DACARS Docker Installation Guide

This guide will take you through how install DACARS via Docker Compose and to overlay ACARS messages on to your DeFli Map

Step 1.

The first step is to serialize your SDR Dongle that you will be using for DACARS. Note you do not need to serialize the DeFli Dongle.

Firstly remove all dongles then run the following commands from your command line

sudo apt update

sudo apt install rtl-sdr

Now plug in your ACARS dongle only and run the following command

rtl_eeprom -s 00001090 (note you can change this number to any you prefer but take care to write it down)

The last line of the output from this command will be Write new configuration to device [y/n]? press "y" and then enter.

Now, unplug the dongle and reboot then re-plug the dongle. Then issue the below command to check the serialization was a success

rtl_test -t

Step 2.

The first task from your command line is to create a new directory with the following command

sudo mkdir acarsdocker

Now enter this directory with the below command

cd /home/acarsdocker

Now we are going to create the docker-compose file with the below command this will present you with an empty file that we will populate.

sudo nano docker-compose-acars-vhf.yml

Step 3.

You should now be looking at a blank file. We are going to populate this file by copying the text in bold below, be sure to change the highlighted fields to match your own requirements.

Some notes: "Serial" is the serial number assigned by step 1. "Frequencies" are country specific.

version: "3.8"





image: ghcr.io/sdr-enthusiasts/docker-acarshub:latest

tty: true

container_name: acarshub

restart: always


- /dev/bus/usb:/dev/bus/usb


- 8080:80

- 5550:5550/udp

- 5555:5555/udp

- 15550:15550

- 15555:15555


- acars_data:/run/acars


- /database:exec,size=64M

- /run:exec,size=64M

- /var/log:size=64M


- TZ=Etc/UTC




- TAR1090_URL=http://tar1090

- IATA_OVERRIDE=UP|UPS|United Parcel Service;GS|FTH|Mountain Aviation (Foothills);GS|EJA|ExecJet


- ADSB_LAT=Enter

- ADSB_LON=Enter

- ADSB_URL=Location of aircraft.json file

### Remove this section if you are NOT decoding ACARS


image: ghcr.io/sdr-enthusiasts/docker-acarsdec:latest

tty: true

container_name: acarsdec

restart: always


- /dev/bus/usb:/dev/bus/usb



- TZ=Etc/UTC

- SERIAL=Serial from step 1

- GAIN=-10

- PPM=0

- FREQUENCIES=130.025;130.450;131.125;131.550

- FEED_ID=UUID from DeFli Wallet

- SERVER=acars_router


- /run:exec,size=64M

- /var/log:size=64M



image: ghcr.io/sdr-enthusiasts/acars_router:latest


- "autoheal=true"

tty: true


- 55555:15555

- 55550:15550

container_name: acars_router

restart: always



# The line below should be uncommented if you are receiving acars data from acarsdec AND do not want to feed

- AR_SEND_UDP_ACARS=acarshub:5550

# The line below should be uncommented if you are receiving acars data from acarsdec AND want to feed airframes

- AR_SEND_UDP_ACARS=acarshub:5550;feed.airframes.io:5550

# The line below should uncommented if you are receiving VDLM and DO NOT want to feed aiframes

- AR_SEND_UDP_VDLM2=acarshub:5555

# The line below should uncommented if you are receiving VDLM, using dumpvdl2 AND want to feed airframes

- AR_SEND_UDP_VDLM2=acarshub:5555;feed.airframes.io:5552

# The line below should uncommented if you are receiving VDLM, using vdlm2dec AND want to feed airframes

- AR_SEND_UDP_VDLM2=acarshub:5555;feed.airframes.io:5555

# The line below should uncommented if you are receiving dumpvdl2 AND using ZMQ (recommended)

- AR_RECV_ZMQ_VDLM2=dumpvdl2:45555


- /run:exec,size=64M

- /var/log


Once you have made the required changes press "Ctrl + x" to exit and the "y" to save.

Step 4.

To start the container run the command below, if the installation has been successful you will be able to see the Tar1090 map + the ACARS messages within the ACARSHUB.

docker compose -f docker-compose-acars-vhf.yml up -d

To install docker on your system please run the following commands

sudo apt install docker.io -y

sudo snap install docker