How to create an XLX D-Star or DMR Reflector

NameLinking ProtocolsOpen Source/Closed SourceNotabilityNotes
REFDPLUSClosed SourceD-Star's first reflector system that was not originally implemented into D-Star.Created within the first few years of D-Star's release as the first "homebrewed" reflector system.
DCSDCSClosed SourceBuilt to compete/replace REF with its added functionalities.Module A on all DCS reflectors are linked together. First to use ircDDB and built in 2012.
X-Reflectors (XRF)D-Extra,DCS, and DPLUSOpen SourceFirst to be open source. Most are built using the XLX software code.The original, pre XLX reflectors, X Reflectors. History explained HERE.
XLXD-Extra,DCS, and DPLUSOpen SourceThe First multi protocol reflector with transcoding ability and giving admins complete control over the reflector.XLX is a stand-alone system that uses a feature called "Call Home" to build an activity list

Since the dawn of D-Star, there have been a few reflectors and networks built to support this digital mode. XLX is the newest edition of reflectors that allows you to spin up your very own D-Star or DMR reflector. Reflectors like REF and DCS, already have servers in place that you request access to use as an admin. XLX is a piece of software that runs on a Linux server that can be linked to from other D-Star repeaters and hotspots. One of the special things about these reflectors is they do not require registration on the D-Star trust system to use them. Users can simply link and start talking. XLX sets itself apart from the other reflectors in the D-Star world because its a ‘multi-mode reflector’ meaning, it has the ability of acting as a DMR reflector and other modes as well. By adding another piece of software, AMBED, and hardware vocoder chips, it can act as a transcoding server allowing other modes to talk together. More information on the transcoding part HERE .

Some features include:

  • Real Time dashboard showing last heard and current ongoing QSOs through the reflector.
  • Ability to link to other reflectors, and networks like Brandmeister.
  • Cross digital modes using a hardware vocoder; D-Star can talk to DMR or D-Star to analog or Fusion, etc..
  • Can be a DMR server too out of the box using the Pi-Star “DMR Gateway” feature.
  • Supports 26 modules/rooms A-Z.
  • Opensource!!

Whats involved:

  • Finding and registering an available XLX number if you would like your reflector to be in the pi-star host files automatically.
  • Using the script below to install XLXD onto a fresh updated Debian 9.x computer
  • Getting a static public IP address and setting up DNS if you are going to be a public reflector.
  • Being or finding a Linux admin to maintain and upkeep the server.

How to install XLX on Debian Linux

Once you have a Debian 9.x Linux server at the ready and have both a FQDN and XLX # in mind, you are ready to install.

git clone
cd xlxd-debian-installer

The script will ask you a few questions, then install xlx and configure apache for the web dashboard.

After the install

Your web dashboard should be accessible after the install. Since the reflector wont be available yet in pi-star, you can test connectivity by updating clients DExtra hosts file.

systemctl start xlxd #This will start xlxd.

system status xlxd #This will show the status

netstat -4plan | grep xlxd #This will show if the service is actively listening for traffic

# netstat -4plan | grep xlxd
udp 0 0* 32173/xlxd
udp 0 0* 32173/xlxd
udp 0 0* 32173/xlxd
udp 0 0* 32173/xlxd
udp 0 0* 32173/xlxd
udp 0 0* 32173/xlxd
udp 0 0* 32173/xlxd
udp 0 0* 32173/xlxd

Adding your reflector to the reflectorlist and pi-star hosts files

As of early 2019 you no longer need to request anything to add your reflector. If your XLX number is open, enable callinghome and your reflector will be added automatically to the reflectorlist.  The config file is important and is where you will make the majority of your personal changes for the reflector. The file is: /var/www/xlxd/pgs/ Most of the options in the file are self explanatory and have comments explaining the fields. You will want to update this file before going live. The field you need to update is:

$CallingHome[‘Active’] = false; // xlx phone home, true or false

When this gets switched to ‘true’ your reflector will start to announce its live and show up on the reflector list.

**When this is flipped, a file called “callinghome.php” is created in /xlxd. Make sure to copy this file or change its location in the config. This hash verifies the reflector is yours. Back it up!!**

Adding transcoding capabilities to your XLX reflector

Quite possibly the best part about the XLX reflector is its capability to trans-code from one digital mode to another. Users can connect via DMR and talk to D-Star users, or connect via Yaesu Fusion and talk to D-Star users. Hardware AMBE vocoder USB chips are required for this to happen, but once you have an XLX server and vocoder chips, all you need to do is install AMBED where your vocoder chips are and edit the /etc/init.d/xlxd file to point to the IP of AMBED



Updated: 04-20-2019