Installing the Outernet software in a virtual machineΒΆ


Please not that this method of running the Outernet L-band software has not yet been confirmed as working. We are leaving the instructions and associated files here in case they happen to work for you. (And we would defintiely like to know about it, too!)

The Outernet software can be run within a virtual machine on platforms supported by VirtualBox. As of this writing, this includes Linux, Windows, OSX, OpenSolaris, and OpenBSD.


It is highly recommended to use this set-up on a CPU that supports hardware virtualization technologies.

To use the virtual machine set-up, you will need to install VirtualBox, Oracle VirtualBox Extension Pack, and Vagrant.

Once the required software is installed, download the Outernet demodulator/decoder kit, and unzip it. Open a console and navigate to the folder which contains the unpacked files. For example, on Windows:

C:\> cd \path\to\outernet-linux-lband-master
C:\path\to\outernet-linux-lband-master> vagrant up

On Linux and other Unix-like or Unix systems, the commands are exactly the same:

$ cd /path/to/outernet-linux-lband-master
$ vagrant up

After downloading all the base image, a VirtualBox virtual machine is created and brought up. The machine is accessed using SSH.

Common RTL-SDR USB dongles are configured to be forwarded to the virtual machine, so plugging them in should be enough to make them usable within the virtual machine.


While the virtual machine is running, you will not be able to use the radio USB dongles on the host system.

To access the operating system running within the virtual machine, run:

$ vagrant ssh

If you are on Windows, and you don’t have OpenSSH installed, you can use PuTTY. In the host name field, type in vagrant@localhost, and type 2222 in the port field.

PuTTY configured to connect to a virtual machine

Once connected, the password is vagrant.

To run the Outernet software, follow the Running the programs section.

To stop the virtual machine from the command line, use the following command:

$ vagrant halt