Before you can install the software you'll need to install a few depdendencies.  Make sure you're running the Raspbian operating system and it has been configured to work with the PiTFT.  You will also need to make sure the Pi has access to the internet through a wired or wireless networking connection.

Connect to a terminal on the Pi and execute the following commands to install the dependencies:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cmake build-essential python-pip libusb-1.0-0-dev python-numpy git pandoc

Don't worry if you see error messages that certain packages are already installed, you can ignore those and move on.

Next download, compile, and install the RTL-SDR library by executing:

cd ~
git clone git://
cd rtl-sdr
mkdir build
cd build
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig

Finally install the RTL-SDR Python wrapper by executing:

sudo pip install pyrtlsdr

At this point all the dependencies should be installed and you're ready to download and install the project software.

Raspbian Jessie Warning!! If you're using Raspbian Jessie (which if you're using the current PiTFT easy install images then yes you're likely using Jessie) you MUST follow the steps below to make the touchscreen work.

If you're using Raspbian Jessie there's one more critical step to follow to fix an issue with incompatibilities between the SDL library and touchscreen support.  See the FAQ page here for a script to create and run so that an older SDL library can be installed.  You must run this script to make sure FreqShow works on Raspbian Jessie (if you don't run it then mouse/touchscreen input will be erratic and not work at all).


Installing the software for this project is as easy as downloading its Python source code.  At a terminal on the Pi run the following commands to download the source:

cd ~
git clone
cd FreqShow

That's it, at this point the software should be downloaded and ready to run!  Continue on to the next page to learn how to run the software.

This guide was first published on Oct 02, 2014. It was last updated on Oct 02, 2014.

This page (Installation) was last updated on Nov 28, 2021.

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