You can find lots of development information at the ArduPilot development site
Getting the source
You can either download the source using the "ZIP" button at the top of the github page, or you can make a clone using git:
git clone git://github.com/diydrones/ardupilot.git
The following packages are required to build ardupilot for the
APM1/APM2 (Arduino) platform in Ubuntu:
gawk make git arduino-core
To build ardupilot for the PX4 platform, you'll first need to install the PX4 toolchain and download the PX4 source code. See the PX4 toolchain installation page.
The easiest way to install all these prerequisites is to run the
ardupilot/Tools/scripts/install-prereqs-ubuntu.sh script, which will
install all the required packages and download all the required
Building using the Arduino IDE
ArduPilot is no longer compatible with the standard Arduino distribution. You need to use a patched Arduino IDE to build ArduPilot.
Do not try to use the Arduino IDE to build in Linux--you should follow the instructions in the "Building using make" section.
The patched ArduPilot Arduino IDE is available for Mac and Windows from the downloads page.
Unpack and launch the ArduPilot Arduino IDE. In the preferences menu, set your sketchbook location to your downloaded or cloned
In the ArduPilot Arduino IDE, select your ArduPilot type (APM1 or APM2) from the ArduPilot menu (in the top menubar).
Restart the ArduPilot Arduino IDE. You should now be able to build ArduPlane or ArduCopter from source.
Remember that, after changing ArduPilot type (APM1 or APM2) in the IDE, you'll need to close and restart the IDE before continuing.
Building using make
Before you build the project for the first time, you'll need to run
make configurefrom a sketch directory (i.e. ArduPlane, ArduCopter, etc...). This will create a
config.mkfile at the top level of the repository. You can set some defaults in
In the sketch directory, type
maketo build for APM2. Alternatively,
make apm1will build for the APM1 and
make px4will build for the PX4. The binaries will generated in
make uploadto upload. You may need to set the correct default serial port in your
Development using VirtualBox
ardupilot has a standardized Linux virtual machine (VM) setup script that uses the free VirtualBox virtualization software. You can use it to create a standard, reproducible development environment in just a few minutes in Linux, OS X, or Windows.
Download VirtualBox for your Mac, Windows or Linux machine.
vagrant upfrom the command line. This will create a new Ubuntu Linux VM.
vagrant ssh -c "ardupilot/Tools/scripts/install-prereqs-ubuntu.sh -y". This will install all the prerequisites for doing ardupilot development.
You can now run
vagrant ssh to log in to the development
~/ardupilot directory in the VM is actually the
ardupilot directory in your host operating system--changes in either
directory show up in the other.
Once you've followed the instructions above, here's how you would build ArduCopter for PX4 in the development environment:
$ vagrant ssh # cd ardupilot/ArduCopter # make configure
ardupilot/config.mk so it has the following line:
PX4_ROOT = ~/PX4-Firmware
Back at the terminal:
# cd ArduCopter # make px4 # make px4-upload (optional)
User Technical Support
ArduPilot users should use the DIYDrones.com forums for technical support.
The ArduPilot project is open source and maintained by a team of volunteers.
To contribute, you can send a pull request on Github. You can also join the development discussion on Google Groups. Note that the Google Groups mailing lists are NOT for user tech support, and are moderated for new users to prevent off-topic discussion.