InstallingGRFromSource on Raspberry Pi

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Revision as of 16:18, 9 October 2020 by (talk) (Load prerequisites)
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These instructions have been tested with the Raspberry Pi OS (previously called Raspbian) (32-bit) with desktop and recommended software on a Raspberry Pi 3B+. A 32GB microSD card is recommended.

Set up a swap file[edit]

A swap file will improve the compile time greatly.

sudo fallocate -l 2G /swapfile
sudo chmod 600 /swapfile
sudo mkswap /swapfile
sudo swapon /swapfile

To make the swap file permanent, add this line to /etc/fstab

/swapfile  none  swap  sw  0  0

Load prerequisites[edit]

You may have some of these prerequisites already, but it doesn't hurt to get them again and check for the latest versions.

sudo apt update --allow-releaseinfo-change
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install git cmake g++ libboost-all-dev libgmp-dev swig python3-numpy \
python3-mako python3-sphinx python3-lxml doxygen libfftw3-dev \
libsdl1.2-dev libgsl-dev libqwt-qt5-dev libqt5opengl5-dev python3-pyqt5 \
liblog4cpp5-dev libzmq3-dev python3-yaml python3-click python3-click-plugins \
python3-zmq python3-scipy libpthread-stubs0-dev libusb-1.0-0 libusb-1.0-0-dev \
libudev-dev python3-setuptools python-docutils build-essential liborc-0.4-0 liborc-0.4-dev \
cairo python3-gi-cairo pygccxml

Install UHD from source[edit]

If you want to use GNU Radio with a USRP, install the UHD package from source using the following instructions. UHD sits at the same level as GNU Radio as an independent driver, which gr-uhd references. So if you want gr-uhd enabled, you FIRST must clone and install UHD.

For this example, we will start in the home directory to parallel the steps in InstallingGR#From_Source.

cd ~/

Clone the code into your home directory:

git clone git://
cd ~/uhd

Note: In the following command, change v3.15.0.0 to some other branch or tag if you want to build a different version.

git tag -l
git checkout v3.15.0.0

Note: Unlike most build processes, UHD builds under the host directory.

cd host
mkdir build
cd build

Note: In the following command, we will use -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local to install UHD into the same prefix as GNU Radio. When compiling for ARM platforms, the assumption is made that NEON extensions are available if the arm_neon.h header is found. However, for platforms such as Raspberry Pi, one must specify -DNEON_SIMD_ENABLE=OFF in the following command.


Note: In the following command, if your computer's CPU has multiple cores, you can use the argument -j# to speed compilation;
e.g., make -j3 will use 3 threads in the build. Specify at least one less than the number of CPU cores so the system does not appear to 'freeze' during the build. If not specified, then a single thread is used for the build; this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it will take roughly 2 times as long to build as using 2 threads, and roughly 3 times as long to build as using 3 threads.

make -j3
make test
sudo make install

If you're running Linux, then always do the following command after installing any library:

sudo ldconfig

You can now download the UHD FPGA Images for this installation.

sudo uhd_images_downloader

On Linux, udev handles USB plug and unplug events. The following commands install a udev rule so that non-root users may access the device.

cd ~/uhd/host/utils
sudo cp uhd-usrp.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/
sudo udevadm control --reload-rules
sudo udevadm trigger

The installation of UHD is now complete. At this point, connect the USRP to the host computer and run:


Install GNU Radio[edit]

The next steps will take two or more hours. Be patient. The terminal does show the progress.

Click InstallingGR#From_Source to go to the install instructions.