This section explains setting up software for running a virtual machine, creating such a virtual machine, and installing the required development tools inside it.
We will start with setting up the VirtualBox software for creating and running a virtual machine. We will also create the virtual machine, in which we will install the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Inside this virtual machine, the basic PX4 toolchain will be installed, which should provide all the tools already to build your own firmware binaries from source.
Finally, you will have the choice to install and setup an integrated development environment (IDE), which allows you to edit, build and debug the PX4 firmware. The recommend IDE is MCUXpresso, but we also provide instructions for setting up the popular Visual Studio Code.
It is very well possible to install all tools on your main operating system, whether you are using Linux, Windows or MacOS. However, we only provide the instructions for setting up a virtual machine, because this should work well for most users and it is easier to support a single platform. You are free to install the tools onto your main operating system, but please be aware that you might need to figure some things out using other resources. While these tools are cross platform, it should be noted that the majority of developers use Linux or MacOS.