Non-Tormach Gmoccapy to PathPilot migration?

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04 Jul 2020 22:14 #173630 by Bats
After some problems with Gmoccapy and a couple suggestions to consider PathPilot, I'm... well... considering PathPilot. Naturally I've got a world of questions, but I'm going to try to keep this simple, stick to the big pre-install questions, and figure I can sort out the rest as I go along. Or if I go along.

1) I'm currently running a very non-Tormach Gecko G540 over parallel port on stretch/PREEMPT (I am planning to Mesa-fy the system eventually, but don't have a timeline for it yet). Is this going to cause any fundamental problems or major "you're on your own" roadblocks?

2) The timestamps on the pinned tutorials look a bit dated. Is that going to be a problem if I order the currently available installer , which seems to be v2.0?

3) Is it possible to switch GUIs from Gmoccapy to PathPilot on an existing installation of LinuxCNC (in the way that one might switch from Axis to Gmoccapy), or does it require its own install from scratch?

3a)...and can that install comfortably coexist on the same system with a LinuxCNC/Gmoccapy install (allowing for an easy fallback if/when things aren't working out?) Or is it meant as a standalone boot-straight-into-PathPilot setup, like the virtual version seems to be?


-Bats

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07 Jul 2020 14:57 #173846 by tommylight

1) I'm currently running a very non-Tormach Gecko G540 over parallel port on stretch/PREEMPT (I am planning to Mesa-fy the system eventually, but don't have a timeline for it yet). Is this going to cause any fundamental problems or major "you're on your own" roadblocks?

There are several successful users of PathPilot with parallel port, so should be doable.

2) The timestamps on the pinned tutorials look a bit dated. Is that going to be a problem if I order the currently available installer , which seems to be v2.0?

I think the newest version is 2.1, and i am not aware of any major changes to the hal stuff. Then again, i do not use PathPilot so i might be way out of the current events.

3) Is it possible to switch GUIs from Gmoccapy to PathPilot on an existing installation of LinuxCNC (in the way that one might switch from Axis to Gmoccapy), or does it require its own install from scratch?

Not that i am aware of. PathPilot is LinuxCNC and the source code should be available on the net, but the GUI is not open source. Hence i do not think it is possible to switch between the two, or any other GUI.

3a)...and can that install comfortably coexist on the same system with a LinuxCNC/Gmoccapy install (allowing for an easy fallback if/when things aren't working out?) Or is it meant as a standalone boot-straight-into-PathPilot setup, like the virtual version seems to be?

It should be possible to install PathPilot first, then a version of Mint or Debian on a separate partition on the HDD and choose at boot time. Again this should work, but i never tried it.

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08 Jul 2020 20:25 #174026 by Bats

There are several successful users of PathPilot with parallel port, so should be doable.

"Doable" doesn't always mean "straightforward" - as a long and dispiriting series of "doable" projects has taught me. :p


Not that i am aware of. PathPilot is LinuxCNC and the source code should be available on the net, but the GUI is not open source. Hence i do not think it is possible to switch between the two, or any other GUI.

I don't think the sourceyness should necessarily have anything to do with the ability to switch GUIs - assuming one had already purchased the software and it'd been designed as a standardish LinuxCNC GUI... but the next answer does make the chances of that look pretty slim.


It should be possible to install PathPilot first, then a version of Mint or Debian on a separate partition on the HDD and choose at boot time.

After jumping to several contradictory conclusions, I've finally concluded that I really don't know how to interpret this. I'm reading it as either:

A ) PathPilot & LinuxCNC can't coexist on a single linux install, so dual-booting would be required to swap between PP & Gmoccapy/Axis/etc.

or

B ) PathPilot exists all by itself on a machine (as hub.pathpilot.com/ seems to hint at), and dual-booting is required to do anything else on the machine.

or

C ) Bats gets it wrong again, and clearly needs things explained in small words, simple concepts, and crayon drawings.

A is understandable, and probably to be expected - since they're both essentially the same piece of software - and would only be a minor (well, slightly more than minor) inconvenience while getting everything set up.

B, on the other hand, is likely to be a showstopper & see me stuck swearing at the broken editor in Gmoccapy for the forseeable future. I wouldn't have even gotten linuxCNC working without a dozen browser windows open - and that's a supported use of the software. I also tend to have a handful of G-Code, feed & speed, how-the-hell-does-this-software-work, etc, resources open any time the machine's not actively cutting, which doesn't work so well if I have to dual-boot (well, triple-boot at this point, but who's counting?) or run to the PC in the other room each time I need to look something up.

C is, of course, the most probable interpretation.


-Bats
...promising not to eat the crayons this time.

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08 Jul 2020 23:46 #174041 by gerritv
Several items for you:
1. The present version of PathPilot is 2.5.x, The version of Linux though doesn't seem to have changed since 2.0 (which is what is on the Upgrade USB stick.)
2. All the PP stuff is in ~/tmc directory or your home directory.
3. I _think_ in one of the PathPilot threads here user svg built a compatible kernel/linuxcnc to go along with PP. This was to backfill some missing utilities.
4. The PP gui is a .glade file so although tommylight is correct that the code is not opensource, it is source code. Modifying that glade file however gets you into the fun realm of dependencies with glade editing etc. And IMO very obtuse information on installing those tools. (I tried for a day, gave up for now/until I really really need it)

Your best bet to try this out is to install PP first, it includes the Linux it is happy with. Use the info from thread to build a compatible LinuxCNC. I think the thread also indicates how to install side-side. User svg seems to have been successful at this.

Unlike Windows .net stuff,in my experience Linux/LinuxCNC seems very tied to the very specific library etc version it was built with, it doesn't seem very tolerant of mismatches. I vaguely recall this from too many years with SGI/HPUX/Solaris/BDS4.1 etc as well. All this compile-from-source stuff is part of the fun of course :-)

I am about a week away from having my PathPilot system up (but of course not necessarily working :-), lots of wiring left to do.
The following user(s) said Thank You: tommylight

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05 Jan 2022 18:24 #230883 by DavidMunson743
I have a older Novakon m200 with steppers and G540's and am wanting to use PathPilot also. I purchase the USB backup of the latest from Tormach but won't load (I think it's looking for Mesa cards)

Keep me informed of your progress.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from Missouri

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