Route mavlink packets between endpoints
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lucasdemarchi Merge pull request #142 from bkueng/logging_arbitrary_sys_id
logging: allow autopilot logging from an arbitrary system id
Latest commit 86eea2f Sep 18, 2018

MAVLink Router

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Route mavlink packets between endpoints.

The usual configuration is to have one "master" endpoint that is the flight stack (either on UART or UDP) and other components that can be on UDP or TCP endpoints. This is not strictly required and other configurations are possible: mavlink-router mainly routes mavlink packets from on endpoint without differentiating what they are.

TCP endpoints are added automatically if the TCP server is enabled, allowing clients to simply connect to mavlink-router without changing its configuration.

Compilation and installation

In order to compile you need the following packages:

  • GCC or Clang compiler
  • C and C++ standard libraries

Fetch dependencies:

We currently depend on mavlink C library which is generated by the build system during compilation. The corresponding submodule should be fetched.

$ git submodule update --init --recursive


Build system follows the usual configure/build/install cycle. Configuration is needed to be done only once. A typical configuration is shown below:

$ ./ && ./configure CFLAGS='-g -O2' \
        --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --libdir=/usr/lib64 \

By default systemd integration is enabled. In a system without systemd it can be disabled --disable-systemd. The default systemd system directory is taken via pkg-config. To use another directory update the above path, use --with-systemdsystemunitdir.

Installation location can be changed using --prefix option while configuring.


$ make


$ make install
$ # or... to another root directory:
$ make DESTDIR=/tmp/root/dir install


To route mavlink packets from master ttyS1 to 2 other UDP endpoints, do as following:

$ mavlink-routerd -e -e /dev/ttyS1:1500000

The 1500000 after colon above on /dev/ttyS1:1500000 is used to set the UART baudrate. See more options with mavlink-routerd --help

It's also possible to route mavlinks packets from any interface using:

$ mavlink-routerd -e -e

mavlink-router also listens, by default, port 5760 for TCP connections. Any connection there will also receive routed packets.

Conf file

It's also possible to use a .conf file to set options for mavlink-routerd. By default, mavlink-routerd looks for a file /etc/mavlink-router/main.conf. File location can be overriden via MAVLINK_ROUTER_CONF_FILE environment variable, or via -c switch when running mavlink-routerd. An example of conf file can be found on examples/config.sample

Conf dirs

Besides default conf file, it's also possible to use a directory in where to put some extra configuration files. Files on such directory will be read in alphabetical order, and can add or override configurations found on previous files.

By default, /etc/mavlink-router/config.d is the directory, but it can be overriden via MAVLINK_ROUTER_CONF_DIR environment variable, or via -d switch when running mavlink-routerd.

Suppose default configuration file defines an UartEndpoint using Baud=56600, an example of overriding configuration would be:

[UartEndpoint bravo]
Baud = 115200

That would change Endpoint bravo baudrate to 115200.

Flight stack logging

Mavlink router can also collect flight stack log. It supports collecting both PX4 and Ardupilot flight stacks logs. To start logging, set a directory to Log key on General section of config file (or use argument option -l). Currently, mavlink router needs to be informed which MAVLink dialect flight stack speaks, common or ardupilotmega. To define it, use MavlinkDialect key. For instance, to collect Ardupilot logs to /var/log/flight-stack directory, one could add to conf file:


Logs are collected on .bin (for Ardupilot) or .ulg (for PX4) files inside specified directory. Note that they are named XXXXX-date-time, where XXXXX is an increasing number.

For more information about configuration files, see conf file section.


Pull-requests are accepted on GitHub. Make sure to check coding style with the provided script in tools/checkpatch and tools/checkpython, check for memory leaks with valgrind and test on real hardware.


Directory examples has some samples that can be used to test mavlink-router. Those are Python scripts, and pymavlink is required.

Sender & receiver

One can test mavlink-router by using examples/ and examples/ to simulate traffic of mavlink messages. First script send mavlink ping messages to a target mavlink system-id, and second receives and respond them. For instance:

$ python examples/ 100 0

Will send mavlink pings to UDP port 3000. Those pings will have 100 as source system and will have 0 as target-system (0 as target means broadcast). Receiver could be set as:

$ python examples/ 50

Where 50 is receiver system id. Then, to route between those:

$ mavlink-routerd -e

Note that it's possible to setup multiple senders and receivers to see mavlink-router in action.