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Flight Software & Embedded Systems Framework


This installation guide is specifically designed to enable individuals and researchers to get up and running with F´ quickly. This guide is not intended for large teams with specific content management (CM) requirements.

Note: see the troubleshooting section at the bottom for help resolving common issues found during F´ installs.


F´ depends on several items before the user should attempt to install it. These requirements are listed below and should be on any system the user wishes to use. Should these items not be available on the user’s Operating System, then a Virtual Machine should be used. One option is VirtualBox.


  1. Linux or Mac OS X operating system (or Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows)
  2. Java 1.8 or newer, e.g. OpenJDK
  3. CMake 3.5 or newer. CLI tool must be available on the system path.
  4. Bash or Bash compatible shell
  5. CLang or GCC compiler
  6. Python 3.6+ and PIP

Note: operating system specific notes are in the Troubleshooting section below.

Cloning the F´ Repository

Installation of F´ requires cloning of the F´ core repository. This uses Git. This will bring down the core framework and C++ files.

Clone F´

git clone

Installing F´ Python Requirements

F´ python-support packages have certain requirements on various Python packages available on PYPI. These requirements are broken out into two files one for the Autocoder tools and one for the GDS tools package. This is to enable users to choose which tools they’d like to use.

Installing F´ Python Packages

pip install --upgrade fprime-tools fprime-gds

Checking Your F´ Installation

The user may easily checkout that their F´ installation has succeeded by testing the following commands. First, the user will test the build and Autocoder install. Next, the user will test the GDS layer components. Should the user not have installed the given component, the commands won’t work.

Testing F´ Autocoder Installation Via Building Ref Application

cd Ref
fprime-util generate
fprime-util build --jobs "$(nproc || printf '%s\n' 1)"

Testing F´ GDS Installation Via Running HTML GUI

fprime-gds -g html -r <path to fprime checkout>/Ref/build-artifacts

Note: Ref should contain pre-built dictionaries and binaries for the user’s system. This can be achieved by running the Autocoder installation test (the user must have a working Autocoder installation).

(Optional) Installing Tab Completion

Several of F´s command-line utilities support tab completion. To enable these tools to use it, see the instructions here.


This section will add some known hints to trouble-shooting with the installation of F´. This will hopefully help users install things more effectively.

Ubuntu, Debian, Java and Python PIP

Ubuntu and possibly other Debian variants don’t include the pip packages in the default python 3 installation. To get a fully functional, use these commands on Ubuntu and Debian based systems:

sudo apt install git cmake default-jre python3 python3-pip

Now you should be able to run the installation without trouble.

Mac OS X and CMake Command Not Found

If the user chooses to install CMake directly from the CMake site (not using homebrew nor Mac Ports), then the CMake command-line tools must be added to the user’s PATH or default system libraries. The quickest command to do that is:

sudo "/Applications/" --install

More information can be found here

System Python, Packages, and Python3

Many operating systems offer python PIP packages through their package manager (apt, yum, etc). Most python projects recommend avoiding those packages, but rather installing from PIP in a virtual environment. The reason for this is that the version of the python package from the OS may not be the required version that the python project depends on. Thus, users may choose to install F´ into a virtual environment. This is outside the scope of this document.