Announcing PiAware 3! (Latest version: 3.8.0)

Announcing PiAware 3!

Please see the 3.8.0 release announcement for details of the current release.

The rest of this post is historical information about older versions:

Instructions and Download Links

FlightAware is excited to announce the launch of PiAware 3! PiAware 3 extends the industry leading capabilities of the incredibly popular PiAware software for Raspberry Pi devices. Highlights include mapping and aircraft list enhancements and easy WiFi setup. PiAware 3 is currently only available as a reinstall of the SD card image (if you are upgrading from version 1 or 2). FlightAware recommends that all current users of PiAware upgrade to the PiAware 3 to obtain the new features.

Installing PiAware 3

The SD card image installation is the recommended procedure for users setting up a new Raspberry Pi for the first time or for users that want to update an existing PiAware device. Note that this will result in any existing data on the SD card being erased. To install, you must download the FlightAware PiAware 3 Raspberry Pi image which can be found here:
For discussion of the new features please use our discussion forum or e-mail adsbsupport [at] with questions.

Quickly, how do I enabled WiFi?

Note: These configuration instructions only apply if you installed from the PiAware 3.0 SD card image. If you need to enable WiFi then continue with the following steps AFTER completing the steps in Section 2 of the Build a PiAware instructions:

  • Reinsert the SD card in your computer. It should be automatically recognized as an available disk drive.
  • Open the SD card disk drive.
  • Open “piaware-config.txt” in a text editor (usually you can just double-click the file to open).
  • Scroll down to the “wifi” settings and change the following settings to the values specified here:
wireless-network yes
wireless-ssid MyWifiNetwork (replace "MyWifiNetwork" with the name of your local WiFi network)
wireless-password s3cr3t (replace "s3cr3t" with your local WiFi network password)
  • Save and close the file.
  • Eject and remove the SD card.

Release Notes


  • Integrated WiFi support – Easy wifi configuration without requiring attached monitor/keyboard/mouse or wired network connectivity – please refer to the instructions on our web site: … ional#wifi
  • New OpenLayer Maps for local flight mapping.
    Avoids requirement for users to obtain Google Maps API keys
    Adds local map support for users in China
  • Range rings and aircraft distance from receiver site
  • Country flags
  • Aircraft type and registration, when known
  • Updates dump1090 to align with the latest dump1090-mutability release which includes a substantially better Mode S decoder than PiAware 2
  • Adds support for receiver devices other than RTL-SDR dongles such as Beast, Radarcape and other external receivers (for advanced users)
  • Adds a new configuration utility to ease setup and customization (for advanced users)
  • Improves the update capabilities so you can easily receive future enhancements
  • Adds a new PiAware status web page for easy status review at-a-glance and quick access to the local map view (for advanced users, this is on HTTP port 80 and port 8080 redirects here) – the easiest way to access this local map view continues to be via the “View Live Data” link on the My ADS-B stats page at


  • Auto upgrade from 3.0.3 supported.
  • Added support for additional wireless devices’ firmware.
  • Added support for hidden wireless network SSIDs.


  • piaware-config.txt now supports configuration values with special characters by enclosing them in quotes. This is primarily to support WiFi configuration. See comments in piaware-config.txt for details.
  • Improvements to data decoding to prefer Extended Squitter data over non-ES Mode S data when both are available; this improves accuracy of reported data.
  • Improved reliability of air/ground detection.
  • Various minor bug fixes and tweaks.
  • And the Big News: major improvements to the dump1090 web interface!
  • Add NEXRAD weather layer (USA only)
  • Aircraft information moves to drag-able pop-up
  • Data table (sidebar) is resize-able and expandable/collapsible
  • New and improved hyperlinks to aircraft data
  • Configurable units of measure display (Imperial, metric, aeronautical)
  • Filter aircraft by altitude
  • Option to show all aircraft tracks
  • Improved aircraft icons on map
  • Improved aircraft type/registration database to include more publicly available data
  • Computed aircraft registration numbers (from ICAO address) for countries with predictable mappings (e.g., USA)
  • Various look and feel improvements for usability


  • New config option: mlat-results-anon (default “yes”). Set to “no” to disable sending MLAT results for blocked aircraft.
  • New command-line options: -configfile, -cachedir. Can be used to run multiple copies of piaware on a single host by pointing each piaware at a different config file and cachedir.
  • Updated Mode A/C support:
    New config option: allow-modeac (default “yes”). If enabled, dump1090-fa will decode Mode A/C if a client requests it via the Beast command protocol. Decoding Mode A/C requires additional CPU; this option may need to be disabled on low power devices. Upgrades on a Pi Zero or Pi 1 will set this to “no” during the upgrade. There is no display of Mode A/C data on the dump1090-fa web interface.
  • Major improvements to the Mode A/C decoder. Greatly reduced dump1090 CPU load when processing Mode A/C data in a busy environment.
  • Updated FlightAware’s aircraft static data export used by dump1090.
  • Allow skipping the web map history load on slow connections by appending “#nohistory” to the map URL.
  • For users running a previous 3.x SD card install or a new 3.3 SD card install:
    Support for using external USB wifi on the Pi 3, for cases where the built-in wifi is insufficient. Configure “rfkill yes” in addition to normal wireless settings. This will disable the internal wifi and use the external USB wifi instead.
    Added a splashscreen during boot.
    PiAware will remind you to change your password when you log in if ssh is enabled and your password is still the default password.
  • For users installing a NEW install from the 3.3 SD card image:
    Updated the image to be based on the latest upstream Raspbian.
    The sdcard image no longer includes a desktop environment; upstream changes in Raspbian made it impractical to maintain. If you need a desktop environment, you can either do a package install of piaware on top of standard Raspbian, or run the following after installing the image:

  $ sudo apt-get update
  $ sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods
  $ sudo reboot

  • Replacing the desktop login prompt, after booting a simple text-mode status screen will be displayed. It shows (amongst other things) the current status of PiAware and the assigned IP addresses of the Pi. For a login prompt, press Alt+F2.
  • The sdcard image no longer enables ssh by default for security reasons. This behaves the same way as upstream Raspbian; see … ian-pixel/ for more information. Upgrades of existing installs, without writing a new sdcard image, are not affected: if you had ssh enabled before, it’ll still be enabled after the upgrade. You can enable ssh by: Connecting a monitor and keyboard, logging in, running “sudo raspi-config”, and selecting “Interfacing options” then “Enable or disable ssh server”; or creating a file named “ssh” (it doesn’t matter what it contains) in the first partition of the sdcard. This can be done on a separate system, e.g. on a PC immediately after writing the sdcard image. ssh will be enabled on the next boot. See also … ccess/ssh/
  • Various other bug fixes and tweaks.


  • SD card image updated new kernel/bootloader packages (this adds support for the Pi Zero W)
  • SD card image and package-based install updated to add PiAware Skyview user interface (dump1090 map view)

  • Applied FlightAware branding and color scheme
  • Improved row colors in data table for usability
  • Add altitude color key to the map user interface
  • Added color coded aircraft trails by aircraft altitude at each position
  • Improved icons on the map view
  • Added labels to distance range rings
  • Updated aircraft icons to add more icons and make them consistent with
  • Added new Settings pane (via gear icon) to consolidate configuration options and added filters for Blocked MLAT flights and ground vehicles.
  • Added basic aircraft information pane the displays on hover over an aircraft icon.
  • Updated and expanded the aircraft details pane for usability.
  • Added current date/time in the header.
  • Minor formatting changes for clarity and usability


  • PiAware – make connections to FlightAware more robust for scalability/reliability
  • Skyview – fix incorrect font in some browsers
  • Skyview – fix incorrect “data source” displaying sometimes
  • Skyview – show on-ground aircraft in brown color
  • Skyview – speed up initial page load time
  • Skyview – fix some incorrect aircraft icon mappings
  • Skyview – fix unit selection on Firefox


  • dump1090: Update OpenLayers to address SkyView performance issues on some browsers
  • piaware: Fix a file descriptor leak when running on some non-Pi hardware
  • piaware: Report current feeder ID from piaware-status
  • fa-mlat-client: Fix complaints about out of order timestamps when mlat results are looped back
  • fa-mlat-client: Fix a minor unit conversion error
  • fa-mlat-client: Increase the size of socket listen queues to avoid false synflood detection
  • piaware sdcard: Allow arbitrary strings (e.g. serial numbers) in rtlsdr-device-index
  • piaware sdcard: Handle prehashed (64-character) wifi passphrases correctly
  • piaware sdcard: Depend on a version of wpasupplicant that fixes the KRACK vulnerability


  • Adds ability to decode “extended Mode S” data; this includes data such as airspeeds and auto pilot settings (when available; they will not always be sent from the aircraft). To see the data in Skvyiew there is a preliminary/experimental mode available: load your Skyview link with “#extended” appended to the URL, e.g., Please note that you may need to do a hard refresh of the page in your browser to get the new functionality loaded.
  • SD card image install now supports Raspbian Stretch operating system (so it is installable on the model 3B+ devices) – we recommend all users re-image to this version to get the latest operating system. Be sure to set your “feeder-id” after re-installing so that you keep your existing My ADS-B statistics site (see “Installing PiAware 3” above). However, if you prefer, you may do an in-place upgrade by initiating it via the “My ADS-B” page (“Device Commands” via the gear icon).
  • A new data feed option is available for getting data from your device. This option provides JSON data in the same format as FlightAware’s commercial “Firehose” product. This is only for advanced users that want to write custom software that uses the data from their device in this format. See our FAQ for details.
  • If you are upgrading a package install that is already on Stretch, repeat all of Step 2, 3 and 4 at


  • Updated the Skyview user interface to improve the layout so it better accommodates displaying “extended Mode S” data. When a specific aircraft is selected, the full aircraft details are now shown in a resizable pane on the lower right side of the screen. (This also removes the need to use “#extended” on the URL to see extended Mode S data.) Please note that you may need to do a hard refresh of the page in your browser to get the new functionality loaded.
  • Fixes bug in the port 30003 output format.

  • SD image supports 978MHz ADS-B via dump978-fa
  • Adds a config option ‘use-gpsd’ to allow disabling the use of gpsd location info
  • dump1090: Fix Rc decoding errors
  • dump1090: Compute ADS-B v0 NACp/SIL
  • dump1090: When generating aircraft.json, leave space for the final line; otherwise the generated json may have trailing garbage
  • dump1090: Don’t update the known-address-set from DF18 messages
  • dump1090: Bail out if rtlsdr_read_async() returns early; it probably means we lost the USB device. There was a workaround for this (originally implemented min dump1090-mutability) that got lost in the refactoring needed to support different SDRs. librtlsdr can still be flaky under disconnect conditions, so this won’t catch everything.
  • dump1090: add ENABLED to /etc/default/dump1090-fa
  • dump1090: track FMS and MCP selected altitudes separately
  • skyview (1090): use whichever selected altitude is available
  • Skyview (1090): use heading data for icon orientation if track data is unavailable
  • Skyview (1090): don’t spin forever if there’s no history to load / receiver.json is missing
  • Separate Skyview for 978 UAT tracking
  • dump978-fa : Fix quotations bug in default config file


  • dump1090: Comm-b message decoding updates
  • dump1090: Update aircraft DB to 20190502
  • dump1090: Fix TSV buffer overflow/increase max TSV packet size
  • dump1090: Fix incorrect mode_s bit number usage
  • dump1090: Minimal polyfill to support building older bladeRF libs
  • dump1090: Require more fields to be populated in BDS5,0/BDS6,0 before accepting
  • dump978: Soapysdr error handling enhancements
  • dump978: Switch to CS16 converter to a table-based approach
  • dump978: Fix atan2 angle normalization
  • soapysdr: Error handling improvements, increase soapysdr timeout to 5s due to timeouts, and soapysdr parameter fixes
  • Skyview978: Decrease range circles for UAT Skyview map
  • Skyview978: Update aircraft DB to 20190502
  • Skyview978: Fix bug getting LAT/LON from piaware .env file
  • Skyview978: Fix enums in json-format output; emit emitter_category as a string
  • Piaware: Separate indicators for 1090 and 978 UAT Radio on PiAware status web page
  • PiAware: Fix bug with use-gpsd option


What’s New:

  • Official renaming of Skyview to SkyAware
  • Adds Stratux dongle support to dump978
  • TIS-B data no longer forwarded to FlightAware in dump978
  • Adds support for raw message timestamps in dump978
  • Update SkyAware aircraft DB to 20190816

Bug fixes:

  • piaware: Handle misleading “couldn’t open socket” piaware-status message
  • piaware: Remove obsolete piaware-config settings
  • piaware: Include receiver-type & uat-receiver-type at adept login
  • piaware: piaware-status cleanup
  • SkyAware: Fix some display errors for ground vehicles
  • SkyAware: Fix aircraft trail handling
  • dump1090: Fix reversed sense of Track Angle/Heading bit in surface opstatus messages
  • dump1090: Have filter-regs emit a special value “-COMPUTED-” for filtered data values, rather than blanking them out entirely
  • dump1090: Fix registration side mappings with a non-zero offset
  • dump1090: Reject outright libbladerf that’s too old
  • dump1090: Trigger build after bladeRF build; turn off build durability; turn off concurrent builds
  • dump978: Rename CS8 → CS8_ to avoid conflicts with macros in termios.h
  • dump978: Fix stdin samples not being processed
  • dump978: Don’t override CC/CXX if externally provided
  • dump978: Work around false-positive warning with g++ 8
  • dump978: Split out error handler; prepare to support message sources aren’t the demodulator
  • soapysdr: Fix compilation problems with new soapysdr

Upgrade methods:

If you are currently on a PiAware SD card image:

  1. Re-image with 3.7.2 SD Card image (link) - Be sure to set your “feeder-id” either in the piaware-config.txt file or via the command line after re-installing so that you keep your existing My ADS-B statistics
  2. Upgrade via your My ADS-B stats page (“Upgrade and restart PiAware” Device command in the gear icon menu)

If you are currently on a PiAware package install:

  1. Upgrade via My ADS-B stats page (“Upgrade and restart PiAware” and “Upgrade and restart dump1090” Device commands in the gear icon menu)
  2. Repeat all of steps 2, 3 , 4, and 5 at

Yes but… that is good news, but for who have more website feeds installed in sdcard and of course some another things that is not good start from beginning and erase all sdcard… im just still wait for another option to update, that’s really dont make sense, do you really believe that someone buy a rpi just for flightaware?
cheers :beers:

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk

There will be a package-based upgrade path available soon. (Or you can build it yourself right now from github)

However if you want the configuration features of the new sdcard image (wifi, Beast integration etc), you’ll need to start from the new image as those changes are invasive and it’s not practical or safe to try to apply them to an existing install .

Thank you for providing the updated piaware 3.0.3 image.

After the unzip of, there are two new files:
piaware-sd-card-3.0.3.img and piaware-config.txt.
The file piaware-config.txt contains lots of good comments. One comment that I would like and did not find is where this file should reside in the file system and if specific name, permissions or case are important.

In my current system, I could not find a text file named piaware-config.txt. There is a binary file /usr/bin/piaware-config.
Is this the source to make this binary file? If it needs to be compiled, how is this done?

Thank you.

installed piaware 3 on my new pi3
greeted with a login and password at the gui screen

tried the old stuff dont work

want to setup the pi3 wireless without the linux gobblede goop


Many thanks!

My secondary unit is up and running in a few minutes. Now I need to find where the new options files are hiding –

I want to turn on counts in the title, as well as change the page name.


I also have to rebuild around the new installation, automagic backups and such. (I really should go with puppet.)

So far, so good!

bob k6rtm

See /boot/piaware-config.txt. This is on the first (FAT) partition so you can edit it easily on other systems e.g. Windows, it should show up at the root of the sdcard.
The copy in the zipfile is just there as an example. I’m seeing if I can get that improved, it’s confusing to have it there.

Put the sdcard in your PC, edit the file piaware-config.txt, it has instructions, modify the file to reflect your wifi setup, remove the sdcard, put it back in your Pi.

See /usr/share/dump1090-fa

If you’re puppet-izing the config etc anyway, you may just want to go with a vanilla raspbian + piaware package; most of the magic in the sdcard image revolves around trying to make the configuration management simpler for someone who isn’t familar with linux systems and it is likely to stomp on your changes…

Thanks, Oliver and the FlightAware gang for all the hard work, and a pretty painless install.

That’s the bouquets, now for the brickbats… I understand shipping minimal images, but…

So far I’ve installed:

nfs-common (talk to servers)
avahi-daemon (so I don’t have to track down addresses)

I’ll update the list tomorrow probably, when I get to do this again with my primary FlightAware box…

But so far so good!

And I love the comments in /usr/share/dump1090-fa/html/index.html !!!

…turning on clocks in config.js is an issue?

bob k6rtm

Dump1090-fa strips out the clocks for simplicity (they take up a ton of space and who doesn’t already have a clock display?)

The image is not even as minimal I would like, I’d like to strip out X but apparently command lines are scary… The sdcard image is really aimed at people with no Linux experience that want something that you can just plug in and have working immediately. If you know what you’re doing than I would suggest starting from a base image of your choice since the design decisions are quite different for a black box system vs something that will be tinkered with.

At some point I want to release the image builder scripts so you can customise it but that is probably some time away. (all the components are on github already, just not the script that puts the image together)

For those of you wanting to do custom configuration, especially wifi setup, in PiAware 3, please refer to the instructions on our web site: … ional#wifi

We understand that some of you will also want to do customized installs or upgrades of existing environments. We will provide more guidance on this in the future. Our intent for now is to present the SD card installation option as it represents the simplest approach to setup PiAware, especially for new users or users with a “vanilla” configuration.

Is this only for RPi3s? I tried installing on RPi2 and no wifi with my dongle. Dongle is not even recognized.

Don’t know what to install where to make it work as there are no instructions on the build page.

Tried configuring “piaware-config.txt” for wifi only and no difference :confused:

And after trying to use the Windows like GUI there is no browser (an error pops up) and trying to change network setting using the icon at the top right is impossible, clicking on “settings” does nothing. Pity if I had wanted to actually use any of these…

So much for “the simplest approach to setup PiAware, especially for new users or users with a “vanilla” configuration.”

Wifi should work with any dongle that works out-of-the-box with Raspbian. If yours needs a custom driver then it may not work.

Worked out of the box when I installed 2.1-3 a year ago.

I’ll just check the instructions that I followed to set that up… Oh wait, thats right, I can’t refer back to them now can I…

And I just tried a second wifi dongle with the same result.

I think I do catch a glimpse of it being recognized in the loading text though

It works for me; can you explain exactly what you’re doing and what you see?

Followed instructions, ie fresh download and fresh transfer to fresh MicroSD card via Win32DiskImager.

Changed “piaware-config.txt” on MicroSD to wired off, wireless on, copied SSID from routers setting page and pasted into file, copied wifi passkey from same page and pasted into file. Saved “piaware-config.txt”

Put MicroSD into Rpi2

Turned on power supply.

Logged on with “pi” and “flightaware”

Wifi dongles (both) result in no wifi when clicking on network symbol in top right. Neither has LED on them come on.
Both dongles work immediately if I switch back to 2.1-5

Would love to know how to pause, or slow down, that loading screen…

For advanced users that are already running the latest dump1090-mutability with a FA ProStick or RTL-SDR, are there any upcoming FlightAware compatibility concerns associated with not upgrading to version 3? I don’t personally see a need for several of the features, but I would like to have confidence that version 2 will continue to be acceptable. Thanks.

Interestingly 3.0.3 loads straight to GUI log in.
2.1-5 doesn’t, only the command line log in … and now the Build a Piaware instruction page doesn’t have the command necessary to load it listed anymore. Where is the “previous versions” instructions archive?

and the Piaware 3 advanced configuration page ( … figuration) doesn’t specify where to change some of the listed setting!?
No mention of multilateration in the “piaware-config.txt” file.

I’ll echo Carlmortimer. Had the previous version of PiAware running just fine. Changed over to the ADSBreceiver software, and it was working just fine for a long time. While working a network router issue unrelated to the Pi, I had the pi on a workbench with monitor and keyboard attached. That’s when I found out about the new version of PiAware. Installed PiAware 3 on a second SD card. Never could get WiFi to connect. Back to ADSBreceiver.

Pi 2 B, wifi dongle on a USB extender.