FlightAware Discussions

MLAT on VirtualBox Success

I’m new to this, but I ran into the issue of MLAT not working on a Ubuntu 20 VirtualBox VM running as a guest to Ubuntu 16 with Virtual Box 6.0.24.

Reading around I found a few people talking about it sometimes being a USB passthrough related timing issue, which wasn’t the case for me. My /var/log/piaware.log showed the following
Server status: not synchronized with any nearby receivers, rather than the Server status: clock unstable.

The FA Status page showed Multilateration (MLAT): Supported / Enabled, I had a green MLAT indicator, and my local dashboard showed MLAT as green.

I ended up changing the following VM settings:
Changed the system chipset to ICH9
Unchecked the Hardware Clock in UTC Time box (probably doesn’t matter)
Set the USB controller to 3.0 (xHCI)

I now have FA reporting Multilateration (MLAT): Supported / Enabled (synchronized with 186 nearby receivers) and the following in my logs:

Jun  4 10:42:02 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Server status:   synchronized with 190 nearby receivers
Jun  4 10:42:02 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Receiver:  250.2 msg/s received      105.0 msg/s processed (42%)
Jun  4 10:42:02 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Server:      0.0 kB/s from server    0.0kB/s TCP to server     1.1kB/s UDP to server
Jun  4 10:42:02 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Aircraft: 22 of 32 Mode S, 37 of 47 ADS-B used
Jun  4 10:57:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Receiver status: connected
Jun  4 10:57:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Server status:   synchronized with 188 nearby receivers
Jun  4 10:57:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Receiver:  253.4 msg/s received      103.0 msg/s processed (41%)
Jun  4 10:57:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Server:      0.0 kB/s from server    0.0kB/s TCP to server     1.1kB/s UDP to server
Jun  4 10:57:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Results:  5.3 positions/minute
Jun  4 10:57:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Aircraft: 15 of 23 Mode S, 29 of 41 ADS-B used
Jun  4 11:12:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Receiver status: connected
Jun  4 11:12:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Server status:   synchronized with 193 nearby receivers
Jun  4 11:12:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Receiver:  320.7 msg/s received      108.4 msg/s processed (34%)
Jun  4 11:12:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Server:      0.0 kB/s from server    0.0kB/s TCP to server     1.1kB/s UDP to server
Jun  4 11:12:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Results:  7.4 positions/minute
Jun  4 11:12:03 flightaware piaware[957]: mlat-client(1072): Aircraft: 26 of 34 Mode S, 33 of 51 ADS-B used

So far so good about 10 hours in, I’m seeing MLAT planes and positions reported in FA. ADSBX.org has a handy MLAT debugger page that is also showing green for me (Feeder (Region) MLAT - ADSBExchange)

Anyway, just wanted to share since I hadn’t been able to find anyone reporting success under VirtualBox.

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