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Rivendell Reference Manual

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Getting Started

Rivendell Overview


Install the software

Debian packages are available from the repository at

Ubuntu packages are available from the repository at

What is a really easy install for Ubuntu is the RRAbuntu Live CD installer.

Gentoo users see Install under Gentoo.

SUSE packages can be downloaded from the main Rivendell website in the download section. Tim Camp has also put together an OpenSuse 11.2 CD with Rivendell.

You can install Rivendell by compiling from source for other linux distros. Source code is available with instructions in a tarball or zip file on the main Rivendell website in the download section.

Create Rivendell-Users on your system

Create a dedicated user (like radio) which will be used to run the jack server and Rivendell applications. This is a Linux level user there will be Linux level, database level and Rivendell level users. See Users for an expanded description of users.

As root, add the user 'radio' and add it to the group 'audio'

useradd -g audio radio

Make 'rdadmin' run

Ensure, that your sql-server and client is installed. For debian users: The package names are "mysql-server", "mysql-client".

Run the console and type "rdadmin". If your mysql-server was installed properly a small window will appear to ask for your username and password. Else a message will appear that your sql-server is not responding. In this case install your sql-server by using your systems packagemanagement. (yast, apt-get, emerge, ...)

Example for debian users:
> apt-get update
> apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client

Now the hard work begins! You have to initialize your sql-database.

Create a rivendell database and a user:

mysqladmin -u root create rivendell

This should create a database named 'rivendell'. If you have a password don't forget to put -p on the commande line like : mysqladmin -u root -p create rivendell

mysql -u root mysql
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON rivendell.* TO radio@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'radio';
mysqladmin -u root flush-privileges

If you recieve the follwing error message:

QSqlDatabase: QMYSQL3 driver not loaded.

On Debian distributions you must install the qt-sql-lib (am I right?).

On Gentoo, qt was probably upgraded or installed without the "mysql" USE flag

USE="mysql" emerge -av qt

Its better to include "mysql" in your USE= section of /etc/make.conf

Before you can use all features of 'rdadmin' your sounddrivers have to work: mostly this means jack and alsa is running.

Make the sound run

This is the most difficult part.

Install jack

If you're using Ubuntu see Install Rivendell on Ubuntu If you're using Debian see Install under Debian If you're using Gentoo see Install under Gentoo

This is the most exciting part. Remove this links if the installation-progress is working!

Getting To Know The Rivendell Tools


RDLogin (rdlogin) is used to authenticate a user to the client applications and back-end systems (e.g. access to the data in the system database, the core audio engine, and the playout engine).--GhostRider 00:22, 7 Jul 2005 (CEST)


RDAdmin is a comprehensive system configuration and management tool. With it the Rivendell Administrator can add/edit user groups, create/edit users, manage the serial switcher and audio port configurations, in addition to being able to backup and restore the system database. --GhostRider 00:12, 7 Jul 2005 (CEST)

Manage Users

This section sets up the different users that might be using the system. It is the "security" system of sorts allowing the users certain functions in Rivendell, but denying them functions in other parts. There is no limit to the number of users that can be added to the system. The RDLogin in module is where the user would log in to change the user on the system and to have their settings follow.

When the system is first installed the first two users are created, admin and user. The admin is just as the name implies, the administrator for the system. The admin has the ability to change settings that will affect the entire system and will be able to set the permissions for what the user can do. The user has the ability to make changes to settings that will affect buttons on the sound panel and those items that the admin gives it permission to do, for example creating, or editing cuts, carts or logs.

To create or edit a current user from the RDAdmin screen;

press the "Manage Users" button

This will bring up another screen that will show the users already created for the system and give the choice of either "add", "edit", "delete", or "close". To create a new user;

press the "Add" button

This will bring up another screen where the new user's name will be typed in. ONce this is completed;

press the "Ok" button

This will bring up the next screen where the more detailed information on what tasks that user can perform are shown. There are four areas to chose settings for "Administrative Rights", "Production Rights", "Traffic Rights", and "OnAir Rights". These are pretty self explanitory as to what they do. Once the setting are checked as desired;

Press the "Ok" button

To edit a user;

Press the "Edit" button for the desired user

on the first screen. This will take you to the settings for that user. From here any of the changes that need to be made to the permissions can be completed. Once again, when the setting are complete

Press the "Ok" button

To remove a user, select the desired user to remove;

Press the "Delete" button

A confirmation screen will appear to make sure that the delete is what was desired. Confirm this and the selected user will be removed from the system.

When all of the changes are completed with the users;

Press the "Close" button

and you will be taken back to the main RDAdmin screen.

Manage Services
Manage Reports
Manage Groups

This section of RDAdim pertains to the organization of the Carts within RDLibrary. The groups section is where the different groups are created to be used later when loading the library with audio and or macro carts.

To create a new group

 Press the "Add" button

A screen will appear asking for the "New Group Name". Once this name is entered pressing OK will bring up the configuration screen for the new group. In this new screen a description for the group along with setting a group default type i.e audio, or macro. Also in this screen is the ability to add a default cart number range that when asked will pick the next available cart within the range in the specified group. There are also check boxes to allow these groups to be reported in the Traffic and Music reports. For those that desire, the Now and Next data can be sent or not also in this part of the configuration. Finally, what services can use this group is set. Once all of the setting are configured as desired, press OK and the group will then be added to the list.

To edit an existing group

 Press the "Edit" button

This will bring up the same configuration screen as seen in the add screen area.

A group can also be renamed by

 Pressing the "Rename" button

This acomplishes what it implies, a simple rename of the group.

To delete a group

 Press the "Delete" button

A dialogue will come up confirming the delete. Pressing Yes will delete the group from the list.

Closing the Mange Groups screen will bring up the beginning RDAdmin screen.


Manage Hosts
System Info

This section gives general information on the version of Rivendell and of the audio drivers installed on the system.

To view the System Information

 Press the "System Information" button

this will bring up a screen showing the Rivendell version in the upper left hand corner of the screen right under RIVENDELL. Following that information on the screen is information on the version of the audio drivers installed on the system. These drivers can include the Audio Science HPI version and the JACK Audio Connection Kit.

Towards the bottom of the screen there are two buttons - "View License" and "View Adapters". These buttons give more information

 Pressing the "View License" button

brings up information on the GNU General Public License that is used for the Rivendell program.

 Pressing the "View Adapters" button

brings up information about the type of Audio Science adapters that are locally located in the computer.

 Pressing the "Close" button

brings up the primary RDAdmin screen


Backup Database
Restore Database


A complete program log editing tool


An audio acquisition and management tool, for maintaining a library of audio content


An on-air audio playout application


An automatic audio recorder and event scheduler specifically optimized for simultaneous capture of multiple long-form audio programs


A tool for integration with a wide array of third-party traffic and music scheduling systems.

The log manager consists of five buttons: Edit Events, Edit Clocks, Edit Grids, Generate Logs, and Manage Reports.

The first three are inactive if the Rivendell user doesn't have the 'Modify Template' right checked in RDAdmin -> ManageUsers. Either assign that right, or create a new user with that level of access.

Events are the scheduled items that populate a Format_Clock (or just clock, for short). Typically they would include music, announcements, station and format IDs, talk shows, etc. They may be simple, consisting of a single cart, or more complex, including pre or post carts (macro or audio). A good explanation/example of this is found at

The clock is a one hour schedule, often represented as a pie chart where the scheduled broadcasts (events) are the slices of the pie.

The grid is the 'program grid' for the service. Each button corresponds to a particular hour in the broadcast week. There are 168 of them altogether - 24 for each day day of the week. It is common to schedule a particular program at the same time every day. It is easy to do in the grid editor: just click the corresponding buttons for those hours and assign the appropriate clock to it.

To set up scheduling, a number of steps are involved:

  • Configure services to read the schedule file generated by the traffic system.
  • Create a schedule file containing, at a minimum, the following fields:
    • For Traffic: Cart Number, Start Time, Length, Contract #, Event ID, and Annc. Type
    • For Music: Cart Number, Start Time, Length
  • Create/Edit Events.
  • Create/Edit Clocks and populate them with events.
  • Create/Edit Grids, and populate it with clocks.

Rivendell Workflow

Rivendell Administration

Starting the Rivendell Administration Tool

Creating User Groups

Creating and Editing Users

Adding Users To Groups

Production Room Workflow

General Workflow

Importing Cuts

Ripping Cuts from CDs

Creating a Cart for your Cuts

Adding Cuts to your Cart

Recording Segues and Such

Putting it all together: Creating a Playlist

Control Room Workflow

Traffic Workflow