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This toolchain is portable, easy to install, and easy to use. It is the newest and best performing toolchain for developing PX4 on Windows.
This is the only officially supported toolchain for building PX4 on Windows (i.e. it is tested in our continuous integration system).
The toolchain supports:
- Build/upload of PX4 to NuttX targets (Pixhawk series controllers)
- JMAVSim/SITL simulator with significantly better performance than the other Windows toolchains.
- Style check, portable installer, command line completion and many other features.
This topic explains how download and use the environment, and how it can be extended and updated if needed (for example, to use a different compiler).
- Download the latest version of the ready-to-use MSI installer from: Github releases or Amazon S3 (fast download).
- Run it, choose your desired installation location, let it install:
Tick the box at the end of the installation to clone the PX4 repository, build and run simulation with jMAVSim (this simplifies the process to get you started).
If you missed this step you will need to clone the PX4-Autopilot repository manually.
The toolchain uses a specially configured console window (started by running the run-console.bat script) from which you can call the normal PX4 build commands:
- Browse to the toolchain installation directory (default C:\PX4\)
- Run run-console.bat (double click) to start the Cygwin bash console
Clone the PX4 PX4-Autopilot repository from within the console:
Cloning only needs to be done once! Skip this step if you ticked the installer option to clone the PX4 repository, build and run simulation with jMAVSim.
# Clone the PX4-Autopilot repository into the home folder & loads submodules in parallel git clone --recursive -j8 https://github.com/PX4/PX4-Autopilot.git
You can now use the console/PX4-Autopilot repository to build PX4.
For example, to run JMAVSim:
# Navigate to PX4-Autopilot repo cd PX4-Autopilot # Build and runs SITL simulation with jMAVSim to test the setup make px4_sitl jmavsim
The console will then display:
Continue next to the detailed instructions on how to build PX4 (or see the section below for more general usage instructions).
The installation directory (default: C:\PX4\) contains a batch script for launching the PX4 SITL (linux like) bash console: run-console.bat
The Manual Setup section explains why you need to use the script and how it all works.
The ordinary workflow consists of starting a console window by double clicking on the run-console.bat script to manually run terminal commands.
Antivirus and other background file monitoring tools can significantly slow down both installation of the toolchain and PX4 build times.
You may wish to halt them temporarily during builds (at your own risk).
We recommend that you force Unix style LF endings for every repository you're working with using this toolchain (and use an editor which preserves them when saving your changes - e.g. Eclipse or VS Code).
Compilation of source files also works with CR+LF endings checked out locally, but there are cases in Cygwin (e.g. execution of shell scripts) that require Unix line endings (otherwise you get errors like
$'\r': Command not found.).
Luckily git can do this for you when you execute the two commands in the root directory of your repo:
git config core.autocrlf false
git config core.eol lf
If you work with this toolchain on multiple repositories you can also set these two configurations globally for your machine:
git config --global ...
This is not recommended because it may affect any other (unrelated) git use on your Windows machine.
Under Unix there's a flag in the permissions of each file that tells the OS whether or not the file is allowed to be executed. git under Cygwin supports and cares about that bit (even though the Windows NTFS file system does not use it). This often results in git finding "false-positive" differences in permissions. The resulting diff might look like this:
diff --git ...
old mode 100644
new mode 100755
We recommend globally disabling the permission check on Windows to avoid the problem:
git config --global core.fileMode false # disable execution bit check globally for the machine
For existing repositories that have this problem caused by a local configuration, additionally:
git config --unset core.filemode # remove the local option for this repository to apply the global one
git submodule foreach --recursive git config --unset core.filemode # remove the local option for all submodules
The following features are known to work (version 2.0):
- Building and running SITL with jMAVSim with significantly better performance than a VM (it generates a native windows binary px4.exe).
- Building and uploading NuttX builds (e.g.: px4_fmu-v2 and px4_fmu-v4)
- Style check with astyle (supports the command:
- Command line auto completion
- Non-invasive installer! The installer does NOT affect your system and global path (it only modifies the selected installation directory e.g. C:\PX4\ and uses a temporary local path).
- The installer supports updating to a new version keeping your personal changes inside the toolchain folder
- Simulation: Gazebo and ROS are not supported.
- Only NuttX and JMAVSim/SITL builds are supported.
- Known problems (Also use to report issues).
You can also install the environment using shell scripts in the Github project.
- Make sure you have Git for Windows installed.
- Clone the repository https://github.com/PX4/windows-toolchain to the location you want to install the toolchain. Default location and naming is achieved by opening the
Git Bashand executing:
cd /c/ git clone https://github.com/PX4/windows-toolchain PX4
- If you want to install all components navigate to the freshly cloned folder and double click on the script
install-all-components.batlocated in the folder
toolchain. If you only need certain components and want to safe Internet traffic and or disk space you can navigate to the different component folders like e.g.
toolchain\cygwin64and click on the install-XXX.bat scripts to only fetch something specific.
- Continue with Getting Started (or Usage Instructions)
This section describes how to setup the Cygwin toolchain manually yourself while pointing to the corresponding scripts from the script based installation repo. The result should be the same as using the scripts or MSI installer.
The toolchain gets maintained and hence these instructions might not cover every detail of all the future changes.
- Create the folders: C:\PX4\, C:\PX4\toolchain\ and C:\PX4\home\
- Download the Cygwin installer file setup-x86_64.exe from the official Cygwin website
- Run the downloaded setup file
- In the wizard choose to install into the folder: C:\PX4\toolchain\cygwin64\
Select to install the default Cygwin base and the newest available version of the following additional packages:
- Devel:cmake (3.3.2 gives no deprecated warnings, 3.6.2 works but has the warnings)
- Editors:nano (unless you're the vim pro)
Do not select as many packages as possible which are not on this list, there are some which conflict and break the builds.
That's what cygwin64/install-cygwin-px4.bat does.
The reason to start all the development tools through the prepared batch script is they preconfigure the starting program to use the local, portable Cygwin environment inside the toolchain's folder. This is done by always first calling the script setup-environment.bat and the desired application like the console after that.
The script setup-environment.bat locally sets environmental variables for the workspace root directory
PX4_DIR, all binary locations
PATH, and the home directory of the unix environment
Add necessary python packages to your setup by opening the Cygwin toolchain console (double clicking run-console.bat) and executing
pip2 install toml pip2 install pyserial pip2 install pyulog
That's what cygwin64/install-cygwin-python-packages.bat does.
Download the ARM GCC compiler as zip archive of the binaries for Windows and unpack the content to the folder
This is what the toolchain does in: gcc-arm/install-gcc-arm.bat.
Install the JDK:
- Download Java 14 from Oracle or AdoptOpenJDK.
- Because sadly there is no portable archive containing the binaries directly you have to install it.
- Find the binaries and move/copy them to C:\PX4\toolchain\jdk.
- You can uninstall the Kit from your Windows system again, we only needed the binaries for the toolchain.
This is what the toolchain does in: jdk/install-jdk.bat.
Download Apache Ant as zip archive of the binaries for Windows and unpack the content to the folder
Make sure you don't have an additional folder layer from the folder which is inside the downloaded archive.
This is what the toolchain does in: apache-ant/install-apache-ant.bat.
Download, build and add genromfs to the path:
Clone the source code to the folder C:\PX4\toolchain\genromfs\genromfs-src with
cd /c/toolchain/genromfs git clone https://github.com/chexum/genromfs.git genromfs-src
Compile it with:
cd genromfs-src make all
- Copy the resulting binary genromfs.exe one folder level out to: C:\PX4\toolchain\genromfs
This is what the toolchain does in: genromfs/install-genromfs.bat.
Make sure all the binary folders of all the installed components are correctly listed in the
PATHvariable configured by setup-environment.bat.