Install RMS Express on Linux

HAM is my hobby and I recently switched to using Linux Mint 17 as my main workstation. Since I couldn’t find any documentation on how to do this, I’ll post my how to here.

RMS Express is a HAM program that transfers email over amateur radio. This guide used Linux Mint 17.3 on Cinnamon, but should work on any Ubuntu based system.

First, setup your username with permissions to access the serial ports. This is needed for accessing your USB connected rigs.

sudo usermod -a -G dialout $USERNAME
sudo usermod -a -G tty $USERNAME
sudo usermod -a -G audio $USERNAME

Clear out your old wine configuration. If you have Wine installed, remove it and delete your .wine folder in your home directory. This will remove any installed wine applications.

rm -r ~/.wine

Wine 1.8 -Stable Version

Now install Wine 1.8 .Set the architecture to 32bit for Wine and add the official Wine repository. Then install wine 1.8.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 
export WINEARCH=win32
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install wine1.8 wine-gecko2.40 wine-gecko2.40:i386
sudo apt-get install wine-mono4.5.6 wine-mono4.5.6:i386
sudo apt-get install gnome-exe-thumbnailer

The winetricks file in the repository is a few versions back and has a bug with Wine 1.8. Download the latest version.

cd ~/Downloads
sudo chmod +x winetricks
sudo mv winetricks /usr/bin/winetricks

 Set our Windows version to Win 7 (RMS Express does not support XP), our sound driver to ALSA (works better with our USB soundcards), and install Microsoft .NET 3.5 sp1 quietly into Wine (takes a long time).

winetricks win7
winetricks sound=alsa
winetricks -q dotnet35sp1

If you get prompted to download and install wine-mono or wine-gecko, do it.

Add the COM1 port for our rig. We create a link from our port to COM1 in the dosdevices folder. If you need multiple ports, change the number after ‘COM’. If your rigs uses the physical serial port, replace ttyUSB0 with your actual port.(ttyS0, etc). Use dmesg to see what USB port is used.

ln -s /dev/ttyUSB0 ~/.wine/dosdevices/com1

Then add the COM port to the windows registry.

gedit ~/.wine/system.reg

After “#arch-win32”, add the following two lines, save and exit.

[Hardware\Devicemap\Serialcomm] 1131331688

Download RMS Express from their website.

Extract the zip file, and then double click on RMS Express Setup. Click Next and accept all defaults (yes, including installing on C: ) Once the Setup finishes, run RMS Express by clicking on the icon on the desktop or in the menu (under Wine)

Fill out your setup information – entering Call Sign and Password may pull your info. Click Update. Now you’re ready to use RMS Express. If the properties window keeps loosing focus, move your mouse off the window.

Use RMS Express normally. You may be asked to install additional software. Install them normally, just like windows. Accept the default locations. I’ve tested two of the helper applications.

  • Install ITS HF using defaults when prompted for propagation information. Follow the link in the message box.
  • If you need the ViewFax Grib/Fax viewer, install the New ViewFax version 5 beta at the bottom of the screen.

Good luck and 73


NOTICE : Do not use version 1.5 or allow a upgrade to 1.5. RMS Express 1.5 is broken in this configuration. See my new post for more information and how to revert back.

RMS Express 1.5 Broken on Linux

28 thoughts on “Install RMS Express on Linux”

  1. Thanks so much for as it’s been a real task to get {RMS,Winlink} Express operational.

    Since we’re using these Linux laptops in our ARES/RACES stations, we’d like to know if you’ve met with any success using the ICS-213 forms in Winlink Express, please. We get “Error processing form C:RMS ExpresscallsignTempICS-213_TwoWay_Initial.html: Call not implemented”.

    This seems to be the only remaining issue with using Winlink Express on Linux.


    1. Thanks!

      I’ve not used the custom forms inside RMS Express, just the file catalog to get weather reports.

      Run dmesg in a command line just after the error to see what error Linux is seeing at that time.


  2. Have you been able to make a internet telnet session work? I get “Your computer does not have internet access”, even though I do.


  3. Derek stated: “Run dmesg in a command line just after the error to see what error Linux is seeing at that time.”

    The dmesg indicates nothing, so that must mean the failure is entirely within Winlink Express. Even “strace -o /tmp/we_strace.txt wine ${etc}” shows no discernible error that I’ve been able to find in the 190K+ lines of output, even near the end when ^C is invoked immediately after the error. With the error popup titled “RMS Express” then it seems the error is indeed within Winlink Express.


  4. Thank you very much! This is great. I use it on my sailboat to get grib files. The only problem by installation was that it was not installed as ‘#arch-win32’ on a 64bit machine.
    But with :
    export WINEARCH=win32
    export WINEPREFIX=”/home/marc/.wine”
    it was installed perfect, great job.

    Sy Begerto
    Lanzarote, Spain


    1. Hi Jason,Jerry Here KD4FZY, been working all week on my raspi build and watching your videos. Sir you make it easy in your videos. I would like to put our heads together and get winlink and Vara work inside the pi with wine. Just installed wine 4.0 and my research shows for use to use the ICS,ARC forms in winlink we need the 4.19 Wine HQ .


  5. One minor but possibly irrelevant correction: I run RMS Express on my WinXP box (latest version as of now, 30 December 2016).


  6. I followed all instructions and it work perfectly. I was thrilled! Then a few days ago I received a message saying an update to version 1.5 is available and I was stupid enough to install it. Now it’s broken and I can’t seem to fix it or find the installer of the previous version. I’m sure there is a quick fix that will be figured out and hopefully posted eventually, but I am more concerned about how fragile RMSExpress with Wine. Are there general approaches to troubleshooting Wine compatibility situations like this without spending hours of trial and error?


    1. I’ve received reports of this from other HAMs, but I haven’t been back at my shack to test or figure this out yet. I’ve seen a suggestion of doing a full install of the new version as others report the update feature is flaky under Wine. I’m hopeful that a Linux based replacement will come soon. ARDOP/ARIM is looking promising


    1. Stay with 1.4.4. If they don’t have a 1.5 version that works in a few months, I’m going to look to move to ARDOP instead.


  7. Was there a final resolution to the problem by @Tony:

    Since we’re using these Linux laptops in our ARES/RACES stations, we’d like to know if you’ve met with any success using the ICS-213 forms in Winlink Express, please. We get “Error processing form C:RMS ExpresscallsignTempICS-213_TwoWay_Initial.html: Call not implemented”.

    This seems to be the only remaining issue with using Winlink Express on Linux.

    I have WinLink Express running using the Linux emulator “Crossover” from — and running on my MacBook Pro laptop. Got it all going in a “Windows 7” bottle (with .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1) created using Crossover.

    I am also experiencing the same issue as Tony: “Error processing form C:RMS ExpresscallsignTempICS-213_TwoWay_Initial.html: Call not implemented”

    But I did not see any resolution on this message thread. Any help to resolve this would be very much appreciated. I seem to have the rest of Winlink operating over radio and telnet but this error is preventing me from creating initial ICS-213 messages to my Emergency Communications team. Thank you in advance for any and all assistance.

    Running version:, dated: 4/4/2017 from

    John Spady/ WA7UAR


  8. Hi Derek,

    After trying to follow your post I wasn’t able to get winlink/rms express to work on my linux machine.

    However, with that said I downloaded the program “PlayOnLinux”, had it install wine for me and then was able to install RMS Express (latest version) through that. It will also allow you to install the service pack needed and will install the other needed msxml3, and font libraries.

    So far I’ve only tested it with telnet because it was installed on my test machine, but the telnet session worked fine.

    Owen – KK4URZ


  9. nope. doesn’t work on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Thats the problem with linux, you have to search a 1000 threads to get the right answer and this is not one of them. Move on to another thread.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Almost there. I got rid of Ubuntu. Followed your instructions to include moving to Mint17. Everything is installed and working to a point. When I Open a Session, It takes control of the radio (ICOM 7300) one time, and if it never makes a connection to one of the Best Channel selections, it no longer controls the radio. (Essentialliy have to reboot the computer to get it to take control of the radio again.) Also, when RMS Express is started. it does not always use the USB Soundcard even after having it selected. Sometimes USB Soundcard options do not even show up in the WINMOR setup area.
    So what input/output Soundcard should be selected? and should the speaker/microphone settings be adjusted and to what levels?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m almost there.


  11. I have the same error using Windows Vista Business.
    Error processing form
    Access denied.
    May be a setting on browser although I have enabled all permissions yet same result .
    I am using RMS Express version latest.


  12. I seem to have corrected the issue by running the Program in Windows Vista as Administrator.

    To test I forwarded from RMS telnet a message to another email account and replied .
    Once received back from Telnet session – all opened good.



  13. Installed today the brandnew Version V.1.5.10 on a so far wine-free Ubuntu 16.04 LTS system with winehq wine-stable. – All works fine, except, that I cannot connect from RMS Express to the Internet (e.g. for updating the list of actual MPSes, request a password recovery mail or update propagation data – ITS HF Propagation is installed). But from the same wine-install I do have Internet-Access, e.g. using Echolink. — This is really weired.
    … anyone with similar problems … or suggestions as how to resolve this?
    Any feedback welcome!



  14. I’m not the kind of guy to debug this wine-stuff.

    But I found out, that while is completely not working, has only this internet-access-problem. – Problably this is just a missing .dll somewhere, that could be easily installed with winetricks. The rest is fine.

    Nevertheless, I went back to again, just to have proper propagation calculation and so on.

    Take care


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