Linuxcnc requirements for plasma cutting

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wiltshire_chris
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Linuxcnc requirements for plasma cutting

Post by wiltshire_chris » Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:43 pm

Hi, brief back story, I built a table with grbl/arduino, had issues and electrical failures, I came here and asked a few questions and have decided on the linuxcnc route. Can you give me a definitive answer on what computer to get to use a Chinese BoB. A helpful member pointed me in the right direction but now I'm.lost.https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/224964534722 ... media=COPY I found this.

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements

Post by acourtjester » Sat Jan 21, 2023 4:21 pm

In you search you need to also add the type of boards you are using to build the controller. I am using a Mesa 7I76E with a Dell I3 pc and had problems with latency. There are other boards that will work easiser (I cannot tell you which). There are also different GUIs you can use with Linuxcnc which function differently. I'm sure other member will contribute to this post with clearer info. I know RodW si using a mini PC like you are looking at but cannot state which one now. He has a YouTube video where he talks about it with a touch screen monitor.
here is another with a mini PC he touches on all the bases in the video.
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Re: Linuxcnc requirements

Post by Rodw » Sat Jan 21, 2023 4:28 pm

The choice of PC is fine.
To use a parallel port with QTplasmac, kind of throws you into the deepend. I've never used one.
The RTAI realtime kernel should yield better performance for software stepping than PREEMPT_RT but is going to see you building linuxcnc from source.
There is a recent post by a forum member who has recently updated RTAI to make it easier so start there.
https://forum.linuxcnc.org/18-computer/ ... -available
So start by downloading the amd64 xfce-nonfree iso from here
https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unof ... so-hybrid/
use win32diskimager to burn it to a USB stick
Edit your BIOS settings so it will boot first from USB
Connect to a wired network and install Debian
do not add a root password! hint I use the same value for PC name, user and password so the command prompt tells me what to enter..
Follow the instructions in the forum post

building linuxcnc is not particularly hard but you need to install the dependencies. I have a video here
BUt first try this command (Copy and paste all of it to the command prompt and hit enter.) It might get most of them

Code: Select all

sudo -A apt install -y geany git debhelper dh-python libudev-dev tcl8.6-dev tk8.6-dev bwidget tclx libeditreadline-dev asciidoc dblatex docbook-xsl dvipng ghostscript graphviz groff imagemagick inkscape python3-lxml source-highlight w3c-linkchecker xsltproc texlive-extra-utils texlive-font-utils texlive-fonts-recommended texlive-lang-cyrillic texlive-lang-french texlive-lang-german texlive-lang-polish texlive-lang-spanish texlive-latex-recommended asciidoc-dblatex python3-dev python3-tk libxmu-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libgtk2.0-dev libgtk-3-dev gettext intltool autoconf libboost-python-dev libmodbus-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev psmisc yapps2 libepoxy-dev python3-xlib python3-pyqt5 python3-dbus.mainloop.pyqt5 python3-pyqt5.qtopengl python3-pyqt5.qsci python3-pyqt5.qtmultimedia python3-pyqt5.qtquick qml-module-qtquick-controls gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad  libqt5multimedia5-plugins pyqt5-dev-tools python3-dev python3-setuptools python3-wheel python3-pip python3-yapps dpkg-dev python3-serial libtk-img qttools5-dev qttools5-dev-tools python3-wheel espeak espeak-data espeak-ng freeglut3 gdal-data gstreamer1.0-tools libaec0 libarmadillo10 libarpack2 libcfitsio9 libcharls2 libdap27 libdapclient6v5 libepsilon1 libespeak1 libfreexl1 libfyba0 libgdal28 libgdcm3.0 libgeos-3.9.0 libgeos-c1v5 libgeotiff5 libgif7 libglew2.1 libgtksourceview-3.0-dev libhdf4-0-alt libhdf5-103-1 libhdf5-hl-100 libimagequant0 libkmlbase1 libkmldom1 libkmlengine1 liblept5 libmariadb3 libminizip1 libnetcdf18 libodbc1 libogdi4.1 libopencv-calib3d4.5 libopencv-contrib4.5 libopencv-core4.5 libopencv-dnn4.5 libopencv-features2d4.5 libopencv-flann4.5 libopencv-highgui4.5 libopencv-imgcodecs4.5 libopencv-imgproc4.5 libopencv-ml4.5 libopencv-objdetect4.5 libopencv-photo4.5 libopencv-shape4.5 libopencv-stitching4.5 libopencv-video4.5 libopencv-videoio4.5 libportaudio2 libpq5 libproj19 libprotobuf23 libqhull8.0 librttopo1 libsocket++1 libspatialite7 libsuperlu5 libsz2 libtbb2 libtesseract4 liburiparser1 libxerces-c3.2 libxml2-dev mariadb-common mesa-utils mysql-common odbcinst odbcinst1debian2 proj-bin proj-data python3-configobj python3-espeak python3-gi-cairo python3-olefile python3-opencv python3-opengl python3-pil python3-pil.imagetk python3-pyqt5.qtsvg python3-pyqt5.qtwebkit tcl-tclreadline geotiff-bin gdal-bin glew-utils libgtksourceview-3.0-doc libhdf4-doc libhdf4-alt-dev hdf4-tools odbc-postgresql tdsodbc ogdi-bin python-configobj-doc libgle3 python-pil-doc python3-pil-dbg python3-pil.imagetk-dbg python3-sqlalchemy python3-deepdiff netcat po4a python3-docopt python3-psutil python3-qtpy python3-pyudev python3-vtk9
This will build whats called a run in place install (RIP) and there is a script you must before you run linuxcnc (from the command line) Make sure you specify the linuxcnc-dev folder when you git clone

Code: Select all

. ./scripts/rip-environment
On the linuxcnc instructions linked to you may wish to build the debs and install them to put it all in the menus but time enough for that later.

FInally assuming a RIP install, run a script QTplasmac needs

Code: Select all

~/linuxcnc-dev/lib/python/qtvcp/designer/install_script
Now just type linuxcnc and search the sample files for QTplasmac to run a simulated plasma table

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements

Post by Plasma-art » Sat Jan 21, 2023 4:50 pm

I have used at that time the latest linuxcnc PREEMPT_RT ISO as far as I can remember and used the buildbot guide to upgrade to the most recent version to get QTplasmac.
There where some small issues i had to work through but with some help, guidance and reading nothing major.
I do get the occasional task has an unexpected delay error when starting Qtplasmac but it doesn't appear to be an issue (no lost steps when pushing the speed)
Running double parallel beakoutboards, 1 regular and 1 custom.

That ebay listing is a bit vague about what you are actually buying.

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements

Post by wiltshire_chris » Sat Jan 21, 2023 5:47 pm

Wow, that's a lot of information and some what overwhelming. I want the table to work, budget is the limiting factor, is this to much for an inexperienced person to do?

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements

Post by Rodw » Sat Jan 21, 2023 9:00 pm

Well, I'm going to make it simple because Plasma-art got good results with PREEMPT_RT and parallel ports
Install bookworm non-free from this URL (which may change as its a weekly build
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unoff ... 64/iso-cd/
Ensure that you select the XFCE Gui during the install. This is mandatory...
open a terminal window and type

Code: Select all

sudo apt install linuxcnc-uspace
sudo apt install linuxcnc-uspace-dev
Thats it! You are done.
Linuxcnc will be in the menus.

Its a bit of a mess right now because there is a transitional period between versions right now with both linuxcnc and Debian.
But Linuxcnc is in the Debian bookworm repos now
In a couple of months Bookworm will be the official release version of Debian and life will be easy!

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements

Post by acourtjester » Sun Jan 22, 2023 4:06 pm

Chris you may see if one of these is available in Europe
https://www.tigerdirect.com/application ... &Sku=#img3
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Re: Linuxcnc requirements

Post by wiltshire_chris » Sun Jan 22, 2023 4:11 pm

acourtjester wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 4:06 pm
Chris you may see if one of these is available in Europe
https://www.tigerdirect.com/application ... &Sku=#img3
I went with the one I linked to at the start, I appreciate you time looking into it. I'm sure there will be more questions coming the forums way.

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by robertspark » Wed Jan 25, 2023 10:52 am

I was looking at selling pre configured pcs with linuxcnc and qtplasmac for Mesa hardware for the UK.... have the pcs .... lack the time....

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by acourtjester » Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:13 pm

How about putting software on the Google drive and getting paid for you time with PayPal. no shipping involved. :Like
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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by Rodw » Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:47 pm

acourtjester wrote:
Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:13 pm
How about putting software on the Google drive and getting paid for you time with PayPal. no shipping involved. :Like
You can't do this with Open source software. It invites legal action by the Free Software Foundation.....

There are a lot of factors which make Linuxcnc hard to install plasma right now.
1. QTPlasmac is still a development project and not in the release version of Linuxcnc (V2.8)
2. Linuxcnc V 2.8 is on Debian Buster which is almost 2 Debianversions behind
3. Linuxcnc V 2.9 and up require Python 3 and the cleanest way to get this is to install a version of Debian newer than Buster
4. Debian Buster is lacking support for modern hardware drivers. Its too old!

But things will change over the next few months.
1. Debian Bookworm is currently in a soft freeze state from 12 Jan 2023 pending its relese as the official version of Debian later this year
2. Linuxcnc V2.9 has been branched off the development main branch (Master or V 2.10) in preparation for a new version upgrade
3. Linuxcnc V2.9 is currently in the Debian bookworm repositories so it can be installed using the graphical Synaptic package manager or by typing one line at the command prompt.

So when Debian Bookworm is released and a new Linuxcnc ISO of V 2.9 is released, QTplasmac will be readilly available via two easy to install methods that both install the prerequisite real time PREEMPT_RT kernel.

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by robertspark » Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:55 pm

But I can sell a reconfigured PC with the software loaded for your Mesa card and it can be pretested.

It was only going to be a nominal sum anyway, just struggling on time.

Whilst I appreciate the way linuxcnc is going, I just cant see it being idiot proof for windows users used to plug and play.

At least for some users they can / could just get a preconfgured box and connect it to their chosen mesa ethernet board, plug in a monitor and keyboard and it just works.

Plus I was going to provide a USB restore stick (preconfigured) to restore the PC back to it's delivered state.

It would take some time to set up correctly as I would have needed to know the IO's of the system that you were planning on operating.

I have about 6/8 thin ethernet clients that will be good candidates that I bought a little while ago.

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by acourtjester » Thu Jan 26, 2023 4:25 pm

That seems like a good offer for users in the UK, and you recouping the cost of the hardware you have on hand.
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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by Rodw » Fri Jan 27, 2023 4:12 am

I think one of the differences between mach3 and linuxcnc is that a lot of the wiring is standardised in Mach so you only need to connect one end.
Whereas with linuxcnc it is a blank canvas so you have to decide what connects to where.
Once QTplasmac is included in the release version of linuxcnc, life will be easier. pncconf, the mesa configurator program now supports building configurations for qtplasmac so it shoud be a breeze.

If the preferred card was the Mesa 7i96s, all that is required is a reference build chart that says what goes where so a user could use it to fill in the blanks into pncconf.

I have done up a reference build chart like this for the 7i96 and the last 7i76e control box I built this way and it was super easy. MAybe I should update it for the 7i96s. I know one user I helped followed this when doing his wiring and it was so simple to test thigs with that documentation in place.

The other shortcut Mach3 users can do if converting to Linuxcnc is to not bother too much about the accuracy of their stepper settings. Just make a basic config in linuxcnc and then edit your ini file and enter the max velocity, accelleration and stepsper direct into the ini file with say Geany, the preferred linux text editor. Just remember that the velocity and accelleration numbers are doubled for plasma to give maximum velocities when using external offsets.. Thats another story!

I've built so many configs this way becasue I know what works for my hardware. I helped a Mach3 user convert to linuxcnc and it was super quick to do it this way.

The only thing might be that you could experiment with 10-20% more velocity and acceleration over known mach3 settings just because you are using Mesa and linuxcnc!

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by acourtjester » Fri Jan 27, 2023 11:08 am

I echo many of the things RodW says, a big plus is the number of input and outputs available to be used. The way Pncconf moves through the setup of QTPlasmaC with sections for each portion is clear. There are drop down menus for some of the selections and motor tune in the motor setup section too. When finished it creates the different files with the needed info, like the INI and HAL plus others. I found it easier to modify the existing Pncconf file then work with the INI or HAL files, but that me. My lack of experience with LinuxCNC is why, But with the help I got from Rod and the web site was super. Another thing is you can create different setup by running Pncconf and using a different name at the start for each setup you want. LinuxCNC keeps them separate under the name and folder you used. Easy for testing you just use that name when you start up. :Like Lots of docs to read to help with setups.
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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by FabLab » Fri Jan 27, 2023 8:33 pm

robertspark wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:55 pm
But I can sell a reconfigured PC with the software loaded for your Mesa card and it can be pretested.

It was only going to be a nominal sum anyway, just struggling on time.

Whilst I appreciate the way linuxcnc is going, I just cant see it being idiot proof for windows users used to plug and play.

At least for some users they can / could just get a preconfgured box and connect it to their chosen mesa ethernet board, plug in a monitor and keyboard and it just works.

Plus I was going to provide a USB restore stick (preconfigured) to restore the PC back to it's delivered state.

It would take some time to set up correctly as I would have needed to know the IO's of the system that you were planning on operating.

I have about 6/8 thin ethernet clients that will be good candidates that I bought a little while ago.
Thanks for this post, your last post had me questioning my understanding of GPL/GPL2
So much so that I spent some time this week re-reading the license FAQ & I couldn't find anything that would stop someone from doing what you are talking about here (which is how I read the last post)

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements

Post by wiltshire_chris » Mon Jan 30, 2023 1:20 pm

Rodw wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 9:00 pm
Well, I'm going to make it simple because Plasma-art got good results with PREEMPT_RT and parallel ports
Install bookworm non-free from this URL (which may change as its a weekly build
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unoff ... 64/iso-cd/
Ensure that you select the XFCE Gui during the install. This is mandatory...
open a terminal window and type

Code: Select all

sudo apt install linuxcnc-uspace
sudo apt install linuxcnc-uspace-dev
Thats it! You are done.
Linuxcnc will be in the menus.

Its a bit of a mess right now because there is a transitional period between versions right now with both linuxcnc and Debian.
But Linuxcnc is in the Debian bookworm repos now
In a couple of months Bookworm will be the official release version of Debian and life will be easy!
So, I'm missing something, I've downloaded the firmware-edu-testing-amd64-netist file and the non esu file and when tye computer boots it says that no operating system.is found on the drive. Help please

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by Rodw » Mon Jan 30, 2023 2:44 pm

I've never used an EDU education version for schools
Try the other one in this url I shared earlier
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unoff ... 64/iso-cd/

firmware-testing-amd64-netinst.iso

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by wiltshire_chris » Mon Jan 30, 2023 3:23 pm

The file is showing as 700 ish mb, is that all it is?

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by Rodw » Mon Jan 30, 2023 3:43 pm

Yes becasue its for a CD. It needs an internet connection so it can pull down other stuff. Its best its a wired connection.

The DVD images want to look on the DVD for any upgrades and we don't want to be stuffing around inserting that every time we require a bit of software.

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by wiltshire_chris » Mon Jan 30, 2023 4:27 pm

can I do it from a usb stick?

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by Rodw » Mon Jan 30, 2023 4:37 pm

wiltshire_chris wrote:
Mon Jan 30, 2023 4:27 pm
can I do it from a usb stick?
yes. Use rufus on windows to make it. its free

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements

Post by wiltshire_chris » Tue Jan 31, 2023 12:27 pm

Rodw wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 9:00 pm
Well, I'm going to make it simple because Plasma-art got good results with PREEMPT_RT and parallel ports
Install bookworm non-free from this URL (which may change as its a weekly build
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unoff ... 64/iso-cd/
Ensure that you select the XFCE Gui during the install. This is mandatory...
open a terminal window and type

Code: Select all

sudo apt install linuxcnc-uspace
sudo apt install linuxcnc-uspace-dev
Thats it! You are done.
Linuxcnc will be in the menus.

Its a bit of a mess right now because there is a transitional period between versions right now with both linuxcnc and Debian.
But Linuxcnc is in the Debian bookworm repos now
In a couple of months Bookworm will be the official release version of Debian and life will be easy!
Day 426 of Tring to sort the computer side of this table and I think I'm getting somewhere, at what point do I open a terminal window and type the command in?

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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by acourtjester » Tue Jan 31, 2023 1:26 pm

Have you completed the install of Linux on your PC?? Having downloaded the ICO and used Rufus to load it on to the USB stick you then put that into you PC and boot from the USB stick and go through the install. It will need to be hooked to the web to download many other files as it does the install.
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Re: Linuxcnc requirements or plasma cutting

Post by wiltshire_chris » Tue Jan 31, 2023 1:51 pm

I took a chance on it and have it installed woop woop. Its giving me the options for machine configuration, is there any specific one I need to choose, I have a Chinese 5 axis breakout board

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