Design lab 3: Setting up environments

Thursday, 2 February 2017

We're going to try today to set up environments so that we can start playing with hardware and looking at existing interfaces. Instructions for setting up VirtualBox and Kali Linux can be found in the notes below.

First things first: what are we doing?

We are installing a working Linux distribution inside virtual machine to allow all of us to work in the same development environment.

As we saw in class today, there is compelling reason for this since it was very difficult to even get us all running the same things. So. I will split the steps below for Windows users and Mac users (since everyone in the class falls into one of these two categories).


Windows instructions

First download and install VirtualBox. It is available for Windows here.

Run the installer, click next to use the default settings.

At the end it may ask you if you want to install a new version of the Extension Pack. You do want this. The extension pack is what allows you to access the USB from inside the virtual machine. Download it here.

Mac instructions

First download and install VirtualBox. It is available for Mac here.

Kali Linux

Once we have VirtualBox installed, we will need to get and import a disk image for Kali Linux.

For 64-bit systems download this OVA file from Kali.

For 32-bit systems download this OVA file from Kali.

You should probably use 64-bit.

In VirtualBox select File > Import Appliance... and then select.

Start up the virtual box. Login with root as the user and toor as the password. These are the default.

Troubleshooting BIOS issues on Windows.

If you receive an error that says something about VT-X when you attempt to start your virtual machine, or if it only shows a black screen with an unblinking white underline cursor, we need to change a setting in your BIOS.

To get into the BIOS, you have to restart your system, and when it comes up the first screen you see will have something that says maybe BIOS SETTINGS and a function key. Hit that function key.

Once inside the text interface of the BIOS. Look around for something that says Vt-D. This allows for for virtualization to happen. It may be disabled. If it is, enable it.

Then exit the BIOS and it will start up. After that you should be able to use VirtualBox with Kali Linux.

Upgrade Kali Linux and install GNURadio.

Once inside Kali Linux, open a terminal and type the following commands:

apt-get update #This updates the software repositories.

apt-get -y upgrade #This does an intermediate upgrade of the installed software packages.

This may take a while. The -y means that the upgrade will happen without asking you to confirm a bunch of things. It will just do them.

It will still ask you some things. Reply <Yes> or <Ok> to all of them. Use the cursor keys to move around and the enter key to confirm.

There will be a screen that asks you about GRUB (it is the booloader). Just press SPACE and an asterisk will show up next to the first option and then use the cursor keys to get to <Ok> and hit ENTER.

apt-get -y dist-upgrade #This does an full version upgrade of the installed software packages.

apt-get install gqrx #This installs GNURadio.

apt-get install kali-linux-sdr #This installs other SDR-related packages.

For a COMPLETELY interaction-free upgrade and install, you can just copy and paste the following:

DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive \
apt-get update \
apt-get -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confnew" --force-yes -fuy upgrade \
apt-get -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confnew" --force-yes -fuy dist-upgrade \
apt-get install gqrx kali-linux-sdr

OR if you are feeling adventurous, you can use git to download and run this script:

Now you should be able to go to open GNURadio companion and get started!

For Next Time

We're going to make sure that everyone is up to speed on this when we start next time and then we are going to hae you all try out setting up GNURadio and catchin a signal that Erica transmits. This will give us some experience of being a novice user ourselves and help us reflect on the needs of existing and new users.

This version of the INLS 718-001 (Spring) syllabus was updated 2017-10-18 09:51:31 -0400. Be aware that the schedule and other elements of the site are subject to continuous update.