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Ubuntu Development Environment

The following instructions set up a PX4 development environment on the Ubuntu Linux LTS versions supported by PX4. This includes: 18.04 (Bionic Beaver), 20.04 (Focal Fossa), and Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish).

Bash scripts are provided to simplify the process. They are intended to be run on clean Ubuntu LTS installations, and may not work if run "on top" of an existing system, or on a different Ubuntu release.

The supported targets are:


This setup is supported by the PX4 dev team. The instructions may also work on other Debian Linux based systems.

Video Guide

This video shows how to install the toolchain for NuttX and simulation targets (as covered below) along with the basic testing covered in Building PX4 Software.

Simulation and NuttX (Pixhawk) Targets


ROS users should first read/skip ahead to the ROS/Gazebo or ROS 2 sections.

Use the script to set up a development environment that allows you to build for simulators and/or the NuttX/Pixhawk toolchain. The script installs jMAVSim on all targets, Gazebo Classic 9 on Ubuntu 18.04, Gazebo Classic 11 on Ubuntu 20.04, and Gazebo "Garden" on Ubuntu 22.04.

To install the toolchain:

  1. Download PX4 Source Code:

    git clone --recursive


    The environment setup scripts in the source usually work for recent PX4 releases. If working with an older version of PX4 you may need to get the source code specific to your release.

  2. Run the with no arguments (in a bash shell) to install everything:

    bash ./PX4-Autopilot/Tools/setup/
    • Acknowledge any prompts as the script progress.
    • You can use the --no-nuttx and --no-sim-tools options to omit the NuttX and/or simulation tools.
  3. Restart the computer on completion.

Additional notes

These notes are provided "for information only":

  • If you want to use Gazebo on Ubuntu 20.04 you can add it manually. See Gazebo > Installation.

  • You can verify the NuttX installation by confirming the gcc version as shown:

    $arm-none-eabi-gcc --version
    arm-none-eabi-gcc (GNU Arm Embedded Toolchain 9-2020-q2-update) 9.3.1 20200408 (release)
    Copyright (C) 2019 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
    This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO
  • You're going to need the PX4 source code anyway. But if you just wanted to set up the development environment without getting all the source code you could instead just download and requirements.txt and then run


Raspberry Pi

The following instructions explain how to set up a build toolchain for RasPi on Ubuntu 18.04.


To build for Ubuntu 20.04 (focal) you must use docker (the GCC toolchain on Ubuntu 20.04 can build PX4, but the generated binary files are too new to run on actual Pi). For more information see PilotPi with Raspberry Pi OS Developer Quick Start > Alternative build method using docker.

To get the common dependencies 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 cross-compiler (either GCC or clang) as described in the following sections.

GCC (armhf)

Ubuntu software repository provides a set of pre-compiled toolchains. Note that Ubuntu Focal comes up with gcc-9-arm-linux-gnueabihf as its default installation which is not fully supported, so we must manually install gcc-8-arm-linux-gnueabihf and set it as the default toolchain. This guide also applies to earlier Ubuntu releases (Bionic). The following instruction assumes you haven't installed any version of arm-linux-gnueabihf, and will set up the default executable with update-alternatives. Install them with the terminal command:

sudo apt-get install -y gcc-8-arm-linux-gnueabihf g++-8-arm-linux-gnueabihf

Set them as default:

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc /usr/bin/arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc-8 100 --slave /usr/bin/arm-linux-gnueabihf-g++ arm-linux-gnueabihf-g++ /usr/bin/arm-linux-gnueabihf-g++-8
sudo update-alternatives --config arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc

GCC (aarch64)

If you want to build PX4 for ARM64 devices, this section is required.

sudo apt-get install -y gcc-8-aarch64-linux-gnu g++-8-aarch64-linux-gnu
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc /usr/bin/aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc-8 100 --slave /usr/bin/aarch64-linux-gnu-g++ aarch64-linux-gnu-g++ /usr/bin/aarch64-linux-gnu-g++-8
sudo update-alternatives --config aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc

Clang (optional)

First install GCC (needed to use clang).

We recommend you to get clang from the Ubuntu software repository, as shown below:

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 \

Detailed Information

Additional developer information for using PX4 on Raspberry Pi (including building PX4 natively) can be found here:


Information about ROS 2 setup and development with PX4 can be found in the ROS 2 User Guide.

Generally speaking if you're working with hardware and don't need to modify PX4 itself, then you do not need a PX4 development environment (dependencies for working with ROS 2 are included and built into PX4 firmware by default).

You will need to install the normal development simulator environment in order to work with the PX4 simulator.

ROS/Gazebo Classic

This section explains how to install ROS 1 with PX4. ROS 1 full desktop builds come with Gazebo Classic, so normally you will not install PX4 simulator dependencies yourself!

ROS Noetic/Ubuntu 20.04

If you're working with ROS Noetic on Ubuntu 20.04:

  1. Install PX4 without the simulator toolchain:

    1. Download PX4 Source Code:

      git clone --recursive
    2. Run the the --no-sim-tools (and optionally --no-nuttx):

      bash ./PX4-Autopilot/Tools/setup/ --no-sim-tools --no-nuttx
      • Acknowledge any prompts as the script progress.
    3. Restart the computer on completion.

  2. You may need to install the following additional dependencies:

    sudo apt-get install protobuf-compiler libeigen3-dev libopencv-dev -y
  3. Follow the Noetic Installation instructions (ros-noetic-desktop-full is recommended).

  4. Intall MAVROS by following the MAVROS Installation Guide.

ROS Melodic/Ubuntu 18.04

If you're working with ROS "Melodic on Ubuntu 18.04:

  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 Gazebo (Classic) 9 by default.
  • Your catkin (ROS build system) workspace is created at ~/catkin_ws/.
  • The script uses instructions from the ROS Wiki "Melodic" Ubuntu page.

Next Steps

Once you have finished setting up the command-line toolchain:

  • Install VSCode (if you prefer using an IDE to the command line).
  • Install the QGroundControl Daily Build


    The daily build includes development tools that hidden in release builds. It may also provide access to new PX4 features that are not yet supported in release builds.

  • Continue to the build instructions.