Rivendell install guide

Having installed Rivendell several times recently whilst learning how it works I’m in a position to help out anyone new to it with how to get the latest version running on (IMHO) the easiest Linux system. I’ve been playing with Rivendell on and off for about 4 years as I work at a college with a student radio station. This year we’re going to hopefully move from pure Internet stream to FM and so need something like Rivendell to run it.

I’ve tried to explain each step for the benefit of Linux beginners but it has been a while since I was one so forgive me if I gloss over some things. Please tell me and I will help out and adjust the guide accordingly.

Start with Xubuntu 12.04.
Everything we do here should work on any flavour of Ubuntu but I find the XFCE desktop keeps out of the way the best. 12.04 is the current Long Term Support (LTS) release and has support until 2017. Until the next LTS (14.04) has been out for a little bit I wouldn’t suggest using it.
Installation should be straightforward, boot from the install disk and follow the instructions. A few notes to keep in mind at this stage:
  • Don’t use the user name “rivendell” as that will cause problems and conflicts.
  • Make the computer name something useful if you are going to network several machines together.
  • All the audio data in Rivendell is stored in /var/snd so if you plan to have multiple partitions or drives make sure /var/snd is on a larger one (or has a symbolic link).

Once you’ve installed and rebooted you will probably want to remove any applications you don’t need (games, the GIMP etc.) and make sure the system is up to date (a notification will bug you about it)
I like to customise the XFCE desktop a bit. Removing the bottom panel and moving the top one down to be more like Windows XP. Right click one of the panels, select Panel>Panel Preferences.

Now we’re ready to install Rivendell. We will use the Tryphon Debian repository packages.

  1. Open your Terminal Emulator (under Accessories) and enter the following:

    sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

    It will ask for your password as “sudo” is a command which gives you admin access. Nano is a simple text editor and /etc/apt/sources.list is a file which tells the system where to look for software.
    Be aware that when using the terminal you can’t use Ctrl-C to paste. Either right-click and select Paste, or use shift-insert.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the file and type the following lines.

    deb http://debian.tryphon.eu precise main contrib
    deb-src http://debian.tryphon.eu precise main contrib

    These are the addresses for the repository. “precise” is the codename for Ubuntu 12.04 so change it if using another version.

  3. Press Ctrl-X to close Nano, press “y” to confirm you want to save and “enter” when it shows you the filename.
  4. Now run the following in the terminal

    wget -q -O – http://debian.tryphon.eu/release.asc | sudo apt-key add –

    This will add the repository key which will allow the package manager to make sure the updates it downloads are signed correctly. It will bug you about it every time if you don’t do it.

  5. Now run

    sudo apt-get update

    This updates the local list of packages and tells the system if there are updates to install.

  6. If there are no errors then the Rivendell repo has been added correctly.
    Now we install.

    sudo apt-get install rivendell rivendell-server mysql-server pulseaudio-module-jack

  7. MySQL will ask for a root password. You will need it when first installing Rivendell and later messing with the database so write it down.
  8. The JACK audio connection kit gets installed but I won’t talk about setting it up in this guide. Select to enable realtime priority when it asks anyway as this is one of the main benefits of using JACK.
  9. Select yes when it asks to setup rivendell-server and rd.conf.
  10. Select no when it asks about purging. You never know when you might accidentally uninstall and wipe everything.
  11. Select default user and group names, 48000 for the frequency, localhost for the mysql location and default username for mysql.
  12. Once the install has finished you’ll want to check /etc/rd.conf to check the settings. I find it sometimes doesn’t set the frequency properly to 48000.

    sudo nano /etc/rd.conf

  13. It’s a good time now to reboot the system. You need to at least log out to update user permissions.
  14. Once rebooted you’ll find lots of Rivendell applications under “Multimedia” in the App menu. First we select RDAdmin.
  15. RDAdmin will say it can’t access the database. That’s because it isn’t there yet. Log in with “root” and the password you created earlier when MySQL was installing and it will create the new Rivendell database.
  16. A login will appear now. Use “admin” with no password and that will bring you to the Admin panel. Leave it for now, lets first make sure the sound is working.
  17. Select RDAirPlay from the Multimedia menu and you’ll see this:

    AirPlay is the main playout application for Rivendell. To test the sound out just click “ADD” from the bottom left corner, select “Test Tone” and either press the play button, or click “Ok” and select one of the now yellow buttons in the grid on the right. You will get a 10 second test tone and the meter will light up.

  18. Now I would suggest reading the operations guide and get playing. The Rivendell wiki is a bit unorganised, some of it cut and pasted from the mailing list, but there are some good tips and tricks in there.

I hope this guide has helped you and as I said at the beginning I will adjust anything which wasn’t clear. I have plans to create an up to date replacement for RAAbuntu with simple installation and setup scripts.

    22 thoughts on “Rivendell install guide

    1. As a beginner I would say this tutorial is well explained. I'll dig up a spare computer over the next week and have a go at it. Your idea of updating RRAbuntu would be welcome I'm sure.Thanks

    2. Hi Stephen, OK followed your instructions and got it all installed. All OK except I hear no audio. I found the instructions easy enough to follow. Well done. I installed the 3rd party software. Maybe something has hijacked the audio. I'll load some music tomorrow and have another fiddle around.

    3. Does the audio appear to be playing (as in does the volume meter light up etc)? If so it might be a hardware problem. I sometimes find cards that have some channels muted in ALSA on first install. Run alsamixer in the terminal and check everything is unmuted and turned up.

    4. The audio appears to play. The audio meters don't light up but the count up and time remaining tick over. The green pye chart is in motion and counts the last 15 seconds. I ran the alsamixer. A few items were off. I tried to fix it but didn't really know what I was doing even though I Googled and followed some instructions. I installed an extra sound card. I had read pulseaudio hijacks the system and needs disabling. The end result of this is the computer wont reboot. That's ok I'll do a re install tomorrow. All good practice. 🙂 I can't remember how many times I had to re install XP.

    5. If you have a look in RDAdmin>Manage Hosts>Edit>Audio resources and scroll down to Audio Adapters. Card 0 should be ALSA. If it doesn't list ALSA at all in the list of cards then try running "sudo rdalsaconfig" in a terminal and make sure at least one of the available entries is in the active box. You might need a reboot after this.

    6. That's my wife in the photo, not me. The audio problem was. There are two sound sources. Audio on motherboard plus a sound card. Rivendell wont play off the motherboard. The other audio devices in Xubuntu do. The second time I did a reinstall it picked up the soundcard which Rivendell can use. However. Today when I booted up Alsa had jumped back to the motherboard so Rivendell was once more silent. I was able to fix it by running sudo rdalsaconfig and activating the sound card. Quite simple in the end. Thanks for your help and looking forward to your 'Jack' set up.

    7. Thanks for the tutorial. I was up and running in no time. However, I can't seem to change drives that I want to use for the audio files. The system drive is only an 80G and the external that I would like to use is 500G. How do I tell RD to use the other hard drive? Thanks.

    8. I would make a symbolic link.
      Move the folder /var/snd to the larger drive and run the command:
      ln -s /path/to/snd /var/snd

      I haven't got a working Rivendell setup right now so I can't test for you.

    9. I thought I had tried that, but obviously I'm not real proficient with *nix yet. Your leadership put me on the right path. Thanks

    10. I put this code into terminal "sudo apt-get install rivendell rivendell-server mysql-server pulseaudio-module-jack" and got this message "Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
      requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
      distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
      or been moved out of Incoming.
      The following information may help to resolve the situation:

      The following packages have unmet dependencies:
      rivendell : Depends: libqt3-mt (>= 3:3.3.8-b) but it is not installable
      Depends: librivendell (= 2.10.3-1) but it is not going to be installed
      Depends: libqt3-mt-mysql but it is not installable
      Recommends: jackd but it is not going to be installed
      Recommends: libmp3lame0 but it is not going to be installed
      Recommends: libtwolame0 but it is not going to be installed
      Recommends: libmad0 but it is not going to be installed
      rivendell-server : Depends: libqt3-mt (>= 3:3.3.8-b) but it is not installable
      Depends: librivendell but it is not going to be installed
      Depends: libqt3-mt-mysql but it is not installable
      Recommends: libmp3lame0 but it is not going to be installed
      Recommends: libtwolame0 but it is not going to be installed
      Recommends: libmad0 but it is not going to be installed
      E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages."
      Help please…..

    11. It looks like you're trying to install on a later version of Ubuntu than 12.04 as the qt3 libraries were dropped since then.
      Go back to step 2 and change the word "precise" to the codename for your version (assuming 14.04 LTS, it is "trusty"). Then continue (skipping step 4 as the key is already installed) and the qt3 libraries should install with Rivendell.

      I've not played with Rivendell much on 14.04 but everything else should work the same.

    12. Mint 17.2 is based on Ubuntu 14.04 so the above instructions should work. The only change is in step 2 where you add the repository, change the word "precise" to "trusty".

    13. RK says:

      Getting "Unable to connect to MySQL" when trying to get to the admin section…
      Help please!!!!

    14. I just had this happen to me. My issue was that my root password was too long for the textbox. Just change the MySQL root password to something shorter. Rivendell only needs it to create the database so you can change it back to something secure after it's finished.

    15. Hello, thx 4 the manual. Rivendell is installed on ubuntu 14.04 but i'm having a strange crash. I can import music, listen music in the library, ad music to the jingle panel but when i load a music files into the cards and then want to play the just created playlist my computer shut downs rivendell and log out. Anyone how knows what's triggering this behavior?

    16. I had something similar on one of my installs, playing anything on the main log in Airplay would lock up the machine but play the whole track. Not tracked down the cause yet but I only use that machine for Library things, not playout. Sorry.

      This article needs an update for 14.04 but I fear 16.04 will be out before I get around to it.

    17. Thanks for good installation guide. After everything I have a problem with sound – Rivendell can't see any of my sound cards. If I run "sudo rdalsaconfig", it shows RME sound card, but I can't see it in RDAdmin/Hosts/Audio Ports and Audio Resources. ALSA mixer shows that card, it is not muted, I do have sound with that card with other programs (Audacious, Firefox). I don't use PulseAudio. Maybe you have any suggestions that I could try? I searched for an answer, but it seems nothing works as of now.

    Comments are closed.