Starting the programs

This is how you start everything up. Order of execution is important.

  1. First start SquawkGear.
    Check for the “SquawkGear is ready” message before proceeding to the next step. It may take up to a minute, if TCP port 1863 is busy.
  2. Next start FlightGear. Two command-line options are required:
    • --generic=socket,out,1,IP.addr,port,tcp,squawk
      This option tells FG to send data to SquawkGear. “IP.addr” and “port” should be the IP address and port number that SquawkGear is running on.
    • --telnet=5900
      This option tells FG to receive data from SquawkGear on TCP port 5900.

    I suggest you enable multiplayer input (with --multiplay=in,10,,5000), but disable multiplayer output, in the FG commandline. You want to see air traffic out your windshield, but you may not want your position to be transmitted to the FG mpserver (unless you would like FGTracker to record your flight). Your text transmissions to VATSIM will also be broadcast on FG mpserver — this is improper and discouraged.

    When FG is fully started up, SquawkGear should indicate a successful telnet connection.

  3. Next start SB747 and AVC.
    Check that SB747 reports a successful connection to SquawkGear.
  4. File a flightplan in SB747.
    See SB747 manual pages 12-14. Do not connect to the VATSIM network yet.
    (The reason being, FG usually places you on a runway at startup. If you connect to VATSIM and suddenly appear on the active runway, ATC and other aircraft will not be pleased.)
  5. Prepare your aircraft in FlightGear.
    This is the equivalent of the pre-flight and external walkaround phases of real flight. Taxi your aircraft away from the runway; preferably move it to an apron or terminal gate.
  6. When you, your aircraft and your software are ready, connect to VATSIM !

14 Responses to “Starting the programs”

  1. Smithangshu Says:

    when I am trying to connect squawkbox its fetching weather data of airport DGAA where as i am in airport VIDP.and one more query,in flightgear command line “–generic=socket,out,1,IP.addr,port,tcp,squawk” here should IP.addr and port be the server IP & port of VATSIM which i am going to connect or anything else?and flightgear v2.0 doesn’t support –telnet=port it only support –props=port are both of these same here?

    • open744 Says:

      “IP.addr” and “port” should be the IP address and port number(usually 1863) that SquawkGear is running on. This is your computer that you are running SqGear on, not the VATSIM server.

      FG has supported –telnet since approx 1999. It’s completely different from “–props”. Use “–telnet=5900”.

      It is normal for SB747 to fetch METAR from “wrong” airports. It’s not that smart, especially if it hasn’t received position data from FG/SqG. 🙂

      • Smithangshu Says:

        I am using visual interface with flightgear actually i don’t know how to use command line interface and no telnet option is available in visual interface can you please tell me how to use telnet on visual interface on FG v2.0. and the you mean the IP address should be my “localhost” address.Is there any smarter program available than SB747 which can fetch exact METAR?

      • petertsai1 Says:

        responding to Smithangshu’s question below cauz I can’t find the “Reply” button for his comment.

        I had the same problem with FG2.6 This is what I did: in the Input/Output window, I select “socket” as Medium, “” as host name (the ip that appeared, it says “New connection from ” ) from squawkgear after opening SB747)

  2. David Says:


    I have a question, how do you exactly start squawkgear (Linux)? I read the file named squawkgear, and it said that all I needed to do was run the command “squawkgear”. However, I’m getting command not found.

    I tried executing the file, but nothing seems to be happening.

    I’m using Linux Ubuntu, any idea how to get Squawkgear going with Linux?

    I appreciate it

  3. open744 Says:

    hi David. squawkgear looks for python at /usr/local/bin/python — on your system, it might be located at /usr/bin/python instead.

    Find out where your python program is installed (if it doesn’t exist, you will have to install it first !) Then edit the first line of the squawkgear script and change it to #!/usr/bin/python (or wherever your python program is).

    • David Says:

      Okay thanks,

      I did find where my python was located, and I changed that script.

      Now when I click it, and hit “run”, there seems to be 2 files related to python created in that folder. However, aside from that, nothing seems to be happening.

      Is there any type of dialogue box? In this tutorial, you wrote,

      “Check for the “SquawkGear is ready” message”

      Do I get one of those when running Linux? Where do I find that message?

      Thanks for the help so far


      • David Says:

        Ah, wait a sec..

        This time i did, “Run in Terminal”, and I’m getting these messages:

        error binding to port 1863. retrying in 10 sec
        error binding to port 1863. retrying in 10 sec
        error binding to port 1863. retrying in 10 sec
        error binding to port 1863. retrying in 10 sec
        error binding to port 1863. retrying in 10 sec
        error binding to port 1863. retrying in 10 sec
        error binding to port 1863. retrying in 10 sec

        Its been doing this for about 10 minutes now…. not sure if it’s my port that’s busy? Or it’s just not finding it?

  4. David Says:

    Oh my, I’m sorry to keep commenting, but I figured out the error.

    I actually had another instance of Squawkgear running in the background without me knowing.

    Sorry bout that

  5. […] 1.9.1 in Ubuntu 10.10 with an integrated Intel video chip. Following Squawkgear instruction at I have semi-successfully logged on to Vatsim. I am successfully running SB747 and AVC on Wine in […]

  6. Nel Says:


    How do I get into command line???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


  7. Merik Says:

    When I add this line:

    fsgs doesn’t show a window anymore. Any advice?

  8. Do Tuong Lan Says:

    How to change to –telnet=5900

  9. Robert Wendel Says:

    Do you need to have telnet enabled in linux for some things to work. VATSIM does not seem to know where I’m at. No location data is being sent, I’m thinking

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