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Windows Cygwin Development Environment (Maintenance Instructions)


This development environment is community supported and maintained. It may or may not work with current versions of PX4.

See Toolchain Installation for information about the environments and tools supported by the core development team.

This topic explains how to construct and extend the development environment used for the no-longer-supported Cygwin-based Windows Development Environment.

Additional Information

Features / Issues

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: make format)
  • 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).

Shell Script Installation

You can also install the environment using shell scripts in the Github project.

  1. Make sure you have Git for Windows installed.

  2. Clone the repository to the location you want to install the toolchain. Default location and naming is achieved by opening the Git Bash and executing:

    cd /c/
    git clone PX4
  3. If you want to install all components navigate to the freshly cloned folder and double click on the script install-all-components.bat located 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\cygwin64 and click on the install-XXX.bat scripts to only fetch something specific.

  4. Continue with Getting Started.

Manual Installation (for Toolchain Developers)

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.

  1. Create the folders: **C:\PX4**, **C:\PX4\toolchain** and **C:\PX4\home**

  2. Download the Cygwin installer file setup-x86_64.exe from the official Cygwin website

  3. Run the downloaded setup file

  4. In the wizard choose to install into the folder: **C:\PX4\toolchain\cygwin64**

  5. Select to install the default Cygwin base and the newest available version of the following additional packages:

    • Category:Packagename
    • Devel:cmake (3.3.2 gives no deprecated warnings, 3.6.2 works but has the warnings)
    • Devel:gcc-g++
    • Devel:gdb
    • Devel:git
    • Devel:make
    • Devel:ninja
    • Devel:patch
    • Editors:xxd
    • Editors:nano (unless you're the vim pro)
    • Python:python2
    • Python:python2-pip
    • Python:python2-numpy
    • Python:python2-jinja2
    • Python:python2-pyyaml
    • Python:python2-cerberus
    • Archive:unzip
    • Utils:astyle
    • Shells:bash-completion
    • Web:wget


Do not select as many packages as possible which are not on this list, there are some which conflict and break the builds. :::

  1. Write up or copy the batch scripts run-console.bat and setup-environment.bat.

    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 HOME.

  2. 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


  1. Download the ARM GCC compiler as zip archive of the binaries for Windows and unpack the content to the folder C:\PX4\toolchain\gcc-arm.

    This is what the toolchain does in: gcc-arm/install-gcc-arm.bat.


  1. 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.


  1. Download Apache Ant as zip archive of the binaries for Windows and unpack the content to the folder C:\PX4\toolchain\apache-ant.


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.

  1. 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 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

  2. Make sure all the binary folders of all the installed components are correctly listed in the PATH variable configured by setup-environment.bat.