Setting up GNU Radio

Hi all,

I’m setting up a new shared laptop with multiple users who want to use
Radio. I’m not sure how to set this up correctly.

Should I do it this way:

  1. cd /usr/local/bin

  2. git clone GitHub - gnuradio/pybombs: PyBOMBS (Python Build Overlay Managed Bundle System) is the GNU Radio install management system for resolving dependencies and pulling in out-of-tree projects. && cd pybombs

  3. sudo ./pybombs install gnuradio (sudo needed to give permission to
    create files here)

  4. ./pybombs env

  5. Then instead of sourcing the file from .bashrc, I will
    source it from /etc/profile.

  6. Finally, and this is the part I’m most unsure of, since I used sudo
    ./pybombs install gnuradio, root owns these files. If I remember
    this caused issues for me in the past trying to run gnuradio from a
    non-root account. How should I handle this?

Thanks a lot,

Hi Richard,
no, not completely.
instead of 1) you should cd somewhere in your home directory, where you
have write access
2) - 3) are correct. Choose /usr/local/ as prefix
5) could also be done by copying over to

  1. is normal and should not result in errors.

If normal users (including) want to install their own OOT modules,
they’d use a local clone of pybombs, setting that gnuradio is already
installed, and install their modules into a user-prefix (e.g.


Thanks for responding MarcusM,

I can’t execute ‘sudo ./pybombs install gnuradio’ at all, because it
with the following output:

*rbell@polarcode1:~/Documents/gnuradio/pybombs$ sudo ./pybombs install
gnuradioInitializing config file…Username for GIT accessgituser
[root]:Directory of git cache repositorygitcache []:Install
(most recent call last): File “./pybombs”, line 25, in from
mod_pybombs import verbosity as v File
“/home/rbell/Documents/gnuradio/pybombs/mod_pybombs/”, line
in from globals import *; File
“/home/rbell/Documents/gnuradio/pybombs/mod_pybombs/”, line
in config_init(config); File
“/home/rbell/Documents/gnuradio/pybombs/mod_pybombs/”, line 70, in
config_init if os.path.basename(pwd)==“pybombs”: File
“/usr/lib/python2.7/”, line 121, in basename i =
p.rfind(‘/’) + 1AttributeError: ‘NoneType’ object has no attribute
'rfind’rbell@polarcode1:~/Documents/gnuradio/pybombs$ *

If I install it without sudo to a local account directory, how will
users be able to access the install? Is it simply a matter of setting up
the environment variables correctly?


On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 2:49 PM, Marcus Müller
[email protected]

If I install it without sudo to a local account directory, how will
other users be able to access the install? Is it simply a matter of
setting up the environment variables correctly?
The idea is to install GNU Radio globally, and let users handle their
own modules in their own home directories. So you’d install GNU Radio
with sudo as root into /usr/local, and each user installs private
modules into /home//prefix

When does the error you paste below occur? Before you get the chance to
enter /usr/local as prefix, or after?
Anyway, I’d recommend deleting your pybombs folder and cloning it
cleanly again, running pybombs without root. It should ask you for the
prefix. after that, it should print a warning that you should re-run it
with sudo. Do that. Does the error still occur?



I deleted the pybombs folder and re-cloned pybombs from remote. When
running ‘sudo ./pybombs install gnuradio’ I still get the same error
when it reachees the prefix portion.

Also, I want to make sure I understand your following directions. To
install gnuradio on a computer so all user accounts have access to it, I
should do the following:

  1. Install the base gnuradio framework to /usr/local/bin
  2. Have users install custom modules they want to their local home


On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 3:12 PM, Marcus Müller
[email protected]

I forgot to answer one of your previous questions. Yes the error occurs
before I have a chance to enter anything for the prefix. I have no
over it.


On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 10:00 AM, Richard B. [email protected]

Thanks guys. I got it working eventually. All users on our station now
access to gnuradio.

There was no way I could get pybombs to create the config.dat file
in /usr/local/bin. With sudo I had the prefix error problem and without
sudo it didn’t have permission to create the file. The workaround I used
was to create the config.dat file by hand. I copy and pasted one I had
another computer. That worked.

Thanks again,

On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 10:49 AM, West, Nathan
[email protected]

The problem is the python posixpath’s basename() when run as sudo is
Pybombs depends on that for the initial config.

A solution without changing the way pybombs does this is just to run
./pybombs config without root, then do your sudo pybombs install.

On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 12:02 PM, Richard B. [email protected]