Skywave Linux is an operating system using bleding-edge technology to access broadcast, utility, military, and amateur radio signals from almost anywhere in the world, without regard to state media controls or censorship. Skywave Linux connects to a large and growing network of state-of-the art software defined radio (SDR) servers, making it possible to experience high performance SDR operation without large antennas or setting up a station on-site. All you need to do is boot the system on a computer with internet connectivity. Skywave Linux can also operate numerous types of SDR hardware. Downloading, installing and configuring SDR software can be difficult for many computer users; Skywave Linux eliminates the hassle by including several applications installrd, configured, and ready to run.
Supported SDR Types
Several types of software defined radios are supported by Skywave Linux:
For decoding RTTY, CW, PSK, WSJT, WSPR, RDS, and other digital radio transmission modes, the Fldigi the WSJT applications are installed. Simply start the applicatio and tune in a signal on the waterfall to decode. Weather satellite decoding is possible with the very capable WXtoImg application. Gpredict provides real-time satellite tracking data and doppler corrected tuning control for Gqrx. In some cases it may be necessary to use the Pulseaudio Preferences or Volume Control applications to configure the audio (output from the LADSPA audio processor plugins, networked sound, etc). Trunked radio systems may be monitored using SDRTrunk.
An experimental application, cudaSDR, expands support in Skywave Linux for High Performance Software Defined Radio. It offers automatic discovery of connected hardware and advanced operating features.
Conventional radio and video broadcast streams are also supported in Skywave Linux. Kodi Media Center provides access to thousands of music, talk, news, free-speech, and religious stations around the world. Editable playlists of IPTV and IPRADIO stations are located in the home folder.
Skywave Linux is a 64 bit system, built on a base of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, uses the Unity desktop environment, and draws on the capabilities of Ubuntu: software updating, graphics, system resource management, etc. It is the additional digital signal processing, networking, and signal decoding applications that set Skywave Linux apart from stock Ubuntu Linux. The default username is skywave and there is no password in the default system.
The radio software is largely compiled from source code and can be updated by end users with moderate computer skills, though Skywave Linux is designed for easy use by radio operators with basic computer skills. In fact, Skywave Linux was created to open the world of HPSDR and RTL-SDR operating to people who enjoy high performance radio but are not computer experts.
It may sometimes be advantageous for users to use encrypted connections which provide stronger privacy, security, and ability to circumvent censorship. For that purpose, the Bitmask and Lantern VPN applications are installed. In addition, basic PPTP and OpenVPN connections are included in the networking applet.