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Welcome to the community maintained website of the LinuxCNC Project

Notice the wiki password has changed: See BasicSteps


LinuxCNC 2.7.2 is out

Version 2.7.2 of LinuxCNC is out. This one fixes an important bug in canned cycle preliminary motion. The full changelog is available on the Released 2.7.X page.

LinuxCNC 2.6.11 released!

A new bugfix release in the 2.6 series is out: 2.6.11. This one fixes an important bug in canned cycle preliminary motion, and some other minor bugs. The changelog is available on the page listing Released 2.6.X versions.

LinuxCNC 2.5.4 released!

We are pleased to announce the 2.5.4 release of LinuxCNC. The changelog is available on the page listing Released versions. Instructions for updating from 2.4 are on the UpdatingTo2.5 page.

Rebranding name change

Due to a trademark dispute, after EMC 2.4 the project will be referred to as LinuxCNC - A longer but more descriptive name.

LinuxCNC on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

[Official announcement] of pre-built packages and a Live CD for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx".

Why are there packages only for 8.04 and 10.04

We have chosen to use 8.04 and 10.04 because they are "long term support" (LTS) releases. If you use an LTS release, you can be sure of support and security fixes from the Ubuntu team for 3-5 years. However, we would be happy to accept and host packages for other versions if a user/developer of LinuxCNC wishes to contribute them.

Upgrading from Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 will remove LinuxCNC

If you use the Ubuntu updater to upgrade from 8.04 to 10.04, it will remove the LinuxCNC packages. After the upgrade, you can install the new packages for 10.04. Instead of upgrading, we recommend performing a fresh install of 10.04 so that your existing 8.04 setup is retained; after installing LinuxCNC on 10.04, copy your old configuration files and update them if necessary. This way, if you find that the experimental 10.04 packages do not work as well for you, you can simply return to your working 8.04 system.

Table of Contents

Linux Distributions

[The LinuxCNC Live CD] is based on Ubuntu 10.04, includes LinuxCNC 2.5, and can also be used to install Ubuntu and LinuxCNC to your hard drive. After installing, you can easily upgrade to the latest version of LinuxCNC over a network connection.

An entire special distribution of Linux is not needed to easily install and run LinuxCNC; see the instructions for starting with the distributed Ubuntu CD under [Installing LinuxCNC]. These packages are maintained by the LinuxCNC board of directors and are kept up-to-date (and provide a very easy upgrade capability) as new releases are made.

Specialized Linux Distributions

LinuxCNC on [ArchLinux] build and installation including the RTAI kernel patches [Arch-HOWTO]. Arch is a lightweight and flexible Linux® distribution that tries to Keep It Simple. The Arch focus on simplicity and economy for developers means, among other things, that the main effort in assisting the user is not expended in crafting GUI configuration tools — the package manager, for example, does not have an official graphical front-end — but making well-annotated configuration files and extensive use of shell scripts. This has earned it a reputation as a distribution for intermediate and advanced Linux users who aren't afraid of the command line.

Why won't LinuxCNC run on Windows?

  1. LinuxCNC runs in real-time, to give smooth motion. This is critical to accuracy and machine life. Hard real-time is not available on Windows in a price range many can afford... especially those interested in using a PC-based control.
  2. LinuxCNC is intended to control machine tools. Machine tools are DANGEROUS and reliability/consistent behavior is extremely important. Compared to Windows, few viruses affect Linux. Even without consideration of viruses, Linux is far more stable.
  3. The above also apply to virtual machines (e.g., VMware or Virtual Box) and emulators. It may be possible to trick LinuxCNC to run on a virtual machine but do so at your own risk!
  4. The above notwithstanding, one can access a running LinuxCNC machine from a Windows machine, e.g., by running a Windows-based VNC client or X11 server.

The future of LinuxCNC


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Last edited November 1, 2015 3:36 pm by Seb Kuzminsky (diff)
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