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Options for free software in Linux are:

  • GNURadio is an excellent but unwieldy piece of software for use with RTLSDR. It's the only software for now that will receive analogue (FM, AM, sideband) and digital modes such as AP25, FSK and ADS-B. Be warned it's not very easy to drive but if you are canny you can use it to build your own software defined radio. Follow the build guide for your Linux system as the latest code is always the best to use.
  • GQRX apparently does too.
  • As SDR# is written in C# it works with Mono in Linux!

Have a look here for a good summary of Linux utilities.

Getting SDR# Running in Linux

As of 14 September 2015 SDR# (along with AstroSpy and SpectrumSpy) and works again in Linux on x86/x64 and ARM using Mono! This has been tested on Linux Mint 18 x64 and an Odroid XU4.

The fact that SDR# worked in Mono at all was a happy accident. The author did not intend this and is not obligated to keep the code backwards-compatible with Mono. Any performance issues with SDR# in Mono are a problem with Mono NOT SDR# - do not complain about SDR# on Linux until Mono gets much better at executing .net code.

There are 2 ways to do this, you can use the PlayOnLinux way shown in Français ici and English here or the Mono way detailed below.

Instructions (updated 16 Jul 2016)
  • Install mono 4.4 (or later) for your distro from here. This is the Linux version of Microsoft's .net.
  • Install libportaudio2 to make sure sound works.
    sudo apt-get install libportaudio2
  • RTLSDR users: I used the cmake version as detailed here. Don't forget to run ldconfig as root at the end to sort the newly installed libraries out.
  • Airspy users: Download and install the host drivers from here. Don't forget to blacklist the kernel driver as mentioned here.
  • Unzip to a new directory.
  • cd into the new SDR# directory and type the following:
    ln -s /usr/local/lib/ librtlsdr.dll
    ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
  • If the last command doesn't work type locate and try again with the new path. On 32 bit systems it will be in a different directory to what's shown here.
  • With your favourite text editor open FrontEnds.xml and find the line
       <!-- <add key="RTL-SDR (USB)" value="SDRSharp.RTLSDR.RtlSdrIO,SDRSharp.RTLSDR" /> -->

    and remove .net comments of so that it looks like:

    <add key="RTL-SDR (USB)" value="SDRSharp.RTLSDR.RtlSdrIO,SDRSharp.RTLSDR" />

    This will enable use of the RTLSDR dongle. Comment out any radios you don't have so you don't get any startup errors and exceptions for non-existent radios.

  • Before running SDRSharp you can compile it so that it may run a bit faster. To compile do:
    mono --aot --optimize=all --optimize=float32 SDRSharp.exe
  • Type mono –optimize=float32 SDRSharp.exe and you should see something like the screenshot below!
  • If you get audio stutter (I do on my old i7-720QM CPU!) change the audio latency from 100ms to 200ms or more. It seems Mono doesn't run SDR# anywhere as efficiently as the native Windows CLR. I have tried –optimize=all and also the –llvm options and it doesn't seem to help. Any advice appreciated!
  • Be sure to select [ALSA] Default as audio output, otherwise you may experience audio stutter.

  • If you still get audio stutter on the Airspy at 10MS/s then try 2.5MS/s. This won't change until Mono improves (drastically).


Have a look here for some words on using rtl_tcp and SDR#.

softwarelinux.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/16 02:15 by roklobsta