Testing GNU Radio on the Raspberry Pi 2

Earlier this year the successor to the hugely popular Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi 2 was released. The Raspberry Pi 2 is a mini embedded computer that can run Linux.

Over on the RS Design Spark website Andrew Back has posted a tutorial showing how he installed GNU Radio and RTL-SDR on the Raspberry Pi 2. He also shows that the Raspberry Pi 2 runs the CPU intensive GNU Radio software well, utilizing 70% CPU when running osmocom_fft, a GNU Radio based spectrum analyzer. Andrew also installs and tests the gr-air-modes GNU Radio program which is an ADS-B receiver, finding that it also performed well with low CPU utilization.

Raspberry Pi 2 with an RTL-SDR Dongle Attached
Raspberry Pi 2 with an RTL-SDR Dongle Attached


  1. sallytech0103

    Helpful and informative post about “GNU RADIO ON THE RASPBERRY PI 2”. I used this concept earlier but got an error. Now, after this article clear my all concept about this. Thanks for share a great info.

  2. Seong-Hun.Choe

    Thanks for your article. It is really helpful for me to build gnuradio system using raspberry pi. I found that gnu radio needs much cpu powers to operate smoothly. Can we get more cpu powers for gnu radio by building raspberry pi cluster system? I heard that 5 nodes system can be build with 300 USD. I would like to hear your opinion on it.

  3. Spencer Allen

    I could never get the kal to work with the rtl-sdr installation.
    Tried to install gnuradio. Couldn’t get lusb to run. Got the info from rtl_test. The dongle reports a RTL2838.
    Went to the clone step and github.com demands a password.

    Grampa Mike

  4. Emily

    Tried this with the Pi2 following all the steps and everything looked just fine. However it crashed hard running osmocom_fft after displaying the window. It indicated that it received an X window system error.

    Some other info:
    Using device #0 Realtek RTL2838UHIDIR SN: 00000001
    Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
    Exact sample rate is: 250000.000414 Hz
    Using Volk machine: neon_hardfp_orc

    • Emily

      Found some other comments and it will work. Follow the comments about changing the frame buffer.
      FYI I’m running this on Version 8 (Jessie) so it’s good for a bit.

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