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For quite a while now regular distributions of the open source Linux operating system have included AX.25 networking support in the kernel.

Some distributions of Linux make AX.25 available in source form but require a recompile of the kernel to activate it. Kernel Recompile for AX.25 External Link to one of many sites describing one way to recompile a Linux Kernel for AX.25 use.

Distro Version Recompile Required Other Comments
Fedora Core 4 ### ###
Debian XXX ### ###

After you have the AX.25 kernel support ready you need to define specific AX.25 interfaces. The website covers this very well.

You should note that AX.25 network interfaces are based on the TCP/IP networking that is built into the system. AX.25 interfaces have IP addresses along with their interface name and their AX.25 address. Adding an AX.25 network interface to a computer that already has one or more TCP/IP network interfaces (DSL, ethernet, dial-up internet/PPP) turns your computer into a multi-homed host. You most likely will want the IP addresses on your AX.25 interfaces to be from a different subnet than the addresses used by other network interfaces on that same computer. And you definitely don't want to use a "real" IP address. Use something from one of the [ private network] non-routed IP subnets, and a subnet not already known to that computer.


Linux AX.25 kernel support creates network interfaces. Software on your Linux system will use those interfaces in ways you might not expect. The common flub concerns the MS-Windows network compatibility package Samba. Samba normally helps itself to every network interface defined on your system. It sends out SMB network discovery packets and merrily carries on. But you probably don't want to be sending out SMB packets on the packet radio or APRS network. So investigate that a little bit. If you don't need Samba then you can turn it off from the services control panel (whatever your distribution uses). Or, in the Samba configuration you can tell it what network interfaces to use (and not use).

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