Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Andy's Ham Version 20 VM Installation

I have recently made progress with digital modes.  On 2 Meters, I have been successful with packet on my Alinco DR-135. I am considering a Tigertronics Signalink as sound card interface for my Ten Tec Jupiter.

Meanwhile, I need software.  I could pursue commercial options like Ham Radio Deluxe, but I decided to explore some free options.  I discovered KB1OIQ - Andy's Ham Radio Linux .  The advantage is that it includes a variety of free packages, including logging, rig control, satellite tracking, and a variety of others.

I had 3 options for installation:
  1. Turn my Windows 10 system into a dual boot, and boot into linux when I want to play radio and Windows for other applications
  2. Install Andy's Ham on a separate matching dedicated to playing radio
  3. Install Andy's Ham as a virtual machine (VM), running under Windows
I chose option 3, because dual booting can be a pain and a separate computer can add complexity. Running a VM allows both Windows and linux to be available at the same time. To do that, I needed virtualization software. I chose VirtualBox because I have used it before at work and home.  Installation on Windows is simple: download the correct version at the link just provided, and run the .exe.  It makes sense to download the Extension Pack and install it, too (honestly, I don't know why that's an option--just always install it).

Once VirtualBox is installed:
  1. run it and create a VM (follow the prompts--consult the user documentation at the download link if you need to). The only change I needed to make from defaults was disk size--it defaults to 8G but I gave it 20G--Ubuntu says it needs ~20. 
  2. download Andy's Ham (link in the second paragraph above)
  3. in VirtualBox, click settings, then storage for the machine you created. Next to Optical Drive on the right, click on the CD image and point it to the downloaded Andy's Ham .iso file.
    Installing Andy's Ham in a VM
    1. Start the VM--follow the current instructions. For me I chose the "live" option when prompted. When asked for a user id gave it "ubuntu" and presses enter on password (no Password). Once the VM comes up, you can play with the installation, but nothing is permanent until you install to the VN's hard drive. To do that, click on "Debian"  at the lower left, an in the menu that pops up click "System" then "Install to Hard Disk."  This will take a while, but cannot run unattended because you need to respond to some prompts along the way.
    2. Restart the VM (click on machine/ACPI shutdown, then double click the machine name), and you're done.  One of the prompts you responded to created a user and password--use those to log in to your new machine.
    This is a nice remix of Ubuntu if all you want to do is play radio.  I'm going to have to play to see how to add back some Ubuntu features that I'm used to.  I will post again after I've had a chance to play/learn.

    Install Andys Ham to hard drive after starting with "live" option

    Example of how to navigate to some of the features

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