Software Oscilloscopes

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What follows is a curated list of Software oscilloscopes (also abbreveated as Softscopes). While basically any modern digital storage oscillscope is formally a softscope, we want to discuss here only software running on commodity/consumer level hardware such as on

  • Desktops and Laptops: Windows/Mac/Linux
  • Mobile devices: tablets and smartphones
  • Embedded: System on chips and microcontrollers, such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino

For data aquisition, several techniques exist:

  • Soundcard input for mono or stereo audio recording
  • ADCs on boards for analog to digital conversion, typically embedded within microcontrollers

Soundcard based input

A chinch to stereo jack adapter cable

In this case, the idea is that you connect your Analog Thing to your Soundcard input with a simple Chinch-to-jack adapter, such as depicted in the right. This allows to connect to the 3.5mm phone connector (German: Klinke) which is still present in many notebooks, tablets, smartphones, also for some single board systems (unfortunately not Raspberry Pi). If your system does not have such an input, you may use a USB adapter (often referred to as USB sound card). For a list of possible hardware, see the article about Soundcards.

Note that a single chinch socket has to pins: One for ground, one for the signal. This puts it on equal footing with a BNC connector or a mono phone connector. The adapter shown on the right joins two outputs together to a stereo sound signal.

Web based oscilloscopes

You can use from any recent web browser. You may be prompted to give permit recording from your sound card. Make sure you connect to the correct input and not to your webcam microphone, for instance.

Known limitations: Older versions of Safari, Firefox and Chrome do not support the relevant Web standards. If this is the case for you, it may be best to look for an alternative.


Webscope Screenshot.png

Native software oscilloscope for Linux: Xoscope

Xoscope is an advanced software oscilloscope for the Linux desktop, suitable for both notebook computers as well as the Raspberry Pi (Audio input). We have a detailed Installation guide for Xoscope on Linux.

Known limitations: Cannot display xy-plots.


Xoscope Screenshot.png