The business and sport of aviation is about as mission critical as any human endeavor gets. Pilots have an implicit expectation for their aircraft to be well designed, ergonomic, predictable, reliable, and safe to operate. Certificated aircraft are designed and built to engineering and quality standards that far exceed those of any other consumer product. In my opinion, any computing environment used for aviation related applications should meet similar high standards. I also believe that the open software development model and the Linux operating system is the computing environment with the greatest potential to meet such high standards. Indeed, if the aircraft I flew failed at the same rate as some operating systems do, I would have bought the farm as they say, a very long time ago!
This document is intended to provide pointers to software packages that run under Linux and are of obvious interest to a private, commercial, or military pilot. Most of the software packages mentioned in this release are freely distributable, and come with source code. However, I will gladly include entries for commercial products from any vendors who are Linux friendly.
My own personal interests center around VFR cross country flight in single engine airplanes as well as soaring, or flying gliders. The first few revisions of this document will probably reflect my bias somewhat. However, submissions relating to any aspect of the piloting of all categories of certificated aircraft; airplane, rotorcraft, glider, and lighter than air are heartily encouraged and most welcome. If you encounter such an application that is not listed here, or have written a new one, please send me a note so I can add an entry for it.
Each of the software pointers in this document consists of a brief description of the software, information on who wrote it, where to find it, and user comments in some cases. In the interest of brevity, I did not include explicit pointers to source code or binaries when they are available through reasonably obvious links on the software's home page.
Added a new entry for the AirLog logbook package. Added some additional references to the section on embedded hardware, as well as a short blurb about the availability of Linux for the iPaq handheld. Updated the contact information for the author, (new e-mail address).
Added a small section on hardware, mostly pointers to other resources. I also added entries for several newly discovered packages; Gpsd, GPSMan, and JEEPS.
I added some new and more focused application categories. For some of them, I added pointers to other information resources that address issues related to that particular application area, but from a more generic, and non-Linux specific perspective. Also added entries for several newly discovered software packages. I removed the references to the Linux Documentation Project, the maintainers never responded in any way to my request to add this document to the archive?
Added information about the linux-aviation mailing list. Some minor changes in grammar, as well as a whole bunch of corrections to my consistent abuse of punctuation. Thanks to my good friend David Moore for these corrections.
First public release.
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The Linux Aviation HOWTO is Copyright (c) 1998-2000 John C. Peterson
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