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.
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 Aliases: 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 Links: 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 Ports: 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 Routes: 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 Status: 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.
K4GBB-8 (Commands = ?) : Help GBB Help for command GBB This command connects you to the K4GBB BBS.