HOW-TO:Gyration USB remote in Ubuntu for XBMC using Lirc

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This is a configuration for using a Gyration USB media remote reviewed here. This method uses two instances of lircd that are manually configured to start using /etc/rc.local. The files that are affected are:


Credit goes to the random anonymous bits and pieces I've found on the Interwebs along with my own experimentation using hexdump -C to look at the character device files while pressing buttons.


1 Important Note

This configuration was set up initially on XBMC 9.10. Starting with 9.11, however, instead of ~/.xbmc/userdata/Keymap.xml, multiple keymaps can be stored in the directory ~/.xbmc/userdata/keymaps/ in which all xml files will be parsed. The old configuration, however, still works. I will work on setting this up using the newer format and will edit this once it's ready.

Please review information on the newer Keymap.xml.

Also, please note that this method renders the mouse function on the remote unusable. It appears that as soon as two lircd processes are talking to each other, the mouse device stops reporting data altogether. I have no idea if there is a way to fix this. Instead, try using HOW-TO: Gyration USB remote in Ubuntu for XBMC using evrouter.

2 Install Lirc

First, install the lirc package.

sudo apt-get install lirc

The installer will ask you what hardware you have so it can use the correct config file. What you select here will be overwritten later in this guide, so it really doesn't matter what you select.

3 Disable lircd automatic startup

We do not want to use Ubuntu's init scripts and config files, therefore we need to tell it not to start up automatically. Here is the command which changes the symbolic link in /etc/rc2.d/:

sudo update-rc.d lirc disable 2

4 Back up files

Back up your old files that we are about to overwrite. These commands assume you are logged in as the user that is starting xbmc.

mkdir ~/backupfiles
cp /etc/rc.local ~/backupfiles
cp /etc/lirc/lircd.conf ~/backupfiles
cp ~/.xbmc/userdata/Lircmap.xml ~/backupfiles
cp ~/.xbmc/userdata/Keymap.xml ~/backupfiles

5 Edit /etc/rc.local

Put these lines in /etc/rc.local:

/usr/sbin/lircd --driver=devinput --device=/dev/input/by-id/usb-Gyration_Gyration_RF_Technology_Receiver-event-mouse --output=/dev/lircd1 --pidfile=/var/run/ --listen
/usr/sbin/lircd --driver=devinput --device=/dev/input/by-id/usb-Gyration_Gyration_RF_Technology_Receiver-event-kbd --output=/dev/lircd --pidfile=/var/run/ --connect=localhost:8765

6 Edit /etc/lirc/lircd.conf

Here is /etc/lirc/lircd.conf

#This configuration has been automatically generated via
#the Ubuntu LIRC package maintainer scripts.
#It includes the default configuration for the remote and/or
#transmitter that you have selected during package installation.
#Feel free to add any custom remotes to the configuration
#via additional include directives or below the existing
#Ubuntu include directives from your selected remote and/or
# lircd.conf
# for Gyration MCE remote(s). Could almost certainly be expanded to work for their keyboard as well.
# Composed by Marc Randolph based upon
# initial lircd.conf by Modulok (
# with help from the Linux MCE wiki (
# Notes:
# Star and Hash keys produce two key sequences: 0x002A followed by either 8 for star, or 3 for hash
# Revision history
# 2.3 - Marc Randolph - Renamed camera to pictures and video to videos. Added alternative mappings
# 2.2 - Marc Randolph - Added untested DVDMenu entry
# 2.1 - Marc Randolph - StarHash comment was wrong
# 2.0 - Marc Randolph - Special codes should be correct, or at least, very close to correct
# 1.0 - Marc Randolph - added missing codes and changed names to match up the mceusb remote
# - Some of the more special codes have not been verified (Pictures, LiveTV, etc)
# 0.1 - Modulok - Initial revision
begin remote
 name     gyration
 bits           16
 eps            30
 aeps          100
 one             0     0
 zero            0     0
 pre_data_bits   16
 pre_data       0x8001
 gap          135997
 toggle_bit_mask 0x0
      begin codes
         Home                     0x0066 # AKA "Windows button"
         Up                       0x0067
         Left                     0x0069
         Right                    0x006A
         Down                     0x006C
         Mute                     0x0071
         VolDown                  0x0072
         VolUp                    0x0073
         Power                    0x008e
         Pause                    0x0077
         More                     0x0082  # AKA "Info" or Help
         Back                     0x009E
         Skip                     0x00A3
         Replay                   0x00A5
         Stop                     0x00A6
         RecTV                    0x00A7  #Not "recorded TV", but "record current show on TV"
         Rewind                   0x00A8
         Play                     0x00CF
         Forward                  0x00D0
         Pictures                 0x00D4  # not on Dell remote
         RecordedTV               0x00E2  # aka KEY_MEDIA
         Guide                    0x016A
         LiveTV                   0x016E  # aka KEY_PVR
         DVD                      0x0185
         Music                    0x0187  # not on Dell remote  # aka KEY_MP3
         Videos                   0x0189  # not on Dell remote
         ChanUp                   0x0192
         ChanDown                 0x0193
         DVDMenu                  0x019A  # untested.  not on Dell remote
         Clear                    0x0001
         One                      0x0002
         Two                      0x0003
         Three                    0x0004
         Four                     0x0005
         Five                     0x0006
         Six                      0x0007
         Seven                    0x0008
         Eight                    0x0009
         Nine                     0x000A
         Zero                     0x000B
         Enter                    0x001C
         StarHash                 0x002A  # Star=0x2a and 0x08; Hash = 0x2a and 0x03
        a                       0x001E
     end codes
end remote
# Alternative mappings to try if some of the above don't work
# (please report any findings back to
# Up 0x0062
# Left 0x0064
# Right 0x0066
# Down 0x0068
# Pause 0x0075
# Power 0x008E
# Halt 0x019C
# Lights 0x0111
# Clear 0x0016
# Enter 0x0024
# DVDMenu 0x0029

7 Create Keymap.xml

Here is ~/.xbmc/userdata/Keymap.xml

<!-- This file contains the mapping of keys (gamepad, remote, and keyboard) to actions within XBMC -->
<!-- The <global> section is a fall through - they will only be used if the button is not          -->
<!-- used in the current window's section.  Note that there is only handling                       -->
<!-- for a single action per button at this stage.                                                 -->
<!-- For joystick/gamepad configuration under linux/win32, see below as it differs from xbox       -->
<!-- gamepads.                                                                                     -->
<!-- The format is:                      -->
<!--    <device>                         -->
<!--      <button>action</button>        -->
<!--    </device>                        -->
<!-- To map keys from other remotes using the RCA protocol, you may add <universalremote> blocks -->
<!-- In this case, the tags used are <obc#> where # is the original button code (OBC) of the key -->
<!-- You set it up by adding a <universalremote> block to the window or <global> section:       -->
<!--    <universalremote>             -->
<!--       <obc45>Stop</obc45>         -->
<!--    </universalremote>            -->
<!-- To find out the OBC's of your remote, try enabling the <displayremotecodes> tag in AdvancedSettings.xml -->
<!-- Note that the action can be a built-in function.                 -->
<!--  eg <B>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyMusic)"</B>                         -->
<!-- would automatically go to My Music on the press of the B button. -->
<!-- Joysticks / Gamepads:                                                                    -->
<!--   See the sample PS3 controller configuration below for the format.                      -->
<!--                                                                                          -->
<!--  Joystick Name:                                                                          -->
<!--   Do 'cat /proc/bus/input/devices' or see your xbmc log file  to find the names of       -->
<!--   detected joysticks. The name used in the configuration should match the detected name. -->
<!--                                                                                          -->
<!--  Button Ids:                                                                             -->
<!--   'id' is the button ID used by SDL. Joystick button ids of connected joysticks appear   -->
<!--   in xbmc.log when they are pressed. Use your log to map custom buttons to actions.      -->
<!--                                                                                          -->
<!--  Axis Ids / Analog Controls                                                              -->
<!--   Coming soon.                                                                           -->

8 Create Lircmap.xml

Here is ~/.xbmc/userdata/Lircmap.xml

<!-- This file contains the mapping of LIRC keys to XBMC keys used in Keymap.xml  -->
<!--                                                                              -->
<!-- How to add remotes                                                           -->
<!-- <remote device="name_Lirc_calls_the_remote">                                 -->
<!--                                                                              -->
<!-- For the commands the layout following layout is used                         -->
<!-- <XBMC_COMMAND>LircButtonName</XBMC_COMMAND>                                  -->
<!--                                                                              -->
<!-- For a list of XBMC_COMMAND's check out the <remote> sections of keymap.xml   -->
        <remote device="gyration">

9 Testing

Make sure lircd is not running:

sudo killall lircd

Start lircd using /etc/rc.local:

sudo /etc/rc.local

We use the irw command to test. It comes with the lirc package. This is me pressing various buttons, then holding the volume up. Notice that the repeating key shows incrementing numbers. You should get a blank line that will print the key name as configured in lircd.conf when that button is pressed.

sudo irw /dev/lircd
00000000800100a6 00 Stop gyration
00000000800100a7 00 RecTV gyration
0000000080010073 00 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 00 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 01 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 02 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 03 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 04 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 05 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 06 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 07 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 08 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 09 VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 0a VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 0b VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 0c VolUp gyration
0000000080010073 0d VolUp gyration
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