Saturday, May 28, 2022

Chirp from snap permission denied accessing serial port

In the past I've used Chirp to load up a Baufeng radio with all of the repeaters in NSW and now that I've moved to Victoria it's time to switch to Victorian repeaters. (You can download lists of repeaters in CSV format from the WIA). Things have moved on though, and under Ubuntu 22.04 I found that the apt version of Chirp has some user interface bug where the OK button on the Download dialog is not visible.

There is a snap version of Chirp so I installed that. Snaps are a way of packaging applications up with their dependencies - I'm new to this but it looks like a good idea, except that I found that Chirp reported a permission denied error when I tried to open the serial port. The normal problem - not being in the dialout group - was not the fix.

In the Ubuntu software centre, when installing a Snap, there is a permissions button:


Clicking this shows extra permissions including access to USB and serial port hardware:


After enabling USB access, the Download dialog no longer gives an error:


Chirp downloaded all the memories ready for editing or replacement.


Setting up the memories like this is much less tedious than doing it through the front panel.

What about on macOS?

These days my primary operating system is macOS Monterey on an M1 Mac. Chirp doesn't work on macOS as they've dropped Python2. I am pleased to report that emulation works incredibly well. I've installed the free UTM for macOS and installed ARM Debian with Xfce from their catalog. Chirp etc all works well.


I downloaded the Chirp file for Victoria from the WIA, edited it in LibreOffice Calc, imported in to Chirp and uploaded it to a Baufeng UV5R.

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