The Ham's favorite Portable Operating Environment

There is a need for more mirror sites. Please contact me if you can help out. My email is w9ya AT

Welcome to the home page for the Ham Radio Operator's latest computerized operating tool - the Portable Operating Environment (POE). Contained on a single USB-Thumb sized memory Stick is the ENTIRE operating system, a large number of very desirable applications, many useful ham radio programs, and your data. Just plug it into any computer that can boot-up a USB stick and away you go. There is nothing more to add. You can take your favorite apps along with your data wherever you go, and no more lengthy installs to configure your ham radio shack's computer.

Heck you can even give a copy of this to your friends and not tell them it has a bunch of neat ham radio applications. They won't know the difference with all the other fascinating applications that are on it !

Here is the list of the over 700 pre-installed packages. It contains many favorites like OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Konqueror, Gimp, Mplayer, K3B, K9copy, Xastir, Hamlib, XDX, TLF, and Xlog.

Required is a USB flash memory (or "stick") with a minimum size of 2GB., a computer with a minimum of 500mB of ram memory and at least a pentium 2 or later processor that can boot up from either a CD or the USB "stick". You will also need a few minutes of your time to transfer the image file onto the USB "stick". Then simply re-boot. Once you are running you can choose to continue using the USB "stick" as is for as long as you would like, or you can optionally install the entire contents of the USB "stick" to a hard drive or even to another larger USB "stick" and use the built in tools to enlarge any or all sections (partitions) of the usb "drive".

This project is based on the highly successful and stable Arch linux operating system distribution, the Faunos live-operating system distribution, and the Larch "a do-it-yourself live CD" shell scripting project.

Both the ArchLinux and Faunos websites link to extensive documentation. You can find forums, irc channels, email lists, archives, and bug trackers that can be accessed to solve just about any problem you are likely to encounter. Additionally I am also including this FAQ sheet to assist first time users.

Finally I am often available on the #archlinux or #hamradio irc channels at "freenode". I can also be reached by emailing w9ya AT .


The W9YA Ham POE (nicknamed "ShackStick") is downloaded as a file which contains the 2GB USB-memory stick image. You follow the basic instructions on this page for installing this image file - *** just be sure to replace the name of the faunos file with the file you have downloaded from here OR here. The md5sum for checking the integrity of your downloaded image is;

4cfb1b3550f639b0bc496ea2f05b3b61 w9ya_shackstick_0.1.img

The md5sum file is located here.

If your computer cannot directly boot from a USB memory stick you can use this CD iso to make a bootstrap CD. Then you can use it in combination with the USB memory stick to bootup. After booting the CD may be ejected.

NOW FOR THE STUPID LEGAL POOP: It goes without saying that something this new and unusual is an "alpha grade" product undergoing development. As such there are no warranties of suitability or perfomance of any kind. It also does not come with any warranty or guarantee in any form that you or your legal team would care to think up. i.e. IF you encounter ANY form of trouble it's basically your fault for even bothering to try this thing.