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.

If you are using Prebuilt MAVLink Source Files you do not need to install or generate the source files. After getting the libraries see Using Generated Source Files.


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
    git submodule update --init --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 Source Files.

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