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Old 03-02-2019, 01:33   #1
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Question OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

Greetings,
After some issues last year with my boat laptop I am looking to purchase a cheap-ish laptop to be purely used as a back up for OPEN CPN should my main solid state hard drive fail again.
My question is; what are the minimum operating system, core processing requirements and storage size needed on a laptop purely to run OPEN CPN?
And is a solid state hard drive necessary?
Many Thanks
Red Roo
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:44   #2
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

SSD is definitely not required.


It's kind of weird that I can't find the system requirements on their website. Maybe you could ask in their forums? At any rate, I imagine just about any laptop sold today would be able to run it. The storage capacity you will need will probably depend on the number of charts you want to have loaded.


Just to give you an idea: I have charts for all of Virginia and Florida as well as large scale charts for pretty much all of the south-eastern coast of the U.S. These take up 774 MB on my HD. Program manager doesn't tell me the size of the OpenCPN installation.
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:53   #3
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

Also, as most laptops today are sold with Windows 10, take note of the special requirements for GPS pucks here.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:48   #4
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

OpenCPN runs on a Raspberry Pi Ok, so it will run on just about anything, I like the idea of having a Panasonic Toughbook as a backup. Older ones like the CF-19 can be picked up cheap enough. These can be installed with Linux, too, negating the need to use a phone home OS like the later versions of Windows.
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Old 03-02-2019, 21:12   #5
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Roo View Post
Greetings,
After some issues last year with my boat laptop I am looking to purchase a cheap-ish laptop to be purely used as a back up for OPEN CPN should my main solid state hard drive fail again.
My question is; what are the minimum operating system, core processing requirements and storage size needed on a laptop purely to run OPEN CPN?
And is a solid state hard drive necessary?
Many Thanks
Red Roo
Red,

It runs on Windows for all Microsoft supported desktop/Surface operating system versions. It may run on Windows XP but you won't get XP on a new laptop so don't worry about that.

It runs on all popular X86 Linux systems (Ubuntu is most popular).

It runs on a $40 Raspberry Pi on Raspbian Linux.

It runs on Mac OS.

It does not run on Apple iOS.

There is an Android version in the Google Play Store.

You want at least 2GB of RAM on Windows, Linux or Mac. It's hard to get a machine with less than 2GB these days. It's easy to run OpenCPN on a 10GB hard drive but that may limit the number of charts.
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Old 03-02-2019, 21:12   #6
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
OpenCPN runs on a Raspberry Pi Ok, so it will run on just about anything, I like the idea of having a Panasonic Toughbook as a backup. Older ones like the CF-19 can be picked up cheap enough. These can be installed with Linux, too, negating the need to use a phone home OS like the later versions of Windows.
Linux phones home a lot these days too.
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Old 03-02-2019, 21:56   #7
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

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Linux phones home a lot these days too.
Maybe some do, but there is opportunity to choose a distro that sticks to the basics. And I've never seen a notification to "try office for free" pop-up as a system notification or mysterious games like "candy crush saga" appear in apps or have needed to multi-confirm that I really don't want to use "Edge" as my default browser after updates on a Linux box!

Besides, can you imagine firing up a windows 10 machine that's not been turned on for a few months? Just hope and pray it doesn't grab an unmetered connection to the outside world first if you need to actually use it in a hurry.
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Old 06-02-2019, 17:35   #8
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

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Also, as most laptops today are sold with Windows 10, take note of the special requirements for GPS pucks here.
Hi SeanPatrick,
Many Thanks for your response on my query. This is the forum that OpenCPN website refers me to for any questions, so your responses are appreciated.
I want to clarify further your GPS pucks for windows 10 comment.
I currently run windows 7 (soon to be unsupported) which reads from my boat GPS (Magellan) via a USB connection. If I buy a new backup laptop with windows 10 can I plug the boat GPS into it or do I need to purchase the stand alone GPS Puck for windows 10?
Many Thanks
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Old 06-02-2019, 18:37   #9
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

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Originally Posted by Red Roo View Post
If I buy a new backup laptop with windows 10 can I plug the boat GPS into it or do I need to purchase the stand alone GPS Puck for windows 10?
Yes, you can connect your boat GPS to a machine running Windows 10.

Your boat GPS outputs the data according to the NMEA 0183 standard which technically is a RS 422 serial interface.
You need a serial to USB converter to connect it to your PC.
The one you have now and works with Windows 7 may, or not, work with Windows 10. And you may, or not, need to find a driver to make it work, if available.
If it does not work, you may simply get one that does for a few dollars on ebay.

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Old 07-02-2019, 02:40   #10
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
Maybe some do, but there is opportunity to choose a distro that sticks to the basics. And I've never seen a notification to "try office for free" pop-up as a system notification or mysterious games like "candy crush saga" appear in apps or have needed to multi-confirm that I really don't want to use "Edge" as my default browser after updates on a Linux box!

Besides, can you imagine firing up a windows 10 machine that's not been turned on for a few months? Just hope and pray it doesn't grab an unmetered connection to the outside world first if you need to actually use it in a hurry.
Windows has a firewall. You can turn use that to turn off everything. If you can't figure out the windows firewall download Tinywall.. Job done.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:50   #11
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Roo View Post
I want to clarify further your GPS pucks for windows 10 comment.
I currently run windows 7 (soon to be unsupported) which reads from my boat GPS (Magellan) via a USB connection. If I buy a new backup laptop with windows 10 can I plug the boat GPS into it or do I need to purchase the stand alone GPS Puck for windows 10?
Many Thanks
Red Roo

I must default to nohal's reply above. I'm no expert. All I know is that when I bought a new laptop with Windows 10, the setup I was using no longer worked. That was using an Android phone as GPS receiver and an app called "Bluetooth GPS Output" to send the data to the laptop - perhaps an uncommon approach.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:38   #12
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

I can confirm that Windows 10 supports USB for serial NMEA data input to OpenCPN.

Several Bluetooth drivers have experienced issues in Win 10 and there are Microsoft updates quite regularly for BT problems. Another reason shutting off Windows updates has a down side.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:37   #13
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

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Several Bluetooth drivers have experienced issues in Win 10 and there are Microsoft updates quite regularly for BT problems. Another reason shutting off Windows updates has a down side.
There exists no Bluetooth drivers as it is common for USB devices.
The computer (laptop, smartphone etc.) must have Bluetooth hardware and a so called Bluetooth stack. That is all.


A bluetooth GPS puck is a far better choice than an USB puck. You have no cables hanging around, no problems with drivers and it works for any operating system or OS version. You have only to care about power for the GPS puck. The ones with buildin batteries works only for about 10 hours. I use bluetooth GPS pucks for over 10 years now with any OS.
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:17   #14
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

open CPN runs great on my ancient 32 bit Dell laptop running Linux Mint 18.2 .. but I am not able to get bluetooth up and running.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:34   #15
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Re: OPEN CPN Computer Requirements

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open CPN runs great on my ancient 32 bit Dell laptop running Linux Mint 18.2 .. but I am not able to get bluetooth up and running.
Check with the Mint user group if the Bluetooth hardware of your old Dell laptop is supportet by Mint. I have heard blueman from ubuntu xenial universe (2.0.4-1ubuntu2) might work with Mint.
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