Revisiting Packet Radio on a Raspberry Pi with Direwolf: part 2 (minimal installation)

This is a continuation of part 1 here. To summarize the required steps to setup ax25 and Direwolf for software based packet radio, here’s the minimum steps need to get up and running:

Install libasound2-dev and libudev-dev:

sudo apt-get install libasound2-dev
sudo apt-get install libudev-dev

Clone the source for Direwolf, then build and install:

git clone

Compile and install Direwolf (build steps changed recently):

cd direwolf
mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..
make -j4
sudo make install
make install-conf

Plug in a soundcard device like a Signalink or Rigblaster, run ‘aplay -l’

Get the device number, in this case my Rigblaster is 2,0:

card 1: vc4hdmi [vc4-hdmi], device 0: MAI PCM i2s-hifi-0 [MAI PCM i2s-hifi-0]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 2: Audio [RIGblaster Advantage Audio], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
Subdevices: 1/1

Configure ~/direwolf.conf – change ADEVICE to refer to the device number from the previous step:, and then set your call sign:

ADEVICE plughw:2,0

Run alsamixer, select your soundcard attached to your radio, and make sure playback and capture sound levels are around 70% and not muted:

Install ax25 apps and tools:

sudo apt-get install libax25 ax25-apps ax25-tools

Add 1 line in /etc/ax25/axports – the number in the first column is the port number, you’ll need this in the next steps:

1 KK6DCT-1 1200 255 2 2m packet


direwolf -t 0 -p

Look for the last line for /dev/pts:

Ready to accept KISS client application on port 8001 ...
Virtual KISS TNC is available on /dev/pts/0
WARNING - Dire Wolf will hang eventually if nothing is reading from it.
Created symlink /tmp/kisstnc -> /dev/pts/0

Run kissattach:

sudo kissattach [/dev/pts/value here] [ax25 port value here]


sudo kissattach /dev/pts/0 1

You should see:

AX.25 port 1 bound to device ax0

Now you’ll set to use the ax tools to connect to other nodes, for example, run:

axcall [ax25 port number] [nodename]


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