The Personal Blog of Lennart Koopmann _

HackRF One on Laptops

Trying to use a HackRF One on a laptop but seeing intermittent connectivity issues and weird behaviour?

For example, when you run hackrf_info it might return something like this:

$ hackrf_info
hackrf_info version: unknown
libhackrf version: unknown (0.5)
Found HackRF
Index: 0
hackrf_open() failed: Input/Output Error (-1000)
$ hackrf_info
hackrf_info version: unknown
libhackrf version: unknown (0.5)
No HackRF boards found.

The reason for that is likely that you are on a laptop or another device with power saving settings and those setting interfering with your HackRF One. Luckily, you can disable power saving for USB devices.

Start by running lsusb (which lists all connected USB devices and their details) to find out the device ID of your HackRF One:

$ lsbusb
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 1d50:6089 OpenMoko, Inc.

Copy the device ID 1d50:6089.

Now, you can use this device ID to blacklist it from power saving settings.

On Ubuntu, you do this in the file /etc/default/tlp.

$ vim /etc/default/tlp
...
USB_BLACKLIST="1d50:6089"
...

Now, if you unplug and plug the HackRF One back in, you should no longer see the connectivity issues and instead get a good result out of hackrf_info.

$ hackrf_info
hackrf_info version: unknown
libhackrf version: unknown (0.5)
Found HackRF
Index: 0
Serial number: xxx
Board ID Number: 2 (HackRF One)
Firmware Version: 2015.07.2 (API:1.00)