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.
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.
- What is GNU Radio and why do I want it? - Read this if you really have no idea what this project is about.
- GNU Radio Live SDR Environment - Get a bootable DVD/USB/Cloud image with a fully functional GNU Radio and a lot of examples.
- Installing GNU Radio - This will explain all the steps to get a working installation of GNU Radio.
- How do I use GNU Radio? - A short introduction to the possibilities you have as a GNU Radio user.
- Tutorials - Several tutorials for varying skill levels.
- Frequently Asked Questions - Check this page before asking questions on the mailing list.
The primary documentation is our C++ Manual, which includes a complete list of available blocks. It is based on Doxygen, using markup comments in the public header files.
There also exists a less detailed Python Manual, which is primarily used for finding the Python versions of C++ functions/classes/blocks. It is based on Sphinx to pull in both the Doxygen documentation as well as any formatted comments present in any Python files.
We also have a variety of Tutorials
Lastly, our Usage Manual contains information about various aspects of GNU Radio not specific to a certain block:
- Handling Flowgraphs
- Polymorphic Types (PMTs), which are heavily used in the stream tags and message passing interfaces
- Metadata Information, which can be added to a raw IQ file
- Message Passing, the method of passing control data, metadata, or packet structures between blocks
- Stream Tags, an isosynchronous data stream that runs parallel to the main data stream
- Tagged Stream Blocks, blocks that works on streamed, but packetized input data
- Performance Counters
- Block Thread Affinity and Priority
- Configuration Files, how GNU Radio defines and keeps persistent basic behavior
- VOLK Guide, details about how GNU Radio performs efficient vector-optimized operations using SIMD
- The GNU Radio Companion (GRC), a GUI IDE for developing GNU Radio applications.
Community & Communicating
There's a nice community of people involved in GNU Radio. Here's some pointers on how to connect with us.
- Asking Questions and Reporting Errors - We're helpful people, but we expect you to try to help yourself first.
- Mailing lists - Where most of the communication happens, but please read the previous article first.
- How to get involved - Do you want to help with the project, or simply become part of the GNU Radio Community? Read this!
- IRC - For a more real-time interaction, come join our chat room
- More GNU Radio on the web and in social media
- GNU Radio organizing members
- Working Groups - Communities of interest for various aspects of the GNU Radio ecosystem.
- DevelopersCalls - The developers have monthly VoIP conferences which are open to join.
- The GNU Radio Conference (GRCon) - archive pages: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
- Archive of Hack Fests
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.
- Development Information for Contributors
- Coding and style guidelines for GNU Radio
- Block structure guide
- API and Code Version Changes
- An overview of the GNU Radio scheduler
- YouTube feed from Ettus Research featuring demos and howtos for using GNU Radio and USRPs.
- Embedded Development with GNURadio
- Summer of Code Programs - Student Programs from Google (GSoC) and ESA (SOCIS), see Summer of Code Project Ideas List
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.
- The Comprehensive GNU Radio Archive Network (CGRAN)
- Suggested Reading - A list of non-GNU Radio-related literature, including good introductions to signal processing, radio engineering and software development.
- GNU Radio code on other servers
- Documentation and Videos for GNU Radio on other servers
- Real world users
- Selected Academic papers involving GNU Radio
- Commercial support and training
- Pre-recorded sample data - If you don't have a USRP, find real recorded signals for offline analysis here.