As you may have noted in our previous posts, there exists an excellent piece of software written for use with the RTL-SDR dongle known as SDR#. If you’ve tried it you know it’s incredibly user friendly and provides immediate, full-featured use of the RTL-SDR dongle out-of-the-box. The only downside, of course, is that it’s developed for Windows since it’s written in C#. (Linux users report success running it under Mono.)
According to a blog posting on Reddit RTLSDR, there appears to be an attempt to subvert the SDR# user base with allegations that SDR# was somehow violating the GPL by embedding RTL-SDR support in the download, and that SDR# can no longer be used with the dongle.
Youssef, the developer of SDR# has countered that any licensing questions have been resolved between himself and Osmocom and changed the download structure accordingly. He also opines that the attempt to divert users from SDR# to some forked project may be an attempt to spread malicious code in the growing SDR community given the popularity of the RTL-SDR dongle.
You can read Youssef’s position in full on the SDR# downloads page.
So what does this mean to the average SDR#/RTL-SDR user? Well, for starters, you can NOT just download the latest nightly build, unzip, double-click the executable and expect to use the RTL-SDR dongle as you’ve become accustomed to. It simply doesn’t appear in the Front End selection box. So what to do?
After reading the above and linked content you can make your own decision about which RTL-SDR project you want to follow, but given his track record Youssef’s SDR# looks like a winning bet.
Keep up the outstanding work Youssef. SDR# is one of the best open source programs this year.