File Exchange

image thumbnail

Communications Toolbox Support Package for RTL-SDR Radio

Acquire RF data using RTL-SDR.


Updated 11 Sep 2019

Editor's Note: Popular File 2018

This file was selected as MATLAB Central Pick of the Week

This support package is currently unable to download third-party software for MATLAB R2017a and earlier versions. For details and workaround, see this Bug Report.

MATLAB R2017b and later versions are unaffected.

Design and verify practical SDR systems using Communications System Toolbox™ Support Package for RTL-SDR Radio. Support enables you to use the RTL-SDR USB radio as a standalone peripheral for receiving live RF signals.

This support package is functional for R2013b and beyond.

Free e-book: Software Defined Radio using RTL-SDR, MATLAB and Simulink

Comments and Ratings (46)

All the time

"Download Error
Failed to download the third-party software:
libusb Precompiled Libraries"

Please fix it

Zelin Hao

Can't download 'pthreads-win32', why?

Sheldon Xu

after install this support package on Matlab2019 version, cannot connect to RTL-SDR device, but using SDRsharp, I can use the RTL-SDR device. Any suggestions?

Best tool I know as a practical aid in teaching about comms systems.

MATLAB R2019a, macOS Mojave, I get the following error when trying to install:
This folder name is invalid. Folder names can contain alphanumeric characters and '-', '_', '.', or '/' only. The destination folder cannot be named "private".

Xi Hong

The third-party package download failed, how could I go through the net wall from China!

Yirong Xie

R2018a install fail
libusb Precompiled Libraries

Failed when downloading 'pthreads-win32' matlab is 2019a, what should I do?


@jbkohn and @Marco Ramirez, can you please contact or submit a question to and provide more context?

yuanbo He

yuanbo He

Failed when downloading 'pthreads-win32' package. How can I walk around by downloading it somewhere? I need help...


Hardware setup error: Values should be specified as cell array of character vectors or string array
Cannot run any of the examples. Cannot interface with hardware.

Xu Jia

suhong lin

my hardware RTL8232U cannot be connected, the driver has been installed correctly(sdrsharp works well),but matlab cannot connect it,

Geng Shao

Geng Shao

cannot install

"Hardware Set up error"
Values should be specified as a cell array of character vector or string

Error using comm.SDRRTLReceiver/checkForError
Failed to set parameter center frequency.

Error in comm.SDRRTLReceiver/setupImpl

Error in ADSBExample (line 237)
[rcv,~,lost,late] = sigSrc();

fangxin J

if you want to download third-part in China ,you need a VPN !!!

Haichuan Su

mathe black

is it have another URL to download?It is to slow since it can't download

Error in download the third part document

WHY Can't I install it on my mac matlab2018a ???? Error in download The third part document


Ian Gelman

Ivan Golev

Error using comm.SDRRTLReceiver/checkForError
Failed to set parameter center frequency.

Error in comm.SDRRTLReceiver/setupImpl

Error in ADSBExample (line 237)
[rcv,~,lost,late] = sigSrc();

Cannot install it. Fails with error:

Failed to install the third-party software:
RTL-SDR Precompiled Libraries

Antonio: Please send an email to with your issue. They can help you out.

I can't install it

Works very nice with RTL-SDR 82082! Thanks

Hunder Chen


Did this package will work with R2016b?
Cause I have error while installation
Thanks in advance


Please contact MathWorks support to resolve the proxy issue. We should be able to help you get past the issue and install the support package.


Why can't I download an offline installer?
I can't connect through a proxy to finalize the installer even after following all of the solutions listed in this thread:


Why can't MathWorks just post a copy of the full installer to download via web browser!!?

Support for 64-bit Linux. To learn more about the supported qualified distributions, see:


We are not planning to port this to 13a. R2014a will be soon out, which will also be available as Student version. You can purchase Communications System Toolbox as an add-on to the Student version to use this support package.


Any chance of this being backported to 2013a?

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2014a
Compatible with R2014a to R2019b
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux