In the olden days we had ROSE switches build from TNCs and stacked to give a network switch. Due to the clock speed of the TNC's cpu and the limited memory the switch was unable to keep up when there was a high volume of traffic to be processed. The ROSE protocol was moved into a PC so that the processor and memory resources could be increased. The switch ran under DOS. A Windows based switch was unsatisfactory due to the high demand of Windows on the Computer's resources. Later the switch code was moved into the Linux Operating System.

The European HAMS have been using Linux for many years. They have been taking advantage and building on ax.25 support has been built into the Linux operating system. Jean-Paul ROUBELAT - F6FBB , authored the DOS FPAC and later ported the code to Linux.


ROSE uses the X.121 addressing scheme and is a Packet Router. It routes connections from ax.25 users and network links and vice-versa. ROSE by another name would be FPAC. The FPAC switch acts just like the original ROSE switch. The advantage of FPAC is that it supports up to 10 ports. Linux takes that a step farther and allows us to create ports from several serial devices. The i/o device can be Ethernet, Wifi, USB, or even firewire. FPAC includes a White Pages system which records the address of each node and user of the network. This information is distributed to other FPAC nodes in the network. This allows to connect any known call sign without giving any node or routing information.

Node Commands

FPAC support all the normal node commands. Sending a ? character will give you a list of all of the available commands.

Here are some examples of some of the commands :

A - gives the list of aliases.

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : A
 Telpac   : K4GBB-10 352726

An alias allow to connect any call sign using a local call sign. For instance Telpac-0 will route to the Telpac Node K4GBB-10. Aliases may be also be used directly without using the FPAC node.

L - gives the list of L3 links (trunks)

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : L
Callsign  Port   Description
KG4NXO-9  0       LAN 145.030 MHz
KD4DJT-9  9       AXIP - Internet
W4SLC-9   9       AXIP - Internet

M - gives a list of the last 20 heard stations. Giving a port as first argument will list the stations only for this port.

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : M
Last 20 Heard list for all ports :
Callsign  Port   Pkts-rcvd Mode Time ago
KD4YAL-9  9      283315    FPAC 13s
W4SLC-9   9      336211    FPAC 01m 08s
VK2TV-2   9      340982    FPAC 01m 21s
W4MIN-9   9      329382    FPAC 01m 26s
F6BVP-11  9      750989    FPAC 01m 28s
K4GBB     0      6472      AX25 01m 46s
N3PPC-9   9      748       None 02m 43s
VK2TV-14  9      96478     NRom 05m 19s
KP4DJT-9  9      4413      FPAC 05m 50s
N4PLZ-9   9      235       FPAC 08m 50s
KI4DYE-2  0      5809      AX25 15m 26s
W4MLB-9   9      126151    FPAC 23m 14s
F6BVP-14  9      3174      NRom 26m 31s
KD4YAL    9      24        AX25 27m 25s
KP4DJT-14 9      42        NRom 29m 49s
F6BVP-12  9      3142      NRom 31m 56s
KD4YAL-5  9      36917     NRom 33m 13s
WA2EJP-3  1      221       AX25 1h 20m 22s
WA2EJP    1      1494      AX25 1h 27m 50s
WA2EJP-1  1      1157      AX25 1h 27m 51s

N - gives the list of known FPAC switches. A list of call signs may be given as argument.

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : N
  F3KT-10 2080,444501   F4BWT-10 2080,428501    F5KBW-8 2080,833501
 F5KCK-10 2080,178504   F6BVP-10 2080,175502    F6BVP-6 2080,175521
  F6BVP-8 2080,175520   F6FBB-10 2080,931502    F6GGY-8 2080,847501
  F6KAV-8 2080,833505   K4GBB-11 3100,352727    K4GBB-8 3100,352726
 KC8VAB-8 3100,810227   KD4YAL-8 3100,727489   KG4NXO-8 3100,352237
 KI4VAM-8 3100,813224   KP4DJT-8 3100,813626    N4PLZ-8 3100,407277
  VK2TV-1 5050,656200    W4MIN-8 3100,863494    W4MLB-8 3100,321254
  W4SLC-8 3100,772461    W8EHH-8 3100,407877   WA1LRL-8 3100,810750
 WD4SEN-8 3100,904272

NE - gives the list of known NETROM node switches. A list of callsigns may be given as argument, or a star giving long format dump.

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : NE
NetRom Nodes:
BVPN10:F6BVP-14 (255)   BVPN8:F6BVP-12 (255)   CLW01:KD4YAL-5 (255)
 DJT14:KP4DJT-14(255)   KEMPC:VK2TV-14 (255)  #NRBJG:K2BJG-14 (254)
BVPBBS:F6BVP-1  (254)  BVPCLS:F6BVP-2  (254)   BVPDX:F6BVP-3  (254)
ZNWFLX:IK1ZNW-15(246)   igDBL:OE6XAD   (246)   CIT03:K4GBB-14 (0  )

P - gives the list and description of available ports.

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : P
Port   Description
0      Radio - 145.030 MHz
1      Radio - 145.630 MHz
9      AXIP – Internet

R - gives all information on addresses and the routing table.

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : R
DNIC Address Adjacent
2080,......  F6BVP-11
3100,941...  KP4DJT-9
3100,813...  KP4DJT-9
3100,727...  KP4DJT-9
3100,407...  N4PLZ-9
5050,656200  VK2TV-2
3100,863494  W4MIN-9
3100,863410  W4MIN-9
3100,813626  KP4DJT-9
3100,352237  KG4NXO-9
3100,407836  N4PLZ-9
3100,407277  N4PLZ-9

S - gives the status of LINUX and FPAC resources

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : s
System time      : Sat Jul 28 18:54:25 2007
Hostname         : Citrus
Operating system : Linux 2.6.20-15-generic (i686)
Uptime           : 22 hours 11 minutes
Load average     : 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
Memory           :   502 KB available,     0 KB used,     0 KB free
Swap             :   274 KB available,     0 KB used,     0 KB free

L2 Users         : 9
FPAC L3 Users    : 1
FPAC L3 Transits : 0
FPAC adjacents   : 6
FPAC Routes      : 12
FPAC White Pages : 4001

ST - gives statistics of the ROSE/FPAC trunks. This is not a built-in command. It displays the contents of the files updated by fpacstat application.

U - gives the list of users on the ROSE/FPAC system

W - gives access to the FPAC white pages database.

Usage: wp [-acdnrl nb] callsign

options :
  n = nodes only
  l = max number of answers
sort by :
  a address
  c call sign (default)
  d date
  r reverse

H – Help... gives a description of the command.

One of the features of Linux FPAC is the ability to create customized commands. They show up on the listing when you use the ? Note the commands in the command list. They all begin with uppercase characters. Some have more than one uppercase character. The uppercase characters show the minimum number of characters needed to call for this command.

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : ?
?, Alias, AXstats, Bye, Connect, Dest, Finger, GBB, Help, HOst
Info, IPLinks, IPRoutes, Links, Mheard, NEtrom, Nodes, PAN, PARis, PIng
Ports, Quit, Routes, ST1, ST24, Status, SYSop, Telnet, TELPac, TRace
Users, Wp

The commands PARis, PAN and GBB.

These are examples of customized commands. What do they do?

Here is where you use the Help command. Prefix your command with Help to get help for the commnad.


GBB command.

K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : Help GBB
Help for command GBB

This command connects you to the K4GBB BBS.