Uniden Sentinel on Linux 2023


		If you have a Uniden SDS-200, SDS-100 or BCxxxHP, it uses Uniden's
		"Sentinel" software, a Microsoft Windows program, to update the 
		frequency database and the firmware.  

Using Wine - 20230921

  1. Install the latest wine from winehq. I got winhq-devel v8.16.
  2. Download the latest Sentinel Software from Uniden. I got 2.03.00.
  3. Unpack Sentinel and install it. $ wine setup.exe
  4. Plug the scanner into the USB port and select mass-storage mode when prompted. For me it mounted up as /media/MYUSERNAME/XXXX-XXXX.
  5. Run winecfg and add a drive with advanced settings - type is FLOPPY - and mount point is /media/MYUSERNAME/XXXX-XXXX.
  6. Run sentinel. $wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Uniden/BCDx36HP/BCDx36HP_Sentinel.exe

NOTE: It may appear you're adding a drive already there but the important part is you're adding it as type FLOPPY which is what Sentinel expects an sdcard to be (ejectable).

Obsolete Information Requiring a VM. Replaced by above 20230921.

It was built in earlier days and is not compatible with the current Wine. This guide resolves that problem through a Windows virtual machine.

Options for Virtual Machines or emulators or libraries

WINE - Wine Is Not an Emulator. It also doesn't work for Sentinel. [ ]

VirtualBox - An Oracle free virtual environment. Few can get the [ ] Sentinel program to recognize the radio scanner.

VMware-Player - A free (for personal use) version of VMware having [X] just enough functionality to make this EASY and Plug-N-Play.

How to run Uniden Sentinel on Linux under VMware-Player

Download required files

  1. Download the vmware player software from the following link. At 20230824 that's VMware Workstation Player V17
  2. Download a Microsoft Windows 8 or lower. DO NOT USE Windows 10 or later. Download Link
  3. Ensure you have unrar. Either
    # apt-get install -y unrar
    # yum -y install unrar
    or equivalent
  4. Unrar the Windows 8.1 rar file retrieved above.
    # rar -xv Win8.1-Professional-English-x64.rar
    to extract the .iso disk image.

Install VMware

  1. First make the downloaded file executable.
    # chmod o+x VMware-Player-Full-17.0.2-21581411.x86_64.bundle
    (or whatever version you downloaded)
  2. Run that bundle to install VMware-Workstation-Player aka VMware-Player.
    # ./VMware-Player-Full-17.0.2-21581411.x86_64.bundle

Fire up VMware

  1. $ sudo vmware-player   
    ### We do the sudo to maintain the X11 connection to the root shell from a graphical login
  2. Connect the ISO as the CD-ROM.
  3. Create a virtual hard drive of 50GB (enough for the Windows 8 install and then some)
  4. Start the virtual machine
Watch it take a while to install Windows.

Fire up Windows

Once the virtual machine is done installing and rebooting, you'll want to install DotNet2.0. This link will do that:
DotNet Ancient Link.

Install Uniden Sentinel

Download Uniden Download.

Time to run it

Run Sentinel from the menu, or via File Explorer C:\Program Files (x86)\Uniden\...

Connect the Scanner

  1. Ensure the scanner is off and the batteries are charged.
  2. Connect the scanner to the USB port on the host computer.
  3. Power on the scanner and when offered the choice to hit "." for serial or "E" for mass storage select "E" for mass storage.


You should be able to read from scanner, write to scanner, update firmware, and update master database.
When done, close down Sentinel gracefully via File-->Exit. Then unplug the scanner at either cable end. Then power off/on the scanner.