FlightAware Discussions

Anyone working with the new x86 Raspbian


You said it so BOLDLY and then didn’t. :grinning:

Do you think the aim of making a simple image like Flightaware does for the Pi is achievable for the old discarded PCs lying around to create a veritable plethora of new FA contributors like the OP suggested?

Just heading out to a New Years day lunch with friends. 25°C and cloudless blue sky.



Hard to achieve.
All I am doing is like a workout in a fitness club - just to keep me mentally active and fit, and it gives me pleasure as well :slight_smile:.


Addictive, like Sudoku. :smirk_cat:


Actually making that minimal 300 MByte image into an image that comes with a certain version of flightaware is not that hard if you figure out how to install some stuff :wink:

Pretty sure it will run fine on most 64bit hardware.
(or is it even a 32bit image? which of course runs fine on most 64bit hardware as well)

Once he has it running locally you can basically shut it down and create an image file from the usb stick.


The .iso image is:

  • Available in both 32bit and 64bit versions
  • Very small in size about 325 Mb
  • Boots pretty fast
  • Very responsive to mouse & keyboard, as well as console commands.
  • Has persistence. Offers to create a persistence file to save additions/changes in a file at first shutdown/reboot.
  • The .iso can be burned directly to a USB key, or alternatively installed on a USB key, treating it a hard drive, if .iso is first burned to a DVD/CD/another USB key.

Xenialpup 7.5 uses Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus packages and includes the bugfixes and improvements from the Woof CEbuild system. It is compatible with Ubuntu 16.04 packages.

The Linux kernel version is 4.4.95-noPAE for the 32-bit version, and 4.9.58 for the 64-bit build.

ibiblio: ISOs: 32bit, 64bit;


Wiki page:


Hey all,

I’m new to the FlightAware SDR – just got it in the mail yesterday.

Not new to Linux – but a CentOS/RH person… so Raspian is pretty new.

I did have a Raspian_x86 install running from a VirtualBox VM already (but I installed and then ignored it).

So I plugged in my FlightAware ProStick to the system. Added the USB device to the VM instance, fired up Raspian.

Did updates, installed all the pre-reqs (including bladeRF) and used the dpkg build process and it went flawlessly.

(2 thumbs up)

I have 2 CentOS systems running constantly. So I really wanted to try that vs using another chunk of hardware.

Thanks for the handy instructions!


Reporting the same success here on my circa 2009 PC. Pretty amazing and the help from the discussion group team was invaluable. I’m creating a new FA login with a name like x86Raspin.PC.1 so FA can begin to see a trickle of data from other than Pi hardware.


I followed @abcd567 instructions in Post 135 and it is working.

It is installed on a disk not running Live on a USB Flash drive.

A few questions if I may;

  1. Can I install the image on a Flash drive and run it Live?

  2. How can I back it up to a flash drive and install it on another PC?

It should be a lot quicker and easier than rebuilding it again from scratch on the other PC.




Which distro you are referring to, “Linux Lite” or “XenialPup”?



I followed your instructions for linux lite. (Thankyou)

I dug out an old Intel NUC that came with XP. I stuck an ssd and a second GB of memory so it should be ideal for runyning piaware on an old pc.

At least it will be quiet and relatively low power.



So you installed “Linux Lite .iso” on SSD using software “Universal USB Installer”, but did not create persistence? Well if you would have first burned the .iso to a DVD or USB Flash (Win32DiskImager/Etcher), then booted from it , and chose “Install” with SSD as the drive on which to Install the distro, then it does not need persistence as it is a normal install and will save all changes/additions to SSD.

There are three ways to create USB Flash with “Linux Lite”:

  1. Write the .iso image directly to USB Flash using Win32DiskImager/Etcher/dd.

    • Fast, but lacks persistence.
    • The extra space on the USB Flash is not usable i.e. if you have a 16 GB USB Flash, about 4.5 GB will be taken by the .iso image, and rest will remain unavailable and unused.
  2. Write the .iso image to USB Flash using softwatre “Universal USB Installer” and create Persistence (Post #128).

    • Writing .iso img is fast, but creation of Persistence file takes several minutes / GB of file size you chose, depending upon write speed of USB Flash. For me with a write speed of 20 Mb/s, it took 3 minutes/Gb of persistence.
    • It makes full USB Capacity accessible, and upto 4 GB of this capacity can be used for Persistence.
    • This is the best option for installation on USB Flash, and I strongly recommend it. I use this option.
  3. Burn the .iso image to a CD/DVD, boot computer from CD/DVD, then at boot menu choose “Install” and choose the USB Flash on which you want to “Install” the distro as Drive on which to install.

    • This is very lengthy, takes lot of time depending on the write speed of USB Flash.


Unless you plan to run it from the USB stick in the beginning getting it on a flash drive and onto another PC might is not very straightforward.

You could make a Gnuparted USB stick i suppose, reduce the hopefully only partition as much as possible and then copy the whole partition onto another USB stick gin gnuparted :slight_smile:

You can then either just boot from that USB stick you copied the partition onto or use the gnuparted USB stick again to copy the partition onto the hard drive :wink:
(Depending on how the bootloader was installed booting this might not work.
Not sure but you if you can copy over the MBR as well)



Finished following “experiment” :slight_smile: just now:

  1. Burned a DVD with .iso of “Linux Lite” - about 5 minutes.

  2. Booted PC from the Linux Lite DVD burned as above - about 5 minutes.

  3. Plugged-in the USB Flash on which I wanted to Install “Linux Lite”.
    Size: 32Gb
    Write Speed: 40 Mb/s
    Read Speed: 80 Mb/s

  4. Clicked the icon “Install Linux” on the Desktop, starting installation process. Chose Language, keyboard, Region, and then the USB Flash as the drive on which to install the Linux Lite.
    (In fact in my case USB Flash was automatically selected as it was the only storage device available. I have disconnected wires of Hard Drive before booting with DVD to prevent accidental installation of Linux Lite on Hard Drive, replacing Windows :slight_smile:)
    Went to kitchen and made a cup of coffee. Sipped coffee while waiting for installation to complete - about 35 minutes.

  5. Removed DVD and rebooted from USB Flash, all well - about 5 minutes.

Posted this reply from “Linux Lite on USB Flash” OS. :slight_smile:


This sounds like the best way to go.

You can use the .deb files you already compiled on your existing linux lite installation and use them on other systems if it is the same Linux Lite version.
This way you save yourself the compilation hassle.


Next Steps for “Linux Lite” installed on USB Flash:

Installed dump1090-fa & Piaware as per procedure in post #102

  1. Dump1090-fa - about 5 minutes.
  2. Piaware - about 10 minutes.



As both the CentOS and Fedora are based on Red Hat Linux, you may find some guidance from here:

Manual Install of dump1090-fa on Fedora 28, x64_86 (Intel PC)

in Fedora command dnf is newer version of command yum.




I saw that and have it saved for future use.

But really, I’m ok running it in a VM for now. It was a fun exercise getting it working that way.




I dont think so.

  1. There is no difference in boot time of “Install” and “Persistence” methods. Both take about 5 minutes to boot.

  2. In Persistence method, I noted slightly better response time for mouse/keyboard/console commands as compared to “Install” method.

  3. The only drawback of Persistence method is that you cannot save added software + data more than 4GB, while in “Install” method, you can use the full remaining capacity of the USB Flash.

  4. The “Persistance” method takes much less time in preparing USB Flash than the “Install” method takes, and you save a DVD also.

    • Write .iso to USB Flash using software “Universal USB Installer” and create a 4GB Persistence file (Post #128) - Total time 4 m (write .iso) + 12 m (create persistence) = 16 minutes.

    • Write .iso to DVD and then boot from DVD and install on USB Flash (Post # 173) - Total time 5 m (burn DVD) + 5 m (Boot from DVD) + 35 m (Install on USB Flash) = 45 minutes.



You just made me scratch my screen because of that dot :confused: :smiley:


Lol, I never realized the dot could cause this.
:smiley: :rofl: