LImeSDR Mini GQRX (Windows and Virtualbox Ubuntu)

My mini works great with SDR Console and Cubic. I have had it working with gqrx at times. First I had trouble getting it going under Windows, but then and an antenna selection mysteriously appeared. Selecting that antenna got it working with no problem. Now, however, I see no antenna listed and it isn’t working at all (nothing seems to start, no audio, no graphs of any kind do anything.

Now every time I try to start it gives me a warning to edit the configuration (it now wants to default to a limesdr mini specific configuration with a more complete device string of driver=lime,index=0,media=‘USB 3’,module=FT601,name='LimeSDR that came up as a default (I didn’t enter it).

It also will not start under Ubuntu VirtualBox either. The problem with that appears to be that the USB device for the radio isn’t starting even though VirtualBox is setup for the mini.

It seems like the only difference between the times it works and the times it doesn’t is that when it works I am able to select an antenna, and when it doesn’t no antenna is listed. I have no idea why the antennas were listed but they aren’t now.

Any help getting going with either the Ubuntu/Virtualbox environment or Windows would be appreciated. I know I must have changed something in the software environment, but it isn’t obvious where to look.

On linux, change the device string to “driver=lime,index=0”

Yes, that is true, I just copied the windows settings for the post. Still 0 doesn’t work in Linux. I would really like to get it working in Windows also though.

Sorry, it was a mistake, I meant “driver=lime,soapy=0”

ant just to be clear, only “driver=lime,soapy=0” nothing else. For some reason the automatically suggested string does not work.

OK, I wiped my Ubuntu VM and started from scratch. I reinstalled everything lime related and started from scratch. After paying more attention this time, I noticed that libusb is not showing the Mini as a device. It shows the USB 3 hub, but doesn’t show the device. Virtualbox does explicitly show that I’ve enabled the limesdr.

I’d expect that the device would be listed in lsusb. Is there a driver that I need to install to get the lime to show up at all? Just to be safe I went through the complete install at: Howto install: Gqrx Gnuradio Soapysdr Pothosware Limesuite on ubuntu but I suspect that this was a waste of time since the device isn’t showing up.

So, should I expect the device to show from a virgin Ubuntu VirtualBox if it is going to work at all?

No, not in Linux — it should just appear and so I would suspect that it’s not being passed through properly by the host O/S.

I tried VMWare in addition to VirtualBox to see if the problem was specific to VirtualBox. Unfortunately this didn’t work either. I guess I’ll need to setup Dual Boot on my Winodws machine to see if I have any better luck that way.

OK, in a dual boot/Ubuntu environment it does show up as “Future Technology Devices International, Ltd”. Not necessarily obvious, but…

Anyway, I’ll see if I can get it going.

I 'm having similar experience in virtualBOX with LimeSDR-mini.
lsusb does not show any LimeSDR-mini.

On the same environment, LimeSDR works fine. Interestingly, when connected as USB 2 deivce (using USB 2 hub or pyhsical USB2 port), LimeSDR-mini shows up and working fine.

BTW, I was able to get gqrx to work with no problems in dual boot mode.

This sounds to me like there may be a bug in their USB 3 microcode, but it would be rather a strange one (after programming 30 years I’ve seen my share of those). Of course it could also be a bug on the Microsoft side.

Also interesting, is that under Linux I’m not able to see any devices on the far side of a USB 3 powered hub. Linux sees the hub, but not the devices (Lime or thumb drive). That is really too bad since I’d really like to use the hub.

I’ve seen similar issues with other USB 3.0 devices and VMs. I think it’s something to do with USB 3.0 initialisation and devices attaching/detaching/reattaching as part of this.

@Ken98045 - Ken,

The Lime-Mini is based on a FTDI device driver that you have to install on the Host side of any VM so when you attach via USB 3.0 the PC can detect the 'Mini and then pass its traffic to the Client VM and to the app running on the Client side via USB 3.0. VirtualBox also requires that you have the USB resources plug-in installed (that is an entriely separate download on the VirtualBox site right along with the download for VirtualBox) on the Host side of the VM such that USB 3.0 resoures are sensed by the Host PC for VirtualBox and then in the settings tab you also have to set USB 3.0 as your USB resources (you have a choice of USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 - I always use USB 3.0 for the Limes). Once you have that all set up you should be good to go. I haven’t had to install the FTDI driver on the Client side of the VM because all the USB 3.0 traffic is detected correctly by the host side and it pipes it over to the Client on the USB 3.0 VM port.

Hope this helps - keep us advised if you have any issues with making this work - I’ve been there, done that…

73 de Marty, KN0CK

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Actually, unless I don’t understand what your are saying this isn’t helpful although I thank you for trying.

I know about the FTDI driver on the Windows side. I know about the FTDI driver on the Linux side. The only VirtualBox extensions I know about are installed. I specifically included the LimeSDR device under USB 3 in the VirtualBox GUI on the host. The LimeSDR is listed/checked under Devices/USB in the Guest machine menu.

After this I cannot find the LimeSDR under lsusb. If I just install a dual boot Linux I can find it. It is installed by default. It is also installed by default under Windows.

I realize that the same device can’t be used at the same time by both Windows and Linux. I thought that that was what the checkbox under Devices/USB was for.

If there is a driver that acts like a conduit between the Windows FTDI host and the Ubuntu FTDI guest driver I can’t find any mention of such a thing on the net.

If there is something I’m not understanding please let me know.

Unlike the other

@Ken98045 - Ken,

When you plug in the Lime-Mini, and provided that you have the VirtualBox extensions loaded that allow USB at all, in the lower right corner of the USB interface icon in the Host window you can right-click that to see if the Host has connected the Lime-Mini to the Client OS. If there’s a checkmark beside the Lime-Mini and it’s recognized correctly, it’ll label the Lime-Mini and will have a checkmark beside it meaning that it’s connected and seen by the Client OS. It’s up to the Client OS at that point what it does with the traffic - and has you’ve pointed out, have the USB settings setup in advance of launching the Client environment on the Host PC.

Check that and let us know - thanks,

73 de Marty, KN0CK

Yes, I have everything setup properly as far as I can tell. It just doesn’t recognize the limesdr. BTW, the Ubuntu Virtualbox client window frame does show “limesdr” as connected along with a flash drive on the same hub. However lsusb only show the flash drive, not the limesdr.

When I look back at Windows Device Manager I do see that the FTDI Lime device is now replaced with VirtualBoxUSB so it does appear that Windows thinks that the device has been captured.

The same Ubuntu installed from the same .iso file when used with dual boot does show FTDI device using lsusb.

I suppose it is remotely possible that lsusb is just wrong and that the device is there. If so then I have another problem that is causing the connection issues. This seems very unlikely, but…

When LimeSDR-mini connected to VirtualBOX, Message from dmesg command shows as follows.

[32576.216792] usb 1-2: new high-speed USB device number 6 using xhci_hcd
[32576.433625] usb 1-2: device descriptor read/64, error 18
[32576.769165] usb 1-2: device descriptor read/64, error 18

How about you ? >Ken98045

Yes, I do see that now that I’m looking for it.

Hi I trying to do this exemple , vidéo transmission using limesdr mini and gnuradio (

someone can help me about which type of antenna can i use in emission and recption ?