Setting up the Build Environment (MacOSX)

This article shows how to manually setup a minimal build environment on MacOS (ver 10.6 onwards).

There is a pre-built script at /ardupilot/Tools/environment_install/ that will install these pre-requisites.

Setup steps

  1. MacOS will alert you when you enter a command in the terminal that requires Xcode Command Line Tools. You can also install Xcode Command Line Tools manually

    xcode-select --install
  2. Install Homebrew for MacOS (Homebrew is a respected package manager for MacOS)

    /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
  3. Install the following packages using brew

    brew update
    brew install genromfs
    brew install gcc-arm-none-eabi
  4. Install the latest version of awk using brew (make sure /usr/local/bin takes precedence in your path):

    brew install gawk
  5. Install pip and pyserial using the following commands:

    sudo easy_install pip
    sudo pip install pyserial future empy
    ** Starting with MacOS Mojave (10.14.x) you might want to install the SDK headers
    open /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/Packages/macOS_SDK_headers_for_macOS_10.14.pkg
  6. Follow the MAVProxy documentation if you plan to use the simulator.

Now you should be able to build with waf as described in

Additional Steps for macOS mojave

Due to some changes binutils installed via brew have stopped working for macOS mojave leading to crashing builds. So if installed, remove via following command:

brew uninstall binutils

Also you will need to install the c++ include headers to /usr/include to do that. Run the following in commandline and follow the installation routine:

open /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/Packages/macOS_SDK_headers_for_macOS_10.14.pkg


If there have been updates to some git submodules you may need to do a full clean build. To do that use:

./waf distclean

Commands clean and distclean can be used to clean the objects produced by the build. clean keeps the configure information, cleaning only the objects for the current board. distclean cleans everything for every board, including the saved configure information.

Follow the instructions for build .