Ubuntu Linux & FT-991A

For the Ham Radio hobby I decided to use an old (former Windows) laptop now running Ubuntu Linux. On forehand knowing that not all software is able to run on Linux...

This page(s) are mainly for my own use. It isn't a software selection/evaluation but describes the programs I'm using with it main settings. And may be it's helpful for you.

First program a Ham Radio operator needs is a logging program. When running on Windows I would probably choose Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) for logging. For Linux I chose CQRlog.

Thereafter programs for digi modes will be required.

From amateur-radio-wiki.net there's overview of:

UbuntuHams bring together Amateur Radio Operators and developers of Amateur Radio packages who use Ubuntu.


My main setup is a Yaesu FT-991A connected via a USB cable.

FT-991A USB-cable connection
This setup provides:

  • two serial COM-ports (standard and special) for rig control
  • a Sound Card (audio-IN and audio-OUT)

... so no extra (audio) cables needed!!


The transceiver is monitored and controlled via CAT (Computer Aided Transceiver) commands by Ham radio software programs. This commands are send via one of the COM-ports.

I noticed that not all USB A B cables perform properly. The CAT interface drops/disappears after some time (or doesn't initiates at all).
Certified USB cables with a (visible) shield and with Ferrite Choke work well. I use such a cable of 5m length.

Be aware that only one program or (hamlib)daemon can connect to a rig at the same time.
Hamlib's rigctld can also handle one client at a time...

Sound Card

The FT-991A has a build in Sound Card. Nice!
The Sound Card comes available via the USB port on the back of the rig.

The USB specification defines a standard interface, the USB audio device class, allowing a single driver to work with the various USB sound devices and interfaces on the market. Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux support this standard.

After connecting the USB cable no sound card driver installation is needed.

In most Ham programs the sound card is called:


or it's wrapped in something containing USB CODEC AUDIO.

In Ubuntu it looks like this.

Analog out

FT-991A Soundcard Analog out

Digital out

FT-991A Soundcard Digi out

Analog in

FT-991A Soundcard Analog in

Digital in

FT-991A Soundcard Digi in

Back to Ham Radio

On the next pages there's a page for each Ham program I use.

Linux ... lets give it a try...


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