Langue: en

Version: 03/22/2009 (ubuntu - 07/07/09)

Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


gpsctl - control the modes of a GPS


gpsctl [-h] [-b | -n] [-c control] [-e] [-f] [-l] [-s speed] [-t devicetype] [-D debuglevel] [-V] [serial-port]


gpsctl can switch a dual-mode GPS between NMEA and vendor-binary modes. It can also be used to set the device baudrate. Note: Not all devices have these capabilities.

If you have only one GPS attached to your machine, and gpsd is running, it is not necessary to specify the device; gpsctl does its work through gpsd, which will locate it for you.

When gpsd is not running, the device specification is required, and you will almost certainly need to be running as root in order to have write access to the device.

The program accepts the following options:


Put the GPS into binary mode. After the GPS resets itself, autobaud to the new speed.


Send a specified control string to the GPS; gpsctl will provide packet headers and trailers and checksum as appropriate for binary packet types, and whatever checksum and trailer is required for text packet types. (You must include the leading $ for NMEA packets.) When sending to a UBX device, the first two bytes of the string supplied will become the message class and type, and the remainder the payload. When sending to a Navcom NCT or Trimble TSIP device, the first byte is interpreted as the command ID and the rest as payload. C-style backslash escapes in the string, notably \xNN for hex, will be interpreted; additionally, \e will be replaced with ESC. This switch implies -f.


Generate the packet from any other arguments specified and ship it to standard output instead of the device. This switch can be used with the -t option without specifying a device. Note: the packet data for a binary prototype will be raw, not ASCII-ized in any way.


Force low-level access (not through the daemon).


List a table showing which option switches can be applied to which device types, and exit.


Put GPS into NMEA mode. After the GPS resets itself autobaud to its new speed.


Set the baud rate at which the GPS emits packets.


Force the device type.


Change the sampling timeout. Defaults to 4 seconds, which should always be sufficient to get a packet from a device emitting at the normal rate of 1 per second.


Display program usage and exit.


Set level of debug messages.


Display program version and exit.

The argument of the forcing option. -t, should be a string which should be contained in exactly one of the known driver names; for a list, do gpsctl -l.

Forcing the device type behaves somewhat differently depending on whether this tool is going through the daemon or not. In high-level mode, if the device that daemon selects for you doesn't match the driver you specified, gpsctl exits with a warning. (This may be useful in scripts.)

In low-level mode, if the device identifies as a Generic NMEA, use the selected driver instead. This will be useful if you have a GPS device of known type that is in NMEA mode and not responding to probes. (This option was originally implemented for talking to SiRFStar I chips, which don't respond to the normal SiRF ID probe.)

If no options are given, the program will display a message identifying the GPS type of the selected device and exit.

Reset (-r) operations must stand alone; others can be combined. Multiple opations will be executed in tis order: mode changes (-b and -n) first, speed changes (-s) second, and control-string sends (-c) last.


gpsctl /dev/ttyUSB0

Attempt to identify the device on USB serial device 0. Time out after the default number of seconds. Adding the -f will force low-level access and suppress the normal complaint when this tool can't find a GPSD to work through.

gpsctl -f -n -s 9600 /dev/ttyUSB0

Use low-level operations (not going through a gpsd instance) to switch a GPS to NMEA mode at 9600bps. The tool will identify the GPS type itself.


SiRF GPSes can only be identified by the success of an attempt to flip them into SiRF binary mode. Thus, the process of probing one of these running in NMEA will change its behavior.


gpsd(8), cgps(1), libgps(3), libgpsd(3), gpsprof(1), gpsfake(1).


Eric S. Raymond <>. There is a project page for gpsd here[1].