Amateur radio

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Amateur radio enthusiasts (sometimes called ham radio operators or "hams") have been at the forefront of experimentation and development since the earliest days of radio. A wide variety of communication modes are used on a vast range of frequencies that span the electromagnetic spectrum. This page lists software related to amateur radio that can be found in the AUR. Some of it is stand-alone while the various digital communication applications require interfacing to radio hardware and possibly the computer soundcard. Interface hardware can be purchased from vendors or home-built.

Warning: International treaties require that users of amateur radio frequencies have a government-issued license.

General information

Many of the following programs will need to access a serial port to key the transmitter (eg. /dev/ttyS0). This requires that the user belong to the uucp group. To add the user to the uucp group issue the following command as root:

# gpasswd -a username uucp

then logoff and logon.

Software list

  • Hamlib — provides an interface between hardware and radio control programs. It is a software layer to facilitate the control of radios and other hardware (eg. for logging, digital modes) and is not a stand-alone application. || hamlibAUR
  • Soundmodem — was written by Tom Sailer (HB9JNX/AE4WA) to allow a standard PC soundcard to act as a packet radio modem for use with the various AX.25 communication modes. The data rate can be as high as 9600 baud depending on the hardware and application. Soundmodem can be used as a KISS modem on the serial port or as an AX.25 network device. To use soundmodem as an MKISS network device, the kernel must be re-built with MKISS modules. More information is in the Xastir wiki
Run soundmodem as root:
# soundmodem
If you have configured soundmodem as a KISS modem, you will need to change permissions to make it user-readable:
# chmod 666 /dev/soundmodem0 || soundmodemAUR
  • Grig — simple control program based on Hamlib || grigAUR
  • gMFSK — is a user interface that supports a multitude of digital modes. It uses hamlib and xlog for logging || gmfskAUR
  • lysdr — highly customizable radio interface || lysdr-gitAUR
  • linrad — Software defined radio by SM5BSZ || linradAUR
  • quisk — Software defined radio by N2ADR || quiskAUR
  • owx — command-line utility for programming Wouxun radios || owxAUR
  • cwdaemon — cw keyer for serial or parallel port || cwdaemonAUR
  • twcw — extension for cwirc || twcwAUR
  • fldigi — popular GUI developed by W1HKJ for a variety of digital communication modes || fldigiAUR
  • libfap — APRS packet parser || libfapAUR
  • aprx — lightweight APRS digipeater and i-Gate interface || aprx-svnAUR
  • xdx — network client || xdxAUR
  • d-ratsAUR – D-STAR communication tool
  • qsstvAUR – Slow-scan television
  • linpskAUR – PSK31
  • psk31lxAUR – PSK31 using Pulseaudio
  • twpskAUR – Soundcard based program for PSK31
  • xpsk31AUR – PSK31 using a GUI rendered by GTK+


AX.25 — data link layer protocol that is used extensively in packet radio networks. It supports connected operation (eg. keyboard-to-keyboard contacts, access to local bulletin board systems, and DX clusters) as well as connectionless operation (eg. APRS). The Linux kernel includes native support for AX.25 networking. Please refer to this guide for more information. The following software is available in the AUR: || present in stock kernel


WSJT (Weak Signal Communication by K1JT) — offers offers a rich variety of features, including specific digital protocols optimized for meteor scatter, ionospheric scatter, and EME (moonbounce) at VHF/UHF, as well as HF skywave propagation. WSJT was developed by Nobel Prize winning physicist Joe Taylor, who has the amateur radio callsign K1JT. The program can decode fraction-of-a-second signals reflected from ionized meteor trails and steady signals 10 dB below the audible threshold.
WSJT is in ongoing, active development by a team of programmers led by K1JT. WSJT (and the related program WSPR) has the option of being configured with

$ ./configure --enable-g95


$ ./configure --enable-gfortran

If you build with one and experience problems, edit PKGBUILD to try the other.
WSJT requires access to the serial port; see the note in the Interfacing section above about the uucp group. || wsjt-svnAUR


WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter, pronounced whisper) — enables the probing of propagation paths on the amateur radio bands using low power transmissions. It was introduced in 2008 by K1JT following the success and widespread adoption of WSJT by the amateur radio community. Stations with Internet access can automatically upload their reception reports to a central database called WSPRnet, which includes a mapping facility || wspr-svnAUR


Xastir — stands for X Amateur Station and Information Reporting. It works with APRS, an amateur radio-based system for real time tactical digital communications. Xastir is an open-source program that provides full-featured, client-side access to APRS. It is currently in a state of active development.
Xastir is highly flexible and there are a wide variety of ways it can be configured. For example, it can be evaluated without radio hardware if an Internet connection is available. The wiki at is very thorough and gives excellent information on its range of capabilities and setup.
An optional speech feature can be enabled with the festival package; you will also need a speaker package such as festival-en or festival-english. If you want this option, festival must be installed on your system before building xastir. Launch festival before the xastir program is started for speech to function properly:

$ festival --server

or you can write a simple script to automate the sequential starting process. There may be problems if other programs such as a media player are accessing sound simultaneously.
The PKGBUILD automatically downloads an 850 kB bundle of .wav files and places them here: /usr/share/xastir/sounds/.
These are audio alarm recordings of a North American English speaker that do not require the presence of festival to render. The audio play command `play' in the configure menu may not work; try `aplay' instead.

Note: Xastir 2.0.0 cannot be built with the current version of automake. There are two options: i) rollback to automake 1.11.1 or earlier; ii) build xastir-cvsAUR. || xastir-cvsAUR

Analysis tools

  • fl_moxgenAUR – Moxon antenna designer
  • geoidAUR – Geodetic calculator
  • gpredictAUR – Real-time satellite tracking and orbit prediction application
  • hamsolarAUR – Small desktop display of the current solar indices
  • splatAUR – rf signal propagation, loss, and terrain analysis
  • sunclockAUR – Useful for predicting grayline propagation paths
  • xnec2cAUR – Electromagnetic antenna modeler


  • cqrlog — popular Linux logging program. Compiling from source, however, is a complicated process and no package is currently available in the AUR. Instead, a binary can be installed with a script: Go to the cqrlog website and download a version compatible with your architecture. Unbundle the tarball and run:
$ ./
then follow the directions. The only dependency is Hamlib || cqrlogAUR (binary version)
  • callsignAUR – Callsign info lookup
  • ctyAUR – Databases for logging programs
  • dxccAUR – Determines DXCC entity of amateur callsigns
  • fdlogAUR – Field Day logger
  • qleAUR – Full-featured logging program
  • tqsllibAUR – Trusted QSL library
  • trustedqslAUR – Supports ARRL LOTW
  • tucnak2AUR – VHF contest logger
  • klogAUR
  • tlfAUR
  • xlogAUR
  • yfklogAUR
  • yfktestAUR

Morse code training


  • cwircAUR – Send and receive Morse code messages via IRC