Testing protocol stack with OsmocomBB (cheap way)

Gianni Tedesco gianni at scaramanga.co.uk
Mon May 30 22:18:24 UTC 2011

On Tue, 2011-05-31 at 00:05 +0200, Drasko DRASKOVIC wrote:
> Hi Gianni,
> after few hours of searching through the wiki pages, I have not been
> able to find the document you were mentioning that would explain
> attaching to cell and have some packet transfered through protocol
> stack up to the Wireshark.
> Are you sure that this document still exist and not have been removed/replaced ?
> All I have found that can resemble is this :
> http://bb.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/layer23
> but I guess that this is not what you are talking about, as it gives
> no detailed instructions for the things I want to obtain (i.e. which
> applications to start, in which order, what are things to observe,
> etc...).

Pretty much, but also look at the page for your specific phone model and

Basically you just need to use osmocon to load the layer1 firmware,
power the phone up and then if 'mobile' (or whatever app you want) is
running, it should be "all systems go". You can run
mobile/cell_log/whatever before or after booting the phone and it'll be

> I tried some basic test by watching OsocomBB video presentations, as
> these are closest instructions and recepies on tools usage I have
> found to get one up and running, and I described troubles I have been
> facing in previous mail - I tried to guess what can be the right
> scenario as I find no docs, but I am still not able to synchronize to
> any cell, nor have some packets coming...

It's not a complicated scenario and is well explained on the wiki:

We have a firmware for the phone that we compiled on the PC

We have a data cable between phone and PC

The firmware does low level things

Other apps running on the PC do high level things (eg. mobile phone)

We use a loader program (osmocon) to load the firmware from the PC on to
the phone via the cable.

After the firmware is running on the phone, we can run high level apps
on the PC (mobile, cell_log, etc).

The high level apps communicate to the phone via the communication
channel setup by the loader.

Most (all?) of the high level apps have a command line switch which
tells them to transmit GSMTAP logs to a specific IP address.

You can use tcpdump to capture the GSMTAP info and view it in wireshark.


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