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This repository is used to track issues and information about the Bitcraze Virtual Machine, but doesn't contain the machine itself. The virtual machine contains the full development environment for all our projects.



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Bitcraze Virtual Machine

This project contains scripts and templates to automatically create the Bitcraze VM with Packer. It's also used for tracking issues and improvements.

The Bitcraze VM contains everything you need for running the Bitcraze projects and doing development for them. It's a great way to quickly get started without having the hassle of installing dependencies and setting up the development environment.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of what's included:

  • Ubuntu live server 22.04 pre-configured
  • VirtualBox guest additions pre-installed
  • udev rules and pre-configured USB filtering for the Crazyradio and it's bootloader (NRF BOOT)
  • Most of our projects pre-cloned
  • QTCreator
  • Firefox
  • vscode prepared for compiling/debugging/flashing the Crazyflie firmware
  • SDCC 3.2 for compiling of Crazyradio firmware


The Bitcraze VM can be downloaded via the Github Release Page


The virtual appliance can be imported into VirtualBox. You will need the extention package of virtual box to be able to use the USB device. Go to Oracles download page to install both virtual box and the expansion pack.

It can be used with other virtual machine managers, however setting up the guest addition might be required. The following have been tested

Using the virtual machine

After importing just run the machine. Log in with the following credentials:

User: bitcraze
Pass: crazyflie

In the virtual machine double click the “update all projects” icon on the desktop. This pulls down the latest source code from GitHub for all projects.

install hardware

Insert Crazyradio PA in a USB port. Insert game controller in a USB port.

Optimizing for Use

For faster USB connection with the Crazyradio PA it is advised to filter the USB device at startup of the VM. Go to settings->USB, make sure that USB 3.0 is enabled and add a USB device filter for the Crazyflie PA, which should be called 'Bitcraze Crazyradio PA USB Dongle [9955]'.

For the rest of the performance of your VM, you can try to increase the base memory (Settings/System/Motherboard), the CPU's available (Settings/System/Processor), enable hardware acceleration and select Hyper-V (Settings/System/Acceleration) or increase the video memory with 3D acceleration enabled (Settings/Display/Screen). This requires some adjusting as this could be different per system you are running the VM from.

How to build the Bitcraze VM image


  • This script has only been tested on a Linux machine, therefore it's recommended to use Linux to build the Bitcraze VM
  • VirtualBox must be installed as well as the VirtualBox Extension Pack
  • Virtual box guest additions
  • Packer (can be installed with apt install packer)

Local build

  1. Run
  2. Wait 40-60 minutes depending on machine and internet connection speed

The resulting .ova can be found in output-virtualbox-ovf/BitcrazeVM.ova.

What does do?

Run the two Packer templates * Create the VM and run a preseeded installation (bitcrazeVM_createVM.json) * Provision the VM (bitcrazeVM_provisionVM.json)

Why are there two packer templates?

To separate the VM creation and installation from the provisioning. If there is a problem during provisioning, the whole process does not have to start from scratch again. This saves a lot of time.

What do the packer templates do?


  1. Download an ISO and create a VirtualBox image
  2. Start the so-called "preseeding", which automatically runs the Ubuntu installer
  3. Export VM image to OVA file


Copy the files specified in the JSON template to the VM and run the script so setup the image.

Help! Something does not work.

Please take a look at the log files packerlog_create.txt and packerlog_provision.txt.


Go to the contribute page on our website to learn more.


This repository is used to track issues and information about the Bitcraze Virtual Machine, but doesn't contain the machine itself. The virtual machine contains the full development environment for all our projects.







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