Installing GNURadio and GNURadio Companion

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GNURadio can be installed on Windows, OS X and Linux Operating Systems. Linux is by far the easiest and is well supported. Installation on Windows is becoming more routine and installers are now available from Ettus Research. OS X installation is possible through MacPorts. All installations now include the GNURadio Companion (GRC). In addition, these installations also include drivers and firmware for the Ettus USRP line of radios, audio drivers and other software defined radios such as the BladeRF and RTL2832.

Linux Installation

Installation on the Linux platform is fairly straightforward. There are three methods to install GNURadio on Linux. The first method is to install via the distribution's package manager. Most popular distributions have GNURadio in their repositories. This allows for a fairly painless method to install GNURadio. However, be careful with this method as not all repos are updated with the latest version of GNURadio. Ubuntu, Fedora, and SUSE all have packages for GNURadio.

There are two methods for installing from source. The first method uses a script provided by Marcus Leech. The second method uses PyBOMBS to install. Keep in mind that you are installing and compiling from the source code. This may result in long build times depending on your computer.

The first method is to use the install script that has been provided by Marcus Leech. This will install GNURadio, drivers and GNURadio Companion directly from the source code. It will also install any other software needed such as Python and other supporting software. This script will work on both Fedora and Ubuntu. This method was used to build GNURadio for use in the experiments performed at ISU.

To use this method download the build-gnuradio script from the website. Then simply execute this script. The script will check to make sure you have any dependencies installed and if not it will download them for you. Once that is complete it will also download the UHD drivers and GNURadio from their GitHub repos. Please note you will need SU privileges for this script. If you want, you may use the command below to both download and execute the install script

$ wget && chmod a+x ./build-gnuradio && ./build-gnuradio

The second method uses PyBOMBS. This is now the preferred method and is the method that the developers of GNURadio are moving too. You can find information about installing GNURadio using PyBOMBS at this link.

To install via PyBOMBS simply execute these commands.

git clone git://
cd pybombs
./pybombs install gnuradio

Once the install is done, execute this command

./pybombs env

Finally you will want to source that file, to do that execute this command, replace the $prefix with the path to the folder you installed GNURadio

source $prefix/

Once that is done, GNURadio and GNURadio companion should be up and running. To run GRC, execute this command


If you want, the PyBOMBS install now includes a handy app for installation of additional GRC blocks and additional drivers. Use this command to launch this application


Please be aware that at this time this application is still experimental. It does not for example warn if you are about to replace your most recent GNURadio install with an older version to make it compatible with that add-on. So use this application with care. The link and additional information on installation through this method can be found here. GNURadio Wiki

Mac OS X Installation

Running GNURadio on OS X will require two things. First, you will need XCode installed and you will also need X11/XQuartz to display the GUI interface. It is recommended that you use XQuartz instead of X11.

The easiest method to install GNURadio is to use Macports. Macports gives OS X users a method to install programs very much like using apt-get or yum. If you do not have Macports installed on your machine, you will need to install it. Once installed, installation is fairly straightforward and you can install GNURadio using the command below in a OS X terminal.

sudo port install gnuradio

This should install the most recent copy of GNURadio and GRC. If you already have Macports, make sure you run an update first on Macports. You can do that via the following command.

sudo macports selfupdate

This will make sure both your copy of Macports and it's repository are updated.

Once installed you can run GNURadio Companion by typing in the following into a terminal window in OS X. Please note it does not install or add an icon to either your desktop or application folder.


Please see either the GNURadio page or the Macports page if you have problems with these installs.

Window Installation

Windows installation is not officially supported by GNURadio. However Ettus Research has made pre-compiled binaries available for Windows. It should be noted that while these seem to work on 32-bit operating systems, there are known issues with 64-bit operating systems. This is mostly due to a number of dependancies for GNURadio that are not 64-bit, at least not yet. Ettus has instructions for installing both their binaries and the UHD software package that provides the needed drivers to talk to their hardware (like the N200).

It should be noted that Ettus Research only officially supports their UHD software. There is no official support for the windows binaries.

It also possible to build and run GNURadio from Cygwin. Click here for the website describing how to install GNURadio using Cygwin