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VMWare image

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:02 pm
by cyborg

I think it'd be very beneficial if anyone could upload a VMWare image that includes OpenBTS/Yate, GNURadio and others properly compiled and ready to go in order for us newbies to get to play and understand the device.

Does anyone have something similar? Don't you think it's a good idea?

Re: VMWare image

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:52 am
by jynik
The GNU Radio Live SDR Environment image provides an Ubuntu environment with GNU Radio and support for numerous SDRs, including the bladeRF pre-installed.

The Pentoo live image also includes GNU Radio, and appears to include some release of YateBTS, as noted in their tools list.

However, you really need to review your local laws and regulations with respect to the applicable GSM spectrum before you even think about just booting up a BTS. As with all RF-related development, whether it be professional, educational, or hobby, you should be doing your initial experiments and evaluation with a hard-wired setup, ensuring you've minimized any potential leakage that can cause interference. (You can find plenty of cheap GSM phones with UFL connectors in them, and items such as attenuators and RF combiners online.) Interference is interference, regardless of the fact that you're trying to learn about some interesting technology, and the fines are large.

If you're a newbie, I'd recommend starting with some of the ARRL's Ham license-related training materials, and consult with folks who have test equipment. Err on the side of caution and be safe.

Re: VMWare image

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:46 am
by cyborg
Thanks but this is quite deviated from what I asked in my thread.

I tried Pentoo without much success... it's not about learning about RFs but learning about linux and compilations in that case. All pre-installations you mentioned are out of date etc etc etc...

For this reason I think a VMWare image would be helpful for trying things out and thanks for checking but I am trying out in a complying with the law in a faraday cage in a edu environment

Re: VMWare image

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:20 pm
by jynik
I'm not sure about the current state of VMWare, but I know there's certainly been reports of USB pass-through problems with VM software. That'd be one of my primary concerns. With Yate, I've also seen that it tends to operate well on USB 3.0, but struggles on 2.0; so you'd need to ensure the VM software supports XHCI. (However, I hear VirtualBox now has XHCI support -- haven't tested it it myself yet.)

I recently posted an unofficial Yate, YateBTS & bladeRF setup guide here on the wiki. I'd say the total time to go through that is 15 minutes or less, perhaps double that on your first time ever reading through it.

The scripts used to build the GNU Radio Live image are hosted here. I am familiar with extending the live image, but question whether providing a pre-installed Yate/YateBTS setup would actually be helpful, given that there's still a number of items in ybts.conf that you must configure for your particular setup (e.g., band, ARFCN, country code).

Nonetheless, it might be worthwhile to bounce this request off the Yate folks. If they're interested I could probably help whip up the patches to add Yate/YateBTS support to the image. I just don't have enough free time to become the maintainer of such an image.

- Jon