How to install TBS6981 DVB-S2 Dual tuner card on Linux Ubuntu 11.04 ?

By | July 13, 2011

Most TBS digital TV tuner cards/boxes have very good up to date Linux driver support, Although TBS provides read me doc in the Linux driver package, still many people could have question about how to install TBS6981 on Linux Ubuntu. Here is a simple ‘how to’ for you – follows these step-by-step guide you should be able to install up to 10 TBS6981 Dual Tuner cards in one PC easily.


TV Tuner: TBS6981, it’s the best DVB-S/S2 PCI-E dual tuner card in the TBS market with full linux support.

Install Environment: Linux Ubuntu 11.04(Kernel 2.6.38-8)

Installation steps:

1.       Ensure that you have installed following packages:

* Kernel Sources

* gcc

* rar

* tar

* gzip

2.      Download the latest driver from:

3.      Create an empty folder of TBS6981

mkdir TBS6981

4.      Change path to the new directory

cd TBS6981

5.      Unrar the driver

unrar e /path/to/driver/linux-s2api-tbs6981-#_#######.rar
where ##### means the version of the driver.

6.      Unzip the base driver

tar xjvf linux-s2api-tbs6981_1.tar.bz2

7.      Change directory to the driver path

cd linux-s2api-tbs6981_1/v4l

8.      Based in your OS architecture do one of these:

On x86 (32 bit):
ln -s tbs6981ctrl.o.x86 tbs6981ctrl.o
ln -s tbs6981fe_driver.o.x86 tbs6981fe_driver.o

On x86_64/AMD64 (64 bit):

ln -s tbs6981ctrl.o.x86_64 tbs6981ctrl.o
ln -s tbs6981fe_driver.o.x86_64 tbs6981fe_driver.o

9.      To use more than 4 cards edit following files:

On dvbdev.h file, change DVB_MAX_ADAPTERS to 16

On config-compat.h file, change CONFIG_DVB_MAX_ADAPTERS to 64

10.  Compile the driver and install it

cd ..; make; make install

11.   Install the firmware

cd /path/to/driver/
cp v4l-cx23885-######.fw /lib/firmware
Where ###### is defined as a brand and version

12.  Reboot to load the driver reboot

13.   After reboot you must have installed up to 2 * CardNumber adapters in /dev/dvb ls /dev/dvb

So far you have finished your installing of TBS6981, now you can enjoy satellite TV programs on your linux computer!

This article is contributed by Peter Mitrell.

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