Installing GQRX on Mac OSX

Mac OSX users can have a hard time with the RTL-SDR as there are not many software packages available for it. One software package that is known to work well on OSX is GQRX, which is a general multi mode receiver GUI that is similar to the Windows software SDR#. Over on smittix’s blog, the author has created a post showing how to install the latest version of GQRX on OSX. The installation involves using Macports, a system that allows some open source programs like GQRX to be automatically compiled and installed on OSX.

GQRX running on a Mac Computer
GQRX running on a OSX Computer


  1. ME2

    it’s crashing instantly in “unknown thread” (wtf?) on snow leopard, i don’t even get to see the UI or something.

  2. Steve Snobs

    Wow.. is that all there is for the Mac? Even with the binary, you still have to jump through a few hoops that are not required with e.g. HDSDR on the PC, and my Mac mini is polluting the airwaves with more QRM than all my PCs together, and then the lack of anything decoder software… I guess the only way Mac and ham go well together is visiting a fast food restaurant.

    • Fred_M.

      Please stop trolling (your handle makes it all too obvious). Modern Mac Mins are some of the best-shielded, lowest RF emitters among personal computers – in addition to being almost audibly silent.

  3. David B.

    I guess if the ambient bogon flux is sufficiently low and you’re the lucky type, GQRX will “work well” on the Mac. I tried those instructions and the rtl-sdr dongle wasn’t even listed on the menu when the “Configure I/O devices” screen pops up!

    Nature’s way of saying it’s time to partition the disk with Boot Camp and install Windows.

  4. Burnie


    first of all thanks for this informaton / tutorial.
    I think Per Mattsson´s comment is right: there are many OM´s and users who don´t want to install Gigabytes of different software just to be able to compile and install the actual GQRX Version 2.3. (me too). -and i feel not very well when i would do something with my Mac following a tutorial, but really have no idea what i am doing and installing there…
    By the way installing XCode is not easy if you don´t know which version of XCode is compatible with different versions of OSX and where to get the older versions 😉
    At the Moment i use GQRX version 2.2. which i found as a compiled .dmg-file on sourceforge.
    Doubleclick and all is fine…

    What is the Problem if someone who knows how to do would make a .dmg with the actual version rather than spending more time describing a workaround as shown above?
    Thousands of Mac-Users would be thankful for this actual version and i would even give a small donation 😉

    best regards,

  5. Per Mattsson

    But where is the ready compiled binary?
    Since rather few perople understand the code or is interested in learning there really is no need for each and everyone to compile there own binary.

    • Smittix

      The only ready compiled binary that I could find at the time of writing my tutorial was a really old version lacking certain features. This isn’t really a post about compiling as it’s automated so the user doesn’t have to interact with the compilation of the application. It’s a just a straight forward way to get the software up and running. But maybe I could make a binary.

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