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A docker container with the release version of GNU Radio (3.8 right now) in the latest Ubuntu (and a 3.7 version in Ubuntu 18.04)

Screenshot of two GNU Radios

I have prepared this Dockerfile to be able to migrate my OOT modules to 3.8 and not mess the 3.7 installation of my host PC. The resulting container has the GUI available (so you may use the gnuradio companion and QT widgets) as well as audio. Several packages needed to compile OOTs are also installed and configured.

How to use it:

  1. Install docker by following Docker's installation guide (though I've tested this on Ubuntu only, so for convenience a direct link to the corresponding guide for Ubuntu).
  2. Clone this repo: git clone
  3. Enter the docker-gnuradio/gnuradio-releases folder and execute docker build -t ubuntu:gnuradio-releases . (this step is necessary only once, or every time you modify Dockerfile)
  4. Run the container: docker run --net=host --env="DISPLAY" --volume="$HOME/.Xauthority:/root/.Xauthority:rw" --device /dev/snd -v persistent:/home/gnuradio/persistent --group-add=audio -it ubuntu:gnuradio-releases bash

You will then be in a comand line logged as user gnuradio who is a sudoer (password: gnuradio). The folder persistent in its home directory will persist even after you exit the container. Remember: everything else is erased after you exit the container. This means for instance that if you compile and install an OOT you will have to do that again every time you run the container. You may modify Dockerfile to avoid this.

I've also made a Docker container for a Ubuntu 18.04 and GNU Radio 3.7 to check on compatibility issues regarding my OOTs. In that case, instead of the last two steps above you have to:

  1. Enter the docker-gnuradio/gnuradio-releases-37 folder and execute docker build -t ubuntu:gnuradio-releases-3.7 . (again, this step is only necessary once)
  2. Run the container: docker run --net=host --env="DISPLAY" --volume="$HOME/.Xauthority:/root/.Xauthority:rw" --privileged --device /dev/snd -v persistent-37:/home/gnuradio/persistent --group-add=audio -it ubuntu:gnuradio-releases-3.7 bash.

You will end up with the same situation as before. However, they won't share the persistent folder, as I think it doesn't make sense.

I'm a total newbie using Docker, so feel free to contact me with suggetions.

Known problems:

  • When you sudo it outputs sudo: setrlimit(RLIMIT_CORE): Operation not permitted. You may ignore this.

IIE Instituto de Ingeniería Eléctrica
Facultad de Ingeniería
Universidad de la República
Montevideo, Uruguay


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