Skywave Linux

Install Skywave Linux

What is Skywave Linux


Skywave Linux is a Linux distribution built around the popular Ubuntu Linux Operating System. Skywave Linux comes with many popular SDR (Software Defined Radio) packages pre-installed. You can access Software Defined Radios all around the world allowing you to listen to Amateur Bands, Broadcast Bands, Short wave Radio, Utility Stations, Air and Marine from around the world. Connect a low cost RTL2832U based DVB-T dongles and use your computer as a multi-mode wide band radio receiver (SDR Dongles). Skywave Linux comes with the following packages pre-installed:

QtRadio - Allows you to connect and control SDR's all around the world.

CubicSDR - is a cross platform Software Defined Radio application that allows you to navigate the radio spectrum and demodulate signals.

Dump1090 - Software to enable you to revive Aircraft Location and speed information (ADS-B stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast) Aircraft plotted on maps in real time.

FLDigi - Software for use with Digital Mode Radio. Decode many popular digital modes including PSK31, BPSK31, PSK63, Thor, Throb, RTTY and many more.

WSJT-X - Software for the decoding of very weak signals using Digital Modes: JT4, JT9, JT65, WSPR and Echo.



To download the latest version of Skywave Linux, simply click on the download link below:

Download Skywave Linux

In the following example I am going to install Skywave Linux into Oracle's VirtualBox software. Oracle's Virtual Box can be downloaded and installed from the following link:

Download Oracle VirtualBox


Configuring VirtualBox for Skywave Linux


To configure VirtualBox for the installation of Skywave Linux, follow the steps below:



Create Virtual Machine


To create a Virtual Machine profile for the installation of Skywave Linux, Open VirtualBox and click on the "New" icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen. At this screen menu, you must now provide a name for your Operating system. In the example I have selected "Sky_Wave_Linux". For OS type I have selected Linux and for the version I have selected "Ubuntu (64 bit). Once you have entered this information, click on "Next" to continue with the set-up.


Skywave Linux VirtualBox Config



Allocate Memory


Next you will need to allocate the amount of memory that you would like to assign to your virtual machine. In the example I have chosen to allocate 2GB of memory (RAM). Click "Next" to continue.


Skywave Linux Memory Allocation

Create a Virtual Disk


At this menu screen choose the option "Create a Virtual Hard Disk Now". Click "Create" to continue.


Skywave Linux Hard Disk

Select Hard Disk Type


At this screen choose "VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image). Click "Next" to continue.


Skywave Linux Disk Type

Select Storage Type


From this menu screen choose the option "Dynamically allocated". Click "Next" to continue.


Skywave Linux Storage Type

File Location and Size


At this menu screen allocate 15GB of storage for your virtual machine. Click "Create" to continue.


Skywave Linux Storage Size

Configuring your display and Network


Once you have completed the previous step, you will now be back at the main "VirtualBox Manager" screen. You should now be able to see your profile "Sky_Wave_Linux" in the left hand of the screen. Highlight this option by clicking once on the name. On the right hand side of the screen you will see various settings that can be changed (General, System, Display, Storage, Audio, Network and USB). Next you will need to click on each of the sections below.



Display


From the main home screen "Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager" click on the option "Display". At this screen select "Enable 3D Acceleration" and allocate the amount of Video Memory you would like to give to your virtual machine. In the example I have allocated 32MB. Once you have made your changes, click on "OK"


Skywave Linux Display Settings

Network Settings


From the main home screen "Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager" click on the "Network" option. At this screen choose the option to use a "Bridged Adapter". This will make sure your system gets allocated an IP address within your normal network range. This will allow other devices on your default network to communicate with your system. Click "OK"


Skywave Linux Network Settings

Attach USB SDR Dongle


If you have a USB SDR dongle, then Insert this into your computer. From the main menu screen "Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager" click on the "USB" option. Down the side of this menu, there is a icon (green) in colour with a plus sign. Click on this, you will now be presented with a list of USB devices that can be attached to your virtual machine. From the list that appears, select your dongle. In the example my Dongle was recognised as "Realtek RTL2838UHIDIR [0100]. Click "OK" to continue.


Skywave Linux RTL Realtek Dongle SDR

Select Start Up Disk


From the home screen "Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager" highlight your profile "Sky_Wave_Linux" and then click on the "Start" icon at the top of the screen. Now navigate to the location of the "iso" image of Skywave Linux that you downloaded earlier. Select this file and then click on "Start" to initiate the installation process.


Skywave Linux iso image location

Virtual Machine will now Start.


You will now see a screen similar to the one below.


Skywave Linux Initial Boot

Welcome Screen


From this screen we are going to choose the option of "Install Ubuntu". Click on the "Install Ubuntu" button.


Skywave Linux Install Ubuntu

Preparing to Install Ubuntu


At this screen I have chosen the options "Download Updates" and "Install third party software". Click on "Continue"


Skywave Linux Preparation

Installation Type


Select the option "Erase disk and install Ubuntu" then click on the button "Install Now".


Skywave Linux Installation Type

Confirm - Write Changes to Disk


Before you can continue with the installation, you will need to confirm the following changes that are going to be applied to your disk. If you are happy to proceed, then click on "Continue". If you need to amend any settings, this is your last chance to go back and make any changes.


Skywave Linux Confirmation

Where are you?


At this screen you need to choose your geo-graphic location. In the example "London" has been chosen. You can either click on the map or type your location into the box. Once you have made your choice, click on "Continue"


Skywave Linux Geographic Location

Keyboard Layout


At this screen you must choose the keyboard that matches your system. In this example I have chosen "English (UK). Click "Continue" once your keyboard has been selected.


Skywave Linux Keyboard Settings

Who are you?


At this screen you must create a new user. Simply fill out the relevant fields. I have chosen the option "Require my password to log in". This will mean that when the system starts, you will need to provide your password to access your system.


Skywave Linux Create a New User Account

Installation Continues


Now further action is required at this part of the installation. Your installation files are now being copied to your disk.


Skywave Linux Installation Continues

Installation Complete


Installation is now complete. You will need to restart your system before you can use your installation. Click on the "Restart Now" option.


Skywave Linux Installation Complete

Login Screen


If you chose the option to enter a password for access, you will be greeted with a login screen similar to the one below. (You will notice that your system has also been upgraded to the latest version Ubuntu 15.10). Enter your password into the box provided.


Skywave Linux Login Screen

Desktop


You should now see a desktop similar to the one below. Applications can be accessed by clicking on the icons from the launcher located on the left of the screen. Initially a list of short cut keys is also displayed.


Skywave Linux Desktop

Launcher Icons


To access any of the pre-installed Radio Software, simply click on the relevant icon. From top to bottom the icons are:

CQ - Launches QtRadio Application

CubicSDR - CubicSDR Wide Band Receiver

Dump1090 - ADSB Flight Tracking Software

fldigi - Digital Mode Decoding Software

WSJT-X - Software for the decoding of very weak signals using Digital Modes: JT4, JT9, JT65, WSPR and Echo.

FireFox - Firefox Web Browser

Bitmask - Easy and Secure Encrypted Communication

Files - File Explorer

gedit - Text Editor



CQ - QtRadio


QtRadio allows you to access SDR that have been made available online. You may select one of the available SDR devices and control the radio remotely. Many of these radios cover the full Short wave HF Bands and Amateur Bands that are available.


Skywave Linux QtRadio

CubicSDR


CubicSDR is a Software Defined Radio (SDR) application which allows you to navigate the radio spectrum and demodulate any signals that are found. CubicSDR also provides support for low cost Realtek SDR Dongles (SDR Dongles). For more information, you may visit the CubicSDR homepage CubicSDR Home Page


Skywave Linux CubicSDR

Dump1090 - Decoding ADS-B


Dump1090 is an application that allows you to track aircraft traffic in real time using a Realtek USB Dongle. The aircraft are displayed on a map along with Flight Number, Altitude, Heading and Speed.When you click on the Dump1090 icon you will be asked to provide your Latitude and Longitude.
You can find this information by visiting the following website: Find My Longitude and Latitude. Once you have entered your information, you will be able to see aircraft displayed on a map similar to the image below.


Skywave Linux Dump1090

fldigi


fldigi is an application that allows you to decode digital transmissions and display these easily. fldigi supports numerous digital modes including popular modes such as PSK31.


Skywave Linux fldigi

WSJT-X


WSJT-X is a software application that allows you to decode very weak signals using Digital Modes: JT4, JT9, JT65, WSPR and Echo.
For more information regarding "WSJT-X visit the following site WSJT-X


Skywave Linux WSJT-X