Bareboat Necessities

About the project

With BBN OS you can build a central boat computer. BBN OS is free and open source. It is based on commonly used community supported open source projects such as SignalK, PyPilot, OpenCPN, and others. BBN OS graphical user interface will let you build a cockpit front-end to all functionality of the OS from chartplotting, dashboar

Project info

Difficulty: Moderate

Platforms: Raspberry Pi

Estimated time: 1 week

License: GNU General Public License, version 3 or later (GPL3+)


What started as an effort to build a marine linux OS turned out into much more interesting. Our focus was to build a marine computer OS to be used on boats for the navigation and on touch screens in a cockpit of a boat. By nature marine navigation is very demanding. Much more demanding than a car computer. There was a need for:

  • good touch screen support (even with small screens) (GTK3, budgie)
  • ability to easily connect to a variety of sensors GPS, IMU, environment (temp, pressure, humidity, wind), autopilot, bilge water level, and much more (SignalK/Kplex NMEA are built-in)
  • ability to control other hardware (started with controlling steering of the boat and autopilot). We have pyPilot built-in.
  • weather information retrieving, processing, mapping and visualizing (it's often a matter of survival on a boat)
  • weather routing and climatology
  • a media player (who doesn't want to play some music being on a boat, so here we go with MPD player, Mopidy and more)
  • internet connectivity, VPN, cellular 4G/LTE, satellite, Wi-Fi
  • celestial navigation (brought us astronomy software, so we package Stellarium and more)
  • cartography and navigation (We have OpenCPN, FreeBoard-SK, AvNav chart plotters). While our focus was marine charts, our distribution can be easily adapted for a car navigation system.
  • software defined radio SDR (HAM radio community might take some interest), AIS, weather (NOAA, weather fax, NavTex), Inmarsat Fleet
  • satellite internet via Iridium
  • low power consumption (so we built it for the ARM based processors)


Bareboat Necessities

BBN Marine Linux OS


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