Tag: rx

Installing RTL-SDR (RTL2832U) driver

This content is a piece of our initiative to explain how to start your studies with RTL-SDR.

In this post we’ll explain about how to install the rtl-sdr driver.

To install the RTL-SDR device on a Linux computer is relatively quick and easy.

These instructions are designed to run on Linux distributions based on Debian or Ubuntu.

Installing the drivers:

1. Open the terminal and make sure you are in the home directory.

2. Update your Linux distribution:

sudo apt-get update

3. Install the necessary tools such as: git, cmake, build-essential

sudo apt-get install git

sudo apt-get install cmake

sudo apt-get install build-essential

4. Install the library called “libusb-1.0-0-dev” which provides access to USB devices.

sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev

5. Download and install the RTL2832U from vendor site:

git clone git://git.osmocom.org/rtl-sdr.git

cd rtl-sdr/

mkdir build

cd build



sudo make install

sudo ldconfig

sudo cp ../rtl-sdr.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/

6. Create a “blacklist” to the default driver which loads automatically using the RTL-SDR device as a TV receiver, because this isn’t the functionality we want to use (tv receiver).

A. Access as administrator the directory: /etc/modprobe.d

B. Create a new file called “blacklist-rtl.conf” and add the following line in the file:

blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu

blacklist rtl2832

blacklist rtl2830

C. Save the file and reboot the machine.

7. After reboot the machine, test if the device is actually running. To test type the follow command in the terminal:

rtl_test -t

(rtl_test -t, command)

Don’t worry with the follow messages:

“PLL not locked”

“No E4000 tuner found, aborting”.

If you see these messages above it is a sign that your driver and your device is working properly and you are ready to install some applications like GQRX, Dump1090, CubicSDR and others…

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