Install from Git to Keep Up-to-Date
Install Xastir sources via git. After that, periodically go to the root level of your Xastir source directory with an xterm and run "./update-xastir". This will pull down new changes, configure, compile, and install the new Xastir:
cd ~/src/Xastir # or similar ./update-xastir
Add Sound Files to Xastir
Add sound files from here:
To /usr/local/share/xastir/sounds/ directory to enable audio alarms. See the README.Getting-Started file for more details.
Use the Cut-Off Lines in Menus
The dashed lines in a menu allow you to cut off that menu and keep it visible for quick access. I often do this with the "Filter Data" and "Filter Display" menus.
Run Scripts Periodically to Keep Up-To-Date
Note: The paths below reflect installing Xastir into /usr/local/ area. Change the path if your Xastir is installed in another location.
Run this script as "root" periodically to get/update U.S. weather alert shapefile maps from the NWS:
Else run this script as "root" periodically to get/update the Australian weather alert files:
Run this script as "root" periodically to keep the U.S. and Canadian callsign databases up-to-date and indexed for use by Xastir:
Airplanes and Boats?
Read the comments at the top of "Xastir/scripts/ads-b.pl" and "Xastir/scripts/ais.pl" which inform how to listen directly to Aircraft and Ships, then display them in Xastir. These two scripts are Linux-only. You'll need at least one RTL SDR USB dongle to directly receive the data.
Set File->Configure->Timing "New Track Time" and "New Track Interval" each to 0 to have planes leave dots instead of tracks. Set "Station Ghosting Time" short (5 or 10 minutes?) so only active aircraft overhead are shown. You can also lower the "Station Clear Time" to remove stations from being displayed instead of just ghosting them. "Dead-Reckoning Timout" may be of interest as well.
Do NOT enable Auto Maps
Automaps was a feature in Xastir early-on. It will enable map layers based on where you are in relation to the map files. It causes a problem if you have multiple sets of maps that cover the same area, as they will ALL be enabled for viewing, your display will not appear as you intend, and map loading will take forever as you pan or zoom. Instead, manually enable sets of maps or individual map files, and use Map Chooser -> Properties to set up the map layers as you intend. For debugging, turn off Automaps and all other maps manually, then enable maps one-by-one until you find where the problem lies.