Xastir update is for geeks

Version 2.0 of Xastir, the open source APRS client, has just been released. The new version now supports OpenStreetMap mapping, the same as is used by APRSISCE. I was interested to see that the project web page claims it runs on Linux/FreeBSD/Solaris/MacOSX/Windows so I thought I would try it out on my shack PC which runs Windows. I was puzzled that there was only one download file instead of different versions for each platform, but thought that perhaps they had recoded it as a Java application. I downloaded the .tar.gz file. opened it in BitZipper and found a load of source code files but no .EXE.

There is a file called readme.W32 which contains a lengthy and complex explanation of how to install the program under Windows which involves compiling it yourself using free software development tools. I seem to recall trying this once with an earlier version and failing. Most other developers of popular free software ham radio apps, such as Fldigi, WSJT and WSPR, now produce ready to run compiled versions for Linux, Windows and any other platform their program runs on. Why can’t Xastir’s developers do this? Most APRS enthusiasts don’t possess a PhD in computing so it’s unrealistic to expect them to do it.

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “Xastir update is for geeks”

  • Jeff KA1DBE:

    WSPR is not compiled ready to run for Linux. It does not run on my Ubuntu system. It needs some tweaking for Ubuntu 10.10. I am sure the developers for Xastir would welcome a Windoze coder to make their application easier to install.

    I do enjoy reading your blog.

    Best 73’s,

  • Alan WA4SCA:

    If it is claimed that it works under Windows, then at least someone did all the grunge work to do so. In that case, why not make the results of that available? Otherwise, they only THINK it runs under Windows.



  • Jason VE3MAL:

    Hopefully a Windows binary is released soon. Xastir is powerful and OpenStreetmap is absolutely great. I have used the tracings from my cheapo GPS receiver while driving and biking local trails with my son to add quite a bit for my local area. I’m surprised there isn’t more overlap between Openstreetmap and amateur operators as the two groups have very similar interests and ambitions. That, and surveying would be way more fun while using APRS and chatting on a local repeater.

  • Jeff, KE9V:

    I’d prefer to say that ham radio is for geeks … so where is the problem?


    73 de Jeff, KE9V

  • Bunda:

    My goal for NA Sprint CW 2007 is 100 QSOs in 4-hours while copying/sending Morse code bteeewn 20 and 28 words per minute. My objective is at least 25 or more QSOs on each band 20, 40, and 80-meters. And, call CQ more times than not, then search and pounce.Thanks Scot for helping me clarify my focus for next weekend.

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