ArduPilot is dependent upon several external code repositories which are held in submodules. These are forked, cloned and built along with ArduPilot.
This page describes how we use git submodules in the ArduPilot build.
ArduPilot uses a single level of git submodules, with all modules stored in the modules directory. This approach was chosen as it makes for diagnosis of issues with submodules simpler. This means that if an external project (i.e. PX4Firmware) has submodules of its own, those submodule appear directly in the ArduPilot modules directory.
ArduPilot maintains local forks of each external project’s repo in order to shield itself from unexpected changes.
You may also note that the URLs used for the submodules use the old
git:// protocol. This was done to make it less likely we will get
accidental commits on the master repositories while developers are
getting used to git submodules (as the
git:// protocol is
read-only). Developers with commit access to the submodules should add a
new ardupilot remote with a writeable protocol as needed.
Updating your local repo’s submodules¶
To manually update submodules use the following command
git submodule update --recursive
Very occasionally a new submodule is added to ArduPilot, after which every developer must run this command:
git submodule init
The following is a list of comment errors and how to deal with them.
Errors with config.mk¶
If you have an existing config.mk you may get an error like this:
../mk/px4_targets.mk:8: *** NUTTX_SRC found in config.mk - Please see https://ardupilot.org/dev/docs/git-submodules.html. Stop.
That happens because you have previously built with an external
PX4Firmware and PX4NuttX tree, and you need to convert to using
submodules. The simplest way to fix this is to remove your config.mk
file as it is no longer needed. If you want to keep the file for some
reason then you can either comment out or removed the lines in
config.mk which specify the
Update a modified submodule¶
If you applied modification to a submodule for a branch develop, it is necessary to avoid your modifications to be replaced by the original submodule when you run the command “git submodule update –init –recursive”:
- Create your own repository for the submodule where you can commit the modifications
- In the develop branch repository, modify the file .gitmodule to link your own submodule repository rather than the master branch
- Apply your modification to the submodule, commit and push it back to your remote repository
- Back to the develop branch you can see the modification using git status. Commit the modification and you are done (example below is done for the MAVLink submodule)
git add .gitmodules git add modules/mavlink git commit -m 'mavlink: submodule update + modify gitmodule' git push
The submodule MAVLink of the develop branch is now linked to a different repository than the master. The first command is necessary to reflect that change to the superproject:
git submodule sync
the usual command below will then be updated with the approriate submodule according to the branch (master or develop) you are working on.
git submodule update --init --recursive
Errors from old PX4Firmware and PX4NuttX trees¶
You may get warnings like these in your build:
../mk/px4_targets.mk:23: *** You have an old PX4Firmware tree - see https://ardupilot.org/dev/docs/git-submodules.html ../mk/px4_targets.mk:26: *** You have an old PX4NuttX tree - see https://ardupilot.org/dev/docs/git-submodules.html ../mk/px4_targets.mk:29: *** You have an old uavcan tree - see https://ardupilot.org/dev/docs/git-submodules.html
This indicates that you have old PX4Firmware or PX4NuttX directories in ../PX4Firmware or ../PX4NuttX. The warning is harmless and won’t prevent you from building. The warning is there so you know that commits and changes made in those directories won’t be used.
If things have gone very badly wrong with your git tree the simplest thing to do it to remove the modules/ directory completely from your local repo and run these commands to reinitialise and update the submodules:
git submodule init git submodule update --recursive