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This page describes the installation of paparazzi on Microsoft Windows10.

There are many Windows users who like to use paparazzi on this popular OS. Be-aware it's less efficient to use paparazzi on Windows OS but it could be helpful in some cases.
Since Microsoft introduced the possibility of installing Ubuntu on windows 10, you can run Paparazzi on it with some little efforts.

Installing Ubuntu on windows

First you need to install Ubuntu on Windows 10. (Ensure you are using a 64-bit version of windows 10, since it cannot be run on a 32-bit version. Start an Administrator PowerShell, and run this command:

wsl --install

Get more details in the microsoft documentation if needed:

Ubuntu can now be launched in the same way as any other Windows 10 application, such as searching for and selecting Ubuntu in the Start menu.

When launched for the first time, Ubuntu will inform you that it's ‘Installing' and you'll need to wait a few moments.


When complete, you'll be asked for a username and password specific to your Ubuntu installation. These don't need to be the same as your Windows 10 credentials.

New user.png

With this step complete, you'll find yourself at the Ubuntu bash command line.

Installing Paparazzi

You can now install Paparazzi with the regular procedure:

It should now works if you have Windows 10 build 21364 or higher. If you don't, continue reading this guide.

Graphical Interface

Ubuntu on windows 10 is only command line and there is no GUI. So after finishing this step, you likly get an error like this:

Fatal error: exception Gtk.Error(“GtkMain.init: initialization failed\nml_gtk_init: initialization falied”)

Gtk error.png

It is because it wants to run the graphical Paparazzi Center, but there is no GUI on the Ubuntu for Windows at that moment. Lucky us, there is a way to have Graphical interface non the less.

  • Step One: Install an X server

There are several different X servers you could install on Windows, Xming and vcxsrv are both recommended. You may prefer Vcxsrv as the applications looks better on it. Download it and install it on your Windows 10 PC.

After the installation, launch it with the access control disabled. It won't work otherwise.

Hint: Every time you want to run a graphical interface from Ubuntu, make sure that Vcxsrv (or Xming) is running.

  • Step Two: Set Your Display Environment Variable

Now, you’ll need to set the “DISPLAY” environment variable to point at the X server running on your Windows 10 PC. If you don’t do this, graphical applications will simply fail to launch.

To do this, run the following command in the Bash environment:

export DISPLAY=$(cat /etc/resolv.conf | grep nameserver | awk '{print $2; exit;}'):0

This setting only applies to your current Bash session. If you close the window, Bash will forget it. You’ll have to run this command each time you reopen Bash and want to run a graphical application.

You can also install gedit, to be able to edit your aircraft files (airframe, flight plan, etc) from within the center, since it is the default app that Paparazzi center uses.

sudo apt-get install gedit

After that you can launch Paparazzi. (Or use the new Paparazzi center which works seamless on windows)

cd ~/paparazzi && ./paparazzi

Paparazzi on windows.png

Right now you can use Paparazzi for Simulation.

Simulation windows.png

When you build for an aircraft, the processes will end, but it may not automatically remove the indicator. You may need to press “Stop/Remove All Processes” button.

Stop windows.png

Programming Autopilot

Right now, to program the autopilot, you should copy the HEX/BIN file manually to your windows OS, You can find your ubuntu home directory files in the following directory:


DISTRO_FOLDER for Ubuntu is:


Then use a windows program to upload firmware to the autopilot
(For example DfuSe or STM32 ST-LINK Utility for ST microcontrollers)

A Better Terminal

The opensource Terminal application for Microsoft one can have multiple tabs and easily switch between Bash, Powershell and CMD, very useful great terminal.

Find it here

Using Telemetry

After you connect your telemetry device to the PC, usually it's recognized under COMx in Windows. Find the port number first.
In the Ubuntu, you can access it by "/dev/ttySx". For example, COM15 on windows can be accessed on "/dev/ttyS15" on Ubuntu.

First you need to give it the proper permissions. Run this command

sudo chmod 666 /dev/ttyS15

Replacing 15 with the correct number. Now in the Paparazzi center you can use this port to connect to the aircraft using Paparazzi link application.

sw/ground_segment/tmtc/link -d /dev/ttyS15