lircd man page

lircd — Decode infrared signals and provide them on a socket.


lircd [options] [config file]


The main task of lircd is to decode the infrared signals and provide an uniform interface for client applications. Clients can connect to lircd through a Unix domain socket, by default /var/run/lirc/lircd.  Using this socket they will get the infrared codes received by lircd and they can send commands to lircd.


config file

The configuration file, by default /etc/lirc/lircd.conf. A relative path is interpreted from /etc/lirc. The default configuration file includes all files in /etc/lircd.conf.d.

Each remote which should be decoded by lircd usually requires that a specific file is used e. g., by copying it to /etc/lirc/lirc.conf.d/. The format is described in lircd.conf(5). Configuration files could be found using irdb-get(1) or lirc-setup(1). It's also possible to generate a config file using irrecord(1)


Common options:

-d, --device <device>

Select the character device which lircd should read from. The default is currently /dev/lirc0 on most systems.

When using the devinput driver, you can use name=STRING or phys=STRING to select the device; lircd will look in /dev/input to find a device with a matching description. This is useful in case the device name isn't fixed. STRING may contain the '*' and '?' wildcards and '\' to mark them as literal. Use dmesg(1) to find the name and bus address (the names used under /dev/input/by-id are not always usable).

-H, --driver <driver>

The driver to use.  Using --driver help lists all available drivers, see Driver Loading below.

-h, --help

Displays short help message.

Other options:

-a, --allow-simulate

Enable the SIMULATE command which can be issued using irsend(1) or the client API. This will allow simulating arbitrary IR events from the command line. Use this option with caution because it will give all users with access to the lircd socket wide control over the system. E.g., if you have configured your system to shut down by a button press on your remote control, everybody will be able to shut down your system from the command line.

-c, --connect [host[:port]][,[host[:port]]]

Connects to other lircd servers that provide a network socket at the given host and port number (see --listen). The number of such connections is currently limited to 100. The connecting lircd instance will receive IR events from the lircd instance it connects to. To connect to multiple servers, add them as a comma separated list.

-e, --effective-user <uid>

If started as user root, lircd drops it privileges and runs as user <uid> after opening files etc.

-i, --immediate-init

Lircd normally initializes the driver when the first client connects. If this option is selected, the driver is instead initialized immediately at start.

-A, --driver-options key:value[|key:value...]

Set one or more options for the driver. The argument is a list of key:value pairs delimited by '|'. The key can not contain spaces, but such are allowed in the value part. Certain characters including '#' and ';' are used as comment markers in the config file and are not allowed anywhere.

-Y, --dynamic-codes  [EXPERIMENTAL]

Allows use of codes which have been decoded for one remote but are not defined in lircd.conf.  New codes are dynamically created  with a default name. This feature is experimental and subject to all sorts of changes. It has not ben tested thoroughly.

-l, --listen [[address:]port]]

Let lircd listen for network connections on the given address/port. The default address is, which means that connections on all network interfaces will be accepted. The address must be given in dotted numerical form. The default port is 8765. No security checks are currently implemented. The listening lircd instance will send all IR events to the connecting lircd instances.

-L, --logfile <logfile path>

Select the lircd daemon log file. logfile is either the string 'syslog' indicating that syslog(1) should be used or a log file path. The default is to use syslog.

-D, --loglevel [level]

Determine the amount of logging information. level can be a symbolic syslog level: 'error','warning, 'info', 'notice' or  'debug'. lircd also defines three additional levels 'trace', 'trace1' and 'trace2' which gives even more messages ('trace2' bringing the most). However, in the log these messages are marked as 'debug'.

The level can also be an integer in the range 3 (almost no messages) to 10.

-O, --options-file <path>

File containing default values for all options. A relative path is interpreted from current directory. See [Files] below.

-o, --output <output socket>

Select Unix domain socket, which lircd will write remote key codes to. The default currently is /var/run/lirc/lircd.

-p, --permission <perm>

Gives the file permission of the output socket if it has to be created in octal representation. See chmod(1). If no --permission option is given when the socket is initially created the default is to give all users read and write permissions (0666 in octal representation). If the socket already exists this option has no effect.

-p, --pidfile <path>

Select the lircd daemon pid file, defaults to /var/run/lirc/

-U --plugindir <path>

Sets the directory from which lircd loads it's userspace drivers. These are *.so files, by default found as described under Driver Loading. The argument is a :-separated search path.

-r, --release [suffix]

Enables automatic generation of release events for each button press. lircd will append the given suffix to the button name for each release event. If no suffix is given the default suffix is '_UP'.

-R, --repeat-max <limit>

Sets an upper limit to the number of repeats when sending a signal. The current default is 600. A SEND_START request will repeat the signal this many times. Also, if the number of repeats in a SEND_ONCE request exceeds this number, it will be replaced by this number.

-u, --uinput

[DEPRECATED] Enable automatic generation of Linux input events. Obsoleted by the lircd-uinput(8) tool and the lircd-uinput.service systemd service.

Socket Broadcast Messages Format

When decoding a button press or receiving a SIGHUP signal lircd.conf lircd broadcasts messages to all connected clients.

For each decoded button press a package is made available on the socket. This is printable data formatted as:

        <code> <repeat count> <button name> <remote control name>


        0000000000f40bf0 00 KEY_UP ANIMAX

The fields are:


A 16 hexadecimal digits number encoding of the IR signal. It's usage in applications is deprecated and it should be ignored.

repeat count

shows how long the user has been holding down a button. The counter will start at 0 and increment each time a new IR signal has been received.

button name

is the name of a key defined in the lircd.conf file.

remote control name

is the mandatory name attribute in the lircd.conf config file.

These packets are broadcasted to all clients. The only other situation when lircd broadcasts to all clients is when it receives the SIGHUP signal and successfully re-reads its config file. Then it will send a SIGHUP packet to its clients indicating that its configuration might have changed. The sighup packet is three lines


Socket Command Interface

Applications can also send commands to lircd over the socket interface. The most common task is sending data, but there are also other commands. Each command is a single printable line, terminated with a newline. For each command, lircd replies with a reply package.

Supported commands:

SEND_ONCE <remote control> <button name> [repeats]

Tell lircd to send the IR signal associated with the given remote control and button name, and then repeat it repeats times. repeats is a decimal number between 0 and repeat_max. The latter can be given as a --repeat-max command line argument to lircd, and defaults to 600. If repeats is not specified or is less than the minimum number of repeats for the selected remote control, the minimum value will be used.

SEND_START <remote control name> <button name>

Tell lircd to start repeating the given button until it receives a SEND_STOP command. However, the number of repeats is limited to repeat_max. lircd won't accept any new send commands while it is repeating.

SEND_STOP <remote control name> <button name>

Tell lircd to abort a SEND_START command.

LIST [remote control]

Without arguments lircd replies with a list of all defined remote controls. Given a remote control argument, lircd replies with a list of all keys defined in the given remote.


Given a path, lircd will start logging all received data on that file. The log is printable lines as defined in mode2(1) describing pulse/space durations. Without a path, current logfile is closed and the logging is stopped.

DRV_OPTION key value

Make lircd invoke the drvctl_func(DRVCTL_SET_OPTION, option) with option being made up by the parsed key and value. The return package reflects the outcome of the drvctl_func call.

SIMULATE key data

Given key data, instructs lircd to send this to all clients i.  e., to simulate that this key has been decoded. The key data must be formatted exactly as the packet described in [Socket Broadcast Messages Format], notably is the number of digits in code and repeat count hardcoded. This command is only accepted if the --allow-simulate command line option is active.

SET_TRANSMITTERS transmitter mask

Make lircd invoke the drvctl_func(LIRC_SET_TRANSMITTER_MASK, &channels), where channels is the decoded value of transmitter mask. See lirc(4) for more information.


Tell lircd to send a version packet response.

The protocol guarantees that broadcasted messages won't interfere with reply packets. But broadcasts may appear at any point between packets. The only exception are SIGHUP packages. These may appear just after you have sent a command to lircd, so you have to make sure you don't confuse them with replies.

The format of the reply packet is

  n lines of data]

If the command was successful, data is only sent for the commands that return some information. Note that a packet containing 0 lines of data can be a valid reply.

Running As Regular User

Traditionally lircd has been running as root since accessing kernel devices like /dev/lirc0 by default requires root privileges. However, running a long-running service like this is a major security issue.

The lirc distribution contains example udev rules which makes /dev/lirc[0-9] , USB and serial devices accessible by the lirc user. Using these rules, it is possible to run lircd as a regular user and group such as lirc.



Main config file, see lircd.conf(5).


The options file. lircd handles the values under the [lircd] section in this file. The location can be changed using the -O/--options-file command-line option or using the environment variable LIRC_OPTIONS_PATH. The values here are used as defaults for any option not present on command line.



Options file path, see Files.


Plugin load path, se Driver Loading.


If set, enables debugging in early stages when the --debug option is yet not parsed.

Driver Loading

Drivers are loaded dynamically. This is done from a traditional *ux ´:´-separated path where each component in the path is searched (leading part first, trailing last).

The path used for this is determined by (falling priority):


The --plugindir option.


The 'plugindir' entry in  the [lircd] section of the lirc_options.conf file.


The environment variable LIRC_PLUGINDIR.


A hardcoded default (/usr/lib64/lirc/plugins).



On receiving SIGHUP lircd re-reads the lircd.conf configuration file (but not lirc_options.conf) and adjusts itself if the file has changed.


On receiving SIGUSR1 lircd makes a clean exit.


lircd  is a daemon. You should start it in some init script depending on your system. Besides the systemd setup which is installed by default there are also example scripts for other distros and init systems in the contrib directory.

See Also


Referenced By

irpipe(1), irsend(1), irtext2udp(1), lirc(4), lirc-config-tool(1), lircd.conf(5), lircd_selinux(8), lircd-setup(8), lircd-uinput(8), lirc-lsplugins(1), lircmd(8), lircrcd(8).

Last change: Dec 2016 lircd 0.9.4c System Administration Utilities