IMPORTANT NOTICE: This page contains information about a legacy version of the Osmocom software. This legacy version is no longer maintained. If you use it, don't be surprised if it doesn't work. It was your choice to ignore man-years worth of developments, improvements and fixes. Please migrate to the active/supported software (Osmocom CNI, consisting of OsmoBSC, OsmoMSC, OsmoHLR, OsmoSTP, OsmoMGW - a NITB style setup is described at Osmocom_Network_In_The_Box).

Before you consider building from source, be aware that there are Nightly Builds
available for Debian + Ubuntu platforms. These are recommended for normal users.

OpenBSC build guide

This page will describe the entire installation process of OpenBSC under GNU/Linux.

This tutorial is based on Debian Netinstall 5.0 but will work more or less the same with other GNU/Linux

OpenBSC User Manual is available at:

Compiling + running OpenBSC


Installing software that OpenBSC depends upon is distribution-dependent. On Debian (or Debian-derived) systems,
you should install the following Debian packages before you start:

  • libdbi0
  • libdbi0-dev
  • libdbi-dev
  • libdbd-sqlite3
  • libortp-dev
  • build-essential
  • libtool
  • autoconf
  • autoconf-archive
  • automake
  • git-core
  • pkg-config
  • libtalloc-dev
  • libpcsclite-dev
  • libpcap-dev
    (The list may be incomplete)

On Debian, you can install those packages with

sudo apt install libdbi-dev libdbd-sqlite3 libortp-dev build-essential libtool autoconf autoconf-archive automake git-core pkg-config libtalloc-dev libpcsclite-dev libpcap-dev

Installation via packages

It is always better to use your distribution's package management system for installing stuff. Only use "make install" as a last resort. For example, almost all Osmocom projects include metadata required for building .deb packages (contributions for other package systems are more than welcomed). So if you're installing OpenBSC on .deb based system (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint etc) the right way to do it is:

git clone git://
cd XXX
dpkg-buildpackage -uc -us -tc
cd ..
sudo dpkg -i *.deb


Please follow instructions as per Build from Source to build following projects:

  • libosmocore
  • libosmo-abis
  • libosmo-netif
  • openbsc
Congratulations, you should now have the OpenBSC programs like osmo-nitb, osmo-bsc-sccplite and others in the subdirectories of 'src/',
  • src/osmo-nitb/osmo-nitb (see osmo-nitb)
  • src/osmo-bsc_nat/osmo-bsc_nat (see OsmoBSCNAT)
  • src/osmo-bsc/osmo-bsc-sccplite (deprecated in favour of OsmoBSC)
  • src/osmo-bsc_mgcp/osmo-bsc_mgcp (deprecated in favour of osmoMGW)
To proceed from here, you typically would

mISDN enabled kernel in case of E1 based BTS like BS-11

If you want to use a E1-based BTS (like the BS-11), you will need to install mISDN (or DAHDI).

If you have an IP/Ethernet based BTS (like the ip.access nanoBTS), you don't need this section!

Because OpenBSC's E1 support relies on mISDN (named ISDN4Linux before) and hfcmulti as an interface to the BS11, it has to be integrated as a module into the kernel.

First of all you will need to download the 2.6.31 Linux kernel from "Change to /usr/src/ on your OpenBSC machine.

Unpack the archive:

tar --bzip2 -xvf linux-2.6.31.tar.bz2

and create a symlink to fit the Linux standard conventions:
ln -s linux-2.6.30 linux

Now change to linux-2.6.30 typing

cd linux-2.6.30

You are ready now to prepare for the main part:

Install some tools needed to build the kernel.

apt-get install libncurses5-dev kernel-package

Now configure the kernel modules with

make menuconfig

Include the mISDN modules and hfcmulti / hfc e1 drivers.

Save the new configuration to .config .

You can now try to build the Debian kernel package:

make-kpkg linux-image --initrd --revision=openbsc01.0

Go a directory higher

cd ..

and install the new kernel package typing:

dpkg -i  kernelpackagename.deb

Now you only have to add the dslot=1 parameter for hfcmulti to load with this parameter.
Otherwise OpenBSC will talk on signalling timeslot 15 where BS11 uses 1.

Simply add the following in /boot/grub/menu.lst :

Add this line to the "Kernel"-line


Save changes and reboot your machine with your new kernel.

DAHDI kernel in case of E1 based BTS like BS-11

This is an alternative to the mISDN drivers. For DAHDI installation, please check with the Asterisk / DAHDI homepage.

 e1_line 0 driver dahdi
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Updated by pespin almost 5 years ago ยท 46 revisions

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