[aprssig] KNOPPIX and XASTIR

Jason Winningham jdw at eng.uah.edu
Sun Aug 19 18:14:13 CDT 2007

On Aug 19, 2007, at 5:49 PM, Greg D. wrote:

> Hmmpf...  Surprised to see so many posts with xastir problems.  It  
> came right up for me on SuSE 10.0.  I'm running version 1.8.4.   
> What did I do right?

Keep in mind, most folks don't jump on a mailing list and say "hey, I  
just tried XYZ and everything went great!"  (:

The Knoppix ham CD is a fairly old version of the Knoppix live CD, or  
was the last time I checked.

Most xastir problems turn out to be linux problems, or problems with  
one of the libraries that xastir relies on.  ImageMagick in  
particular is obnoxious due to the tendencies of its developers to  
change the API from time to time, such that how a particular function  
works depends on which version of the library you get.  The xastir  
developers have made considerable strides in solving these problems  
recently by making GraphicsMagick (a "less dynamic" fork of  
ImageMagick than the original) an option, and by putting shapefile  
support directly into the xastir core.

A common mistake when building xastir is trying to install _all_ of  
the optional packages.  That's OK to try if it works, but peel some  
of them back to the minimum you need for your particular maps if you  
have trouble compiling the kitchen sink version.

IMO, many linux problems are due to the same causes of many windows  
problems - everybody and his dog builds hardware for PCs, and there's  
just too much variation to get reliability.  In my day job I deal  
with systems where the hardware is controlled rather rigidly (Sun,  
Apple) and they are orders of magnitude more stable than windows, and  
noticeably less trouble than linux.

I think the easiest way for a non-linux user to try xastir is with  
the VMware player virtual machine that has been pre-loaded with  
xubuntu and xastir.  IMO the worst part of using the VM is getting  
the physical serial ports hooked up to the VM, and there are  
instructions in the xastir wiki tutorial section if you hit a snag.

Dave, I seem to recall reading something about the possibility of  
Ordnance Survey maps being made available over there.  I didn't pay  
much attention since it doesn't affect me, but you may want to look  
into it.


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