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Paparazzi is very easily installed on any laptop or workstation running the Ubuntu Linux OS or virtually any Debian based Linux or Apple Macintosh running Mac OS X. After Microsoft introduced Ubuntu on Windows, now it is possible to run Paparazzi on Windows 10. There is also another work being done to port Paparazzi to Windows with a different approach to work on all versions of Windows.

The steps required to install the software needed to be able to let your UAS fly are:

  1. Install tools and prerequisites needed by Paparazzi.
  2. Download the source code from the source repository.
  3. Compile the Paparazzi software from sourcecode
  4. Complete any final configuration

Quickstart for Ubuntu users

Follow the instructions from the new documentation:

If all went well the Paparazzi Center should now be running... skip the rest of instructions on this page and go fly!

If you are new you'll need to do some more things before you go fly like configuring your XML definition file detailing your airframe configuration. There is help here for that: Airframe_Configuration

In case you have no autopilot hardware yet, no problem, you can get hardware here or just buy a ready to fly aircraft that can run Paparazzi Software like the Parrot Drones Parrot Bebop and run Paparazzi on your Parrot ARDRone2, Bebop and Bebop2 (soon the Disco drone).

OS Specific Instructions

For Linux an instructional video explaining it all in detail can be found here

The process of installing the prerequisite tools and dependencies needed by Paparazzi is specific to the operating system you are using. For detailed installation instructions, please see the following pages:

For more advanced installation information or developers, please see the following pages:

  • Installing everything from scratch For non Debian based Linux distributions or if one just wants to be able to use all the latest and greatest compilers, or source code of everything to improve something. Then there is no other way than to install from scratch.
  • Installing prerequisite tools on Windows Note that this is a work in progress, and not finished yet. It would be fantastic if you are interested in running Paparazzi on this OS to help out with the porting. Being able to help is one of opensource software main features. If your skill- set is not so good in this area, but you still insist using Windows OS, then it is best to install a VirtualMachine from within Windows where you run the free Ubuntu OS of choice.

Virtual Machines

It is also possible to have your Debian/Ubuntu running in a virtual machine, for instance with VirtualBox. This requires minimal changes to your computer setup, as you can run the VM from all common platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux). The virtual machine image can easily be transferred between different laptops, giving greater flexibility. Unfortunately, the Open-Source Edition of VirtualBox doesn't include the necessary USB support, so you'll need to get the regular version from the website.

If you are new and this is your first time installing it is suggested you keep it simple. Use the standard Linux or OS X install. Select a system you can dedicate to the Linux installation. No VMs or dual boot configurations. The idea is do a very simple generic installation that is certain to have no issues. This reassures you that the installation process works and you can see and use a working Paparazzi install for some time before you try a more complicated install. The install is well documented and certain to succeed if followed exactly. Most issues arise when someone unfamiliar with Paparazzi or their OS tries a non-standard install that requires special steps that are not documented. Generally, commands can be copied and pasted for easy, step-by-step installation.

Getting the Source Code

The Paparazzi source code is hosted on Github. While you can download it as a tarball from, it is recommended to clone the repository with git.

From the directory of your choice type:

git clone --origin upstream

Check out the released stable version branch:

cd paparazzi
git checkout v6.1

If this whole "Git" thing is new to you, more options and information can be found on the Git page.

Launching the Software

Make sure you have installed the paparazzi-dev package as described above. Without these you will not be able to compile the sourcecode. The first step is to compile. From the paparazzi directory (cd ~/paparazzi), run


You will have to run this command after each update of the source (git pull command). Launch the software from the paparazzi directory with


From the Paparazzi Center interface, select the Microjet aircraft, select the sim target and Build it. Then Execute the Simulation session. The procedure is detailed in the Simulation page.

Environment Variables

If (and only if) you want to directly launch some Paparazzi agents (the Tools of the Paparazzi Center) from the command line, without using the Paparazzi Center, you must have the Paparazzi source and home environment variables set correctly in your shell. These variables can be automatically set in your shell by adding the following lines to your .bashrc file:

File: ~/.bashrc
export PAPARAZZI_HOME=''your paparazzi software directory''
export PAPARAZZI_SRC=''your paparazzi software directory''

Verify that your variables are set correctly with the following command:

env | grep PAPARAZZI

which should return the following:

PAPARAZZI_HOME=''your paparazzi software directory''
PAPARAZZI_SRC=''your paparazzi software directory''

If you wish to manually set the env variables (i.e. when compiling a backup copy of your code in a different folder) execute the following command from the folder you wish to set as your active paparazzi folder:

export PAPARAZZI_HOME=`pwd`;export PAPARAZZI_SRC=`pwd`

In case you obtain an error indicating that your environmental variables are not set up correctly (for example 'ocamlfind: Package `pprz.xlib' not found') it should be noted that some shells or versions of make can not handle the '~/paparazzi' path. Try setting it to '/home/username/paparazzi' instead.

Software Updates

We manage the software with the git version control system. Learn it! If you are new to it, see the Git wiki page.

Paparazzi is a very rapidly evolving project and as such you might want to update your software regularly. See the branching model and release process page.

Any new files you created will not be lost/overwritten when updating (like your own airframe file). Nevertheless, as with all things, backups are advised. If you modified source code, the best way is of course to use the version control system Git to commit your changes. Otherwise at least use the brute force method and save everything in another directory.

Update your software with care and caution, and always test the functionality on the ground and in the air as some updates will affect tuning parameters. You might need to update your airframe file as well. The compiler will usually complain if there is a problem, at which point you can look at the Airframe Configuration wiki page again, look on the mailing list or some of the most recent airframe files on git to find the proper syntax.

See also the Release Upgrades page for information on how to update your configuration from one release to the next.

Quick'n dirty description

To download and automatically merge any updated source files, run the following command from your Paparazzi directory

git pull

After any git update or source code modification the code can be recompiled from your paparazzi software directory with the following command:


The make command will only recompile portions of the software where changed have been detected. If it does not behave as expected you can delete all compiled files and recompile from scratch with the following commands:

make clean

If you'd like to check that the code compiles all example airframes then you can run the test suite using the command

make test

For more details see the tests page.

Using the Virtual Machine image

Virtual machine image based on VMWare Player Available at