Best Linux Ham Radio Software for 2018

Discussion in 'Rig Control, Propagation, Cluster, & Other Softwar' started by W5KUL, Jul 13, 2018.

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  1. W5KUL

    W5KUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would like to know the forum's opinion on what is the best Linux suite of Ham Radio software tools, packages, OS, etc.

    I see KB1OIQ - Andy's Ham Radio Linux was last updated on 2017-11-26 has been highlighted in the past as a great package.

    I realize many use HRD but that is windows only, and as a builder, I really want to use Linux tools for my shack - as much as HRD seems like a really nice package. As I have several old computers that will/are running Linux and those are what I want to use.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. N5AVF

    N5AVF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have you looked at the Skywave Linux distro?

    Core is Ubuntu 16.04. I tried it some time ago with an SDRPlay RSP2 connected to an old laptop I have. Worked fine.

    If I ever need another project, I may try it again.
    W5KUL likes this.
  3. W5KUL

    W5KUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks N5AVF! Much appreciated.
  4. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I'd look at either Ubuntu or LinuxMint as your base and the entire Fl* suite (Fldigi, Flrig, etc) for digital modes and the like as my foundation. CQRLog is a great all-around logger, and WSJT-X for the JT/FT modes. There are a few other programs you can probably add on depending upon your interests, but this collection above would cover 99% of what you would be interested in. The weak spot would be contesting, but there are solutions for that as well (including using Fldigi in contest mode even for SSB contests -- it works acceptably well).

    The problem with asking "what's the best" is that 'the best" is completely subjective with no real validity beyond the user's own experiences and opinions. However, that's the beautiful thing about Linux: lots of options to choose from and you can customize it to meet your own needs and preferences.
    AF9US and W5KUL like this.
  5. KC8RLU

    KC8RLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm recommending Andy's HRL, since it already bundles all your ham radio apps in one distro install. No need to try and wrap your head around why certain apps won't work or run right on whichever distro you're using. I had no problems installing it to the hard drive of a 10 year old laptop. I do recommend you download and install the 64-bit edition, especially if your computer uses 4 gigabytes or more of RAM.

    73s de Joe KC8RLU
    W5KUL likes this.
  6. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Linux Mint and Fldigi.
    W5KUL likes this.
  7. VE3CGA

    VE3CGA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I run linux mint on my laptop. its got fldigi, sstv, psk.
    will run the rtlsdr using gqrx.
    I also have several usb sticks that have Andys ham link, skywave, shackbox, harvs hamshack.
    some work really well and some just go into cyberspace
    fun to try them but the newer packages are getting away from 32bit so as older becomes older and near extinct
    at some point it might be necessary to get a newer laptop.
    My older laptop runs puppy linux with fldigi but wont touch newer linux versions due to no pae
    Like others have said , andys hamradio linux worked ok here as well

    some windows ham software will work through the emulator called wine.
    W5KUL likes this.
  8. KG7FIU

    KG7FIU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently loaded Linux Mint on my laptop. This was after I tried several other distros -- and none of them even recognized my wi-fi adapter. So even if some other suite was better and had more awesome features, it didn't matter. Couldn't use.

    So maybe the "best Linux suite of Ham Radio software tools" is the one that works for you.
    W5KUL and N5AVF like this.
  9. W5KUL

    W5KUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you everyone, excellent suggestions! I'm not a contestor, so no issues there, in like building/experimenting with things, which is why I'm leaning to Linux in the shack. I just don't want to spend all kinds of time fiddling with software which is the reason for the question.
  10. W5KUL

    W5KUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the old computer up and running with Andy's, and I plan on partitioning and adding the Skywave Linux as well. Thank you all again!

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