[amsat-bb] Re: Linux software TNC

Jonathan Guthrie ka8kpn at brokersys.com
Thu Feb 23 08:17:46 PST 2012

On 2/23/2012 3:37 AM, Tony Langdon wrote:
> At 07:38 PM 2/23/2012, KE7OSN wrote:
>> I have a few Windows computers running the AGW Packet Engine as a 
>> Software
>> TNC. I would like to find something that provides similar 
>> functionality but
>> for Linux. I am hoping someone out there uses a Linux computer with a
>> software TNC for satellites, but if nothing else would like the find out
>> what people are using software or hardware.
> Linux has the software packet modems and AX.25 support in the kernel 
> (though you usually have to reompile the kernel to access them on 
> modern distros).  I'm not sure how to setup Linux packet these days, 
> as the howtos are very old.  I recall experimenting with the Linux 
> soundcard modem many years ago with a lot of success.

I have only the vaguest of ideas how any other distributions handle 
this, but Debian builds "kitchen sink" kernels with everything built as 
a module that can be built as a module, and that includes ax25 and 
such.  It was my understanding that kitchen sink kernels done that way 
were fairly common, so you probably wouldn't have to roll your own 
kernel to do AX.25, or much of anything else if you're using Debian or 
one of the derivatives.  Because of the way that modules are built, I 
haven't had to actually build a whole kernel in years, even when I was 
doing Linux kernel development.

The lack of current documentation is another matter, but as I recall I 
was able to puzzle it out after a few hours.  Your mileage may vary.

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