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Linux Software

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


Alas as of May 2014 SDR# development has gone closed source and new changes stop it working in Mono and Linux. This may change in the future and I will update this page accordingly. The below HOWTO for Linux is valid for older versions prior to the changes.

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.


This has only been tested on a x64 Debian system using the combined current stable/testing repositories but the process should be similar in Ubuntu and Fedora/Centos.

  • Install mono and monodevelop. This is the Linux version of Microsoft's .NET.
    sudo apt-get install mono-complete monodevelop
  • Install libportaudio2 to make sure sound works.
    sudo apt-get install libportaudio2
  • Compile and install the latest RTLSDR. 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.
  • Download the latest SVN copy of SDR#.
    svn co sdrsharp
  • cd into the new sdrsharp directory and then load monodevelop and open the sdrsharp.sln project. If the .sln doesn't open use a text editor to open the .sln file and at the end of the first line change the 12.00 to 11.00. Older versions of monodevelop don't understand the VS2012 header.
  • Set the Active Configuration from Debug|x86 to Release|x86.
  • Click on the menu item Build→Build All.
  • cd into the new Release directory and type the following:
    ln -s /usr/local/lib/ librtlsdr.dll
    ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
  • If you wish to use Debug mode you will need to put the same links in the Debug directory.
  • 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 SDRSharp.exe.config 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.

  • Type mono SDRSharp.exe and you should see something like the screenshot below! Ignore any exceptions that might pop up at the start that involve SDRIQ as it's complaining about hardware you don't have. Maybe the author is thumbing his nose at you. You can stop the exceptions by commenting out or deleting the lines in SDRSharp.exe.config for hardware you don't have.
  • If you get audio stutter (I do on my i7 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] sysdefault as audio output, otherwise you may experience audio stutter.

  • If you download source code from the the SVN tree the project/solution opens and builds just fine in Linux with MonoDevelop. Just make sure the above soft links exist in the Debug directory.
  • Alternatively, you can build it directly from commandline with
    xbuild /t:Rebuild /p:Configuration=Release SDRSharp.sln


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

softwarelinux.1404786148.txt.gz · Last modified: 2014/07/08 04:22 by roklobsta