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Operating System Tips

Dominic Spill edited this page Oct 1, 2018 · 29 revisions

Here are some software setup tips for particular Operating Systems and Linux distributions.

Package managers

We highly recommend that, unless developing or testing new features of HackRF, most users use build systems or package management provided for their operating system.


Ubuntu / Debian

sudo apt install gqrx-sdr

Fedora / Red Hat

sudo dnf install gnuradio gr-osmosdr hackrf gqrx -y

Gentoo Linux

emerge hackrf-tools
USE="hackrf" emerge gr-osmosdr

Arch Linux

pacman -S gnuradio gnuradio-osmosdr
pacman -S gnuradio-companion

OS X (10.5+)


sudo port install gr-osmosdr


brew install gr-osmosdr


Binaries are provided as part of the PothosSDR project, they can be downloaded here


You can use the binary package: # pkg install hackrf

You can build and install from ports:

# cd /usr/ports/comms/hackrf
# make install

Building from source

Linux / OS X / *BSD

Preparing Your System

First of all, make sure that your system is up to date using your operating system provided update method.

Installing using PyBOMBS

The GNU Radio project has a build system that covers the core libraries, drivers for SDR hardware, and many out of tree modules. PyBOMBs will take care of installing dependencies for you.

Building HackRF tools from source

Acquire the source for the HackRF tools from either a release archive or git: git clone

Once you have the source downloaded, the host tools can be built as follows:

cd hackrf/host
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig

If you have HackRF hardware, you may need to update the firmware to match the host tools versions.


Prerequisites for Cygwin, MinGW, or Visual Studio

Note for Windows build: You shall always execute hackrf-tools from Windows command shell and not from Cygwin or MinGW shell because on Cygwin/MinGW Ctrl+C is not managed correctly and especially for hackrf_transfer the Ctrl+C (abort) will not stop correctly and will corrupt the file.

For Visual Studio 2015 x64

Create library definition for MSVC to link to C:\fftw-3.3.5-dll64> lib /machine:x64 /def:libfftw3f-3.def

c:\hackrf\host\build> cmake ../ -G "Visual Studio 14 2015 Win64" \
-DLIBUSB_INCLUDE_DIR=c:\libusb-1.0.21\libusb \
-DLIBUSB_LIBRARIES=c:\libusb-1.0.21\MS64\dll\lib\libusb-1.0.lib \
-DTHREADS_PTHREADS_INCLUDE_DIR=c:\pthreads-w32-2-9-1-release\Pre-built.2\include \
-DTHREADS_PTHREADS_WIN32_LIBRARY=c:\pthreads-w32-2-9-1-release\Pre-built.2\lib\x64\pthreadVC2.lib \
-DFFTW_INCLUDES=C:\fftw-3.3.5-dll64 \

CMake will produce a solution file named HackRF.sln and a series of project files which can be built with msbuild as follows: c:\hackrf\host\build> msbuild HackRF.sln


mkdir host/build
cd host/build
cmake ../ -G "Unix Makefiles" -DCMAKE_LEGACY_CYGWIN_WIN32=1 -DLIBUSB_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/local/include/libusb-1.0/
make install


mkdir host/build
cd host/build
cmake ../ -G "MSYS Makefiles" -DLIBUSB_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/local/include/libusb-1.0/
make install
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