Installing and Using SDRTrunk on Linux for Live Trunk Tracking with an RTL-SDR

SDRTrunk is a cross platform Java based piece of software that can be used for following trunked radio conversations. In addition to trunk tracking it also has a built in P25 Phase 1 decoder. Compared to Unitrunker SDRTrunk is an all-in-one package, and currently it supports most trunking system control channels, but unlike Unitrunker it still misses out on some systems EDACS and DMR.

Over on his YouTube channel AVT Marketing has uploaded an excellent 6-part video series that shows how to install SDRTrunk and the Java runtime environment on Ubuntu Linux. The sections covered include, installing Java, setting the Java environment variables, installing other SDRTrunk prerequisites such as Apache Ant and the JMBE audio codec for decoding P25, and finally actually using and setting up SDRTrunk. Like all of AVT’s other videos, this is an excellent tutorial that takes you through the entire process from the very beginning so is useful for beginners as well.

Installing SDRTrunk & Java JRE on Ubuntu Linux

If you’re new to trunking: Trunking systems are typically used with handheld radio systems (e.g. those that police, security guards, workmen etc carry around). The basic idea is that each radio constantly listens to a digital control channel which tells it what frequency to switch to if a call is being made. This allows the frequency spectrum to be shared, instead of designating one fixed frequency per user which would be very inefficient. But this system makes it difficult for scanner radios to listen in to, because the voice frequency could change at any time. Therefore software like Unitrunker and SDRTrunk which can decode the control channel is required. In addition many new systems use digital audio like P25 or DMR which requires digital decoders like SDRTrunk or DSDPlus.

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This software remains propellerhead bullshit. It worked once upon a time but both packages assume dependencies upon dependencies and if you have anything they would consider ‘nonstandard’ the build will fail

Andrew Robinson

Did complete setup can see traffic i.e after defining channell map and the software does not follow MPT1327 all setting and instructions as per exact description.
This software has never worked for me so i can only assume non functional useless for xubuntu linux os 64 bit systems

Marty Hillman

I would love to figure out how to program in the talk groups. That has been my stumbling block. I seem to be getting police, fire, ambulance, and transit all in the one trunk stream since Minnesota is using a combined system for all services statewide. I could not figure it out on 0.3.0, so now am trying 0.2.0. I somehow got the region narrowed down so I am no longer listening to everything in the state, but a narrower field would allow me to focus on one agency.


From what I can see Version 0.3.0 Beta 12 Isn’t not ready for prim time . How many dongles does this program need to run ??????????? From what I see from the wright up it looks like a winner . Those wizards of the Black Arts always are coming with new things . What i am surprised at is how fast things are happening in the world of SDR .


I’m running it for all my audio streaming. One dongle minimum, but the more, the better. I run with 3 dongles, serving 4 different streams with a mix of trunked P25 and conventional P25. The streams are split based on the talkgroups, and with the way it does streaming, there is absolutely 0 missed calls… ever.

Can’t recommend it enough 🙂