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ir remote with arch linux and lirc

I have an HTPC running Kodi (Formerly XMBC) and I’ve been trying to get an old IR remote working with it. I’ve got Kore on android currently controlling Kodi, but I wanted to see if I could get an old Microsoft Media Center PC’s IR receiver to work.

I used one of these receivers:


I couldn’t find the actual MCE remote that went with the receiver, so I used this Sony DVD player remote, but any remote should work.


This took entirely too long for me to figure out. The last three days have been spent with the remote working one minute and then not for seemingly no reason and then it seemed to remap the buttons out of nowhere. It was a serious pain in the ass, but it seems to be working correctly now.

Here is what I did:

First, install lirc. I am running arch, so pacman -S lirc.

Edit /etc/lirc/lircd.conf to:

   include "usr/share/lirc/configs/devinput.conf"

Next edit your keymap. I copied /lib/udev/rc_keymaps/rc6_mce to /etc/rc_keymaps/rc6_mce. You can run ir-keytable -t -p SONY,RC6 -w /etc/rc_keymaps/rc6_mce to figure out what codes your remote is using for each button. You can then edit /etc/rc_keymaps/rc6_mce with the correct codes that your remote is using.

Here is my rc6_mce:


  1 # table rc6_mce, type: RC6
  3 0x1a490b KEY_ENTER
  4 0x1a491b KEY_MEDIA
  5 0x1a4964 KEY_MUTE
  6 0x10012 KEY_VOLUMEUP
  7 0x10013 KEY_VOLUMEDOWN
  8 0x1a4923 KEY_FASTFORWARD
  9 0x1a4922 KEY_REWIND
 10 0x1a4932 KEY_PLAY
 11 0x1a4939 KEY_PAUSE
 12 0x1a4938 KEY_STOP
 13 0x1a4931 KEY_NEXT
 14 0x1a4930 KEY_PREVIOUS
 15 0x1a4979 KEY_UP
 16 0x1a497a KEY_DOWN
 17 0x1a497b KEY_LEFT
 18 0x1a497c KEY_RIGHT
 19 0x1a490b KEY_OK
 20 0x1a490e KEY_EXIT
 21 0x1a4939 KEY_PLAYPAUSE

Then edit the lircd unit (systemctl edit --full lircd.service) to:

  1 [Unit]
  2 Description=LIRC Daemon
  5 [Service]
  6 Type=forking
  9 PIDFile=/run/lirc/
 10 ExecStartPre=/bin/mkdir -p /run/lirc
 11 ExecStartPre=/bin/rm -f /dev/lircd
 12 ExecStartPre=/bin/rm -f /run/lirc/lircd
 13 ExecStartPre=/bin/ln -s /run/lirc/lircd /dev/lircd
 15 ExecStartPre=/usr/bin/ir-keytable -c
 16 ExecStartPre=/usr/bin/ir-keytable -p SONY,RC6 -w /etc/rc_keymaps/rc6_mce
 18 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/lircd
 19 ExecStopPost=/bin/rm -f /dev/lircd
 20 ExecStopPost=/bin/rm -fR /run/lirc
 23 [Install]

You should be able to start the lircd service with no errors. The arrow keys on the remote should work just like the arrow keys on the keyboard. Hitting the up button should scroll up through the history on the command line.

I am using this remote with Kodi standalone, so I need to add a Lircmap.xml to /var/lib/kodi/.kodi/userdata/Lircmap.xml

  1 <lircmap>
  2   <remote device="remote">
  3       <up>KEY_UP</up>
  4       <down>KEY_DOWN</down>
  5       <left>KEY_LEFT</left>
  6       <right>KEY_RIGHT</right>
  7       <play>KEY_PLAY</play>
  8       <pause>KEY_PAUSE</pause>
  9       <stop>KEY_STOP</stop>
 10       <enter>KEY_ENTER</enter>
 11       <back>KEY_BACK</back>
 12   </remote>
 13 </lircmap>

This will map the remote buttons to Kodi actions.

You should be able to reboot and everything should work.


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