Linux Installation Instructions

Linux version of PolarView/PolarCOM requires no specific installation process. Download installation tarball to your disk, then follow steps shown in the following screen capture. Click on the image for better view.

Screen Capture of PolarView Linux Installation

Screen Capture of PolarView Linux Installation

Your Linux distribution must be “sufficiently modern” and have GTK2 available.

32 bit vs. 64 bit

Our applications are provided in “32 bit” version for widest compatibility. This allows our products to work on both 32 bit and 64 bit systems. On Linux, many 64 bit distributions do not come with preinstalled 32 bit compatibility libraries, so you may need to install these libraries before using PolarView or PolarCOM.

– Ubuntu & Debian users need to install one compatibility package. The following command usually does the trick: sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
 Users of Ubuntu 11.10 and above, please note that Ubuntu switched to a new version of OpenSSL. You will need to install previous compatibility version of OpenSSL by running: sudo apt-get install libssl0.9.8

– Fedora & RedHat users have a few more steps to take, see the following link for details:

Gentoo users (of 32 bit systems) may encounter a different issue. Seems like on Gentoo libpng version 1.2 may not be installed by default. The following magic incantation should help: emerge libpng:1.2 –oneshot


To remove PolarView from your Linux system, use “rm -rf bin” on the directory where you have installed PolarView. (This paragraph is placed here due to requirements of Google AdWords – we honestly don’t think you are that ignorant 😉 )

23 Responses to Linux Installation Instructions

  1. Mikkel Müller says:

    Hi – I’m trying to get Polarcom to work on a Ubuntu 8.04. It works beautifully on Ubuntu 9.10 – but on 8.04 – no error message, nothing. Is there maybe some dependencies (not mentioned) needed? GTK2 is installed and everything is updated.
    Or maybe a flag for debugging?
    Very beautiful interface design and its also the only full software NMEA multiplexer solution for Linux is have found – good work.

    • polarnavy says:


      PolarCOM release is built on Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) for widest possible compatibility. There are few dependencies except for GTK2 and GLIBC.
      Please check the following:
      1) PolarCOM runs as a tray icon in Gnome system tray. When you launch a PolarCOM binary from shell, it disconnects from tty and becomes a daemon. At that point tray icon should appear. Once you launch PolarCOM please check your process list (ps ax) to make sure it isn’t actually running in a background. If it is – there may be an issue with a Gnome desktop not showing the system tray icon for some reason.

      2) If you do not see PolarCOM in a process list – try the ldd command on PolarCOM binary (ldd bin/PolarCOM.bin). Check if there are any missing dependencies in the output.

      If you still have an issue – please contact me directly (by email or using our feedback page on the web site) and I will try to see what else can be done.

  2. Joe Buck says:

    I’m attempting to run PolarCOM using linux distribution Debian 5.0. When I run ‘bin/PolarCOM.bin &’ I get the response “[1] 8428” (without quotes).
    When I run ‘ps ax’ I get:

    5299 pts/0 Ss 00:01 bash
    866 pts/0 R+ 00:00 ps ax
    [1]+ Done bin/PolarCOM.bin

    When I run ‘ps ax’ a second time I get:

    5299 pts/0 Ss 0:01 bash
    8858 pts/0 R+ 0:0 ps ax

    (i.e. no mention of PolarCOM)

    When I run ‘ldd /bin/PolarCOM.bin’
    I get a long list of dependencies, but not mention of any missing items.

    Debian 5.0 is using the 2.6.26 kernel – and Debian uses Gnome.
    I using a VIA Nehemiah processor, cpu family 6. I’ve got a couple of other computers with different processors, but all running Debian 5.0. If necessary I can install Ubuntu 8.04 and give it a try.
    Any suggestions? (I see no icons).

  3. Joe Buck says:

    Info for the readers of this thread.
    Thanks for the quick response. When I ran PolarView, I received “Illegal Instruction”. I changed to a different computer, same software but running an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor Tk-57. That solved the problem and both PolarView and PolarCOM start running properly.
    Thanks again.

  4. polarnavy says:

    Thanks for the reply!

    As an additional info, both PolarView and PolarCOM require SSE2 instruction set to run. While most modern i386-compatible processors provide this instruction set, some (in particularly portable/embedded CPUs) do not. If you see one of the programs fail with “Illegal instruction”, it is likely that you have one of these.

    I’ll put a more graceful way of handling this issue (perhaps a more explicit error message box) on the TODO list.

  5. Gerhard says:

    I am running 1.3.17 licenced version on ubuntu. In addition I have s63 charts.
    Do I have to do the installation process as stated or are there any short cuts when an earlier version is already installed?

    • polarnavy says:


      Simply install new version of PolarView and run it. It will automatically pick up your existing license data, configuration and charts.

      Make sure that once you run a new version, you do not run previous version any more since all the configuration data will be automatically upgraded to the next release and no longer compatible with the old one. Running old version of PolarView then can corrupt your data.

  6. Brian says:

    I will be trying to install this on a Raspberry Pi in the next while and I was wondering if anyone has run this software on the new Rasbian Linux distribution. Any insight or suggestions would be appreciated.

  7. Doug Robinson, s/v Nemesis says:

    I am trying to install PolarNavy on a minimal Linux Distro called BodHi 2.3.0 which is fairly modern. Its desktop is based on Enlightenment and I get the following diagnostic when attempting to run: (I question its validity as I never have come across any crypto in the use of previous versions.

    fdr14127@fdr14127-ThinkPad-T43:/opt$ cd polarnavy
    fdr14127@fdr14127-ThinkPad-T43:/opt/polarnavy$ sudo tar -zxf ../PolarView-1.9.tar.gz
    fdr14127@fdr14127-ThinkPad-T43:/opt/polarnavy$ ls
    fdr14127@fdr14127-ThinkPad-T43:/opt/polarnavy$ /opt/polarnavy/bin/PolarView &
    [1] 9441
    fdr14127@fdr14127-ThinkPad-T43:/opt/polarnavy$ ./PolarView.bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    (And synaptic pkg doesn’t find any such lib in Ubuntu or BodHi lists)

    • Doug Robinson, s/v Nemesis says:

      Ok with a few adjustments this application fairly flies on a Thinkpad T3 (Celeron) using the minimal BodHi version of Linux. Mainly you have to manually set up the invocation in the Enlightenment menus and it will go….

  8. Brenda says:

    You think there’s no market and demand for Raspberry Pi install? There is absolutely a market here. We’ve been waiting for Polarnavy to catch up with the rest of the world. It seems you’ve dropped out of the race. Too bad. I happily used to use Polarview on Windows 7, Ubuntu, Debian, and Windows 8. I’ve just switched over to OpenCPN. Why? Because you folks at Polarnavy haven’t bothered to reply to numerous inquiries my husband politely made about when you might be offering something for Pi. That was after I left numerous messages for you and you didn’t respond to me. That was just rude. I really liked (past tense) your product much more than OpenCPN but I have no choice. You are not responsive to the demands of the market. So, the market goes elsewhere. We are now running OpenCPN on all platforms including the Pi. Goodbye, so sad to leave when it seemed your product had so much potential. Perhaps you can dump the CTO/CEO or who ever it is that is the roadblock to your company’s expanded success? Fair winds.

    • polarnavy says:

      I’ll make sure to let our CEO know 🙂

      If you have any questions about PolarView, the appropriate place to ask them is our support forums (follow the link for “support” at the top of our web site).

      • Travis says:

        The best part… OpenCPN doesn’t run on Raspberry Pi either.. Ok, maybe it runs, but its not usable..

        Frankly I have gone the other way.. I bought an paid for PolarView and replaced OpenCPN. PolarView does a better job displaying charts and is generally more attractive.. I have no problem paying $50 for a 5 computer install..

  9. D. West says:

    You will need to install previous compatibility version of OpenSSL by running: sudo apt-get install libssl0.9.8.
    Isn’t installing these old versions of SSL a HUGE security risk.
    Heart bleed is just one of many problems. Clearly not something I would do.

    • polarnavy says:

      openssl 0.9.8 is not vulnerable to the “heartbleed” bug. In any case, it is now supplied with PolarView as a private library. As such, it is only used by PolarView and not by other system components.

  10. Ernest Glastris says:

    We are also waiting for for a Polarview app suitable to the Raspberry Pi, specifically the Raspberry Pi 3. Many boaters are using Open CPN but would rather continue their Polarview use in new installations. Many of us are increasing our use of ARM processors due to lower cost and improved flexibility in onboard communications. We would appreciate your support. Polar Navy should see this as an opportunity rather than an apparent inconvenience.

    Kind reards,


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