New approach for GNU/Linux TC receivers using DVB-S2 PCIe cards

Ernst Lobsiger

Dear GNU/Linux users

As long as I can remember the static multicast router "smcroute" has been
the solution to prevent packet loss when the TC client joins and leaves
multicast groups. Smcroute seems not to be packed with some GNU/Linux distros
and comes in different versions. Lately there have been important updates that
made the EUMETSAT distributed SysV file "dvb-eumetcast" (first version 2008)
fail. I recently helped Graham Woolf to setup a system with Debian 10.7 and his
TBS-6909X. This endeavour ended in 287 e-Mails back and forth and a couple of
fixes of the latest EUMETSAT distributed "dvb-eumetcast" from my side. Graham's
receiver is now running (no news is good news) while my wife is still waiting
for the second portion (5 x 5ml Pots) of highly recommended "Hadrian's Balm".           ..  which is maybe another Brexit fallout.

I have collected and reported all encountered problems including former issues
with the new SaveNet 9.0 EKU software. This lead to an in depth reconsideration
of the situation and discovery of a novel approach using the properties of
more recent Linux kernels only. It is now EUMETSAT's declared aim to get rid
of "smcroute" as far as possible using kernel ethernet bridging and bonding
the DVB-interfaces (one per PID) to a common internal interface "dvbond0".
All TC clients then attach to this internal interface "dvbond0". I have one
of these novel TC receivers running here without packet loss (though somewhat
higher system load).  EUMETSAT is interested in as much feedback as possible
re this new solution. Hoping that some more users with GNU/Linux receivers
(or the sheer intention to setup such a beast) grab a surplus PC and a DVB
card (e.g. SkyStar2 eXpress HD, TBS-6925, TBS-6903, TBS-6903X, TBS-6909X) to
test this novel approach, I attach the latest relevant e-Mail from OPS below.
Please share your problems/findings under this thread but also report those
directly to EUMETSAT OPS under the subject "EUMHD-3310: InproveLinuxSetup".

Happy hacking,



This new solution should also apply to USB boxes like TBS-5925 and TBS-5927.
32Bit Linux is slowly fading away, please consider to setup a 64Bit version.


RE: EUMHD-3310 RE: ImproveLinuxSetup
Von     EUMETSAT User Helpdesk
Absender     Andreea Munteanu
An     Ernst Lobsiger
Datum     Mo 11:19

Dear Ernst,

Regarding dvb-eumetcast, after analysis of different options, and considering important
aspects of dependencies and maintenance effort of the package, here is the outcome.

A new test version of dvb-eumetcast package can be downloaded from this location:

After un-tarring the package you find the Readme file with further instructions and information.

In short words, we want to remove the dependency from smcroute. There are other options with a smaller
footprint supported by the OS. The default method to combine the dvb interfaces into one network interface
is a bonding interface supported since a while by the kernels.

This package still contains smcroute method as an option, but this is just to be able to compare
the performance of the different methods.

Please test this version and provide your feedback. Feel free to distribute to the community.
We would like to have as much feedback as possible if there are problems encountered.

Prerequisite is a DVB device working under the linuxtv DVB-S2 API implemented in the kernel.
We cannot discuss DVB device related issues as these are responsibility of the manufacturers.

Best regards,

Andreea Munteanu
EUMETSAT User Services


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