Gqrx SDR for the Raspberry Pi

Gqrx for the Raspberry Pi

Gqrx SDR is available as binary package for the Raspberry Pi 3 running Raspbian Stretch and other ARM v6 running a Debian Stretch based OS.

Please understand that Gqrx on ARM is still very experimental! It does not work as well as on a desktop computer and installation requires some basic Linux skills.

Drivers included: Rtlsdr, Airspy, SDRPlay, HackRF, RFSpace, Funcube Dongle, Red Pitaya and SoapySDR (no plugins).

It has been reported that using the HDMI audio results in unstable, stuttering audio output. We recommend using the headset jack instead, please see here about switching.

Installation instructions

The generic installation steps are:

  1. Download the package
  2. Unpack the package
  3. Install the dependencies, see included readme.txt
  4. Install the udev rules for the SDR device you want to use, see included readme.txt

Device support

Running Gqrx on the Raspberry Pi is still experimental and a compromise at best. You should not expect the same performance as on a desktop PC.

The table below should give you an idea of what kind of performance you can expect using the default settings. Note that these tests were run using the v2.6 packages and may not be accurate for v2.10.

DeviceRaspberry Pi 2Raspberry Pi 3
RtlsdrWorks up to 1.44 MspsWorks up to 2.4 Msps
Airspy R2Doesn’t workUse 2.5 Msps and input decimation ≥ 4
Airspy MiniDoesn’t workUse 3 Msps and input decimation ≥ 8
HackRFDoesn’t work (USB power?)Works at  2 Msps
RFSpace SDR-IQDoesn’t work well (FTDI?)Works up to 111.111 ksps
RFSpace Cloud-IQWorks up to 256 kspsWorks up to 614 ksps
RFSpace NetSDRNot tested (need hardware)
Funcube Dongle ProWorks
Funcube Dongle Pro+Works but sometimes with crackling audio
Red PitayaNot tested (need time)

In most cases you can reduce the CPU load further by reducing the window size, sample rate, FFT rate and FFT size (try 2048 at 10-15 Hz).

If you are only interested in the FFT, set Mode to “Demod Off”. This will greatly reduce the CPU load.

Let us know how it works for you!

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