GNU Radio and Gqrx – setup

As I have said in Kali linux some software is easy to obtain and for the GNU Radio and Gqrx case I recommend to search in the Ubuntu Software Center and install the packets through it.
I know that kali linux doesn’t have the Ubuntu Software Center but you can go and download it from the Add/remove software program that brings Kali linux, as I said in my general post of cracking GSM steps:

I think that even with the default Add/remove software program the GNU Radio first and Gqrx then can be downloaded without any problem. It’s important to see that you have to install always de GNU Radio first becuase the Gqrx will work only if you have GNU Radio well-compiled and installed.

This post is to get the GNU Radio and Gqrx in the case the packets are not included in the updating software and you have to compile it through the terminal prompt, like I have done in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS system.

It’s better to install them through the Add/remove software program because it will install all the dependencies and all the problems will be solved. It’s also better because the tools can be executed in any directory and because all the files are well-classified by the program.

So if you have been able to get the software without any further problem via Add/remove software, don’t read anymore; if you have problems, continue reading.

In this case you only will be able to run the tools that comes with gnuradio and Gqrx inside the directory where they are placed. I recommend you to use this video in youtube to get GNU Radio & Gqrx  running via an install script, in the case you can’t get them working by any other way.

GNU Radio may be installed with apt-get command too, in case the command has the packets. This is shown in the next link:

IMPORTANT: Before beginning it’s important to notice that with this process I have been able to compile correctly GNU Radio and Gqrx but airprobe installation falls in so many errors that I haven’t been able to get it working. It’s for this reason why I’m recommending  you to install through the Add/remove software if you are able to. So if you try this process notice that you won’t be ablt to crack GSM without airprobe but with GNU Radio and Gqrx you will be able to do a lot of interesting things and it’s an option to get these softwares running for funny purposes.

1) GNU Radio Install via install script:

Here is the description of how I get the gnuradio compiled in ubuntu:

As we can see in the web page of gnuradio, the method of the video that installs gnuradio in Kali linux is not the same for ubuntu or fedora distributions.
I have followed all the video instructions of the blog that shows how to install gnuradio minus the instruction that says to add *|kali* in a specified line. But in the case of Kali linux you won’t have to do it by this way.
In the video they explain the installation for a Kali linux distribution, although there is no need to use it.
If we want to install the GNU Radio in the kali linux operating system or any other operating system, we must first of all enter the command:

sudo apt-get update

Note that in kali linux there is a terminal prompt that comes with sudo privileges and you don’t need to type sudo to enter as a superuser. This is another advantatge of Kali linux.

The method we will be using is a slightly modified build script written by Marcus Leech. So the instructions we must follow are:

First of all we must check which are the dependencies for our ubuntu version, in my case I used the version Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin and I found the necessary dependencies are:

sudo apt-get -y install git-core autoconf automake libtool g++ 
python-dev swig pkg-config libboost1.48-all-dev libfftw3-dev 
libcppunit-dev libgsl0-dev libusb-dev sdcc libsdl1.2-dev
python-wxgtk2.8 python-numpy python-cheetah python-lxml doxygen 
python-qt4 python-qwt5-qt4 libxi-dev libqt4-opengl-dev libqwt5-qt4-dev
libfontconfig1-dev libxrender-dev

The dependencies can be found in this link:

Build from source using Marcus Leech Build Script:

mkdir sdr
cd sdr
mkdir gnuradio-src
cd gnuradio-src

To make changes on the build-gnuradio script is better to install gedit first that will count the lines and is better to identify where are the things:

sudo apt-get install gedit
gedit build-gnuradio

Gedit is a text editor that comes with some linux distributions and have to be installed with others. Comment the lines that are showed in the youtube video but don’t add in line 253 the word: *|kali* (IMPORTANT: if you are installing this in kali linux you have to add it!)
To check the debian version:

cat /etc/debian_version

The problem is my system doesn’t have enough space inside the root partition, so I have to get free-space for installing gnuradio:

df -H (to know what amount of free-space there is)
sudo apt-get clean (to get some free-space)
chmod a+x build-gnuradio
sudo su (and enter your password, in case your are not in Kali linux)
./build-gnuradio -m --verbose(answer "yes" to the first 2 questions)

It’s importat to use the -m flag in the last command, because this option will install the last version of GNU Radio, which is the 3.7 version, and this will make sure that the installation of Gqrx has no problems. With the old version of GNU Radio 3.6, the Gqrx can have some problems of compilation and you won’t be able to install it.

The discussion in this blog will make some idea of what I am talking about:

REMARK: This is the reason why airprobe doesn’t work, the owner of Gqrx has build a new version of this software that will only work with the new version of GNU Radio 3.7; but Airprobe is compiled to be used with the old version of GNU Radio 3.6. I tried to get the old version of Gqrx but I wasn’t able to. But using Add/remove Software in kali linux the softwares compile correctly and they have no problem between their versions.

So you must wait for about 2 hours of compiling and then check that no errors have been made by the install process. You can see all this process in the video at the link above to see if you are doing the installation correctly.
A good web page to get used to GNU Radio is: (This web page shows how to use some tools that come with gnuradio and brings you an idea of what exactly is gnuradio and for what is used). It’s important to notice the only tool that has a graphical interface is the gnuradio-companion; the other tools have to be execute through a terminal prompt and don’t have any graphical interface but they are really interesting too.

If all the installation is correctly you should have gnuradio installed and before contuining I recommend to get used with GNU Radio tools with the link above.

To know what version of GNU Radio have you installed, type the following command:

echo -e "from gnuradio import gr\nprint gr.version()" | python

2) GQRX Install:

Gqrx is an experimental AM, FM and Single Side Band (SSB) software defined receiver implemented using GNU Radio and the Qt GUI toolkit. Currently it works on Linux and can use the RTL-SDR dongles as input source. Gqrx is like a SDRsharp but in linux.

Now we will proceed with the installation of Gqrx. The first command we have to enter is:

git clone

It is important to enter the command inside the directory gnuradio_src.
In my case I entered this command first:

git clone git://

Because I notice that miss this dependency. But probably you won’t have to do it.

Then download the Qtcreator program from Ubuntu Software Center, open the file with it and search the document receivers.h and then click on the build button to compile it. If it doesn’t work or you don’t find some of these files, do it by terminal commands.

This is an image of Qtcreator main window:

qtcreatorIt’s important to see that this program is a cross-compiler that may or not have been used. So I prefer to use qmake command instead of this software. For the images of the other softwares, you can find a lot of them at the links posted through all the thread.

I prefer to do it by commands:

cd gqrx

And in the Gqrx directory will be created the executable file Gqrx that will be executed by the next command:


This will open the graphical interface of Gqrx if all the installation process had gone correctly.

I recommend you to follow this blog of Gqrx to make some ideas of what are the problems that people come across and what are the possible solutions you may use:!forum/gqrx

You have to enter with your google account and the administrator of the group will allow you to enter and share your problems, in case you have any. If not, you can enter to see how does this software work and what can you do with it.


2 pensaments sobre “GNU Radio and Gqrx – setup

  1. Retroenllaç: Airprobe – setup | [ADS-B aeronautical radar - Initial page] & [GSM cracking] (RTL-SDR concept)!!!

  2. Retroenllaç: Cracking and sniffing GSM with a RTL-SDR | Salvatore Crapanzano

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