Synchronet v3.19b-Win32 (install) has been released (Jan-2022).

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Table of Contents

Install Synchronet on a Raspberry Pi

Here are step-by-step instructions on building and installing Synchronet on a Raspberry Pi running either Raspbian or Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit.

Note: While Raspbian and the 32-bit version of Raspberry Pi OS are virtually identical, the 64-bit version of Raspberry Pi OS is a significant departure from Raspbian. These instructions are untested on the 64-bit version.


These instructions were created using a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B running Raspbian Stretch, kernel version 4.4:

$ uname -a
Linux raspberrypi 4.4.21-v7+ #911 SMP Thu Sep 15 14:22:38 BST 2016 armv7l GNU/Linux

These instructions have recently been confirmed using a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B running Raspbian Stretch Light, kernel version 4.14:

$ uname -a
Linux raspberrypi 4.14.71-v7+ #1145 SMP Fri Sep 21 15:38:35 BST 2018 armv7l GNU/Linux

These instructions have recently been confirmed using a Raspberry Pi 4 running Raspberry Pi OS, kernel version 6.1.0:

$ uname -a
Linux raspberrypi 6.1.0-rpi7-rpi-v8 #1 SMP PREEMPT Debian 1:6.1.63-1+rpt1 (2023-11-24) aarch64 GNU/Linux


Get to a Terminal/command prompt (e.g. login via SSH or run the Terminal application from the PIXEL desktop).

Login as your preferred user account to run the BBS software (e.g. the default user pi, or create the user sbbs using the Linux adduser utility and then run su sbbs to login as the user sbbs).

These instructions install Synchronet (source code, executables, configuration, and data files) into a sub-directory named sbbs off of the home directory of the current user (e.g. ~/sbbs). So if the current user is “pi”, that would expand to /home/pi/sbbs. If you wish to install into a different directory (e.g. /sbbs instead of ~/sbbs), then change the following commands as you see fit, but that is not recommended.

Install all the prerequisites for Debian/Ubuntu for version 23.00 upwards then follow the instructions below: Note: If using an Rpi4 use a 64 bit Raspberry Pi OS and download arm64 instead of armhf.

# Command Description
1 mkdir ~/deb_packages Create a directory to store some packages for manual installation
2 cd ~/deb_packages Change the current working directory to the newly-created directory
3 wget or
Download libffi6
4 wget or
Download libmozjs185-1.0
5 wget or
Download libmozjs185-dev
6 sudo apt install ./lib*.deb Install libs and dependencies
7 mkdir ~/sbbs Create the directory where Synchronet will be built and run from
8 cd ~/sbbs Change the current working directory to the newly-created directory
9 wget Fetch makefile
10 make install SYMLINK=1 JSINCLUDE=/usr/include/js JSLIB=mozjs185 Build it (will likely take quite a while)
11 export SBBSCTRL=~/sbbs/ctrl See env for details on setting this environment variable persistently
12 ~/sbbs/exec/scfg Configure your BBS, see sbbs.ini for more Synchronet server settings

Now you are ready to either run sbbs with interactive sysop console:

$ ~/sbbs/exec/sbbs

or see this how-to for instructions on how to run sbbs as a daemon using systemd.

This will create 32-bit ARM binaries (executables):

$ file -L sbbs
sbbs: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, ARM, EABI5 version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked, interpreter /lib/, for GNU/Linux 3.2.0

Although it is possible to create 64-bit ARM binaries for the Raspberry Pi 3/3+ through cross-compilation, this is not supported by the Raspberry Pi foundation and thus not covered here.

DOSEMU On Raspberry Pi 4 with 64 Bit OS

You will need to add the DosEMU2 Launchpad PPA to your system.

First, add the public key

$ sudo curl -sS ''|gpg --dearmor > /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/ubuntu-dosemu2-ppa.gpg

This step seems to be a challenge for some people so you may have to break it into a couple of steps

$   curl -sS '' | gpg --dearmor > /tmp/dosemupgp.txt
$   sudo mv /tmp/dosemupgp.txt /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/ubuntu-dosemu2-ppa.gpg

Second, create a source file

$ sudo echo "deb kinetic main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/dosemu2

Next, run apt update to make sure there are no issues

$ sudo apt update

Then install the DosEMU2 files

$ apt install dosemu2

A number of packages will be installed.

Finally, download Nelgin's dosemu2 configurations. Untar the file and follow the readme. You should be left with a working DosEMU

$ wget $ tar xf dosemu2.tar.gz

See Also