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GNU Radio is a free & open-source software development toolkit that provides signal processing blocks to implement software radios. It can be used with readily-available low-cost external RF hardware to create software-defined radios, or without hardware in a simulation-like environment. It is widely used in hobbyist, academic and commercial environments to support both wireless communications research and real-world radio systems.

GNU Radio is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3 or later. All of the code is copyright of the Free Software Foundation.

Getting started

If you've never touched GNU Radio before, these pages will get you started with a running installation of GNU Radio and will show you how to take your first steps with this software radio tool.

The recommended way to get started with GNU Radio is to read the Guided Tutorials.


GNU Radio has two manuals: one for the C++ API and another for the Python API. The majority of the documentation comes from using Doxygen markup comments in the public header files. These are the basis for both manuals. The Python documentation uses Sphinx to pull in both the Doxygen documentation as well as any formatted comments present in any Python files.

Manual Pages of Interest:

Documentation on this wiki:

Community & Communicating

There's a nice community of people involved in GNU Radio. Here's some pointers on how to connect with us.

List of Hack Fests

GNU Radio Events Calendar

Developing GNU Radio

Using GNU Radio is nice, but the real fun comes with developing new components for GNU Radio or actually changing the core itself. If you want to write some code, read these articles first. Some of the tutorials are also relevant.


Hardware is strictly not part of GNU Radio, which is purely a software library. However, developing radio and signal processing code is even more fun when using hardware to actually transmit and receive, and GNU Radio supports several radio front-ends, either natively or through additional out-of-tree modules.

For a list of supported devices, see our Hardware page.

Further information and 3rd party extensions

There's more stuff to be found for GNU Radio on the web. Check these pages to find tutorials, code and other information on GNU Radio.

Related projects

  • OpenBTS - An Open Source GSM interface. This is a separate project, with its own mailing list.
  • GQRX - Very nice spectrum analysis tool, powered by GNU Radio