GNU Radio for Windows Subsystem for Linux

A key caveat in general for graphics and sound on WSL1 and WSL2 is the requirement for a custom setup to get graphics and sound.

Networked SDRs and simulations can work with GNU Radio and GNU Radio Companion on Windows Subsystem for Linux. Don’t purchase hardware or make plans until you’ve validated the particular setup works. USB (non-networked) SDRs need WSL2 or to run an SDR hardware-specific USB to network driver from Windows.

Network connected SDR

For network-connected SDR, or for running software-only simulations, here’s how to install and run the GNU Radio Companion GUI on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

Install X11 for Windows Subsystem for Linux if desiring to use GNU Radio Companion.

apt install gnuradio xterm

Start X11 from Windows Start menu and then type in WSL Terminal:


Audio Sink

If you haven’t setup soundcard for WSL, you will need to disable Audio Sinks in the GRC diagram. There are advanced proocedures for using localhost network ports for sound on WSL1 or WSL2. Typically one runs a PulseAudio connector on Windows from WSL, with local port forwarding of audio packets over a local network socket from WSL to Windows.


Error “ValueError: Namespace Gtk not available” can be fixed by:

apt install python3-gi gobject-introspection gir1.2-gtk-3.0

Despite apt install python3-pyqt5 this may help:

python3 -m pip install pyqt5

GNU radio ImportError fixes