OsmocomBB Introduction


OsmocomBB is an Free Software / Open Source GSM Baseband software implementation. It intends to completely replace the need for a proprietary GSM baseband software, such as

  • drivers for the GSM analog and digital baseband (integrated and external) peripherals
  • the GSM phone-side protocol stack, from layer 1 up to layer 3

In short: By using OsmocomBB on a compatible phone, you will be able to make and receive phone calls, send and receive SMS, start your own GSM network, etc. based on Free Software only.

Working with OsmocomBB can be challenging (technically and socially). If you haven’t done so already, please have a look at there requirements page.

The phone i will be using is a Motorola C118


and the CP2102 serial controller



Osmocom-BB is not an user oriented project (yet?). It’s mainly targeted at developers / hackers / researchers that want to learn more and play with GSM. As such, there are a few things we expect from you.

General knowledge

There are a few areas we assume you are familiar with. If you’re unfamiliar with any of theses area, please get some documentation about them yourself beforehand and try to avoid polluting the mailing list with questions not related to the “GSM part” itself.

  • English: Certainly doesn’t need to be perfect but enough to understand instructions and ask questions people can understand.
  • Unix-like environment: That’s the environment the sw runs on, you need to know how to use it properly.
  • You distribution packages: You should find missing dependencies from the errors yourself. It’s _your_ machine, you’re supposed to know it.
  • Autotools based build system
  • git and associated tools to generate / apply patches, switch branches, …
  • cross-compilation
  • C
  • Light hardware hacking: For the serial link, if you need to debug it, you may need some hw skills/tools

Solving problems

We also expect you to try to solve the problems by yourself first. Here’s what you should do before posting to the ML or IRC:

  • Check the Wiki
  • Check the Mailing list archives
  • Just plain google for it
  • Try to fix it yourself for at least a few hours (read source / try to understand the problem / …)
  • Read the relevant specifications / schematics / whatever doc may be applicable
  • Make sure the problem is osmocom-bb and not your machine / environment / distribution / …

(the three last items are not applicable to all questions obviously)

And if it’s a build error, then you should even try harder to fix it yourself because you should just know how all theses things work already (see above).

Bad examples

The kind of subject that are really rarely relevant :

  • Building
  • Serial cable
  • Finding phones on ebay

As mentioned in the two sections above, you really should be able to solve by yourself without asking … all the info is out there.

If you have any particular problems, be sure to document it in the wiki so that others will find solution, and/or post a patch if relevant.



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