One for the Linux fans


Shackbox is a Linux distro for us ham radio fans. So if you fancy using Linux in the shack (and why not) then after a long time in development (Which I understand from those in the know, that this means the developers had other things to do) there is a new release based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or Long Term Support.

I haven’t managed to download a copy as the servers were complaining but if you’re feeling lucky then head on over to and grab a copy.

I’m guessing but I’d image its a Live DVD that you can run on your normal machine without having to install anything. Like most Live versions you can install the distro after playing about either as a complete OS or as a dual boot.

Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

10 Responses to “One for the Linux fans”

  • f0fak:

    hi alex,
    thxx for your support 🙂
    download issue is solved now, we have 2 mirrors, so feel free to give it a try 🙂
    have fun!
    best regards

  • Stewart VA3PID:

    Not so sure about the “you must register to download”. This is adding restrictions to distribution that may be contrary to GPL. Also, removing Unity (the user interface) is a strange decision.

    Maybe better to run straight Ubuntu with the Ubuntu Amateur Radio Software Updates PPA:

  • Mike G4KXQ:

    Failed on 2 attempts over the weekend and no access when I just tried a moment ago…

  • Orb WK0DX:

    The mirror is working for me right now. Looking forward to trying it out.

  • Jeff KK4ETK:

    The mirror is working for me also. I also didn’t like the idea for a signup, and would have just continued with Linux Mint and the Ubuntu PPAs, but it didn’t make me signup. I did see a page where it did say I needed to do so, but on the first page it didn’t make me.
    A couple of questions (I couldn’t get to the forum): I can understand being curious as to user counts and wanting to track downloads, but why not a torrent? Would make more sense. There’s a lot of folks that probably tried to download, couldn’t, and now will continue with their Windows installation.
    I don’t know, this looks to me to be a one man show (which I admire) instead of garnering support from the community, deciding to charge because it’s not a labor of love and a one man show, and I just don’t dig that. I’m downloading the distro and will try it, but in the Amateur Radio open source world a model like Red Hat has for their Enterprise Linux isn’t cool in my book. Maybe it is for some. *Please don’t get me wrong, I have donated to Wikipedia, TrueCrypt, Process Hacker, Chirp and dozens of other “free” efforts.* For me though, the jury’s still out on this project.

  • f0fak:

    john is working on the torrent, it ll be updated in download section soon.
    i had to remove unity cause otherwise the iso size was > 4gb so not compliant with iso9660.
    No more forum, sick of spams, a bugtracker instead, more usefull
    jeff if you want to help, it ll be at least a “two man show” in 6 years nobody proposed to help (just for you to know)
    i do that on my free time, i don t do ham radio anymore, but i try to keep to maintain shackbox update and working, cause to me it s a real need, and it s very usefull to lots of radio club.

  • David WB4ONA:

    I downloaded the 3.68GB Shackbox .iso from the main download link with no problems. I don’t know what I downloaded though, 32 or 64 bit as there are no details. I have not tried Shackbox yet, tonight if I have time. I was not asked to register before downloading Shackbox. MD5 checksums match.

    Note the link to the list of packages is broken on the Shackbox site (I notified the Web Master). As many of the programs must be invoked from the command prompt, without the list of packages you are flying blind. Shackbox says it supports “SDR”, but I can’t find anything specific about which type of SDR’s it supports. Shackbox mentions GNU Radio, but I can’t find if GNU Radio Companion is also included (it probably is).

    * Ham Radio Linux LiveDVD

    There’s another Linux Live distro by Andy Stewart KB1OIQ that supports RTL-SDR, HackRF, DC SDR’s etc., plus it includes a full GNU radio install. It’s called “Ham Radio Linux LiveDVD”. Almost everything runs on a 1GHz/512MB machine (gqrx needs double that). This is a lightweight (icewm) Ubuntu remix. 32 and 64 bit versions are available in .iso and SD/USB stick images. Support is free, there is a forum. But I don’t see QUCS on the list of packages though, which is a shame. Here’s a link:

    * Pentoo

    Also Pentoo, the Penetration-Testing Gentoo remix has a full copy of GNU Radio on it. I heard someone involved with Pentoo is a Ham. There may be more ham stuff in and/or available packaged for Pentoo. I haven’t tried it. Pentoo link:

    73’s, David WB4ONA

  • f0fak:

    when you ll launch it you will see gnuradio companion and sdr menus….. you should wait to use it before review it (support 32&64b written on the front page… maybe not big enough, my mistake)

  • YV5HMH:

    Hello everybody, I have tried to install Shackbox from USB stick with out success. It start and after enable internet works fine while live. It even run the installation process but hang just after finish. I really don’t know if installation will works from Usb drive. Does anybody have a suggestion?



  • Erwin PE3ES:

    Installed it twice on various older laptops.
    Works nice. But now I have been trying to update via 13.04 iso which erased the shackbox completely even when doing via the update option.
    Is a pity as 12.10 is old by now.

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