Development Environment on Ubuntu LTS / Debian Linux

Ubuntu Linux LTS 18.04 is the standard/preferred Linux development OS. It allows you to build for the most PX4 targets (NuttX based hardware, Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight hardware, Linux-based hardware, Simulation).

Bash scripts are provided to help make it easy to install development environment for different target platforms:

The scripts have been tested on clean Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 LTS installations. They may not work as expected if installed on top of an existing system or a different Ubuntu release.

The instructions below explain how to download and use the scripts.

Gazebo, JMAVSim and NuttX (Pixhawk) Targets

Use the script to set up a development environment that includes Gazebo 9 and jMAVSim simulators, and/or the NuttX/Pixhawk toolchain.

To install the toolchain:

  1. Download PX4 Source Code:
    git clone --recursive
  2. Run the with no arguments (in a bash shell) to install everything:
    bash ./Tools/setup/
    • Acknowledge any prompts as the script progress.
    • You can use the --no-nuttx and --no-sim-tools to omit the nuttx and/or simulation tools.
  3. Restart the computer on completion.

You can alternatively download and requirements.txt from the PX4 source repository (/Tools/setup/) and run in place:


  • PX4 works with Gazebo 7, 8, and 9. The script uses instructions to install Gazebo9.
  • If you're going work with ROS then follow the ROS/Gazebo instructions instead (these install Gazebo automatically, as part of the ROS installation).
  • You can verify the the NuttX installation by confirming the gcc version as shown:

     $arm-none-eabi-gcc --version
     arm-none-eabi-gcc (GNU Tools for Arm Embedded Processors 7-2017-q4-major) 7.2.1 20170904 (release) [ARM/embedded-7-branch revision 255204]
     Copyright (C) 2017 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
     This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO

Raspberry Pi

To get the build toolchain for Raspberry Pi:

  1. Download and requirements.txt from the PX4 source repository (/Tools/setup/):
  2. Run in a terminal to get just the common dependencies:
    bash --no-nuttx --no-sim-tools
  3. Then setup an ARMv7 cross-compiler (either GCC or clang) as described in the following sections.


The official Raspberry Pi toolchains are not supported as PX4 has requires C++14 (which they do not support).

Ubuntu provides a set of pre-compiled toolchains that you can use instead. Install these with the terminal command:

sudo apt-get install -y gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf g++-arm-linux-gnueabihf

These package contains GCC/G++ 7.4.0 at time of writing. To test the toolchain, please execute:

arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc -v
arm-linux-gnueabihf-g++ -v


First install GCC (needed to use clang).

We recommend you to get clang from the Ubuntu software repository as follows:

sudo apt-get install clang

Example below for building PX4 firmware out of tree, using CMake.

mkdir build/px4_raspberrypi_default_clang
cd build/px4_raspberrypi_default_clang
cmake \
-G"Unix Makefiles" \
-DCONFIG=px4_raspberrypi_default \

Native Builds

Additional developer information for using PX4 on Raspberry Pi (including building PX4 natively) can be found here: Raspberry Pi 2/3 Navio2 Autopilot.


This section explains how to install ROS/Gazebo ("Melodic") for use with PX4.

PX4 is tested with ROS Melodic on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. ROS Melodic does not work on Ubuntu 16.04.

To install the development toolchain:

  1. Download the script in a bash shell:
  2. Run the script:
    You may need to acknowledge some prompts as the script progresses.


  • ROS Melodic is installed with Gazebo9 by default.
  • Your catkin (ROS build system) workspace is created at ~/catkin_ws/.
  • The script uses instructions from the ROS Wiki "Melodic" Ubuntu page.

Snapdragon Flight

Setup instructions for Snapdragon Flight are provided in the PX4 User Guide:

FastRTPS installation

eProsima Fast RTPS is a C++ implementation of the RTPS (Real Time Publish Subscribe) protocol. FastRTPS is used, via the RTPS/ROS2 Interface: PX4-FastRTPS Bridge, to allow PX4 uORB topics to be shared with offboard components.

The following instructions can be used to install the FastRTPS 1.7.1 binaries to your home directory.

wget -O eprosima_fastrtps-1-7-1-linux.tar.gz
tar -xzf eprosima_fastrtps-1-7-1-linux.tar.gz eProsima_FastRTPS-1.7.1-Linux/
tar -xzf eprosima_fastrtps-1-7-1-linux.tar.gz requiredcomponents
tar -xzf requiredcomponents/eProsima_FastCDR-1.0.8-Linux.tar.gz

In the following lines where we compile the FastCDR and FastRTPS libraries, the make command is issued with the -j2 option. This option defines the number of parallel threads (or jobs) that are used to compile the source code. Change -j2 to -j<number_of_cpu_cores_in_your_system> to speed up the compilation of the libraries.

(cd eProsima_FastCDR-1.0.8-Linux && ./configure --libdir=/usr/lib && make -j2 && sudo make install)
(cd eProsima_FastRTPS-1.7.1-Linux && ./configure --libdir=/usr/lib && make -j2 && sudo make install)
rm -rf requiredcomponents eprosima_fastrtps-1-7-1-linux.tar.gz

More "generic" instructions, which additionally cover installation from source, can be found here: Fast RTPS installation.

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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