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Installing the latest version of GQRX on MacOS El Capitan

Installing the latest version of GQRX on MacOS El Capitan




I wrote a post last year on how to install GQRX on Mac OS and it went down very well in the #SDR community. So I thought I would write another tutorial explaining how to install it on the latest version of Apple’s flagship operating system “El Capitan”.


Many of you were dissapointed how their was’nt an easier method and many of you messaged me to come up with this tutorial for the latest version. Well people, I have some great news.

The latest version has never been easier to install. The guys over at GQRX have kindly packaged up the latest version in a DMG file which you can download and install just like you do any other application.

This process took me less than five minutes to get working.



Firstly, you can download the latest DMG file of GQRX here –

Download the DMG and copy the contents across to your Applications folder just like any other downloaded application.

First Run

On running GQRX for the first time you will be greated with the setup screen, GQRX automagically picked up my RTL2832U device.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 09.45.10Hit OK and you should be up and running.Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 09.44.56

TIP – Don’t forget to change the ‘mode’ within the receiver options or you will be wondering why you have no sound :).


Security Researcher and Penetration Tester
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RTLSDR – Up and running in Mac OSX Yosemite with GQRX & GNURadio

RTLSDR – Up and running in Mac OSX Yosemite with GQRX & GNURadio

A while back I bought an RTL2832u device from ebay for a very small amount and was blown away by how this piece of kit performed.


Under linux and windows it worked beautifully, I then purchased a new MacBook Pro and didn’t really know what to use as I have had no experience under Mac OSX.


So a little research came up with GQRX and I can tell you it works brilliantly and has pretty much everything you need.

Whilst there are Mac binary (DMG) files for GQRX I have not been able to find any current versions.

But I did find that MacPorts has an up to date version which is good news for us!


If you do not know what MacPorts is, it’s a an easy to use system for compiling, managing and installing open source software. Similar to Brew if you use that.

So let’s crack on and get MacPorts installed so we can get playing!



Firstly we need to install Xcode from the Apple App Store

This link will take you directly to the Xcode app in the app store.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.54.42

Once you have Xcode installed, it’s time to install MacPorts

Download the Yosemite package here for any other version of Mac OSX please see this directory.


Install the package by double clicking it and proceeding through the next steps. You will more likely get to the stage in the installation where it says “Running package scripts”. At this stage it might take a while so please be patient it hasn’t stopped working and is downloading the latest base set behind the scenes.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.59.52

Installing GQRX using MacPorts “Port” Command.

After the MacPorts installation has finished we then need to go ahead and issue some commands to MacPorts to install GQRX.

Fire up your Terminal of choice (I am currently using iTerm2) and issue the following command.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.06.59

MacPorts will then compute all dependencies, download, compile and install them.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.09.15This part may take a while depending on your systems hardware as it has to compile the whole of GNU Radio and some other dependencies.

Once it has finished compiling and installing there will be a new menu item in your dash (F4) called MacPorts and within that folder your will be your shiny new GQRX Icon.




Launch GQRX and you will be preseneted with the following screen.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 20.17.47

No Sound Huh?

Hit the top left to activate the application and you will be surfing the airwaves in not time, I did get a little annoyed after setting this up because there was no sound at all, luckily though it was just me being lazy and expecting the application to work straight away as it has done with all other applications I have used.



What I didn’t do was set the demodulation type. In the top right hand side of the program is the receiver options with the multi choice “Mode” box. You can have a look at other options to suit yourself but I chose WFM (Stereo) and all was working well.


So.. There you have it, you are now up and running and ready to surf the air waves. I hope this worked for you as it is pretty straight forward. If I missed anything or you’d like to point anything out please contact me!

Security Researcher and Penetration Tester
CHECK Team Member