variant value
possible keys: Path, Name, Title, Start, Deleted, Priority, Lifetime,
HierarchyLevels, FramesPerSecond, NumFrames, LengthInSeconds, FileSizeMB,
IsPesRecording, IsNew, IsEdited
If an cRecordingInfo object exists there can also be:
Info/ChannelID, Info/ChannelName, Info/Title, Info/ShortText, Info/Description,
Info/Aux, Info/FramesPerSecond
If the info object has components there might be:
Info/Component/<nr>/stream, Info/Component/<nr>/type, Info/Component/<nr>/language,
- list recordings /Recordings recording.List
returned is an array of the same structs as with "Get".
- play recording given by path or number /Recordings recording.Play [ variant:int32:number | variant:string:'path' ] [ variant:string:'hh:mm:ss.f' | variant:int32:framenumber ]
If framenumber is -1, playing is resumed at the last saved position.
If your vdr is patched with the "extra video directories" patch there are also the following methods.
- add extra video directory /Recordings recording.AddExtraVideoDirectory string:directory
Don't forget to manually update your recordings after adding all directories.
- clear extra video directories list /Recordings recording.ClearExtraVideoDirectories
- delete an extra video directory /Recordings recording.DeleteExtraVideoDirectory string:directory
- list all extra video directories /Recordings recording.ListExtraVideoDirectories
Besides the usual reply-code and -message you get an array of strings with the
currently present video directories.
Interface "remote"
- enable/disable the remote /Remote remote.Enable /Remote remote.Disable /Remote remote.Status
- hit a key, you may specify more than one key /Remote remote.HitKey string:'Menu' /Remote remote.HitKeys array:string:'Menu','Down','Down','Ok',...
- display list of strings on the osd and let the user select one /Remote remote.AskUser string:'title' array:string:'item 1','item 2',...
The zero-based index of the selected item will be returned with the signal "AskUserSelect",
the first parameter is the title-string, the second the index.
An index of -1 means, no item is selected (or osd closed because of a timeout).
- open the main menu entry of a plugin /Remote remote.CallPlugin string:'name-of-plugin'
- switch channel like SVDRP command CHAN /Remote remote.SwitchChannel string:'[ + | - | <number> | <name> | <id> ]'
- get/set volume like SVDRP command VOLU /Remote remote.GetVolume /Remote remote.SetVolume variant:string:'[ <number> | + | - | mute ]' /Remote remote.SetVolume variant:int32:<number>
return type:
- int32 with the current volume
- bool with the current mute status
additional return values at SetVolume:
- int32 reply code
- string reply message
Interface "setup"
- list all parameters from setup.conf /Setup setup.List
return type is an array of structs containing a string and a variant.
The string contains the key of the line from the setup.conf.
The variant can be:
- struct of three integers "(iii)":
value of the option and its min and max values
- struct of string and integer "(si)":
value of the option and its max length (-1 for unknown)
- 64bit integer "x":
value of the option (timestamp)
- get parameters from setup.conf /Setup setup.Get string:'MinUserInactivity'
- set parameters to setup.conf /Setup setup.Set string:'MinUserInactivity' variant:int32:0
Some parameters are known to be integers (look at setup.c) with a valid
range. All others are handled as strings.
WARNING: Be careful to set values unknown to dbus2vdr. It will trigger a reload
of the whole setup.conf including calls to SetupParse of every plugin.
This might have unexpected side effects!
- delete parameters from setup.conf /Setup setup.Del string:'PrimaryLimit'
You may also get/set/delete parameters for plugins with /Setup setup.Get string:'pluginname.parameter' /Setup setup.Set string:'pluginname.parameter' variant:string:'value' /Setup setup.Del string:'pluginname.parameter'
but it is not guaranteed that it will work and that changes will affect the plugin's
behaviour immediately.
dbus2vdr will call the plugin's "SetupParse" function. If it returns true the value
is stored in the setup.conf. You may need to restart vdr.
- delete all settings of one plugin /Setup setup.Del string:'pluginname.*'
Interface "shutdown"
- ask vdr if it is ready for shutdown /Shutdown shutdown.ConfirmShutdown boolean:true
possible reply codes:
250: vdr is ready for shutdown
550: vdr is not ready for shutdown (unknown reason)
901: user is active
902: cutter is active
903: recording is active
904: recording is active in the near future
905: some plugin is active
906: some plugin will wakeup vdr in the near future
990: (reply message contains SHUTDOWNCMD)
991: (reply message contains TRY_AGAIN of the shutdown-hooks)
992: (reply message contains ABORT_MESSAGE of the shutdown-hooks)
999: shutdown-hook returned a non-zero exit code
You may shutdown vdr on reply codes 250 and 990.
If SHUTDOWNCMD is given use this command for shutdown.
'shutdown-wrapper' is a tool which calls the shutdown-hooks.
If the hooks need elevated privileges set the SUID bit of the wrapper accordingly.
The boolean argument "ignoreuser" will ignore user activity. This may be
useful for external frontends like XBMC etc..
- ask if vdr was started manually /Shutdown shutdown.ManualStart
Actually it compares the startup time of vdr with the current set NextWakeupTime.
If the startup time is around the NextWakeupTime (600 seconds) "true" will be returned.
Remember that NextWakeupTime may change while vdr is running.
- get timestamp of next wakeup /Shutdown shutdown.NextWakeupTime
Returns the starttime of the next timer or the next plugin.
Remember that NextWakeupTime may change while vdr is running.
- set vdr to non-interactive mode /Shutdown shutdown.SetUserInactive
Interface "skin"
- display a message at the OSD /Skin skin.QueueMessage string:'message text'
- get information about available skins /Skin skin.ListSkins
You will get an array of index, name and description.
- get information about current skin /Skin skin.CurrentSkin
You will get the index, name and description.
- set the current skin /Skin skin.SetSkin string:'name'
Interface "status"
Via the status interface the signals from vdr's cStatus class will be emitted.
See <vdr/status.h> for more information about the parameters.
- "ChannelSwitch"
int32 DeviceNumber
int32 ChannelNumber
bool LiveView
- "Recording"
int32 DeviceNumber
string Name
string FileName
bool On
- "Replaying"
string Name
string FileName
bool On
- "SetAudioChannel"
int32 AudioChannel
- "SetAudioTrack"
int32 Index
array:string Tracks
- "SetSubtitleTrack"
int32 Index
array:string Tracks
- "SetVolume"
int32 Volume
boolean Absolute
- "TimerChange"
string Timer
string Change (may be "tcMod", "tcAdd" or "tcDel")
And there are the following methods on the status interface.
- is vdr replaying a recording /Status status.IsReplaying
It returns the name, filename and a boolean value like the signal "Replaying".
Interface "timer"
- list all timers as an array of strings like SVDRP command LSTT /Timers timer.List
- list all timers as an array of structs /Timers timer.ListDetailed
The following fields are returned:
int32 id
string remote (with vdr >= 2.3.1)
uint32 flags
string channel-id
string day/weekdays
int32 start
int32 stop
int32 priority
int32 lifetime
string filename
string aux
uint32 event-id
boolean recording
boolean pending
boolean in vps margin
- get infos about the next timer /Timers timer.Next
The following is returned:
int32 reply code (250 for success, 550 on error)
int32 timer id (-1 if there's no timer at all)
int32 'rel' seconds (see SVDRP NEXT REL)
uint64 starttime in seconds since epoch (time_t format)
uint64 stoptime in seconds since epoch (time_t format)
string title of the event
- add new timer /Timers timer.New string:'timer'
The following is returned:
int32 reply code (250 for success, 501 on error)
string reply message
- delete a timer /Timers timer.Delete int32:number
The following is returned:
int32 reply code (250 for success, 501 on error, 550 on recording/editing)
string reply message
Interface "vdr"
- get status of vdr /vdr vdr.Status
The following is returned:
string "Start", "Ready", "Stop" or "Unknown"
Through the lifetime of dbus2vdr there are three signals which are sent
via this interface. The instance-id of the vdr is sent as the first
argument, type is int32.
"Start": is sent when cPlugin::Start is called
"Ready": is sent when cPlugin::MainThreadHook is called the first time
"Stop" : is sent when cPlugin::Stop is called
Plugin-Service calls
Right after the start of the default GMainLoop all plugins are called with
Just before the main loop quits, all plugins are called with
If started with the parameter "--network" dbus2vdr expects a file
"network-address.conf" in its plugin config directory. Its contents
should contain a string representing a dbus-address like printed
of "dbus-daemon --print-address". There must be only one connection
string with the method "tcp".
A sample configuration for this special dbus-daemon can be found at
etc/network.conf. There's also a sample Upstart job at etc/dbus2vdr.conf.
This job should run as a user job, not as a system job, since it's
reachable from the net.
Interfaces must explicitly be enabled to listen on the network monitor.
For now a subset of the status, timer and recording interface is implemented.
(work in progress, must be documented...)
If started with the parameter "--osd" dbus2vdr will create an OSD-provider.
If you have another output plugin running, this is not recommended since it may
override its OSD-provider. For now it's just for fun (or a headless vdr).
If the vdr opens an OSD, dbus2vdr will dump the pixmap to a PNG file and signals this.
Every change at the OSD will generate another PNG and signal. If the OSD closes all
files will be deleted.
Every image between "Open" and "Close" has to be displayed on top of its predecessors.
- create the DBus-OSD-provider on the fly /OSD osd.CreateProvider
- delete the DBus-OSD-provider and reinstantiate the OSD-provider of the primary device /OSD osd.DeleteProvider
interface: de.tvdr.vdr.osd
path: /OSD
signal: Open
parameter: osd-id (string, actually the path where the PNGs will be stored)
left (int32, left position of OSD)
top (int32, top position of OSD)
signal: Display
parameter: filename (string)
left (int32)
top (int32)
vx (int32, x-coordinate of dirty part relative to left)
vy (int32, y-coordinate of dirty part relative to top)
signal: Close
parameter: osd-id (string)
You can watch the signals with (or write your own program):
dbus-monitor --system "type='signal',sender='de.tvdr.vdr',interface='de.tvdr.vdr.osd'"
Since the DBus signals are not really "fast" the files may not exist anymore if you
receive them.
When all plugins are started and dbus2vdr enters the first time the "MainThreadHook"
it can notify systemd with a sd_notify call and "READY=1". systemd will then know that
vdr has been fully initialised and dependant services can be started.
You have to use "Type=notify" at the service definition file.
When all plugins are started and dbus2vdr enters the first time the "MainThreadHook"
it raises SIGSTOP so Upstart knows vdr has been fully initialized.
If you want to start vdr whenever a client tries to access de.tvdr.vdr on DBus
you can create a DBus service file like
with the following content:
[D-BUS Service]
Your vdr-upstart-job has to "start on dbus-activation de.tvdr.vdr".
If you don't use Upstart "Exec" has to point to your "runvdr" or whatever you use and
you can omit the "UpstartJob=true" line.
Using the Python binding
First, I don't know Python at all, I just copy code fragments from the Python Binding Tutorial [1]
and replace the sample strings with dbus2vdr related ones. I hope everybody familiar with Python
will know what to do...
import dbus
bus = dbus.SystemBus()
Timers = bus.get_object('de.tvdr.vdr', '/Timers')
props = Timers.Next(dbus_interface = 'de.tvdr.vdr.timer')
# props is now a tuple with data like mentioned above
How to implement new interfaces
- add the interface name to common.h
- create a subclass of cDBusObject and pass the object path and introspection data
to its base constructor
- call AddMethod for all supported methods
- add the object to the desired connections (system, session, network)
Notes to myself
to use dbus in a ssh-shell:
look at ~/.dbus/session-bus/`dbus-uuidgen-get`-... and export DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS