DXSpider Download Area

Dirk Koopman G1TLH
Last modified: Thu Dec 01 11:01:00 GMT 2022

This is in the process of being completely revamped

TL&DR: CVS is dead and gone, downloading tarballs old hat

Just use Git

This is the download area for the DX Spider system. Please look at the Installation instructions, before downloading the software.


Git is a complete replacement for CVS. It is the source code management system used for the Linux kernel. It has a many more tools than CVS, amongst which are some source code management visualisation programs. One of these is a Web interface. The web interface to the DXSpider Git repository is available here.

Using Git is quite easy, if you are on a Linux/Unix box. Most distributions have ready made Git packages available. For example Fedora calls the package 'git' (yum install git), Ubuntu and debian call theirs 'git-core' (apt-get install git-core). There is a windows version of Git available on the Google Code site. Just use the full installer which is usually the first one in the list. The others do something different.

Once you have git installed then to use it with an existing spider tree do (for linux/unix users):-

  1. login as the sysop user
  2. git clone git://scm.dxcluster.org/scm/spider spider.new
  3. cp -a spider.new/.git /spider
  4. rm -rf spider.new
  5. cd /spider
  6. git reset --hard

For Windows users it is slightly different. The main difference is that when in gitbash, all paths have a /c in front of them. This is obviously sent to try people. So for Windows users do:-

  1. start gitbash
  2. cd /c
  3. git clone git://scm.dxcluster.org/scm/spider spider.new
  4. cp -a spider.new/.git spider
  5. rm -rf spider.new
  6. cd spider
  7. git reset --hard
  8. exit

Please note the subtle differences (and the direction) of the slashes (/ not \) and where they are not used (e.g. in item 4).

Assuming no errors have occurred, you should now be under git control. From now on you, instead of doing a cvs update -d, you do a git pull instead. The advantage of this is that it is a bit faster and you can also, more easily, track branches. Also, if you hack at the code, you can easily generate patches which you can send me by email for incorporation. Finally, should I be run over by a bus, it means you have a complete git repository, as a backup, which you may be able to use to persuade someone else to take over the maintenance (or do it yourself).

If you want to start from scratch, then it is much easier.

For Linux/Unix users:

  1. login as the sysop user (see the Installation instructions).
  2. git clone git://scm.dxcluster.org/scm/spider

For Windows users:

  1. start gitbash
  2. cd /c
  3. git clone git://scm.dxcluster.org/scm/spider
  4. exit

You are now ready to carry with a normal installation.

Updating a Git installation

For Linux/Unix users:

  1. Login as the sysop user
  2. cd /spider
  3. git reset --hard
  4. git pull

For Windows users:

  1. start gitbash
  2. cd /c/spider
  3. git reset --hard
  4. git pull
  5. exit


Although CVS was used extensively at the beginning, it is no longer supported. Please use the Git instructions above for installation and updating. if you want to up with the 'in' crowd then make sure you are subscribed to the support mailing list and download the latest CVS version in tar file or zipfile.

The current 'official' version of the software is 1.55, but if you like to be on the 'bleeding edge' (or at least fairly up to date, I try not to put experimental code in here unless I need it tested by lots of people - so it is, in fact, usually the best choice); last night's CVS tarball. or zipfile. This usually the prefered option!

If you are a Microsoft Windows user and you need something free and opensource to unpack one or other of these archives, go look at http://www.7-zip.org/. It will unpack many formats including both tgz and zip formats and is available for 32 or 64 bit Windows

Please note that these tar balls imply the use of CVS, but this has not been the case for many years. I haven't changed the name because I know that there scripts out there that rely on these names not changing. But, be aware, these tarballs also contain a complete git tree.

Updating with the tarball

Please don't do this. It is obsolete. Use The recommended update procedure is:-

  1. cd to the directory below the spider directory (/ will work fine if you are following the standard Installation model).
  2. copy the tarball to /tmp (C:\tmp or some other convenient place for Windows users).
  3. tar xvfz <tarball> (use WinZip in Windows, you need to make sure that tarball overwrites the existing C:\spider tree).
  4. IF you have been a good person and NOT altered any of the standard files, then this will just work. Shutdown the cluster and restart it and hey presto!

Be warned DO NOT alter the contents of /spider/perl or /spider/cmd and any subtrees, otherwise the update procedure will just overwrite anything you (should not) have altered.

Before you download anything I would be obliged if you would subscribe to a low volume mailing list which will send you announcements of new patches and such like things as they arise.

Full Releases

The available "Official" full release is (although it probably obsolete already):

US State and City Database

Some people like to filter on or generally just "know" about which US State or City a callsign is in. The latest software will now (as of the CVS version or 1.51) allow this. There are also some commands to get this information displayed on a DX Announcement.

In order to use this information then you must download usdbraw.gz to a temporary place (I would suggest /tmp or c:\tmp).

After downloading (it is over 4Mb in length) you must:

  1. run /spider/perl/create_usdb.pl /tmp/usdbraw.gz or wherever you have downloaded it to.
  2. in a console window do: load/usdb

On Linux you will either need to load Compress::Zlib from CPAN or you will need to unzip the usdbraw.gz file before running the program.

From time to time a new usdbraw.gz file will be uploaded. You need to run the above procedure to update the running system. create_usdb.pl also (confusingly) updates the database.


Although I know DXSpider works with perl 5.00503, I strongly recommend that you use a more modern perl, preferably perl 5.8.1 or later. At some point in the foreseable future this will become a requirement.


Windoze users (particularly those using later versions of Windows like 95, 98 or 2000) will experience difficulties talking to a login client. The reason for this is that telnet client that comes with Windoze is rather buggy. It is strongly recommended that users are encouraged to use one of the public domain clients such as PuTTY.


Copyright © 1998-2022 by Dirk Koopman G1TLH. All Rights Reserved