PiAware Upgrade Instructions

In most cases you can update to the latest PiAware version by going to your site's My ADS-B Stats page, clicking the gray gear icon, and sending a "Upgrade and restart PiAware" device command.

However, if a system is running a Linux version that is past End Of Life you will need to install a current version of the operating system and reinstall the PiAware software packages or re-image your PiAware SD card.

Operating systems that are currently past End Of Life include:

  • Raspbian 7 (Wheezy)
  • Raspbian 8 (Jessie)
  • Raspbian 9 (Stretch)

If your PiAware site was originally installed with a PiAware SD card image, please use the following steps to re-image your SD card and migrate your current feeder-id to the new image.

How to Re-Image a PiAware SD Card

1Record Your Current feeder-id

If you are re-imaging an existing PiAware site and want to keep your site statistics you will need to move the current site feeder-id to the new SD card image. You can find the current site feeder-id using one of the following methods:

  • Go to the site's My ADS-B Stats page and find the "Unique Identifier"

  • Or enter the following command on the command line on the current Pi:
    cat /var/cache/piaware/feeder_id

  • Or connect a monitor to the Pi system
The identifier looks like a series of dash-separated hex digits, e.g., 12345678-1234-1234-1234-123456789abc

Copy the feeder-id value and save it for use in Step 3.

2Download and Re-image the SD card

Follow the instructions found in Step 2 of the PiAware build page to download the latest PiAware image and write it to the SD card.

3Add the original feeder-id to the new image

Follow the instructions found in Step 3 of the PiAware build page to edit the /boot/piaware-config.txt file on SD card.

Add the feeder-id recorded in Step 1 to the end of the config file with a new line that looks like:

feeder-id 12345678-1234-1234-1234-123456789abc

Remember to replace the bold value shown above with the feeder-id saved in Step 1.

If you are using Wi-Fi, you can also edit the wireless-ssid and wireless-password values at this time.

After making the changes, save the file and safely eject the SD card.

4Insert the SD Card Into the Pi and Power it On

Insert the SD card in the Raspberry Pi and power it on.

After a few minutes, go to the My ADS-B Stats page and verify that the site has green status indicators

piaware good status


If your site does not show green status, try the following troubleshooting steps:
  • Check your power and cabling
    • Check the power cable and verify there is LED activity on the Raspberry Pi. The power LED should be a steady red and randomly flashing green.
    • Verify that you are using a 5.1V 2.4A power supply.
    • If you are using an Ethernet connection, verify that the cable is plugged into the Raspberry Pi and the ethernet LEDs are lit.
    • If your Pi has power but you are not seeing aircraft, verify that the cable connections to the antenna are secure and tight.

  • Or connect a monitor to the Pi system

    piaware console status

    • Verify that at least one of the network interfaces has an IP address and the feeder-id matches the original value from Step 1.
    • If neither of the network interfaces are working or the feeder-id is wrong, connect a keyboard, press Alt+F2, and log into the console using username pi and password flightaware

    • Once you are logged in, enter the command piaware-config to display the current settings.

      Use piaware-config to update any incorrect values. For example:
      • piaware-config wireless-network yes

  • If you cannot connect a monitor to the Raspberry Pi, power off the Raspberry Pi, move the microSD card to a different computer, and verify the contents of /boot/piaware-config.txt
    Verify the following settings are correct:
    • wireless-network
    • wireless-ssid
    • wireless-password
    • feeder-id

    After making any corrections, safely eject the microSD card, insert it in the Raspberry Pi and power up the Raspberry Pi.

  • Try accessing PiAware locally
    • If your PiAware site has a local IP address, try accessing SkyAware with a browser.
      • Try the Site Local IP listed on My ADS-B Stats page
      • If that IP address does not work, follow the steps in the PiAware FAQ to determine the local IP address.
    • If you can view SkyAware but PiAware cannot access FlightAware.com:
      • Verify that your internet connection is working.
      • Check for a firewall on your network and open ports, if required. See the PiAware FAQ

If you are unable to resolve the issue, contact [email protected] for futher assistance.


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