Death Of A JNOS Serial Port

That trace screen looks weird!

JNOS Data Corruption
JNOS Data Corruption

JNOS has been online and on the air here for nearly 20 years. It runs on old Pentium D hardware under Ubuntu Linux 13.04. Old stuff, but it works. at least it did until recently.

The first sign something was wrong, was an error message I hadn’t seen in many many years: bad header!

At first I thought the TNC (an old Kantronics KPC-3) might have fallen out of KISS mode. In order for JNOS to communicate with the TNC it must be in KISS mode. I pulled the TNC out of service and performed a hardware reset to ensure the device was in KISS mode.

Resetting the TNC did not resolve the issue. As the corruption continued, it was causing the JNOS BBS software to crash.

I quickly discovered that disabling the serial device stopped the software from crashing. The next possibility was that the hardware serial port itself had gone bad. After plugging in a USB to Serial adapter and connecting the TNC on a different COM port the problem was solved.

My mighty little JNOS BBS system is back online and back on the air (on 145.05) While I was at it I upgraded the Ubuntu PC RAM from 1GB to 4GB. There was an occasional console message reporting low memory or ‘out of space’ (JNOS parlance). That message has not occurred since.

JNOS BBS: Telnet to and give it a try!

Back To The Front


A JNOS Uptime Record at K6HR


JNOS UPTIME has never been anywhere near this number! A JNOS Uptime record has just been set!

It’s been running for over 6 months at this point. How long will it go?

What is JNOS?

From Maiko’s JNOS Website:

JNOS Is a monolithic software application for amateur packet radio (ax.25) and ip networking. JNOS’ origin traces back to Phil Karn’s KA9Q/NOS software. Widely considered as the foundation of TCP/IP over radio.

In fact, NOS was the linux of it’s time, transforming simple DOS machines into multiuser/multitasking TCP/IP environments. Also worth noting are MFNOS by Barry Siegfried (K2MF), TNOS by Brian Lantz (KO4KS), and WAMPES by Dieter Deyke (DK5SG/N0PRA) – each (including JNOS) taking ideas and bits and pieces from the others.

JNOS is first and foremost a router for ax.25, netrom, and ip protocols – ip over rf is possible by encapsulating the ip in ax.25 frames. The original JNOS v1.11f and earlier distributions do not support a lot of the features we enjoy in todays version.

Features currently available in the JNOS 2.0 distribution started back in October of 2004. Over the years, JNOS 2.0 has made it to 4 different platforms – DOS, Linux, WIN32, and Mac. Linux has been the primary development platform for years now.

Back To The Front