Update repository for ham radio

Hello, I use the free version of Zorin on a Dell optiplex 755. My primary use of Zorin is running amateur radio programs. I'm hoping that I can get the repositories updated because some of the versions of programs I am using on Zorin are woefully out of date. Zorin will not let me use more recent versions packaged from other sources when I'm trying to install them. The programs in question are GQRX and WSJT-X. The wsjtx program in the Zorin repositories is so out of date it won't run the newer modes in general use by the "ham" community.

regards,

Ray

Hi, and welcome to the ZorinOS forum!

The reason for the outdated packages is because ZorinOS 16 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 which is a Long-Term Support release. The main concern is to provide stability and the repositories offer only those packages that have been tested and proven to be compatible. For most cases this is good enough but it's true that sometimes there can be a significant lag between the available packages and the latest development versions.

For your use case there are only a couple of alternatives: download the latest available package from the project's website and attempt to install that. You can find instructions to install WSJT-X on their website.

For GQRX there's no such option available but you can download the AppImage from their GitHub page. AppImage is a special package format that contains all of the necessary libraries to run, so it's self-contained and should be as simple as downloading it and double-clicking to run (if it doesn't, right-click on it -> Properties -> Permissions -> Check "Allow executing file as program").

The other option would be to compile that software from source, but let's leave that option as a last resource.

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Hi zenzen. I followed your reply and installed GQRX, it works fine. Having trouble with wsjtx. The .deb installed in Terminal, and the site gave me a list of other files to be run in terminal after the .deb was installed. Unfortunately, when attempting to start the program after the files listed were installed, error messages come up...
wsjtx: error while loading shared libraries: libboost_log_setup.so.1.74.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory.
So, I've been down this road before and don't have the Linux knowledge to resolve this. This is a situation that you mention about compatibility and stability and sometimes things get broken when attempting to do what's not really advised. It's is not a Zorin issue, so I'm just going to un-install and move on. Thanks for your reply and help zenzen.

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I have reviewed this issue along with all of the dependencies.

I think that you are correct in your assessment. The software you are wanting to use is set to depend on later packages and you can fall into a dependency nightmare trying to patch and install all of the requirements.
I do not want to speculate as to why those developers chose to place high dependencies rather than adhering to the LND of LTS release. They may have valid reasons.
But it does leave a lot of users unable to access their software unless they upgrade their entire system.

Their software is compatible with the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release. The options this leaves you with as of today are to

  • Wait for Zorin OS 17
  • Change your distro to the latest LTS release (Ubuntu 22.04 or a derivative based on Ubuntu 22.04 like Mint - or to a Rolling Release Distro.
  • Use a more recent release in a VM like GnomeBoxes on Zorin OS 16 temporarily until Zorin OS 17 is released and you can Direct Upgrade everything.
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Of where to go from here... I'm going with the first option you list. I'll wait for OS17. I appreciate you looking into this and replying Aravisian.

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I am marking this post as the thread solution, since it is the only post that really applies.

That is a bit surprising, I was expecting the AppImage to give you more problems and the other one to install smoothly. Mainly because the WSJT-X website explicitly state that this version is compatible with Ubuntu 20.04, so it's weird they're using a library that is for a different version. Being this the case I agree that unfortunately is best to wait for ZorinOS 17.

Feel free to remove all of the installed packages that were mentioned in the instructions with:

sudo apt remove libgfortran5 libqt5widgets5 libqt5network5 \
     libqt5printsupport5 libqt5multimedia5-plugins libqt5serialport5 \
     libqt5sql5-sqlite libfftw3-single3 libgomp1 libboost-all-dev \
     libusb-1.0-0 libportaudio2

If nothing else to keep your system clean.

EDIT: I noticed there's a community forum for WSJT-X, and while unfortunately there were no matches when I searched for the missing library error message, perhaps is worth asking over there about this issue as well. Hopefully they can give a better and more informed answer:

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The packages do exist for Ubuntu 20.04. They can be found on pkgs.org
However, for the version that the O.P. stated he needs, those are only available on Ubuntu 22.04.

There may be hope if it turns out the O.P. does not actually require the 1.74. version.

So, I downloaded and installed version 2.5.4 and it seems to run smoothly. I chose this version because it was released just before Ubuntu 22.04, so it was the most likely to work without issues.

The installation process is exactly the same but you must download the package for the older version which you can find in the WSJT's development page.

Now it's a matter of knowing whether this version is good enough for @vlf's needs.

Yes, I had no issues at all with the gqrx appImage. Install and operation worked fine. I'll run the command you've given to clean up the wsjtx mess. Good idea about asking on that forum about this issue. You'd think that someone else would have run into the same situation by now. Thanks again for your help zenzen.

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