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Author Topic: Recommended Linux distros, for SDR. Overall Linux OS for communications  (Read 1405 times)

Offline JACE26

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I want to use my spare laptop, for communications purposes only. I would to run all things related to our hobby on my system. SDR came to my mind first, and there are another few things I will come up with, as time goes by. For now I would to know which Linux distros is more favorable, for running digi modes & SDR ?
 Thank you

Offline fe8769

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I m using Dragon OS for years now .

https://sourceforge.net/projects/dragonos-focal/files/

Major SDR products are installed and cemaxecuter the owner is very reactive . I used to install this distri on SSD drive


Offline RobRich

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Most of the SDR distros I have encountered are based upon Debian or Ubuntu. The nice part for the end users is already having lots of various software and drivers already installed by default. As already noted, DragonOS is popular. Another one is Skywave Linux.

With more general-purpose distros, most common Linux app installs are often point-and-click these days, but some drivers can still require command-line work to build and install.

Also there can be apps and especially drivers with multiple forks, modifications, build options, etc. I have used Linux since the 1990s, so dealing with source builds is largely just part of the experience for me, but I get why lots of users have little to no interest in dealing the potential annoyances involved.
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Offline ~SIGINT~

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Thanks for the DragonOS tip. It looks interesting. I ran it live then installed it in VMware to test it.

As a Linux distribution I would recommend Linux Mint. Unlike some other Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Mint does not have any telemetry. Of course, this will give you Linux only. You will be left on your own finding and installing the applications.

If you choose to install DragonOS, as opposed to running DragonOS Live, ensure you have a good working network connection as the installer will access the Internet during installation.

Offline JACE26

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Thank you all who replied, I'm going to look into Dragon & Skywave, I think. Yes, yes friends; Dragon OS is the one I'm going with. It caught my attention, with "Dragon OS FOCAL, the Software Defined Radio Toolbox" !
« Last Edit: January 15, 2024, 1542 UTC by JACE26 »

Offline cyphermatic

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I want to use my spare laptop, for communications purposes only. I would to run all things related to our hobby on my system. SDR came to my mind first...

Hi JACE26,

I'm the person who makes Skywave Linux.  You might like the latest version, which went up on SourceForge yesterda: it is now based on Debian Sid, with emphasis on connecting to networked KiwiSDRs, WebSDRs, and Spyservers.  For digimodes, Fldigi is installed along with SatDump for weather satellites. The system has a lot of hardware drivers for popular devices: RTL-SDR, AirSpy, HackRF, etc.

I dropped support for SDRPlay due to their drivers being closed source and non-free.  They are quite unhappy about clone devices being bought and used with the SDRPlay API...  I dropped Gqrx too, as the GNU Radio drivers were adding a lot of weight to the iso image. For just running plug in SDRs, SDR++ and CubiSDR work nicely, without being so heavy.

Aside from Skywave Linux, Dragon OS is really good, especially if you want to do more analytical tasks involving SDRs. I believe Dragon OS has the SDRAngel gui installed, and that can do all sorts of interesting things.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2024, 1944 UTC by cyphermatic »
73,
Phil C / AB9IL
Skywave Linux

Offline RobRich

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If you package SoapySDR support, you might want to look at libmirisdr and SoapyMiri for SDRPlay devices. They are open source alternatives to the proprietary API. :)

https://github.com/ericek111/libmirisdr-5
https://github.com/ericek111/SoapyMiri

I use them with SDRAngel and Gqrx for a couple of inexpensive Mirics-chipset SDRs. AFAIK, they should work for SDR++ as well.
Tampa, FL USA | US Map Grid EL88
Airspy HF+ Discovery | KiwiSDR 2 | 2x Msi2500 Msi001 | 2x RTL-SDR V3 + NE602 | 2x RTL-SDR V4
148' Loop-on-Ground | 31' Vertical | 18' End-Fed Vertical | 9' NCPL | PA0NHC MiniWhip