Winlink setup on Linux in three easy steps!

One common misnomer about the amateur radio email network Winlink is that Winlink is just for Windows. Here is how to set up an account on Linux:

If you use Linux for Amateur radio, please check out my new app, RepeaterSTART (Showing The Amateur Repeaters Tool), the only open-source offline repeater application for the only open-source-data repeater listing! Now available for Android!

First, install Pat using the howto and the latest download. Then run:

pat configure

and enter your callsign in the quoted “mycall”: “YOURCALLHERE”, Ctrl+X and save the file. Then run:

pat http

Keep that terminal open and go to “localhost:8080” in your browser and select connect: Use the defaults and you should get a message shown in the browser coming from the Winlink software through Pat.

Second, make sure you note the password it generates in this message, and go to and log in, set your personal info, email recovery, and change your password as they recommend in the welcome message above. In the Winlink system (localhost:8080 in the browser), click connect again and enter the password you set. You should see a second message about your password recovery.

Cool! Now you have a new Winlink account created through the internet. As an optional extra step, you can choose the option in the address bar to enable desktop notifications. (Although it doesn’t seem to auto check so I’m not sure how useful this is?) If you have an HF radio and general license, apparently there are steps you can do to even make it work over HF Radio. (This actually often works through VHF packet repeaters. Ask for details about your nearby Winlink setup at your local ham radio clubs.)

Testing Winlink is working

To test sending and receiving messages, select compose from the menu, then in the “to”, enter as described in the howto. Connect using the first menu item, and the message should leave the “outbox” and be sent. Wait a sec and try the connect again, you should see a message to yourself in the inbox!

4 Replies to “Winlink setup on Linux in three easy steps!”

  1. Beautiful! Installed on ubuntu 20.04 amd64 with gDebi.

    I boogered up the “configure” file with the json editor, but fixed my mistake in a few minutes. Don’t know anything about json. Client seems to all work OK to me.


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