machinekit — the startup script for Machinekit


machinekit [-v] [-d] [INIFILE]


machinekit is used to start Machinekit (Machine Controller). It starts the realtime system and then initializes a number of Machinekit components (IO, Motion, GUI, HAL, etc).

The most important parameter is INIFILE, which specifies the configuration name you would like to run. If INIFILE is not specified, the machinekit script presents a graphical wizard to let you choose one.


Be a little bit verbose. This causes the script to print information as it works.

Print lots of debug information. All executed commands are echoed to the screen. This mode is useful when something is not working as it should.

The ini file is the main piece of an Machinekit configuration. It is not the entire configuration; there are various other files that go with it (NML files, HAL files, TBL files, VAR files). It is, however, the most important one, because it is the file that holds the configuration together. It can adjust a lot of parameters itself, but it also tells machinekit which other files to load and use.

There are several ways to specify which config to use:

Specify the absolute path to an ini, e.g.
machinekit /usr/local/linuxcnc/configs/sim/sim.ini

Specify a relative path from the current directory, e.g.
machinekit configs/sim/sim.ini

Otherwise, in the case where the INIFILE is not specified, the behavior will depend on whether you configured machinekit with --enable-run-in-place.

If so, the machinekit config chooser will search only the configs directory in your source tree. If not (or if you are using a packaged version of machinekit), it may search several directories. The config chooser is currently set to search the path:




machinekit configs/sim/sim.ini

machinekit /etc/machinekit/sample-configs/stepper/stepper_mm.ini


Much more information about Machinekit and HAL is available in the Machinekit web site.



None known at this time.


The original Linuxcnc man page written by Alex Joni, as part of the Linuxcnc project. Adapted by ArcEye 2016


Report bugs via the machinekit forum at!forum/machinekit

Copyright (c) 2006 Alex Joni and adapted 2016.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.