Quick start for Rivendell on debian/ubuntu

What is the simplest Rivendell setup ? You need :

  • any recent computer
  • any sound card supported by alsa
  • in our case, a debian or ubuntu
  • something like gnome and kde
  • five minutes

Objective : a first sound in Rivendell :

Step 1 : Install mysql-server-5.0

Rivendell uses mysql, you need a mysql server :

apt-get install mysql-server-5.0

Choose a mysql root password .. and don’t forget it. It will be needed in few minutes.

Step 2 : Install the Rivendell package for your distribution

  • Add debian.tryphon.org to your sources.list
  • Don’t forget apt-get update
  • Install package : apt-get install rivendell
  • Important : skip package configuration proposed by the package

Step 3 : Setup your user

To test easily Rivendell, use your regular user account. For that, you need to be a member of group rivendell :

sudo adduser alban rivendell

This group needs to use realtime threads. Edit /etc/security/limits.conf and add :

@rivendell - rtprio 99
@rivendell - memlock 250000
@rivendell - nice -10

You need to logout and restart a new Gnome/KDE session to make effective these changes

Step 4 : Setup alsa

Edit (or create) /etc/asound.conf with :

pcm.rd0 {
  type hw
  card 0
ctl.rd0 {
  type hw
  card 0

Rivendell uses alsa card rd0 (rd1, ..) when available.

Step 5 : Setup rivendell

Create a file /etc/rd.conf with :

AudioOwner=alban ; < - your login






Setup 6 : Initialize Rivendell

Start rdadmin.

As database doesn’t exist, it will ask the login for mysql : use root and the root mysql password :

After this success message :

rdadmin should started “normally” and ask you to login (with a rivendell user) :

The default rivendell administrator user has the login admin and no password.

If rdadmin doesn’t start as expected, something goes wrong. A small visit on rivendell irc channel is certainly the best solution.

Setup 7 : Start rdairplay for a first sound

  • Click on “Main Log” button (on bottom right)
  • Click on Add button (on bottom left) to add a first Cart in this empty Log
  • Double click on the first (and single) Cart “Test tune” :
  • Click on the yellow “Where” button of the first Log entry :
  • The Log is no longer empty. Click on green “Start” :
  • Your first sound in Rivendell :-)

This is not a production environment. But you can start your first tests with a such setup.

Welcome in the Rivendell user community ;-)

50 thoughts on “Quick start for Rivendell on debian/ubuntu

  1. ayoli

    This is quite handy , thx :)
    Now I can’t wait for the next topics like :
    - how to set my ‘programs grid’ (litteraly translated from french) ?
    - how do I set playlists, random but smart playlists as well ?
    - how do I insert direct live, or stream from sat or net in my grid ?
    - etc …
    Again thanks from radiolarzac.org for your support !
    Cheers !

  2. alban

    After the soop’s questions on #rivendell channel, I’ve updated the “Setup 6 : Initialize Rivendell” with some screenshots.

  3. Geoff

    Your instructions are brilliant. They are perfect on Ubuntu Hardy. I have had issues with Ubuntu Intrepid. When using more than one soundcard and Alsa… the sound cards sometimes swap around so sometimes one card is card 1 and the next time it is sound card 0.

    If you edit the alsa-base file
    by adding options to hard code which sound card is which.
    For example….

    options snd-emu10k1 index=0
    options snd-hda-intel index=1
    options snd-bt87x index=2

    Thanks again

  4. Geoff

    Geoff, we are working on setting this up again. We truely appreciate your effort and your sharing of this important config info to the world!



  5. Shomeir

    I have installed rivendell several times on two different computers using Ubuntu Hardy, Intrepid, and Jaunty and the results are always the same — the test tone will not play. It isn’t just that I can’t hear the sound — it seems to skip over the sound file altogether. Do you have any ideas on how to fix this problem?

  6. warren

    Remember – any sound card supported by alsa gives audio out. If not supported then no sound at all.

  7. Nathan

    I have just installed Rivendell on a fresh install of ubuntu 8.04, when i first run the rivendell modules it runs the applications, but when i restart the computer to move it back in my studio i get an error message that says “unable to start the Rivendell Daemons” any suggestions?

  8. Nathan

    Solution to Unable to start rivendell daemons,

    run the command “sudo /etc/init.d/rivendell start” (without the quotes) in terminal. Those should start the Rivendell daemons.

  9. alban

    May be a problem with limits given by pam. The freenode #rivendell channel might be a better place to discuss about the details of it ;)

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  13. Geoff

    I found another problem with installing RD. I added the asound.conf with relevant entries to enable sound cards but they didn’t show up.

    Check what groups the rduser is in.
    Rduser must be in the audio group.

    Then type command
    sudo adduser USERNAME audio
    (replace USERNAME with user that runs RD)

  14. Cowboy Bob

    What is alsa? Will Rivendell play audio thru a normal computer sound card, that is, what comes built into the mother board of a typical PC computer?

  15. alban

    @Bob: alsa is one of the sound drivers used under Linux. Rivendell can use any sound card supported by alsa, the built-in sound card of your mother board for example … for tests.

  16. Mr. T

    I have Rivendell installed on newest stable Xubuntu and it’s running fine. The problem what I have is with when I try play the test tune. With the instructions on this blog post I get

    caed: Error: alsaLoadPlayback(/var/snd/999999_000.wav) openWave() failed to open file
    caed: unable to allocate stream for card 0

    What’s the cause of this?

  17. alban

    The debian/rivendell package can have problem to create the cut of the test tune. You can solve the problem by running : rdgen -t 10 -l 16 /var/snd/999999_000.wav (with the same user than rivendell).

    You’re welcome on freenode irc channel #rivendell

  18. Geoff

    Further to my comments before about adding lines to the
    /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base file for defining sound cards

    type the below line to find out the exact driver name for each sound card

    cat /proc/asound/modules

  19. Simon

    Great tutorial. The easiest one yet to be sure. Everything worked like a charm up until I rebooted the computer. Now I can’t see the test log I created and the ADD DEL MOVE and COPY buttons are greyed out along with some of the buttons in LogEdit and LogManager etc. as well. I can’t load a log or anything. Any thoughts on what I might have done?

  20. Simon

    Thanks! I certainly will. I figured it out too…
    sudo /etc/init.d/rivendell start
    gets it ALL moving along nicely! :)

  21. tony

    Hi,any further news on Rivendell daemon error in “Jaunty” of Ubuntu.

    I built from source so problem still exists (1.5.2).

    Kind Regards Tony

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  23. Joseph

    Hey guys.

    I followed all the instructions given above, and the workarounds, and can run the software.

    However, when I go to play a audio file, the file refuses to play. It shows all the song data (title, track length, etc), but just won’t start.

    I assume is has something to do with ALSA, but I don’t see any error messages, either in the program window or the terminal.

    The only thing I can’t seem to do is follow Geoffs suggestion of making rduser a part of the audio group. Can somebody enlighten me on how to do this?

    The only other useful thing I can think of saying is after running cat /proc/asound/modules, and creating the file /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base, and adding the lines as suggested, nothing changes.

    I am running Ubuntu Karmic, if that helps.

    Can anybody throw a few suggestions?


  24. Kelly

    NOOBs looking for help! We got our NCE construction permit (w00t!) and are getting our studio equipment together.

    I’m trying to figure out if an M-Audio 1010LT soundcard will function with Rivendell. The card uses “Open Sound System” drivers. http://www.opensound.com/oss.html
    Their wiki states that the OSS drivers can be configured to do ALSA emulation.

    Any feedback, opinions, or pertinent information would be much appreciated.

  25. Pingback: Alban’s blog » Blog Archive » Rivendell 1.7.0 packages for debian and ubuntu

  26. Julian

    I am experiencing problems with getting Rivendell to install and run. I believe that I have followed the blog instructions correctly. I have installed Ubuntu 9.10 (karmic) which has been upgraded to Studio running on a Dell Optiplex 170 using the built-in sound card for test purposes.

    The first problem is that I receive a daemons error before starting Rivendell. Running the command “sudo /etc/init.d/rivendell” start gives the response “Starting Rivendell daemons: caed ripcdrdimport: no process found
    ” Not sure if this is correct but the application will start. However, every reboot requires this command to be issued before Rivendell will start.

    The second problem, like many people, is that I have no sound. I am able to get sound to play outside of Rivendell ok, so I assume the Alsa sound card settings are correct. However, when loading the test tone and either selecting Automatic or Live Assist etc, clicking Start button, the cart does not play. Clicking a second time turns the start button red and the countdown timer shows the running time. Not sure if this is relevant, but the clock background continually flashes red. I don’t remember the demo doing this!

    I am quite keen to get Rivendell running so any advice that others can share would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers, Julian

  27. Jethro


    J’ai suivi le tuto à la lettre et tout est installé correctement.
    Le seul souci : pas de son !!
    J’utilise une carte son son USB très bien reconnu par les autres programmes (Ardour…) mais rien avec Rivendell

    Please help me

  28. Csik


    I had the same problem that some of the others had on Ubuntu; immediately after installation everything works, but after a restart rdadmin->manage hosts shows no audio assets. Card 0 was previously recognized, but now is empty. As mentioned above, it seems to be an issue of launch order in init.d. I tried futzing with that but without luck. However, killing all the rivendell processes and starting again ; in my case:
    # rdcatchd
    # ripcd
    # caed

    Then restart everything as per in @Nathan’s comment.

    Any ideas what might be causing this?

  29. wifei

    sorry, this guide does not work, always gives the same error in “Jaunty” of Ubuntu in rdadmin.

  30. Monolex

    My rivendell work fine in 8.04 ubuntu version but when i upgrade to 9.10 i dont have sound whate happend!!!!

  31. Greg


    installation sans soucis sous lucid par contre…au moment ou l’on se connecte à la base de donnée…Unable To Start Rivendell System Daemons…pourtant j’ai suivis pas à pas le tuto…quelqu’un a une idée ???


  32. Efin

    I’d like to add that I was successful in getting Rivendell running on Linux Mint 8. I had a problem with the no sound playing at first and later not being able to log into the db but after following the instructions give by some of the posters and deleting and re creating the RD database it worked. I’m now gonna reinstall RD onto my laptop and see what happens.

  33. Efin

    Not sure why my post from last night is not showing up anymore but I installed Rivendell on my Dell Inspirion 1720 laptop running Linux Mint 8. I had a problem on this system but not my desktop system after canceling the initial configuration step » Important : skip package configuration proposed by the package The rivendell group would not be created and I got other errors which I didn’t rite down.

    Anyways I went ahead and did the initial set up, then I followed the setup starting with Step 3 : Setup your user.

    I then overwrote what was in /etc/rd.conf with what is in step 5

    So after I installed the DB and started rdairplay I added the test tone but it wouldn’t play like on my desktop.

    So is did the following like in one of the above posts rdgen -t 10 -l 16 /var/snd/999999_000.wav but I did it using sudo – not sure if I was suppose to do it as too but after that I could load the test file and it played.

    So far the initial install and test are working. Will have to read the user manual to figure out what to do next.

  34. Efin

    Well spoke too soon after restarting my laptop I can’t play the test file or other imported mp3′s, also seems I can’t login after setting a password for the admin account.

    I tried this again dgen -t 10 -l 16 /var/snd/999999_000.wav but didn’t help.

    I’ll reinstall and try one more time to see when it stops working.

  35. Artemis3

    It is not apparent (or told) in the guide, but if you copy & paste the rd.conf from this guide, YOU MUST DELETE the ; < – your login from rd.conf.

    Rivendell fails to parse the file if you leave:
    AudioOwner=yourlogin ; < – your login

    MUST BE:
    LEAVE NOTHING to the right.

  36. Efin

    Ok I got it working.

    So I’ve reinstalled it under Linux Mint 9 (Ubuntu 10.4) and it worked right out of the box but I had to use sudo /etc/init.d/rivendell start to start the daemon for the first time. After that I loaded up the sample sound which played fine.

    Then I restarted my system like before and tried to play the sample sound BUT I got the same results again. It wouldn’t play or stop.

    So I gave this command

    sudo /etc/init.d/rivendell stop and then

    sudo /etc/init.d/rivendell start

    to stop and restart the daemon. Seem that after restarting the daemon usinng sudo the test sound file plays properly and can be controlled.

    So how do I start the daemon automatically under root?


  37. Efin

    Not sure why my previous posts are being moderated but I noticed that in order for rivendell to work properly once the test audio clip stops working is to start rivendell as root with

    sudo /etc/init.d/rivendell start

    If its already running you can stop it with sudo /etc/init.d/rivendell stop and then restart it with sudo /etc/init.d/rivendell start again.

    At least for me on Linux Mint 9 this makes rivendell play all sounds I import into it.

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  40. Andy

    Hi, have you made a disc image for the latest Rivendell (1.7.2) and Ubuntu yet?

    If so where can it be downloaded?

    I am a complete noob when it come to linux so would find of the greatest help.

    Thanks in advance.

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  42. Peter Claes

    I am having some problems with installing a new soundcard.

    Where can I find some support on this ?

    In the admin Sound resources it says :

    Card 0: HD-Audio Generic at 0xdf000000 irq 19
    Driver: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA)
    Inputs: 1
    Outputs: 4

    But how can I define the Outputs in asound.conf ?

    The Alsa Channels (plugs) are following :

    PCM, Front, Surround, Center + LFE, Side, S/PDIF


  43. Hardial

    I’m a noob. I’ve managed to install Rivendell on Ubuntu and working. I have a question – how do I get the stream on the net from here on in. I’ve installed ices2 and icecast2 as well as registered with listen2myradio.com and have managed to get that to a stage where it gives me the ip and port number. How do I configure Rivendell?

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