SITL on Windows using WSL

Before following these instructions please following Setting up the Build Environment using WSL for Windows 10 and 11. For Windows10 users the sections detailing installing XWindows or VcXsrv are necessary for installation.

Once the above have been completed, using SITL under Windows WSL is nearly the same as Setting up SITL on Linux


Running SITL

  1. Open an Ubuntu terminal under WSL, or use the VSCode Terminal

  2. Navigate to one of the vehicle directories (in this case Copter) and call to start SITL.

    cd ~/ardupilot/ArduCopter
    ../Tools/autotest/ --map --console
  3. SITL and MAVProxy will start. MAVProxy displays three windows:

    • command prompt in which you enter commands to SITL

    • console which displays current status and messages

    • map that shows the current position of the vehicle and can be used (via right-click) to control vehicle movement and missions.



    It is useful to arrange the windows as shown above, so you can observe the status and send commands at the same time.

  4. Send commands to SITL from the command prompt and observe the results on the map.

    • For example, change to GUIDED mode, arm the throttle, and then takeoff:

      mode guided
      arm throttle
      takeoff 40

      Watch the altitude increase on the console.


      Takeoff must start within 15 seconds of arming, or the motors will disarm.

    • Change to CIRCLE mode and set the radius to 2000cm

      rc 3 1500
      mode circle
      param set circle_radius 2000

      Watch the copter circle on the map.

    • When you’re ready to land you can set the mode to RTL (or LAND):

      mode rtl

This is a very basic example. For links to more information on what you can do with SITL and MAVProxy see the section: Next Steps.

Connecting with another GCS

Mission Planner will often automatically connect to SITL if started (or re-started) after the MAVProxy console and map have appeared.

If the above does not work you can attach multiple additional ground control stations to SITL from MAVProxy. The simulated vehicle can then be controlled and viewed through any attached GCS.

First use the output command on the MAVProxy command prompt to determine where MAVProxy is sending packets:

GUIDED> output
GUIDED> 2 outputs

This tells us that we can connect Mission Planner to either UDP port 14550 or 14551, as shown on the dialog below.


Mission Planner: Connecting to a UDPPort

Mission Planner can then be used to control the simulated vehicle in exactly the same way as though it were a real vehicle. We can reproduce the previous “takeoff-circle-land” example as shown below:

Next Steps

SITL and MAVProxy can do a whole lot more than shown here, including manually guiding the vehicle, and creating and running missions. To find out more: