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GNU Radio Formulae for Homebrew
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This is a collection of Homebrew recipes that makes it easier to get GNU Radio, GQRX, HackRF, RTL-SDR and BladeRF running on OS X.


These steps have been tested on Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10 with Apple Command Line Tools 6.1.0.

  • Install Homebrew if you haven't already

    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

    or if you already have it installed, update and upgrade everything:

    brew update
    brew upgrade
  • After that run the following commands to make sure you have no issues with your setup, cleanup all warnings

    brew doctor
  • Add this line to your profile (ie ~/.profile or ~/.bash_profile or ~/.zshenv) and reload your profile (source ~/.profile or exec $SHELL)

    export PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:$PATH
  • Install the python package prerequisites

    brew install python gcc swig
  • Install command line tools for XCode

    xcode-select --install
  • Install the prerequisite python packages

    pip install numpy Cheetah lxml
    pip install
    export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/usr/X11/lib/pkgconfig" 
    pip install
  • Install wxmac with python bindings

    brew install wxpython
  • Install gnuradio

    brew tap andresv/homebrew-gnuradio
    brew install gnuradio --with-qt
  • [optional] install hackrf libraries, so gr-osmosdr detects it during build

    brew install hackrf --HEAD
  • [optional] install bladerf libraries, so gr-osmosdr detects it during build

    brew install bladerf
  • [optional] install rtlsdr libraries, so gr-osmosdr detects it during build

    brew install rtlsdr --HEAD
  • Install blocks that are needed to connect real hardware (rtl-sdr, hackrf, bladerf) to gnuradio

    brew install gr-osmosdr gr-baz --HEAD
  • Create the ~/.gnuradio/config.conf config file for custom block support:

    mkdir ~/.gnuradio
    vim ~/.gnuradio/config.conf

    Add these lines into file otherwise gnuradio is unable to locate blocks from gr-osmosdr and gr-baz:


    gnuradio-companion shows lot of duplication warnings after that - this is normal. Everything is installed correctly if osmocom Source and RTL-SDR Source blocks are available inside GNU Radio Companion.

  • Install Gqrx for scanning frequencies and viewing waterfall

    brew install gqrx --HEAD
    brew linkapps

Gqrx is installed under Applications and can be started as usual Mac application.

Configure it to use the HackRF. Probably best to start the sample rate at 1000000 until you know how much your system can handle. Everything should now be working. It is time to give it a try! Below are some of the programs you can try:

osmocom_fft -a hackrf


  • Matplotlib

    If you get the following type of errors installing matplotlib:

    error: expected identifier or '(' before '^' token

    Try the following:

    export CC=clang
    export CXX=clang++
    export LDFLAGS="-L/usr/X11/lib"
    export CFLAGS="-I/usr/X11/include -I/usr/X11/include/freetype2"

    From Stackoverflow via @savant42

  • gnuradio-companion

    Probably gr-baz.rb is built against System's Python if gnuradio-companion crashes with the following error:

    Warning: Block with key "xmlrpc_server" already exists.
    Ignoring: /usr/local/Cellar/gnuradio/
    Fatal Python error: PyThreadState_Get: no current thread
    Abort trap: 6

    I had this error, now it is fixed with this commit.

  • Uninstall Homebrew If you think you have some cruftiness with Homebrew, this Gist will completely uninstall Homebrew and any libraries it may have installed. Of course if you are using Homebrew for other things you could make a mess of your life.

    This Gist is from the Homebrew FAQ

    Then finish the clean-up with these steps

    rm -rf /usr/local/Cellar /usr/local/.git && brew cleanup
    rm -rf /Library/Caches/Homebrew
    rm -rf /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages
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