This page links to installers that will create a full, new Linux installation.

For alternative installation methods, or instructions on installing these files see: Getting LinuxCNC

LinuxCNC 2.9 Downloads

LinuxCNC requires a realtime kernel if it is to be used to control machinery. There are two versions of the package, “linuxcnc-uspace” and “linuxcnc”

“linuxcnc-uspace” is compatible with the preempt-rt realtime kernel, which is close to standard Linux. This version runs in userspace like most other applications and will run with any preempt-rt kernel.

“linuxcnc-uspace” will also run on a standard Linux kernel for use as a simulator, but it should not be used to control hardware.

“linuxcnc” (without a suffix) is a package which runs in kernel space and needs a specific RTAI kernel, which we also supply. (ie the exact kernel version installed must match that which the package was built against.) The RTAI kernel is available from the LinuxCNC software repository and should be installed automatially as a dependency of the “linuxcnc” package. In many cases the RTAI kernel will give better latency performance than preempt-rt, but note that it is only parallel-port controlled systems using software-based stepping and/or encoder counting that need particularly good latency performance

It is also possible to run linuxcnc-uspace, in user-space, with the RTAI kernel if the helper package “linuxcnc-uspace-rtai” is installed. This is something of a half-way house between the other two versions. A similar package can be built for the Xenomai realtime kernel, but is not available as a pre-built package.

The links below point to the latest released images. Older releases can still be found here

The Debian 12 Bookworm ISO will install a full Debian system with the required realtime kernel and the linuxcnc-uspace application. It uses a PREEMPT-RT patched kernel which is close to mainstream Linux but does not, in some cases, give quite such good realtime performance as the previous RTAI kernel. It is very often more than good enough. It should probably be the first version tried even if using a parallel port. This is compatible with all Mesa and Pico interface boards.

  • LinuxCNC 2.9.3 Debian 12 Bookworm RTAI

The more adventurous can install the Bookworm ISO and then install the experimental RTAI kernel as described in 2.9 documents The kernel-mode RTAI installation can not be used with Mesa Ethernet-interfaced cards. In addition to the RTAI kernel you will also need the rtai-modules package and the linuxcnc package. Both can be downloaded by adding the linuxcnc 2.9-rt package repository as described in the link above.

These .xz files are directly readable by the Raspberry Pi imager application

For both of these images:
User name: cnc
Password: cnc
Please run the following from the commandline to configure wifi, timezones and other data:

sudo menu-config

Regular development builds (several times a day) can be found here.

More information on downloading and installing is in the LinuxCNC Documents

LinuxCNC Packages

LinuxCNC debian packages aka .deb files can be installed on a system with dpkg from the command line or with GDebi as a graphical install method. You will need to have a compatible realtime kernel to control machinery.