Gnu radio

Not really valve related (ok, not in the least valve related!) but after a lot of messing about I finally got Gnu radio to work last night on Ubuntu 16.04. I say finally because it was the end of a lot of messing about off and on, and in no way the fault of Gnu radio.

First, some background. I’ve been using Ubuntu since version 7 I think. I settled on it because it was easy to install on the old and dodgy hardware I had at the time – other distro’s would not even install. My current PC had 12.02 LTS – I use the LTS versions as they have, well, Long Term Support. I had an older Gnu radio package set up and working but it later broke and I’d no idea why. Anyway, I had no time to fix thing back then.

I got back to it later but never fixed it, so I installed the then latest Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. No matter what I did I could not get the software to work. As it was nearly time for the 16.04 release I left it.

I installed 16.04 LTS a couple of days ago but again Gnu radio failed. The software would install via apt-get but gave errors when running. The script (below) failed to complete. Again, no time to fiddle.

Last night I wiped the PC and installed a clean Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and this fixed things. The excellent script (below) ran and set everything up. I had to fiddle with the USB settings and blacklist a kernel module but this is all documented. Finally, I got a basic FM radio working to prove the installation is ok.

So, although upgrading Ubuntu is generally OK for mundane stuff, it is clearly a tad off for actually getting the system up to grade. A clean install is a far better option, and indeed is recommended. Having more than one physical disk makes this a lot easier as one can copy anything needed to the other disk, or have home volumes on that other disk, and trash the o/s disk for each clean upgrade.

This script (http://gnuradio.org/redmine/projects/gnuradio/wiki/InstallingGRFromSource#Using-the-build-gnuradio-script) is really useful and does all thew work for you.

The morale – don’t be lazy! Now for the interesting stuff…

 

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