Setup Eclipse on Windows

This page shows how to setup Eclipse on Windows to build using waf which allows building for all supported boards.


These instructions assume you have already Setup the Build Environment on Windows using Cygwin

Remove Pixhawk Toolchain (if present)

If you have been using the older method which relied on Make first remove the old tool chain by renaming the C:\pixhawk_toolchain directory to C:\pixhawk_toolchain.bak

Install and Run Eclipse

  • Download Eclipse 64 bit from here

  • Run the downloaded eclipse installer and select “Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers”

  • Accept the Eclipse Foundation certificate when asked

  • Launch Eclipse and click on the “Workbench” button on the top right

Import ArduPilot

Once Eclipse has been started import ArduPilot by doing the following:

  • Select File, New, Makefile Project with Existing Code

  • When the “New Project” window appears select the folder into which ardupilot was cloned and select the Toolchain to be “Cygwin GCC”

  • In the Project Explorer tab on the top right, right-mouse-button-click on the “ardupilot” folder and select “Properties”

  • When the “Properties for ardupilot” window appears, under “C/C++ Build”, uncheck “Use default build command” and enter c:\cygwin64\bin\python3.7m into the “Build command” field as shown below

  • Click the “Behavior” tab, select “Use custom build arguments” enter waf. Additional arguments such as -j 16 may be added here. The argument -j 16 configures Cygwin to use 16 logical processors of the 8 core machine in this example.

  • Setting “Workbench Build Behavior” will allow the use of built-in buttons for clean and build all targets. Note if you prefer to only build for a single vehicle type using these buttons change “build” to “copter”.


Setup Build Target

  • Within the “Build Targets” tab on the right select “ardupilot” and push the green “New Build Target” button.

  • In the “Target name” field enter configure --board fmuv3 --no-submodule-update and press OK to create a build target to configure the waf build for Pixhawk/Cube flight controllers using ChibiOS

  • Create another build target called copter

  • Run these two targets in order to create an ArduPilot Copter binary for Pixhawk/Cube flight controllers

  • If the build fails with a “Missing configuration file” check the ardupilot directory for a directory called “build” and delete it and try again

  • Other useful build targets include, clean, plane, rover and --help

The arducopter.apj firmware will be created in the ardupilot\build\fmuv3\bin directory and can be uploaded from the Mission Planner or other ground station.



The configure build target described above requires the --no-submodule-update be prepended because the submodule update step of the build does not yet work with the setup described here. We expect this to be resolved in the future but until then, please open a git bash terminal and run git submodule update --recursive if you believe the submodules have been updated recently.

Use spaces instead of tabs

By default Copter, Plane and Rover use spaces in place of tabs. This can be set to the default in Eclipse by changing two settings

  • Select Window | Preferences | General | Editors | Text Editors | Insert spaces for tabs.

  • Select Windows | Preferences | C/C++ | Code Style | Formatter and creating a new Profile (i.e. “K&R Tab”) which has the “Indentation” set to “Spaces only”