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 8 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 300

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
# Optional, but recommended additional simulation tools:
brew install px4-sim

If the installation outputs an error message about missing requirements follow the instructions. Your system will be missing Java and Quartz:

brew cask install xquartz java

Install pip if you don't already have it and use it to install the required packages:

sudo easy_install pip
sudo -H pip install pyserial empy toml numpy pandas jinja2 pyyaml

Additional Tools

After setting up the build/simulation toolchain, see Additional Tools for information about other useful tools.

Next Steps

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

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