VDR plugin Permashift – English

This is the English version of the German homepage for the VDR plugin Permashift, implementing permanent timeshift.

Permashift has been mostly rewritten since version 0.5. Due to popular demand, it doesn’t permanently record to hard disc anymore, bus uses RAM to realize a permanent timeshift. So the user can rewind any time when watching live TV or create an instant recording containing the part already been watched. In both cases the video stored in RAM is saved to hard disc.

The current version of Permashift is 1.0.0.


Permashift can be configured to use more RAM than most VDR machines probably have got, up to 6 GB. If VDR or any other pro­grams run instable or choppy with Permashift, RAM usage should be lowered in the options. Preconfigured is 100 MB which should not be a problem for most of all machines.

Additionally, Permashift uses hard disc thrice at once when rewinding from live TV: the buffer must be written to disc faster than rewinding needs it, rewind reads data and of course, live TV must be saved as well. This did not create problems for me, but if direct rewinding doesn’t work well due to slow hardware, saving on-the-fly can be disabled in the options.


The plugin needs a patch to VDR main code. The following patch has been built against VDR 2.0.5. Due to the flexible patch algorithm, it should apply to other versions as well. The patch is incompatible with the old Permashift patches, these have to be removed beforehand.

VDR patch
VDR patch

Permashift doesn’t need any user attention to work. In the options you can set the maximum amount of RAM used, if saving is done on-the-fly and you can disable the plugin. Permashift has been translated to English and German.

With active Permashift, you can directly rewind from live TV. Doing so switches VDR to replay mode, so remote key meanings change accordingly. How far rewinding goes depends on the size of the buffer (and how long you’ve been watching the programme, obviously).

When you are starting an instant recording, the already watched programme will be included in your recording as well. It will be extended to the usual lenght of instant recordings, counted from the time you’re initiating the recording. If such recordings are deleted automatically is subject to the VDRs settings (Recording => Delete timeshift recording).


Now here is the plugin. It has to be compiled by the user. VDR’s new makefile system (introduced with VDR 1.7.34) is used.


Would you like to see Permashift in your own language? Easy! At the moment, there are only five texts to translate. Just write your translation as a comment at this page or send an e-mail to eike sitting at ein-eike.de.

Here the texts…

* “Automatically record live TV” (Shown in the plugins list.)
* “Enable plugin” (Option 1)
* “Memory buffer size” (Option 2)
* “Save buffer on-the-fly” (Option 3)
* “Permashift out of memory!” (Error message)

Please try to keep your texts similarly short so they fit on the screen even on SD TVs.


I do like getting comments. No matter if it worked or not, please let me know. Suggestions are welcome as well, though I do not promise anything.


3 Gedanken zu „VDR plugin Permashift – English“

  1. I get almost constant permashift out of memory message. I have assigned 2GB memory to permashift on a 4GB box. It is especially annoying when I rewind and then after stopping recording changing the channel. In this situation permashift never gets enough memory

    1. You might check free memory without Permashift running with “free -h” on the console. If only VDR is running on your box, 2 GB sounds reasonable. Nevertheless, on “out of memory” messages, _always_ try turning down memory usage settings. If 2 GB doesn’t work, try 1, if 1 GB doesn’t work, try 500 MB. You might also check if disabling saving on-the-fly helps. And you should have a look into the system’s log files for suspicious messages.

      This said, Permashift works fine here with a 5 GB buffer filled to the max (several hours of SD TV) and saved on-the-fly on my 8 GB (developing) box.

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