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[Discuss-gnuradio] GnuRadio: A NetBSD experience

From: Berndt Josef Wulf
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] GnuRadio: A NetBSD experience
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 02:37:31 +0930
User-agent: KMail/1.7


I finally had success in porting the required software packages for the 
current version of GnuRadion (CVS as of 17-Oct-2004) working on 
NetBS-i386-2.99.9. This email is for the benefit of other *BSD user trying to 
get GnuRadio running.

The following is a list of packages that were required for successfully 
building GnuRadio on NetBSD:

gnuradio-core (CVS 17-Oct-2004)
gnuradio-examples (CVS 17-Oct-2004)
gr-audio-oss (CVS 17-Oct-2004)
gr-wxgui (CVS 17-Oct-2004)

Some of the above packages are required at runtime, e.g. numarray and numeric. 
This become apparent only after attempting to running scripts making use of 
the wxgui interface etc. This begs the question - how many other packages are 
required that I have yet to discover? Is there a list that with information 
on software packages that are prerequisites for a successful GnuRadio 

I had heaps of trouble in getting the current version of wxPython- 
working. It required me to do a lot of hacking in the relevant Makefiles 
before it successfully compiled and installed. Considering that this software 
claims to aim cross platform development, it didn't do a good job in 
configuring and creating the setup and Makefiles. BSD users may want to take 
note that some of the libraries, libwx-gtk2-core by memory, have dependencies 
to  oss ioctl calls requiring the libossaudio library Adding -lossaudio to 
the linker option will take care about this.
wxPython- is a development release and reason why it was not ported by 
any of the *BSD distributions. They still use version 2.4.2 as it is 
considered to be the last stable release.

The building and installation process of the GnuRadio modules was trouble 
free, accept for the gr-audio-oss module. It took me some time to work out 
why none of the audio sink and audio source devices worked for reasons 
explained below:

gr-oss-audio assumes OSS support and on NetBSD this requires the libossaudio 
library. The module compiled fine, but at runtime gave rise to errors 
resulting in the following message:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "./dial_tone.py", line 40, in ?
    fg = build_graph ()
  File "./dial_tone.py", line 33, in build_graph
    dst = audio.sink (sampling_freq)
TypeError: 'NoneType' object is not callable

This was fixed by adding -lossaudio to the link option.

NetBSD doesn't support multiple open() calls to audio devices. This currently 
requires additional code that caches file descriptor and data of open audio 
sink and audio source devices. This emulates to a certain degree the behavior 
of the Linux audio devices. A diff file with the current work around is 
available from ftp://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/NetBSD/misc/wulf/gr-audio-oss.diff

NetBSD doesn't have a dsp device, but instead uses the audio and  sound 
device. There a two options, creating a softlink from /dev/dsp to /dev/sound 
or changing the default in audio_oss_sink.h:34 and audio_oss_source.h:34 
to /dev/sound. 

The installation was since tested using the examples provided and some scripts 
utilizing the wxgui interfaces with great success suggesting that all is 
working fine

73, Berndt

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