How to get a RTL2832U based DVB-T stick working on Fedora 17

This week I bought a no-name DVB-T stick with the risk to not getting it working with Linux. The device contains a RTL2832u chip which seems to be quite common according to this list. The price tag was just €14, so I was taking the risk.

First experiments shown that there is no chance to get it running on Fedora 17. After digging deeper I figured out that someone wrote a driver and published it on github.

Later on, I figured out that there is a driver also available in upstreams 3.6rc Kernel. Unfortunately the Kernel shipped with Fedora 17 does not support the device yet.

Steps to do

Ensure you have installed the kernel headers package that match your running kernel version. If not, run yum -y install kernel-headers. The package dvb-apps will help you to set up the channels later on, install it with yum -y install dvb-apps

Getting and compiling the kernel module

git clone https://github.com/tmair/DVB-Realtek-RTL2832U-2.2.2-10tuner-mod_kernel-3.0.0.git
cd DVB-Realtek-RTL2832U-2.2.2-10tuner-mod_kernel-3.0.0/RTL2832-2.2.2_kernel-3.0.0/
make && make install

Afterwards you need to scan your DVB-T stick for stations and put it into mplayers channels file. In /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/ you will find the right setting the region you are living. For me de-Berlin is the right one.

scandvb /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/de-Berlin -o zap >> ~/.mplayer/channels.conf

Now you are ready to watch digital terrestrial TV on you Fedora box. mplayer "dvb://Das Erste" does the job.

A more comfortable player is kaffeine which has features like EPG (electronic Program Guide), recording facilities etc. It comes with KDE.

Have fun!

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    10 Responses to “How to get a RTL2832U based DVB-T stick working on Fedora 17”

    1. Mace Moneta says:

      If the 3.6rc kernels support the device, you can just load the current F18 development kernel from Koji – they work fine on F17. Note that only the first in each rc has debugging turned off (check the changelog):

      http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/packageinfo?packageID=8

    2. Michael says:

      Another idea would be to test with a F18 installation ( either livecd, or a plain old dual boot ). This way, you can even make bug reports so bugs are fixed faster

    3. Reinhard says:

      Hello, thanks for your Information – I just bought a Terratec Cinergy TStick RC Rev.3 (19€) and after compiling and installing all . It worked perfectly.
      Only for the records I am running Fedora 16 64bit

      Thanks four your help

    4. Ignazio says:

      Hello Luc,
      i’m using mu usb stick with rtl2832u since long time with several linux ubuntu.
      Now I switched to Fedora 17 64 and the stick is not working.
      I compiled everything and all went fine without errors or warnings.
      The problem is that the device

      /dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0

      does not exist !!!
      Don’t understand why.
      The stick is correctly recognized and the kernel module is loaded:

      dvb_usb_rtl2832u 412247 0
      dvb_usb 23823 1 dvb_usb_rtl2832u
      dvb_core 107942 1 dvb_usb
      rc_core 26701 1 dvb_usb
      i2c_core 38354 5 drm,dvb_usb,drm_kms_helper,i2c_algo_bit,nouveau

      Any idea on how to create those /dev entry missing?

      Thanks.

      • Luc de Louw says:

        Hi,

        I was hitting the same issue when I recently upgraded to the latest Kernel. Unfortunately I did not got the time yet to dig deeper on this issue. I’ll update the post if I figure out a solution.

    5. Ignazio says:

      Ciao Luc,
      i tried to install from scratch v4l dvb drivers:
      http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/How_to_Obtain,_Build_and_Install_V4L-DVB_Device_Drivers

      All went fine and I have the /dev entries that were missing before.
      The stick is still recognized, me-tv start but does not find any channel!
      Still investigating….

    6. Ignazio says:

      Ok,
      I got the stick working.
      After compiling v4l dvb, I tried the channels.conf i had before with vlc.
      It is working perfectly.
      After having installed xine-lib-extras-freeworld.x86_64 and I already had the gstreamer-ffmpeg, also me-tv is working fine.

      Regards.
      Ignazio

    7. colin says:

      hi there.
      I am attempting to use usb stick with rtl2832u under Fedora 17.

      [root@K8 yum]# uname -a
      Linux K8.home 3.7.9-104.fc17.x86_64 #1 SMP Sun Feb 24 19:19:12 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

      Upon insertion into USB slot stick seems to be detected ok.
      /var/log/messages:

      Mar 7 19:47:22 K8 kernel: [28125.411677] usb 1-5: dvb_usb_v2: ‘Realtek RTL2832U reference design’ successfully deinitialized and disconnected
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.163045] usb 1-5: new high-speed USB device number 8 using ehci_hcd
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.291904] usb 1-5: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=2832
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.291917] usb 1-5: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.291923] usb 1-5: Product: RTL2832U
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.291928] usb 1-5: Manufacturer: Generic
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.291933] usb 1-5: SerialNumber: 77771111153705700
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.297838] usb 1-5: dvb_usb_v2: found a ‘Realtek RTL2832U reference design’ in warm state
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 mtp-probe: checking bus 1, device 8: “/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:02.1/usb1/1-5″
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 mtp-probe: bus: 1, device: 8 was not an MTP device
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.359425] usb 1-5: dvb_usb_v2: will pass the complete MPEG2 transport stream to the software demuxer
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.359475] DVB: registering new adapter (Realtek RTL2832U reference design)
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.363310] usb 1-5: DVB: registering adapter 0 frontend 0 (Realtek RTL2832 (DVB-T))…
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.372801] i2c i2c-8: e4000: Elonics E4000 successfully identified
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.383947] Registered IR keymap rc-empty
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.384247] input: Realtek RTL2832U reference design as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:02.1/usb1/1-5/rc/rc3/input8
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.384876] rc3: Realtek RTL2832U reference design as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:02.1/usb1/1-5/rc/rc3
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.384888] usb 1-5: dvb_usb_v2: schedule remote query interval to 400 msecs
      Mar 7 19:47:25 K8 kernel: [28129.396545] usb 1-5: dvb_usb_v2: ‘Realtek RTL2832U reference design’ successfully initialized and connected

      Inded it seems to succeed in inserting required kernel modules:

      [root@K8 yum]# lsmod
      Module Size Used by
      e4000 13645 1
      rtl2832 19013 1
      dvb_usb_rtl28xxu 29244 0
      rtl2830 18643 1 dvb_usb_rtl28xxu
      dvb_usb_v2 35514 1 dvb_usb_rtl28xxu
      dvb_core 114833 3 rtl2830,rtl2832,dvb_usb_v2

      When I do
      scandvb /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t/uk-BlackHill -o zap >> ~/.mplayer/channels.conf

      tuning fails with no channels detected

      Does anyone have any suggestions?

    8. BH says:

      Unfortunately I also ran into the issue where /dev/dvb doesn’t even exist. Also I don’t see any messages in /var/log/messages when I remove/insert the device (even though I have modprobed and see dvb_usb_rtl2832u loaded).

      After reading Luc de Louw’s post I suspect there is some missing dependency or other bug in my current kernel version (3.6.11-4.fc16.i686.PAE).

    9. BH says:

      Hmmm. The readme mentions that 3.6 kernels come with a rtl2832 driver now, but it doesn’t support as many devices as the indenepdent driver (yet).