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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Installing rtl-sdr

From: Marcus Müller
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Installing rtl-sdr
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:18:01 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.8.0

Dear Bill,

I think rtl-sdr is just the driver for the dongles.

What you'd probably like to have is gr-osmosdr, which contains the
osmocom source, which is the interface block for such hardware.

By the way, don't know about Mint, but on other similar distros, you can
directly install what you need through apt-get, and don't have to build
stuff from source, just to get GNU Radio + tools to run :) Of course,
it's not that bleeding edge, but if the gnuradio package in your Mint is
at least 3.7.9, I don't think it'd pay for a beginner to build stuff
from source.

So, if in doubt, make sure pybombs didn't use pip to install stuff
system-wide (it really shouldn't be doing pip --system, but it does, and
it breaks systems if things are later "properly" installed through
distro's package management), if in doubt "pybombs remove packagename"
all the things you've installed via pybombs. Make sure you're not
currently in a shell where you loaded the setup_env.sh.
Then, "sudo apt-get install gr-osmosdr" should actually do the trick of
install GNU Radio 3.7.9 (if you're on the most recent Mint release) from
the package archives, install the rtl-sdr driver, install gr-osmosdr and
let you use gnuradio-companion.

Just my two cents on this: Older Linux versions of Mint seem to have
extremely outdated versions of GNU Radio, so you shouldn't do that here.
In some cases, distro package maintainers don't enable all the GNU Radio
features that pybombs would, and that a user would also want, and then
it's better to use pybombs to install GNU Radio. But for general purpose
usage, I'd recommend first checking which version of GNU Radio your
distro brings, and if it seems rather recent, simply use that, until
problems show up. Pybombs' great, but it's not perfect, and for many
cases, you simply don't need to build stuff from source :) My personal
long-term goal is rather to make GNU Radio so easy to maintain that all
distros always package the latest, greatest, fulliest-featured GNU Radio
instead of maintaining a tool that puts the work of building GNU Radio
from source on the users. I personally still see pybombs as development
tool for people willing to mess with the source code rather than a
preferred way of installation for the rest.


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