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Self-Study for JNOS Packet BBS SysOp



If you're interested in building your own JNOS packet BBS, then these steps will help you get there.

The Santa Clara County BBS network uses the JNOS packet BBS software. This includes W1XSC, W2XSC, W3XSC, W4XSC, W5XSC, and W6XSC. The operator of a packet BBS is typically called a "sysop" (an abbreviation for system operator). If your ultimate goal is to become a Santa Clara County BBS sysop, then you'll first need to become proficient at operating your own JNOS BBS.



The following training courses, workshops or self-study programs should be completed before beginning this self study program.


Study Topics


Standalone JNOS BBS

  • Consult the JNOS BBS Information page. Use the links there to complete the following tasks.
    • Read the NOSintro book to gain a good understanding of how JNOS works
    • We recommend installing JNOS in: /opt/jnos
    • Download, compile and run the JNOS installer to create a single serial-port BBS, including basic config files
      • The installer will install JNOS and various support files and create a simple but usable configuration
      • This makes it easy to get started. The configuration can always be expanded with more capabilities later.
    • Read the JNOS Commands Manual and learn about each of the commands in each of the files created by the installer.
      • You goal is to understand what every line in every file of your configuration does.
    • Connect a TNC and radio to the defined serial port
    • Download, compile and run the latest version of JNOS
      • This replaces the older version of JNOS that is included with the installer
      • It also provides practice in updating the JNOS code as it evolves
    • Use another radio and TNC with another PC to connect to your BBS and send/receive messages
    • Use the JNOS Commands Manual to learn about additional commands and experiment with adjusting the behavior of your BBS
  • Join the TAPR xNOS (nos-bbs) mailing list
  • If you need help along the way, ask on the nos-bbs list
  • At the end of the process, you should have a fully functioning JNOS BBS and be able to explain the purpose of each file and what each command or option in each file does

Networked JNOS BBS

  • Build your own JNOS BBS (see above)
  • Gain more advanced Linux knowledge suggested for operating a networked BBS
  • Consult the Packet BBS Service Reference Info to complete the following steps
    • Read the BBS Specification to learn about standard, plain-text MBL/RLI BBS to BBS forwarding (what we use if the other BBS doesn't support FBB forwarding)
    • Read the FBB Protocol Specification to learn about FBB forwarding (what we use whenever possible)
    • Join the AMPRnet mailing list (44net)
    • Consult the AMPRnet resources (wiki, portal, etc.) to learn how to configure an AMPRnet gateway
    • Configure your BBS to network with AMPRnet. Ask general questions on the 44net list.
  • Set up forwarding over AMPRnet with the SCCo BBS network. Work with the SCCo BBS SysOps to define a forwarding schedule.
  • Join the Packet SysOps of Northern California (PSNC) e-mail list (list is restricted to networked BBS SysOps)
  • At the end of the process, you should have a fully functioning, networked JNOS BBS that can send/receive messages to any other networked BBS in the world, and be able to explain how the forwarding configuration works.


If you are taking this step as a prerequisite for becoming an SCCo packet BBS SysOp, then you'll want to get a head start on participating in the operational activities involved in developing and enhancing the network and services. See the Operational section of the Self Study for SCCo Packet BBS SysOp page for a list of activities.

If you are taking this step only a a guide to building and running your own BBS, then participation in the operational aspects of the SCCo network is optional. But we always welcome the help and you may learn a few things that can be useful for the operation of your own BBS. So, check out the Operational section of the Self Study for SCCo Packet BBS SysOp page and offer to help as much or as little as you like.



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This page was last updated on 11-Dec-2018