Installing rtl-sdr and dump1090 on a Raspberry Pi to receive ADS-B signals

I’ve gone through these steps a couple of times when I’ve set up a new SD card, and had to go to various places to work out all the steps, so in case this is useful for someone else, here’s the steps (assuming installing on Rasbian):

Making and installing rtl-sdr from source


Pre-req steps, if you don’t already have the following:

sudo apt-get install cmake

#usb driver for the rtl dongle
sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0

Get the source:

git clone git://


cd rtl-sdr/
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig

If you get permissions errors like this when using any of the rtl_* commands:

Using device 0: Terratec T Stick PLUS
usb_open error -3
Please fix the device permissions, e.g. by installing the udev rules file rtl-sdr.rules
Failed to open rtlsdr device #0.

Then you should be able to add a line to


 to set up correct permissions for your specific card, which you can find by running lsusb, eg for mine:

Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0ccd:00d7 TerraTec Electronic GmbH

From this I believe you take the id value and insert it into a new line in rtl-sdr.rules like:

SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="0ccd", ATTRS{idProduct}=="00d7", MODE:="0666"

and then restart udev:

sudo service udev restart

… reboot and that should be fixed.  Or you can still run the apps with sudo.

To test, try starting up the rtl_tcp server:

sudo rtl_tcp -a your_ip

and you might see a message about the device already in use by another kernel module:

Found 1 device(s):
  0:  Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001
Using device 0: Terratec T Stick PLUS
Kernel driver is active, or device is claimed by second instance of librtlsdr.
In the first case, please either detach or blacklist the kernel module
(dvb_usb_rtl28xxu), or enable automatic detaching at compile time.
usb_claim_interface error -6
Failed to open rtlsdr device #0.

This is saying dvb_usb_rtl28xxu is already using the device. From instructions here, you can temporarily unload this module:

sudo rmmod dvb_usb_rtl28xxu

or permantly remove it with a blacklist entry in /etc/modprobe.d – add a new file here named something like rtl-sdr.conf, add add one line with the name of the above driver:

blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu

Reboot and now you should be good to go with the rtl_* commands.


Making and installing dump1090:


git clone
cd dump1090

Run in interactive mode:

./dump1090 --interactive

or net mode to enable the webserver (point a browser at you Pi’s IP address and port 8080):

./dump1090 --net

5 Replies to “Installing rtl-sdr and dump1090 on a Raspberry Pi to receive ADS-B signals”

  1. How about uninstalling the RTL driver before installing a newer version on the Raspberry Pi ? This seems to be a requirement according to the Osmocom website.
    I know it has something to do with ‘sudo make uninstall’, but where to execute this ?
    And is this sufficient for a clean uninstall ?
    I found the instructions about how to remove the DUMP1090 stuff before installing a newer version of that, but not for the RTL part.

    1. The notes on the Osmocom site are not specific, but I’m guessing running ‘make uninstall’ runs a build target that does the uninstall. I’m thinking this because it’s not specific about what you do next, i.e. how do you run the uninstall, so I’m guessing it’s already done as part of the make script. I could be wrong though.

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