Ham Radio On Linux

Ham radio on linux. Is it any good? Is it ready for prime time and as a daily driver desktop OS? Yes, but sort of. If you are a total dummy and do not know your way around linux its going to be frustrating unless you know how to install flatpaks, compile source and install dependencies, because not all distros have all the software you might need available in their package manager.

Debian and Ubuntu derivatives have the largest software repositories but, I hate debian with a passion and ubuntu uses gnome which feels like pulling teeth to use. That said, I am using Mint, a ubuntu derivative with Xfce desktop only because its the path of least resistance. I hate APT because it seems to want to break things all the time, but so far, I have only had apt break a couple of times and were easily fixed.

So the software, most things you would want are available in one form or another. Coming from windows using Ham Radio Deluxe, you will be disappointed. But most things can be achieved one way or another. So what software am i using?

For logging, Cqrlog.

As far as logging goes it does most of what you want. Interfaces with WSJTX, uploads to LOTW and EQSL etc etc. Install can be hit or miss with broken dependencies if something has installed myslq rather than mariadb. I fought with this for a while until i worked out what the actual problem was and that mariadb was a broken package that would not install its dependencies. But, if the install goes smoothly it works fine out of the box, if not, its a pain in the arse,

WSJTX

Cant complain much about this, installed fine, no real hassles, detects the right USB TTY ports in use. Just remember to add your user to the DIALOUT group or you will be raging at the screen because it wont access the USB serial port, HAHAHA.

FLDIGI

While I much prefer HRD and everything integrated into the one program group, fldigi does work, installs fine and does what it claims it will. Setting up rig control was a bit of an abortion and it defaults to having the squelch function turned up to 11 do nothing decodes. Other than those few things its ok. But I am not a fan boy.

CHIRP

Chirp works fine, installs as a flatpak so no headaches as long as you know how to install flatpaks and flatpak is installed on your system. Other than that, it baofengs like a champion LOL.

Qtel/Echolink

Qtel used to be a pain in the arse to install. But now someone is maintaining the software and supporting an install package. It works, does what it does and not much more. Not that I use it, but have it there for just in case someone wants to actually talk to me on it.

SSTV

SlowRX receives only. Which is fine for me because I only use it for SSTV from the space station. I have had it running for the last few hours on 20m, but nothing. So i cannot confirm it actually works. But for now I will leave it running until either it decodes an image or I rage quit.

Well thats actually it for ham software that I actually need or use. There might be some other things that might be useful, but I cant think of anything off hand. I know that the software for my Spectrum Analyzer wont work on linux, and getting the SDRplay and HackRF One working, while painful is doable, though the software is kind of rubbish. I will get them going later.

Is linux ready for the prime time? Kind of, but not to the extent of everything just works as it should as it does in windows. The only reason why I am here is the windows PC causes RFI from its shitty PSU and this old pentium machine with its external PSU brick does not. Once I get a new PSU for the windows machine I will dump linux like a box of turds. But for now, i like no RFI and the ability to work the SSB thats out there without having to worry about using all the tricks in the book to make them workable.

EDIT: Slowrx works just fine.

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