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Initial Setup & Configuration

We recommend that developers obtain the basic equipment and software described below (or similar)

Basic Equipment


PX4 can be used with a much wider range of equipment than described here, but new developers will benefit from going with one of the standard setups. A Taranis RC and a mid-range Android tablet make a very inexpensive field kit.

The equipment below is highly recommended:

  • RC controller for the safety pilot

  • Development computer


    The listed computers have acceptable performance, but a more recent and powerful computer is recommended.

    • Lenovo Thinkpad with i5-core running Windows 11
    • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later) with macOS 10.15 or later
    • Lenovo Thinkpad i5 with Ubuntu Linux 20.04 or later
  • Ground control station (computer or tablet):

    • iPad (may require Wifi telemetry adapter)
    • Any MacBook or Ubuntu Linux laptop (can be the development computer)
    • A recent mid-range Android tablet or phone with a large enough screen to run QGroundControl effectively (6 inches).
  • Vehicle capable of running PX4:

  • Safety glasses

  • Tether (multicopter only - for more risky tests)

Vehicle Configuration

Install the QGroundControl Daily Build for a desktop OS.

To configure the vehicle:

  1. Install PX4 firmware (including "custom" firmware with your own changes).
  2. Start with the airframe that best-matches your vehicle from the airframe reference.
  3. Basic Configuration explains how to perform basic configuration.
  4. Parameter Configuration explains how you can find and modify individual parameters.


  • QGroundControl mobile variants do not support vehicle configuration.
  • The daily build includes development tools and new features that are not available in the official release.
  • Configuration in the airframe reference have been flown on real vehicles, and are a good starting point for "getting off the ground".