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This page will provide you with descriptions to build your own RTL-SDR station using a USB DVB receiver on Linux. Mostly intended for a Debian environment but packages are installed from source where possible to make it flexible to other environments.

Installation using apt-get

sudo apt-get install rtl-sdr

Installation from source

apt-get update

apt-get install git cmake libboost-all-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev python-scitools portaudio19-dev sox -y

mkdir /home/sdr

cd /home/sdr

git clone git://

cd /rtl-sdr

mkdir build

cmake ../


make install

cp /home/sdr/rtl-sdr/rtl-sdr.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/

Checking your dongle

List the dongle


Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 138a:00ab Validity Sensors, Inc. 
Bus 001 Device 007: ID 0bda:2838 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL2838 DVB-T
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 04f2:b669 Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd 
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 8087:0aaa Intel Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 413c:3010 Dell Computer Corp. Optical Wheel Mouse
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

So mine is :

Bus 001 Device 007: ID 0bda:2838 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL2838 DVB-T

Test the dongle

Test using rtl_test

root@lphenixhq:/opt/rtl-sdr# rtl_test -t

Found 1 device(s):
  0:  Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U OEM
Detached kernel driver
Found Fitipower FC0012 tuner
Supported gain values (5): -9.9 -4.0 7.1 17.9 19.2 
Sampling at 2048000 S/s.
No E4000 tuner found, aborting.
Reattached kernel driver

Yes, a working dongle!

Test using RTL_FM

rtl_fm -M wbfm -f 105.1M | play -r 32k -t raw -e s -b 16 -c1 -V1

105.1M is my local station, Haarlem FM, change it for yours!

You can also scan a range, for example airplane radio traffic
rtl_fm -M am -f 118M-138M:25k -s 12k -g 50 -l 200 | play -r 12k
Find airport info on SkyVector

Spectrum analyzing

You might have to select your device in Options

apt install gqrx-sdr


Messages between tower and airplanes, ACARS

git clone

cd acarsdec

mkdir build

cd build

cmake .. -Drtl=ON


sudo make install

Check the traffic from the commandline, using acarsdec

acarsdec -r 0 131.525 131.725


This translates ADSR messages containing altitude and speed of airplanes
You need a google developer key to see mapinfo :-(
But you can also connect to it from VirtualRadar, see below


git clone

cd dump1090


Check info from Airplanes

./dump1090 --enable-agc --interactive --agressive

Play with it and check on http://localhost:8080
./dump1090 --enable-agc --net --agressive

Virtual Radar

Now we are getting to the fun part and see things

Make sure to have mono installed
sudo apt-get install mono-complete

Go to the dir you want to install the software
mkdir /opt/virtualradar


tar xzvf VirtualRadar.tar.gz

Create the config file

vi VirtualRadar.exe.config

Copy this block

<?xml version="1.0"?>
        <supportedRuntime version="v2.0.50727"/>
        <assemblyBinding  xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1">
                <assemblyIdentity name="Mono.Data.Sqlite"
                                  culture="neutral" />
                <bindingRedirect oldVersion=""
                                 newVersion="" />

Start VirtualRadar

Start dump1090 first after inserting the dongle
/opt/dump1090 --enable-agc --interactive --agressive
mono VirtualRadar.exe

Visit localhost


Change the port for the webserver

In the configuration folder create a text file called InstallerConfiguration.xml and paste the following

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<InstallerSettings xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xsd="">

Check for more info on this right here:

RTL 433, Weather stations, Car keys

Needs 433Mhz antenna


git clone

cd rtl_433

mkdir build

cd build

cmake install

Play with it

rtl_433 -G

Check pagers. Morse and what else with multimon-ng


git clone

cd multimon-ng

mkdir build

cd build

cmake ..

sudo make install

Catch the data with rtl_tm and post process with multimon-ng

rtl_fm -f 149.61M -s 22050 -p -19 | multimon-ng -t raw -POCSAG12 -a POCSAG1200 -a POCSAG2400 -a SCOPE -f a;pha /dev/stdin

Listen to DAB+ stations

Install Qt 5.10 including the Qt Charts module by using the the "Qt Online Installer for Linux"

sudo apt install libfaad-dev libmpg123-dev libmpg123-dev libfftw3-dev librtlsdr-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev mesa-common-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libpulse-dev libsoapysdr-dev libairspy-dev libmp3lame-dev

git clone

Start Qt Creator and open the project file `` inside the folder "".


Run and enjoy it

Build your own Antenna

This section will probably end up as a seperate project. For now the information i gathered to work from.

Amateur Dipole Antenna Calculator

Buy me a coffee

This project is based on RTL-SDR

If you would like me to build more interesting things support me here:

Thanks to :

Adam Loboda for RTL-SDR information
Daryl Williams for info on VirtualRadar