Installing MAVLink

This topic explains how to install the MAVLink toolchain, including both XML message definitions and the GUI/command line tools that use them to Generate MAVLink Source Files.

You do not need to install or generate the source files if you are using the C programming language and a standard dialect. Just get the prebuilt libraries and then jump to Using C Libraries.


The requirements for using the MAVLink tools are:

  • Python 2.7+ or Python 3.3+
  • Python future module
  • (Optional) Python TkInter module (required to use the GUI tool).
  • PYTHONPATH environment variable must be set to the directory path containing the mavlink repository.

Installation Steps

The main installation steps are:

  1. Install Python 2.7+ or 3.3+.
    • Windows: Download from Python for Windows
    • Ubuntu Linux 16.04: Python 2.7 and Python 3.0 are already present. If you are using Python3 you will need to install the pip3 package manager:
      sudo apt-get install python3-pip
  2. Install the future module:
    • Windows:
      pip install future
    • Linux:
      pip install --user future
  3. (Optionally) Install TkInter

    • Windows: Installed already as part of Python for Windows
    • Linux: Enter the following terminal command:
      sudo apt-get install python-tk
  4. Clone the mavlink repo (or your fork) into a user-writable directory:

    git clone --recursive

    Alternatively you can do this in one line:

      git clone --recursive
  5. Set PYTHONPATH to the directory path containing your mavlink repository.
    • Windows: set PYTHONPATH=C:\your_path_to_mavlink_clone
    • Linux: PYTHONPATH=your_path_to_mavlink_clone

Now you are ready to Generate MAVLink Libraries.

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