Development Environment on Mac

MacOS is a supported development platform for PX4. The following instructions set up an environment for building:

  • NuttX-based hardware (Pixhawk, etc.)
  • jMAVSim Smulation
  • Gazebo Simulation

To build other targets see: Toolchain Installation > Supported Targets.


Increase the maximum allowed number of open files on macOS using the Terminal command:

ulimit -S -n 2048

At time of writing (December 2018) the master branch uses more than the default maximum allowed open files on macOS (256 in all running processes). As a short term solution, increasing the number of allowed open files to 300 should fix most problems.

Homebrew Installation

The installation of Homebrew is quick and easy: installation instructions.

Common Tools

After installing Homebrew, run these commands in your shell to install the common tools:

brew tap PX4/px4
brew install px4-dev

Make sure you have Python 3 installed.

brew install python3

# install required packages using pip3
pip3 install --user pyserial empy toml numpy pandas jinja2 pyyaml pyros-genmsg

Gazebo Simulation

To install SITL simulation with Gazebo:

brew cask install xquartz
brew install px4-sim-gazebo

jMAVSim Simulation

To install SITL simulation with jMAVSim:

brew tap AdoptOpenJDK/openjdk
brew cask install adoptopenjdk8
brew install px4-sim-jmavsim

Additional Tools

See Additional Tools for information about other useful development tools that are not part of the build toolchain (for example IDEs and GCSs).

Next Steps

Once you have finished setting up the environment, continue to the build instructions.

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