rtl_test(1) a benchmark tool for RTL2832 based DVB-T receivers


Test tuning range and functional sample rates of your device on your system. Uses a re-purposed DVB-T receiver as a software defined radio. Written for and incorporated into the osmocom rtl-sdr project.

Much software is available for the RTL2832. Most of the user-level packages rely on the librtlsdr library which comes as part of the rtl-sdr codebase. This codebase contains both the library itself and also a number of command line tools such as rtl_test, rtl_sdr, rtl_tcp, and rtl_fm. These command line tools use the library to test for the existence of RTL2832 devices and to perform basic data transfer functions to and from the device.

Because most of the RTL2832 devices are connected using USB, the librtlsdr library depends on the libusb library to communicate with the device.


rtl_test [OPTIONS]


-s samplerate (default: 2048000 Hz)
-d device_index (default: 0)
-t enable Elonics E4000 tuner benchmark]
-p enable PPM error measurement
-b output_block_size (default: 16 * 16384)
-S force sync output (default: async)


To check the possible tuning range (may heavily vary by some MHz depending on device and temperature), call

 rtl_test -t
To check the maximum samplerate possible on your machine, type (change the rate down until no sample loss occurs):

 rtl_test -s 3.2e6

A samplerate of 2.4e6 is known to work even over tcp connections (see rtl_tcp above). A sample rate of 2.88e6 may work without lost samples but this may depend on your PC/Laptop's host interface.


This manual page was written by Maitland Bottoms for the Debian project (but may be used by others).


Copyright (c) 2013 A. Maitland Bottoms <[email protected]>

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.