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Gnuradio – OSX Installation Guide

by on September 14, 2013


I briefly mentioned previously about using gnu radio on Linux or OSX.  Today I will walkthough the installation process on OSX.

First install MacPorts if you have not already done so:

First install the rtl-sdr drivers:

port install gr-osmosdr

Now the latest version of gnuradio uses variants:

port info gnuradio
gnuradio @3.7.1 (science, comms)
Sub-ports: gnuradio-devel, gnuradio-next
Variants: debug, docs, full, grc, jack, orc, portaudio, python26, 
[+]python27, qtgui, sdl, swig, uhd, universal, wavelet, wxgui
Description: GNU Radio Software Defined Radio (SDR): This port is 
kept up with the
 GNU Radio release, which is typically updated every few months.
Build Dependencies: cmake
Library Dependencies: boost, cppunit, fftw-3-single, pkgconfig, python27, py27-numpy,
Runtime Dependencies: py27-scipy
Conflicts with: gnuradio-next, gnuradio-devel
Platforms: darwin, macosx
License: GPL-3

So if we issue:

port install gnuradio +full

All necessary packages and components will be installed!

You can now use gnuradio in Python and use gnuradio-companion.  To construct radio based programs :)

You can also  use GQRX, to visualise the radio spectrum to identify and tune into specific frequencies.


UPDATE: OSX Mavericks

Since the update to Mavericks GNURadio was temporarily broken, looking at the Macports Buglist the Team apparently had problems with swig and boost.  I can confirm that as of this weekend the problem has been rectified, and once again we can enjoy radio and playing with RTLSDRs on OSX Mavericks.

After upgrading Mavericks remember to perform the following:

  • Update Xcode to Verison 5.0.2+
  • Update Macoprts verision 2.2.1 (OS X 10.9 Mavericks)
  • For minimum support of MacPorts, you need the Command Line Tools, which can be installed using “xcode-select --install"
  • Run “sudo port update”
  • Then either:
    • “sudo port upgrade outdated”
    • If you have not install GNURadio before “sudo port install gnuradio +full”

From → OSX, pentesting, pentura, Radio, SDR

  1. While waiting for my rtl to arrive, I wanted to try out grc (os x 10.6.8). The install (“sudo port install gnuradio +full”) ran with no errors. But I can’t “import grc” or “import gnuradio” in a python 2.6.8 prompt and there is no gqrx (upper or lowercase) in my path.

    Do you know where is the best place to get info so I can figure out what binaries the macport installed and where it put the python modules?

    • gqrx appeared for me within the Applications folder. The python modules were configured to install to /opt/local/Frameworks/…

      I recently upgraded to OSX Mavericks, where GNURadio wont build at the moment… Guess I have to wait

      • Thanks for the info. Turns out I didn’t read your article carefully enough.
        1. I have Python 2.6 and 2.7 installed via macports and 2.6 is the active one. The gnuradio installation put all the modules in the 2.7 directories. I should have used the python26 variant.
        2. I thought your article suggested gqrx was installed via the same “port install gnuradio +all” command. But I see now that “GQRX” was a link and a separate port install.

  2. Dom permalink

    How did you get wxgui/py27-wxgui3.0 working. I have been beating my brains
    on this and saw somewhere it was still broken. Is there another way to get the
    sliders back? I did not see them in the qtgui port.

    • ? I have just been using macports, it pulls in all dependancies and it appears to work.

  3. Peter Kissam permalink

    i spent all Sunday preparing Mac for & running MacPorts install of GNURADIO on 10.9 with supposedly good results. 4hr compile. Seems to have finished with minimal errors. I saved the Terminal screen. Followed all the Michael Dickens blog post along the way…he said “go” on this version if all conditions met.

    My question is: where is my result? My MacPort GUI say’s “gnu radio- is installed'”. Where?

    How or where do I see this now “installed” program? Where? Not obvious to find.

    I’ve never compiled anything on a MAC before so don’t know where resultant goes. It doesn’t pop up anywhere….am I missing a step? I’ve looked through the /usr folders


    • Macports compiled binaries are usually located in /opt/local/bin/ or /opt/local/sbin/

      I have:

      Hope this helps.

  4. Dom permalink

    I got GNURADIO working on my older Macbook Pro 10.8 OS X w/ USB 2 ( I had never tried to instal
    GNURADIO on this one). Still can not get wxgui to work on rMBP 10.9 w/ USB 3.0

    Peter, look in /opt/local/share/gnuradio/examples for GRC files to run.

  5. Peter Kissam permalink

    Um…really late follow up: Found it and subsequently got so lost INTO it because it works so much better than all my prior GUI’s…GNURADIO is a very cool time sink…I merely forgot to report back and thank all who responded because it immediately sucked me into it’s depths…..THANKS!!!

    Very cool.

  6. Curt permalink

    On a Mac 10.8.5 with macports latest. I can’t get “port install gr-osmosdr” to run. It keeps failing because “py27-scipy doesn’t have a universal variant”. I am running an i386 x86_64″ architecture. Any thoughts or ideas?

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