programming toolkit for ev3dev
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Latest commit 9474f03 Jun 22, 2018


Programming toolkit for ev3dev


This is a GLib/GObject based library that provides a number of programming interfaces for ev3dev, including user interface and device driver interface. It is written in vala, but since it uses GObjects, it can be used with many languages via GObjectIntrospection.

For an example of how it is used, checkout brickman.


This is currently in the development stages and is unstable. The device driver interfaces require the latest ev3dev kernel (currently v3.16.7-ckt4-ev3dev1).


Besides dependencies included in trusty, we need vala >= 0.24, which you can get from the vala-team PPA, and libgrx which is part of the ev3dev package repository.

Get the code

This project uses git and git submodules.

git clone --recursive git://

Cross-compiling for the EV3

This requires that you have Docker installed.

cd ev3devKit
./docker/ $BUILD_DIR $ARCH
docker exec --tty ev3devkit_$ARCH make install

Substitute any directory you like for $BUILD_DIR this is where the compiled files will be stored. The directory will be created if it does not exist. Substitute $ARCH with armel for the EV3 or armhf for RPi/BeagleBone. When the build is completed, copy the files from $BUILD_DIR/dist to your EV3.

Compiling for desktop

# include install build depends
$ sudo apt-get install cmake valac libgirepository1.0-dev \
libgudev-1.0-dev libgrx-3.0-dev libgtk-3-dev
# create a build directory (not in cloned ev3devKit directory).
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ../ev3devKit -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=string:Debug
$ make

You can add additional build option to the cmake command. Note: you need to delete everything in the build directory when changing cmake options to ensure that they take effect.


When building for the desktop, one can run the demos using make run<tab>. In order to run them on the device, copy the demos over or share the folder via NFS or sshfs with the EV3. When copying them to /home/user, the demos are runable from the file-browser.


API docs are at