How to Generate and Learn Morse Code Using the Linux Terminal


Learning Morse code has its benefits apart from establishing your cred as a geek. Here’s how you can generate and learn Morse code on Linux.

Morse code may be less important these days for communication, but it’s worth learning for some applications. One of the best ways to learn Morse code is to hear it.

If you use Linux, there’s a command-line program that can help you do just that. It’s called morse. This program translates any text into the audio dots and dashes of Morse code.

What Is morse?

morse is a command-line Morse code trainer for Linux intended for people who want to learn Morse code.

In the past, this would be people who were learning to become amateur radio operators, but in the 2000s, authorities around the world, including the US Federal Communications Commission, relaxed their licensing requirements. Now Morse code is no longer needed to earn an amateur radio license.

Other former heavy users of Morse code, including the shipping and aviation industries, have moved on to newer communication technologies.

Morse code still has niche uses. A lot of older hams (amateur radio operators) use it to communicate. Aircraft radio navigation beacons also use Morse code to announce themselves to pilots. You can also use Morse code to communicate in an emergency.

Perhaps most importantly, knowing Morse code will give you some serious geek cred. You could write a tool yourself in Python, but there’s already a program available.

Installing morse on Linux

Installing morse is simple on most major Linux distros. Most distros have it in their repositories already.

To install it on Debian and Ubuntu:

 sudo apt install morse 

To install it on Arch Linux:

 sudo pacman -S morse 

And on RPM-based Linux distros:

 sudo dnf install morse 

Using morse to Learn Morse Code on Linux

You can use morse on the command line interactively with the -i option:

 morse -i 

When you press the letter keys in this mode, your computer will play the Morse code equivalent as a series of beeps. The idea is to memorize the letters so you’ll be able to identify them when you hear the dots and dashes.

You can also send standard input to morse:

 cat 'What hath God Wrought' | morse
morse -rm output

The -r option will generate random text. The -m option will print out the dots and dashes. The -l option prints each letter before transmitting it in morse code.

Now You Can Experiment With Morse Code on Linux

While the importance of Morse code has diminished in recent years, you can use morse to get familiar with Morse code at the command line. If you don’t want to use the command line, there are other Morse code learning tools available online.


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