Changes to SDR#: Update to .NET 4.6, Linux support and new install procedure

SDR# (SDRSharp) is probably the most popular software program that is used with the RTL-SDR. It is free, fast and fairly easy to use.

SDR# is coded in C# and so runs on the Microsoft .NET runtime. SDR# has always used the 3.5 version of the .NET runtime, however recently the programmers have made the decision to upgrade the runtime used to the latest 4.6 version of .NET. For non-programmers this means that compatibility with newer operating system such as Windows 10 is enhanced, performance and stability is improved and that SDR# can now be run on Linux and OSX with Mono 4.0. The downside is that Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported operating systems (Vista SP2 is supported). An OS compatibility list for .NET 4.6 can be found here.

If you are an SDR# user and run an older operating system such as XP or Vista we suggest that you either upgrade your OS, or simply continue to run the older versions of SDR#.

In addition to the new changes, the install procedure has also changed. Firstly, the old sdrsharp.com website now redirects to airspy.com. To install SDR# now, simply download SDR# zip file from airspy.com/download. Unzip it to any folder on your PC. Next, to download the RTL-SDR drivers simply run the install-rtlsdr.bat file. We will soon be updating our Quickstart guide to incorporate these changes.

To install SDR# on Linux or OSX you can follow the guide over at rtlsdr.org/softwarelinux.

The official announcement is as follows:

Hi,

We have been relying on the .NET Framework 3.5 for quite some time until it’s no longer installed by default into the new operating systems. Microsoft also provides minimalist support of this version of the Framework on Windows 10 which handicaped the core and plugin developers in many ways. This also resulted in obscure bugs in the user base. So we moved recently the entire code base to the .NET 4.6 in order to refresh the software and make it compatible with modern operating systems like Windows 10.

This has many implications:

  • Better performance
  • Better programming API
  • Support of Windows 10
  • Support of Linux and Mac with Mono 4.0 and up
  • End of support of Windows XP and Vista
  • End of support of the ExtIO interface (not portable)

We coordinated this migration with all the plugins and front-ends developers so no body misses the boat.
The installation procedure has also changed and now the main package contains a batch file to download the dependencies required to run RTL-SDR.
This might be disturbing for a few, but the overall impact was judged positive and a better investment for the future, especially with the new API offered by .NET 4.6.

Cheers,

The SDR# Team

sdrsharp_logo

11 comments

  1. Jason Warren

    My previous comment was wrong. Apparently the new version does support Win 7. But it is not working properly. I have .NET 4.6 installed, but the display is still broken – mode buttons are not visible in the Radio panel.

    • admin

      Hmm this seems to be a fairly common bug that has been popping up lately. I’ve had it happen once, but simply restarting the software fixed it. I suggest that you contact the SDR# developer and let him know that you’re having issues with the mode buttons.

  2. Jason Warren

    I’m confused. According to the article above SDR# is no longer supported on Win 7 because .NET 4.6 is not. But it is. I installed it but the software still doesn’t work correctly. The Radio dropdown is not formatted correctly – the mode selection buttons are not visible.

    • admin

      SDR# is fully compatible on Win 7 and so is .NET 4.6. The article text says that XP and Vista are not compatible, because .NET 4.6 won’t run on those older OS’s.

  3. Trevor

    Why do software developers decide to ditch users just so they have new bells and whistles in their API? Reports are coming in of SDR# problems with Windows 10, so the developer says ‘Windows 10 is not ready yet’ but in the same week he decides to cast Windows XP users adrift? I decided to stick with XP on my development machines as I have 15 years of accumulated apps on it, many of which don’t work properly on my Windows 7 machines. Oh well… I guess I could run Windows 7 in a Virtualbox to keep the Developer happy… Still, SDR# was good while it lasted… Thanks for the memories…

  4. Simon

    After win7-64 that’s it…linux from now on.
    No more intentional corporate obsolescence.
    Windows 7, no 8 what happened to 9 er now it’s 10…what.

    • Kabonashov

      There’s a difference between intentional obsolescence and software deprecation for improved features that are simply not backward compatible. A programmer would know this very well. You want to run steam engines on your car, sure thing, just accept the 60% failure rate and risk of explosion over the “forced” obsolescence of a petrol or electric engine, benefits abandon.

      by the way, linux is more guilty of deprecating features than windows is. Windows is just new code layered on old code for compatibility/laziness so it’s by far the least troublesome in terms of obsolescence.

      • Simon

        Hello Gents,

        Of course I understand newer features require newer platforms / API’s but talking about running my car on steam power is a pretty weak argument if I may say, maybe we will all be living in caves if it wasn’t for NET_4.6.

        There is a reason for this upgrade madness…it’s called consumption. Just look at the mobile phone model for the way software will one day become, new phone every year, new features – ahem – features that you don’t actually need/use/want but can leverage a higher bundled price point.

        There is a serious question about the intention of Windows 10 and from some very serious commentators.
        After losing the data aggregation race to the bottom with Google, Microsoft have made 10 the most intrusive collection of services and API’s ever assembled for a PC.

        I can still run Linux on a ten year old PC, in fact many Hams run old hardware because it is stable and the apps simply haven’t been carried forward.

        Development: of course…obsolescence as a corporate policy: you decide.

        This (my) comment has stretched out of it’s original scope but it has a central theme to it.

        When Windows-18 arrives in a couple of years, remember this comment.

        Must dash, I’m off to ask Mozilla why they keep trashing their developer community every six months as well.

        Regards again my fellow SDR’s.

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.