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Old 11-07-2014, 12:48 PM
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Default VirtualBox Project - Run OP25 on Windows 7

Crazy talk, certainly - but I'm willing to try this anyway.

Going to try and get OP25 working in VirtualBox so we can play with OP25 even on a Windoze system. Here's the general plan:

1. Install Ubuntu on Virtual Box
2. Install GNU Radio
3. Install OP25
4. Plug in my RTL SDR dongle, configure OP25 accordingly and see if it works.

I'm currently still on step 1. Tried with version 14 of Ubuntu but VirtualBox just won't play nicely with it (for me at least) so I'm currently trying 12.10 instead.

Any tips/tricks/pointers/etc appreciated. I will keep this thread updated with my progress as I go.

Wish me luck!
-AZ
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Old 11-07-2014, 4:27 PM
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Hello,

This may help if you are trying 14.10.
system installation - Ubuntu 14.10 does not install in virtualbox - Ask Ubuntu

73 Eric
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Old 11-07-2014, 4:44 PM
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Oh. My. God.

Everytime I attempt something like this, it's because I've forgotten how completely irritating, unfriendly and downright aggravating all this Linux stuff is.

Well I had no luck with Ubuntu at all so I tried Debian. That will at least install properly enough to RUN, but the GNU radio build script just blows thru telling me each component is not installed, so there's nothing to remove. Well no s*** Sherlock, I'm trying to *INSTALL* it, not remove it! WTH?

These are the instructions I'm *attempting* to follow: OP25 How To Build - SpenchWiki

It sounds so simple - just run a couple of scripts it says, but Jesus, getting this to actually WORK feels like trying to gargle peanut butter, I swear...

Let me ask the community because I'm pretty much calling it a night on this and will try again tomorrow: What's the best, easiest and quickest way to get GNURadio and OP25 installed, and what Linux variant works best? So far Ubuntu 14 and 12 won't even show me a desktop in Virtual Box, and Debian and GNU Radio won't be friends no matter how hard I try to make them. Eric, I will take a look at what you posted unless folks recommend NOT to use Ubuntu for this. But tomorrow - my brain is mush from trying to figure it all out.

-AZ
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Old 11-07-2014, 5:31 PM
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I used to have Ubuntu, either 12.04 or 12.10, I forget (EDIT: 13.10!), installed in a vbox for just S&G. I'll have to dig around and see if I didn't delete the image. I'm 99% sure I did get a desktop.

If I do have it, I'll try to get it going and get the SpenchWiki instructions started, and let you know what happens.

Edit: 13.10 as mentioned above, and I do have a GUI desktop, though it's running super-slowly - may be because my laptop is on battery power. Now trying to find the terminal window (I haven't used it in ages).

Last edited by Jay911; 11-07-2014 at 6:21 PM..
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Old 11-07-2014, 7:31 PM
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I'm encountering problems with both the first script in the wiki page (installing gnu-radio) and updating software in the Ubuntu software update page, wherein some packages specific to Ubuntu could not be found. I'm still working on that part.

Near the end of the gnu-radio script it states that it is having problems running the newly-installed git service. When I try to run git, I am told it is not installed and I should use apt-get to install it. When I do that, git needs to download a bunch of other dependencies. So maybe one has to pick at it piece-by-piece to get it working. I'll keep you posted. EDIT: And now that git is installed, it's complaining about cmake, and I have to do the same thing (sudo apt-get install cmake).

BTW, in the script, I think the "not installed so will not be removed" messages are simply relating to the script trying to uninstall any old version(s) before installing what it's downloading.
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Old 11-07-2014, 7:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay911 View Post
I'm encountering problems with both the first script in the wiki page (installing gnu-radio) and updating software in the Ubuntu software update page, wherein some packages specific to Ubuntu could not be found. I'm still working on that part.

Near the end of the gnu-radio script it states that it is having problems running the newly-installed git service. When I try to run git, I am told it is not installed and I should use apt-get to install it. When I do that, git needs to download a bunch of other dependencies. So maybe one has to pick at it piece-by-piece to get it working. I'll keep you posted. EDIT: And now that git is installed, it's complaining about cmake, and I have to do the same thing (sudo apt-get install cmake).

BTW, in the script, I think the "not installed so will not be removed" messages are simply relating to the script trying to uninstall any old version(s) before installing what it's downloading.
Linux user since 1999.

I think with Ubuntu you:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

That should give you all the build required stuff.
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Old 11-07-2014, 8:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corbintechboy View Post
Linux user since 1999.

I think with Ubuntu you:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

That should give you all the build required stuff.
Thanks, I eventually got that after running sudo apt-get install gnuradio, and getting errors suggesting I perform apt-gets similar to your indication above. After running all those, running the gnuradio script again resulted in a lot more success. In fact it's still running now over an hour later.
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Old 11-07-2014, 8:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay911 View Post
Thanks, I eventually got that after running sudo apt-get install gnuradio, and getting errors suggesting I perform apt-gets similar to your indication above. After running all those, running the gnuradio script again resulted in a lot more success. In fact it's still running now over an hour later.
What would be ideal, is someone with some web space to compile the packages and put those packages on a server somewhere. Then they could be download and installed with::

deb -dpkg blah blah (I believe that is it, I don't use Ubuntu or Debian).

That would make it much easier and would cut way down on the amount of hardship in getting this done.
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:42 PM
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Running GNU Radio in a VirtualBox is generally not a good idea. It just isn't going to work very well. You're also going to have USB issues trying to read the high speed sample rates from the RTL device. Expect the worst, hope for the best applies here.

Ask ten different people on which Linux distro to use, you'll likely get ten different answers. Most current Debian based distros will work. I use Mint 16 myself, Ubuntu will work too.

Forget the SpenchWiki instructions. Those are way out of date and they're based on the older GNU Radio v3.6 API. The current OP25 project requires the v3.7 API. Also, the required install method for GNU Radio is via the PyBOMBS install script. You can't install OP25 without it.

The absolute bare minimum install steps are as follows:

Install the OS(assuming Ubuntu or Mint), then open a terminal session and
Code:
sudo apt-get install git
sudo apt-get update
Reboot if it asks, otherwise type the following:
Code:
cd ~/
git clone git://github.com/pybombs/pybombs
cd pybombs
./pybombs install gnuradio
This will ask for some basic config parameters, but you can just enter through them and take the defaults. Based on your machine, this can take a few hours. Don't try to install GNU Radio with less then 4 gigs of ram, it might fail hours into the process. Once the install process is complete, type the following:

Code:
./pybombs env
This command creates a shell script that sets up the environment variables needed by GNU Radio and is required.You only need to do this once. It should spit out the path to this script when it completes. The output will look similar to this:
Code:
source /home/<user>/target/setup_env.sh
That shell script will need to be executed each time you open a new terminal session. You can add this command to your ~/.bashrc script so it gets executed every time you open a terminal session. Edit the ~/.bashrc file with a text editor and add the following on the very last line, save and close.
Code:
source ~/target/setup_env.sh
You can now install OP25 and all the prerequisites needed including RTL support by typing the following:
Code:
cd ~/pybombs
./pybombs install gr-op25
Not sure if this is required after a fresh install, but it wouldn't hurt to run the following command after OP25 finishes:
Code:
sudo ldconfig
This just reloads libraries and loads new ones with the system.

That is all you need to do... If all goes well and everything is installed I'll answer any questions you have on running OP25. One last thing, don't expect any GRC support for OP25 because there isn't any. I've been running it since the beginning of the year on a local LSM system with perfect decoding. It's amazing!
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Old 11-08-2014, 5:10 AM
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I'm having flashbacks to 1994 reading this.
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Old 11-08-2014, 5:28 AM
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Rather than a VirtualBox, have you considered a simple dual-boot system?
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Old 11-08-2014, 6:41 AM
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I'm using Kali Linux in VMware and it runs really nice, but there are quite no p25 networks here in Germany, so I've got no experience with op25.
Kali has Gnuradio already installed and most problems I'm running into are because I'm really a linux noob and not that Kali or VMware make any problems.
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Old 11-08-2014, 8:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoIntegra View Post
I've been running it since the beginning of the year on a local LSM system with perfect decoding. It's amazing!
Hi Scott

Many thanks for this feedback - great to hear!

Also FWIW, it is interesting to note that P25 Phase II/TDMA RX support was added to OP25 in 2014.

73
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Old 11-08-2014, 9:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoIntegra View Post
Running GNU Radio in a VirtualBox is generally not a good idea. It just isn't going to work very well.
I'm continuing to have troubles installing stuff even with the pybombs route suggested. I had given my Ubuntu vbox 2.5GB RAM (my laptop can only address 6 of my 8GB for some reason), and 16GB of virtual HDD space, and it filled up all that HDD space and, as mentioned, probably won't work well in only 2.5GB. Not to mention as I said earlier it was running really slowly anyway (perhaps due to that "low" allocation of RAM).

Too bad.. if I later get another machine I can format in native Ubuntu, I'll give that a shot.
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:04 AM
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Default Interesting thread.

Following with interest. Wishing all the best to participants. A couple months ago I built a mini desktop expressly for SDR. I installed linux mint17 and was able to install GNURadio and have it open and seemed to be functional. That nearly smoked my brain as I am not versed in computer language, and GNURadio seemed so complicated I could never understand how to even build the simplest of "radios".
So, I gave up. Installed W7 and SDR# etc. That's where I stand today. I would love to see a step by step guide for computer illiterates like myself to be able to get a System up and running GNURadio with OP25.

Maybe someday I will step back in the ring, and probably end up getting my mental azz kicked again by linux and GNURadio.
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Old 11-08-2014, 6:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post
I'm having flashbacks to 1994 reading this.
The 1994 instructions would have entailed compiling the kernel to your hardware. Things have evolved quite nicely...
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Old 11-08-2014, 7:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KA1RBI View Post
Hi Scott

Many thanks for this feedback - great to hear!

Also FWIW, it is interesting to note that P25 Phase II/TDMA RX support was added to OP25 in 2014.

73
Hi Max!

I knew Phase II support was added, and forgot to mention that during the edits/rereads of my post. I'm still on the older code base mainly because of the many changes I've made to my setup. When the GNURadio devs fix bug #745, I'll get current with everything. GNR requires all OOT modules to be removed prior to updating, and I'm not ready to go through that just yet.

Some day there will be people that finally have that "Ah-hah" moment like I did, when they realize how well OP25 actually works. There isn't any of that silly virtual audio patching and 4 different apps to accomplish one task. None of which can demodulate LSM, so thank you for that!

Here is short nine minute video I created to demonstrate OP25 on an LSM system. This system is a very difficult system(PAWM) to monitor on current digital scanners. Read the video description for complete details. There are some minor audio gaps heard, but that is due to high cpu load while recording the video. Those weren't heard during the actual recording. Enjoy!

-Scott
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Old 11-10-2014, 6:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoIntegra View Post
Some day there will be people that finally have that "Ah-hah" moment like I did, when they realize how well OP25 actually works. There isn't any of that silly virtual audio patching and 4 different apps to accomplish one task. None of which can demodulate LSM, so thank you for that!
It's nice to hear it's appreciated!!
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Old 11-11-2014, 9:16 AM
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Just a quick update - this weekend I got slammed with family stuff and had no time to work on the project, however I did manage to squeeze in 10 minutes this morning to find and install an interesting little emulator for the Raspberry PI. So I'm giving that a shot as my "virtual box" today. Will let the group know how I make out.

If anyone else would like to try the emulator I found, it's here: Raspberry Pi emulation for Windows | SourceForge.net

If I can get GNURadio installed and running on it before I leave work today, I'll call that a pretty good day.

-AZ

Edited to add: Love the new avatar Jay911. "Car Ramrod!"
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Last edited by AZScanner; 11-11-2014 at 9:22 AM..
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Old 11-12-2014, 3:33 PM
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Another update - still working on getting the Pi emulated properly so I can install GNURadio, so that's on hold for the moment... I gave up on Virtual box and installed the free VMWare player - MUCH better. I can actually install the OS and get a desktop and loader which is farther than I ever got with VirtualBox.

Today I'm attempting to install GNURadio on the latest build of Kali, as suggested by kermit_t_f. Surprisingly, GNURadio wasn't part of the distro - I know it used to be, but it's now nowhere to be found on the stock install, so I'm using PiccoIntegra's instructions to install it. So far so good, we're about 4 hours in and it's still happily compiling and installing, so I think that's a good sign. Good enough in fact that this year I've asked "Santa" aka the Holder of the Budget if I can get a dedicated Linux box for Christmas so that once I get the hang of things on the VM Player I can go on the new machine and set it up "for real". But if I can get this to work in Windows, it will be a great way for folks to get their feet wet with OP25 and GNURadio.

I'm also intrigued by all the fancy hacking and security testing apps included with Kali - there's some great stuff in there to help hacker-proof one's home network... or mess with your neighbor's (kidding) .

More to come...

-AZ
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