LIbrary for Amateur Radio Equipment Control Applications.
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Hamlib - (C) Frank Singleton 2000 ( (C) Stephane Fillod 2000-2011 (C) The Hamlib Group 2000-2022

The purpose of this project is to provide stable, flexible, shared libraries that enable quicker development of Amateur Radio Equipment Control Applications. The master repository is Daily snapshots are available at Development happens on the github master (often by merging feature branches) and each release has a release branch.

Many Amateur Radio Transceivers come with serial interfaces that allows software to control the radio. This project will endeavour to provide shared libraries that greatly simplify the application programmer's interaction with radio equipment and other controllable devices such as rotators, switches, etc.

Supported Radios

The Hamlib Wiki page, Supported Radios, contains a snapshot of the supported radios at the time of the last Hamlib release. Go to to reach the Wiki.

Hamlib Design

The library provides functions for both radio and rotator control, and data retrieval from the radio or rotator. A number of functions useful for calculating distance and bearing and grid square conversion are included. - library that provides generic API for all RIG types. This is what Application programmers will "see". Will have different names on other platforms, e.g. libhamlib-2.dll on MS windows. Also contains all radio and rotator "backends" (formerly in their own dlopen'ed libraries) provided by Hamlib.

Backend Examples are:

  1. yaesu will provide connectivity to Yaesu FT 747GX Transceiver, FT 847 "Earth Station", etc. via a standard API.

  2. xxxx. will provide connectivity to the Wiz-bang moon-melter 101A (yikes..)

Hamlib will also enable developers to develop professional looking GUI's towards a standard control library API, and they would not have to worry about the underlying connection towards physical hardware.

Initially serial (RS232) connectivity will be handled, but we expect that IP (and other) connectivity will follow afterwards. Connection via a USB port is accomplished via the Linux kernel support. USB to serial converters are well supported. Other such devices may be supported as long as they present a serial (RS-232) interface to Hamlib.


Most distributions have the latest Hamlib release in their testing or alpha versions of their distribution. Check your package manager for the Hamlib version included in your distribution.

Developing with Hamlib API

API documentation is at:

Take a look at tests/README for more info on simple programming examples and test programs.

C++ programming is supported and language bindings are available for Perl, Python, and TCL. A network daemon utility is also available for any programming language that supports network sockets (even netcat!).


Hamlib is entirely developed using GNU tools, under various Linux systems. The library may be recompiled by the familiar "three step":

Note: if ./configure does not exist run ./bootstrap first

    sudo make install

For debugging use this configure ./configure CFLAGS=-g -O0 -fPIC --no-create --no-recursio

See the INSTALL file for more information.


Consult the README.betatester and README.developer files in this directory if you feel like testing or helping with Hamlib development.

Contributions of rig specifications and protocol documentation are highly encouraged. Do keep in mind that in some cases the manufacturer may not provide complete control information or it is only available under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Any documentation must be publicly available so we can legally write and distribute Free Software supporting a given device.

The Hamlib team is very interested to hear from you, how Hamlib builds and works on your system, especially on non-Linux system or non-PC systems. We try to make Hamlib as portable as possible.

Please report in case of problems at Git email formatted patches or in unified diff format are welcome!

Also, take a look at Here you will find a mail list, link to the Wiki, and the latest releases. Feedback, questions, etc. about Hamlib are very welcome at the mail list:


Hamlib Version Numbers

Like other software projects, Hamlib uses a version numbering scheme to help program authors and users understand which releases are compatible and which are not. Hamlib releases now follow the format of:



Major: Currently at 4, but can be advanced when changes to the API require client programs to be rewritten to take advantage of new features of Hamlib. This number has advanced a couple of times throughout the life of Hamlib. Advancement of the major number is only for frontend API changes that require modification of client source. ABI compatibility is presently maintained to prior releases so that a program linked to an earlier 1.2.Y.[Z] release will work with a later 3.Y[.Z] release without recompiling. It is our intention to maintain such ABI compatibility as long as practical.

Minor: This number advances when either new backend(s) or new rig model(s) to existing backend(s) are added. Advancing this number informs client program authors (and users of those programs) that new model/backend support has been added. Will also include bug fixes since the last Incremental release.

Incremental: May be undefined (e.g. Hamlib 3.0) and would advance to 1 (e.g. Hamlib 3.0.1) for any bug fixes or feature additions to existing model(s) or backend(s), then to 2, etc. New rig models or backends are not included in Incremental. When Release is advanced, Incremental will reset to undefined and will not be included as part of the version number.

Release schedule

Hamlib has in the past maintained a "ready when it's ready" philosophy. However, given that much of the Linux user base is now influenced by the Ubuntu distribution and its timed six month release schedule, Hamlib releases will be scheduled in advance of Ubuntu releases. Planned release dates for Hamlib are now 1 February and 1 August of each calendar year. Between those dates various Incremental releases will occur as development warrants.

Have Fun / Frank S / Stephane F / The Hamlib Group

73's de vk3fcs/km5ws / f8cfe