From the official website:
- LIRC (Linux Infrared Remote Control) is a package that decodes and sends infra-red signals of many (but not all) commonly used remote controls.
This article covers setup and usage of LIRC with serial or USB infrared devices.
LIRC is a daemon that can translate key presses on a supported remote into program specific commands. In this context, the term, "program specific" means that a key press can do different things depending on which program is running and taking commands from LIRC.
- A button on the remote is pressed causing it to transmit an IR or RF signal.
- The signal is received by the receiver connected to the Linux computer.
- The kernel (via the correct module) use presents pulse data from the remote on a device like
/usr/bin/lircduses the information from
/etc/lirc/lircd.conf.d/foo.confto convert the pulse data into button press information.
- Programs that use LIRC translate the button press info from
/usr/bin/lircdinto user-defined actions according to
~/.config/lircrcor to program-specific mappings.
Install the package. If you need audio driver, install AUR.
Receiver and transmitter configuration
The driver and/or the device for the LIRC service may need to be specified in order to run properly. Look for messages like these in the journalctl output if the service abruptly stops while running LIRC-dependent programs such as irrecord:
Driver `devinput' not found or not loadable (wrong or missing -U/--plugindir?). readlink() failed for "auto": No such file or directory
Set these in the config file and then restart the service.
[lircd] driver = driver-name device = /dev/path-to-dev
Modern kernel has serial_ir module, which supersedes older lirc_serial driver. It supports even DIY receivers and transmitters, connected to the motherboard's serial port. InstallAUR and run:
# setserial /dev/ttyS0 uart none # modprobe serial_ir
After loading serial_ir module, device
/dev/lirc0 will be created by kernel. If not, run
dmesg | grep serial as root and check for errors. An LIRC config example for serial device:
[lircd] driver = default device = auto [modinit] code = /usr/bin/setserial /dev/ttyS0 uart none code1 = /usr/sbin/modprobe serial_ir
audio_alsa driver included in , but supports only reception.
Unmute microphone input with
alsamixer and set enough gain. You can check waveform and gain with . There should be distinguishable square pulses: not flatlined, nor overloaded. Also good demodulated pulses easily perceptible by ear. Note that LIRC and
irrecord reads positive pulses in right audio channel. Negative pulses will not work.
driver = audio_alsa device = default
audio driver included in AUR and supports both reception and transmission. Note, that default latency around 0.02 can cause "Warning: Output underflow" and corrupted transmission - receiver will not respond to it. Try a higher value like 0.05.
Increase sound card output loudness, otherwise LED signal will be weak and range is low. LED flash can be detected with smartphone camera, as it sensitive to infrared wavelengths.
driver = audio device = ALSA:default@48000:0.05
/etc/lirc/lircd.conf.d/ contains system-wide configuration files for remotes. Each *.conf file corresponds to one device and describes it's protocol, scancodes and keycodes. It allows LIRC receive and send signals for specific hardware. These files are not included in package and should be found somewhere or created by user.
Searching for remote configuration
Plenty of configuration files can be found in the LIRC remotes database. Follow the url or use to search the database.
An example using
irdb-get to find a config file for a "Streamzap" remote:
$ irdb-get find stream atiusb/atiusb.lircd.conf digital_stream/DTX9900.lircd.conf snapstream/Firefly-Mini.lircd.conf streamzap/PC_Remote.lircd.conf streamzap/streamzap.lircd.conf x10/atiusb.lircd.conf $ irdb-get download streamzap/streamzap.lircd.conf Downloaded sourceforge.net/p/lirc-remotes/code/ci/master/tree/remotes/streamzap/streamzap.lircd.conf as streamzap.lircd.conf
Once identified, copy the needed conf to
/etc/lirc/lircd.conf.d/ to allow the daemon to initialize support for it.
# cp streamzap.lircd.conf /etc/lirc/lircd.conf.d/
Creating remote configuration
Remote control configurations can be created using, which guides users trough the process. If using a detected remote, invoke it like so:
# irrecord --device=/dev/lirc0 MyRemote
The program will instruct user to begin hitting keys on the remote in an attempt to learn it, ultimately mapping out every button and it's corresponding scancode. When finished, save the resulting file to
/etc/lirc/lircd.conf.d/foo.conf and proceed. Consider sharing configuration file with others.
Bind keycodes to application-specific actions by placing their respective configuration files in
~/.config/lircrc/ which should be created manually if desired, see . This only works for LIRC-aware applications, like MPlayer, VLC, MythTV and (Kodi also supports LIRC but does so in a non-standard way, see Kodi#Using a remote control).
Define these application-specific configurations in separate files and include them in lircrc, like:
include "~/.config/lircrc/mplayer" include "~/.config/lircrc/mythtv" include "~/.config/lircrc/vlc"
Running as a regular user rather than as root
By default, lircd runs as user root. However, for increased stability and security, upstream recommends running it as a regular user. See Appendix 14 at this link.
To do this, create and provision a lirc user:
# groupadd -r lirc # useradd -r -g lirc -d /var/lib/lirc -s /usr/bin/nologin -c "LIRC daemon user" lirc # usermod -a -G lock,input lirc
Augment the package-providing service unit by creating a lircd Systemd#Drop-in files:
# systemctl edit lircd
[Service] User=lirc Group=lirc CapabilityBoundingSet=CAP_SETEUID MemoryDenyWriteExecute=true NoNewPrivileges=true PrivateTmp=true ProtectHome=true ProtectSystem=full
/dev/lirc* devices to be accessible for the lirc group and to grant r/w access for the lirc group to USB devices using ACLs, copy the following udev rule into place:
# cp /usr/share/lirc/contrib/60-lirc.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/
To allow access to the lirc group to be able to create a PID file, create the following lircd tmpfile which will supersede the package provided one (which makes ownership only to root):
d /run/lirc 0755 lirc lirc -
Reboot the system to verify expected function.
Run, point remote to the receiver and press some buttons. Received codes will be printed to stdout.
$ irw 000000037ff07bfe 00 One mceusb 000000037ff07bfd 00 Two mceusb 000000037ff07bfd 01 Two mceusb 000000037ff07bf2 00 Home mceusb 000000037ff07bf2 01 Home mceusb
irw gives no output:
- Run mode2 or xmode2 to see if LIRC actually read something from IR sensor, if no - check the hardware
- If mode2 receives pulse data, check the config files in
List registered remotes (config files):
$ irsend LIST "" "" LG_6710CMAP01A
List available codes for the specific device:
$ irsend LIST LG_6710CMAP01A "" 0000000000007887 KEY_POWER 000000000000f807 KEY_MUTE 000000000000e817 KEY_VOLUMEUP ...
Choose discovered device
LG_6710CMAP01A and send command
$ irsend SEND_ONCE LG_6710CMAP01A KEY_POWER
Remote functions as a keyboard
When using Xorg
Xorg detects some remotes, such as the Streamzap USB PC Remote, as a Human Interface Device (HID) which means some or all of the keys will show up as key strokes as if entered from the physical keyboard. This behavior will present problems if LIRC is to be used to manage the device.
To disable, create the following file and restart X:
Section "InputClass" Identifier "Ignore Streamzap IR" MatchProduct "Streamzap" MatchIsKeyboard "true" Option "Ignore" "true" EndSection
Do not forget to alter the
MatchProduct property according to one shown in
Name from output of
$ cat /proc/bus/input/devices | grep -e IR
N: Name="cx88 IR (WinFast DTV2000 H rev."
On an ARM device not using Xorg
Blacklist the offending modules by creating
/etc/modprobed.d/streamzap.conf to suppress this behavior. An example is provided for the Streamzap remote.
install ir_sharp_decoder /bin/false install ir_xmp_decoder /bin/false install ir_rc5_decoder /bin/false install ir_nec_decoder /bin/false install ir_sony_decoder /bin/false install ir_mce_kbd_decoder /bin/false install ir_jvc_decoder /bin/false install ir_rc6_decoder /bin/false install ir_sanyo_decoder /bin/false
Changing default configuration
Users not getting any output from
irw may have the default configuration in
/etc/lirc/lirc_options.conf incorrectly setup (or might have been overwritten by an update).
First, check if
/dev/lirc0 is present:
$ mode2 --driver default --device /dev/lirc0
Watch the output while pressing buttons on the remote. If output is present, edit
/etc/lirc/lirc_options.conf changing the driver and device appropriately.
If no output is presented, the task becomes locating the correct driver/device combination. First check what combination lirc detected by default. Run
ir-keytable from the package. and check the output. It will look similar to this:
Found /sys/class/rc/rc0/ (/dev/input/event5) with: Driver ite-cir, table rc-rc6-mce Supported protocols: unknown other lirc rc-5 jvc sony nec sanyo mce-kbd rc-6 sharp xmp Enabled protocols: lirc Extra capabilities: <access denied>
In this case, LIRC automatically detected
/dev/input/event5 as the IR device, which uses the
devinput driver. Check if this combination is working by running:
$ mode2 --driver devinput --device /dev/input/event5
Now try pressing buttons on the remote. If there is no output, try different driver and device combinations. Once a working combination has been identified, change driver and device in
An example configuration for a MCE RC6 compatible receiver:
[lircd] nodaemon = False driver = default device = /dev/lirc0 output = /var/run/lirc/lircd pidfile = /var/run/lirc/lircd.pid plugindir = /usr/lib/lirc/plugins permission = 666 allow-simulate = No repeat-max = 600 [lircmd] uinput = False nodaemon = False