PathPilot Plugins

Wednesday, 07 June 2023

Plugin controller
Probe Guard
Turn off outputs
Traffic lights
Block Delete
Probe Wake


PathPilot plugins

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These plugins are a way of adding functionality to PathPilot without requiring any modifications to the existing PathPilot code.  They don't have any associated user interface, but they can monitor the machine's activity and react to it.  They can communicate with other devices via USB, ethernet and possibly Bluetooth as well, so can be used to synchronise external equipment.  It's also important that they're very simple to install and that that installation survives PathPilot updates and doesn't have to be done again.

Below, you'll find a list of the plugins I have already.  I have a number of other ideas I'd like to implement, so the plugin architecture is important to allow people to choose which functions they want and to install/remove them whenever required.

Keep an eye on this page for future updates.


Installation is very simple.

  1. Open PathPilot, go to the File tab.
  2. Go to the home folder if you're not already there and create a folder named python.  Note that python is in lower case.
  3. Use a USB stick or a network connection to copy the plugin controller and any plugin module you wish into the python folder.
  4. Restart PathPilot.
  5. Check the status page to see that each of the modules started up successfully.

How they work

When PathPilot starts up, it checks in the Linux folder /home/operator/gcode/python to see if there's a file named  If the file exists, PathPilot loads it and attempts to create an object of type class ui_hooks().  This folder is accessible from the PathPilot  'File' tab.  From there, press the 'Home' button and look for a folder named 'python'.

ui_hooks then searches the same folder for any files named * and creates an object of type class UserPlugin from the code in each plugin it finds.  The code in each plugin is provided with objects to access the LinuxCNC core.  There's a linuxcnc.command to send commands to the machine and a linuxcnc.stat to determine current machine status.  Plugins can also check the PathPilot version number and can write messages to the status screen.  Once a plug-in has been loaded, it's up to it to decide how it interacts with the rest of the LinuxCNC system and the Linux operating system itself.

What's available The plugin controller.  You must have this at least to make the other plugins work. and ProbeGuard_plugin.hal Make sure the spindle cannot start while a probe or Haimer is loaded.  Also prevents false probe trips during program runs causing the run to abort. Turn off all USB I/O outputs when a program ends, even if by e-stop Implement traffic light display using a USB I/O board
Block Delete Implement the block delete function Use a USB I/O to wake a wireless probe. Have your mill send you e-mails to let you know what it's up to


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This site was last updated 25/05/23