LinuxCNC Installation

Created by: Lester Caine, Last modification: 19 Aug 2012 (13:28 UTC)

While the front references now read 'LinuxCNC', internally in the manuals it is still refered to as EMC2. This is the software that formed the original basis for Art's port to Windows creating Mach3. While not as flashy as Mach3, the graphical user interface provides all of the same functions, and progress is being made on other options for controlling the machine via Linux.

Like Mach3, it is recomended not to use on-board graphics cards, but while there have been some problem ITX boards, on the whole, they have worked well and presented no hinderance to running the machines. It isintended to test out LinuxCNC on thebasic board, but the new Jetway case does allow the use of an external PCI graphics card (if we can find one at a reasonable price) while still allowing a second parallel port via the other PCI slot.

The latest version is available from LinuxCNC Download and will burn onto a CD to provide a Live Boot CD which allows on to play with it prior to installing. Normal practice these days is to only partition 20Gb of a hard disk for the windows installation, so the rest of the disk can be used to install Linux, without affecting the Mach3 installation. Most Linux distributions install easily and quickly from CD, and automatically update themselves as they do, so initially connecting to the internet has an advantage even if the network port is not used later. On the VIA board it took around 30 minutes to get to a desktop, and various programs are available from the LinuxCNC menu.

Watch this space as we create configuration files for the MEDW0010, and the DSLS3000. A version for the 2000LE should be easy as well, but I'm not sure I have a controller I can test on. My spare is out on a customer site at the moment.