Difference between revisions of "EMC2"

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==Using EMC2==
==Other Controllers==

Revision as of 17:54, 8 July 2012


from linuxcnc.com

LinuxCNC is:

  • a software system for computer control of machines such as milling machines, lathes, plasma cutters, cutting machines, robots, hexapods, etc.
  • Free software released under the terms of the GNU GPLv2 (General Public License version 2).
  • a descendent of the original NIST Enhanced Machine Controller software, which is in the Public Domain.
  • precompiled with Ubuntu LTS (long term support) versions for ease of installation and longevity.


The EMC2 team now has custom Live-CD's based on Ubuntu:

  • 10.04 Lucid Lynx (current),
  • 8.04 Hardy Heron (older)
  • 6.06 Dapper Drake (not supported anymore)

These will let you try out EMC2 before installing. It's the easiest way to install Ubuntu and EMC2 together.

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

For new installations, choose Ubuntu 10.04. This is a fairly recent release, so be sure to report any problems (or even success) so we can make things better. This install gives you all the benefits of the community-supported Ubuntu distribution as well as being automatically configured for EMC2. As new Ubuntu updates or EMC2 releases are made, the Update manager will let you know and allow you to easily upgrade. It currently features emc2_2.4.3 already installed.

  • download the ISO and burn it to a CD. (The MD5SUM of the CD is 5283b33b7e23e79da1ee561ad476b05f)
  • For those that like to read a little download this short Getting Started Guide
  • When you boot the CD on your machine, you can see and experiment with the exact environment and EMC2 software that you will have if you choose to install it. (A side note: in my experience, performance will be improved when EMC2 is actually installed and not just running off the liveCD)
  • If you like what you see, just click the Install icon on the desktop, answer a few questions (your name, timezone, password) and the install completes in a few minutes (or longer depending on your hardware).


With all CNC control systems (grbl, mach3, or EMC2) you need to complete two basic tasks in order to get your system setup:

  1. Define which pins do what
  2. Define how fast your motors move / accelerate.
    1. Default Feed (gcode "F")
    2. Default Speed (gcode "G0") - this is also referred to as "rapid" or "seek"
    3. Acceleration - this is how fast your machine goes from no motion to whatever the situation's desired speed.

EMC2 comes with a utility called stepconfig. This utilities allows you to set all of the settings you'll need to get your machine talking to your computer via parallel port.


To launch stepconfig, click the ubuntu button in the top left hand corner of the screen --> CNC --> stepconfig wizard

Open Step Config
Create new profile
Setup Pin configuration
Configure X Axis Settings
Configure Y Axis Settings
Configure Z Axis Settings
Advanced settings

Other Controllers