Is it possible to build a Groundstation without a Raspberry PI?

Hi SatNOGS Community!

I am somewhat of a novice satellite enthusiast and a beginner in terms of satellite communications. I found some greate tutorials on how to setup online(and on the SatNOGS website). However, I think all of them involved using a Raspberring Pi and installing the SatNOGS client image onto it. I was curious if it was possible to do this through my laptop itself(without a Raspberry PI) and if there were any tutorials to do so?

Also, I was curious to understand if setting up a station on the network meant receiving signals as well as collecting and interpretting them(weather data in my case). Or whether it was more about collecting signals and uploading them to DB for interprettation(only) by the satellite owner?

Would be great to get any insights into this. Thanks!

Setting up with Docker could be the way to go ?

librespacefoundation / SatNOGS / satnogs-client · GitLab

Thanks for the reply!

So would launching the client onto Docker work?

I have 2 cliënts running on one odroid and one in ubuntu.

Ohh, really curious about how’d you go about doing that.

From the info on the webpage, the typical way I see is installing the Raspberry PI debian image and running the client through the given scripts. So do the scripts work on the virtual Ubuntu as well or is there some other way for going about doing this?

It’s not that I am trying to keep it a secret, but the page I did send earlier contains an URL to the instructions

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All my stations are running on Docker, two on a Raspberry Pi 4, and the other two on a Banana Pi R2 router running OpenWRT. I followed this (different) link for the instructions about installing the satnogs-client docker images:

The configuration section shows how easily you can configure your station.

On the other hand, as your installation is not the official one, there might some extra problems. In my case, I had to fix the permissions for accessing the rtl sdr’s from the docker containers under the /sys/bus/usb/ directory for the OpenWRT installation.

Oh great, thanks a lot for this!

Could I quickly crosscheck if I would still require a Raspberry Pi 4 or a Banana Pi R2 for running this?


For the Raspberry Pi 4, you can use the official installation as well. On other systems, like ubuntu and the odroid, the docker installation will be easier to install.

Oh Great! Thanks for the reply.

Just to confirm, I won’t really need a raspberry pi 4 when running the client on the debian docker image?

I have been running -client on docker on a bunch of different os; rasbpian, armbian, debian, ubuntu, windows11… also on a bunch of different arches; armv7l, arm64, x86_64, riscv5.
Docker has high demands on the kernel, but that was only an issue on riscv5 and pretty much out of the box on the others.
Windows does work, but I don’t expect USB to work, I used a adalm-pluto over network.

Ohk got it, thanks @SA2KNG