RTL-SDR is a set of tools that enables DVB-T USB dongles based on the Realtek RTL2832U chipset to be used as cheap software defined radios, given that the chip allows transferring raw I/Q samples from the tuner straight to the host device.
See the RTL-SDR wiki for exact technical specifications.
The latest stable RTL-SDR version can be installed from rtl-sdr.
Bleeding edge is on rtl-sdr-gitAUR.
/usr/lib/modprobe.d/rtlsdr.conf. To use the dongle with the original DVB-T drivers, it is required to manually load them, see DVB-T#Driver.
udev rules are installed at
/usr/lib/udev/rules.d/10-rtl-sdr.rules and set the proper permissions such that non-root users can access the device.
rngd claims rtlsdr devices by default - exclude it's use in
Performing a simple test, and make sure the dongle works and that there are no lost samples:
Raw samples can be captured directly to file (or fifo), for example to tune to 123.4MHz and capture 1.8M samples/sec:
$ rtl_sdr capture.bin -s 1.8e6 -f 123.4e6
Tune to your favorite radio station and pipe to sox for audio:
$ rtl_fm -f 102.7e6 -M wbfm -s 200000 -r 48000 - | aplay -r 48000 -f S16_LE
Some popular applications that use RTL-SDR:
- gqrx - a popular SDR receiver with waterfall GUI for Linux
- urh - complete suite for wireless protocol investigation with native support for many common SDR
- dump1090-gitAUR - a lightweight ModeS (1090Mhz) decoder
- multimon-ng - a decoder for various digital modes
- rtl_433AUR - protocol aware receiver for multiple devices. Supports automatic packet interception and protocol analyzers for reverse engineering.
- rng-tools - Random number generator related utilities