I wrote a post last year on how to install GQRX on Mac OS and it went down very well in the #SDR community. So I thought I would write another tutorial explaining how to install it on the latest version of Apple’s flagship operating system “El Capitan”.


Many of you were dissapointed how their was’nt an easier method and many of you messaged me to come up with this tutorial for the latest version. Well people, I have some great news.

The latest version has never been easier to install. The guys over at GQRX have kindly packaged up the latest version in a DMG file which you can download and install just like you do any other application.

This process took me less than five minutes to get working.



Firstly, you can download the latest DMG file of GQRX here –  http://gqrx.dk/download

Download the DMG and copy the contents across to your Applications folder just like any other downloaded application.

First Run

On running GQRX for the first time you will be greated with the setup screen, GQRX automagically picked up my RTL2832U device.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 09.45.10Hit OK and you should be up and running.Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 09.44.56

TIP – Don’t forget to change the ‘mode’ within the receiver options or you will be wondering why you have no sound :).


James Smith

Security Researcher, Penetration Tester & Linux Advocate


Kurt Verstraelen · February 7, 2016 at 8:51 am

Hello, the link to the dmg.file doesn’t work…

smittix · February 7, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Hi again , It seems they have updated the DMG so the old link didn’t work. I have now changed the link to reflect this. You can get it here http://gqrx.dk/download

Guy Teague · March 4, 2016 at 11:09 pm

thank you! i wish i could use it with my sdrplay, but cubicsdr is working for that on the mac. /guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)

OldMaineah · May 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

I tried every receiver option on my nearby national weather service weather transmission and still no sound at all. It’s like it’s deaf, but the program apparently sees my device, and there is an indicator showing which appears like it’s “seeing” a signal. I just can’t hear anything.

James Henry · June 25, 2016 at 3:51 pm

What do I need to do to install the Soft66RTL2 receiver?

Doug Almquist · April 21, 2017 at 12:47 am

FM Stereo performance is somewhat lacking… lot of static. Not a CPU issue… The same dongle on another machine works far better (much less static). Somethings wrong in the implementation.

John Clarke · April 29, 2017 at 4:03 am

On the gqrx site, the DL says Mac 10,11 but I’m running 10,10 so will the dmg run on my Mac or will I have to find the older version? Thanks

TS Robinson · May 10, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Running 10.11… it just panics and crashes.

gew · June 3, 2017 at 1:48 pm

runing 10.11 too and same problem crashes completly

robin hugo · August 16, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Hi James, I am running 10.12.6. As soon as I start GQRX I get the config panel, then the software freezes needing me to force quit it. Do you know if there is an update coming ? Thanks Robin

Jeff · August 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm

catch 22 over and over again crashes

Daniel Bogdan · May 29, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Although I follow the steps as outlined above, I cannot get the app to recognize the NooElec SDR dongle. If I choose “RTL-SDR Spectrum Server” it simply freezes up and I must force-quit the app. My NooElec dongle uses the RTL2832U tuner, but doesn’t show up in the very few options I have in the dropdown menu for receivers. Is it just me, or is this SDR software thing an overblown and overhyped technology. I mean – really – why is it so difficult to get an app to tune my SDR dongle to run in Mac OSX???

Jack Wrightson · February 9, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Hi all I downloaded as per instructions, I had to select the dongle from the list ( RTL-SDR ) and then all installed I was up and running in five mins. I am using a mac book pro but I think I will use a PC to carry out some projects. I’m interested in constructing a horn antenna to attempt some hydrogen line astronomy and my thinking is leading me along the path of least resistance and have more stable software available.

S Charlesworth · March 17, 2019 at 8:01 pm

No love on Mojave (10.14) – panics and crashes

Installing GQRX on OSX El Capitan - rtl-sdr.com · January 31, 2016 at 4:01 am

[…] OSX and RTL-SDR user smittix wrote in to use to let us know that there is now a very easy way for El Capitan OSX users to install GQRX. Basically the GQRX team have no released a DMG file which can be downloaded and installed just […]

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