Linux Vex

I am interested in programming the Vex robot in linux using c or asm. The first thing that comes to mind is how to load the code to the robot since the ifi loader is a window$ program. I don’t want to use wine so is this possible? :o

there are very few programs that Liunx will run, but u might as well take the chance and see if they have any wines available. Wines are “things” that allow programs meant for another OS to run on the Linux OS.

It should be possible, by accessing the programming pins directly, to load code to the onboard pic. I have not tried this yet myself but can think of a couple of ways to do it. The IFI loader is just a serial comms system. It should not be difficult to reverse the protocol with a bit of hardware to watch it. The more difficult thing is to find a C compiler for linux that works with the particular pic in the vex controller. I think SDCC will do it but again, not certain. I have built a new vex controller out of an atmel AVR microcontroller which handles all the comms and the motor control just dandyfine. I used an atmega644 running at 20mhz which gives me more processing power than the pair of PIC chips in the VEX controller combined. I have full C and assembly programming capability in linux, windows, or mac and even have a USB bootloader on the thing so no added dongle needed for programming.


Ray Moore

Get Moose and Squirrel!


It’s OK to answer “Because I want to…”; but I can’t help but wonder what is pushing you to want to write compile and download code from a Linux computer rather than a Windows computer.

It would seem almost irrelevant unless you are in love with a Linux-based editor or you only have one computer (and it is running Linux).

Notice that if you use Cygwin (available from gnu) you can create a Linux “environment” that runs on top of Windows. Would running your favorite editor on top of Cygwin and using Intellitek’s Windows-based C18 compiler and the IFI downloader allow you to scratch this itch well-enough?


Whats wrong with linux?Its not n00bish like windows.

Farldarm, thanks for the info. SDCC looks promising and but the atmel AVR microcontroller has really got me interested. As far as the linux/windows debate, it’s been overdone many other places on the Internet. I’m a linux fan and that’s that, end of discussion. I found a really good website that’s loaded with technical info that I can use. Also, I read on another topic that you can use the IFI debugger to get the necessary serial info, though that will require a windows boot.:cool: As far as wine, I’ve used it but there’s always something that doesn’t work like the original. I’m a tinkerer and the atmel AVR microcontroller just might be the direction I go in. Thx for all the replies…

I use linux myself but run windows in qemu on top of linux for things like the vex software when I need it. I have multiple computers and do not like to use windows unless I absolutely have to. On top of this, there are those who can not run windows due to platform limitations such as running a mac. I am a supporter of multiplatform capability for software, not just the windows/linux thing but also solaris, mac, beos, bsd, amiga, or whatever. Yes, I know, companies wont be porting stuff to all of these anytime soon but it’s nice to have some alternatives sometimes.

As for the AVR platform, there is software out there for working with AVR chips available open source that works with mac, linux, solaris, beos, bsd, amiga, and even palmOS. And the chips are much more powerful than PIC and easier to use.

Also, I can be contacted on in the #electronics channel for more details and live chat. I use the nick Arcturus there.


Ray Moore

Get Moose and Squirrel.

Sturm - Read what I wrote - I didn’t say that there is anything wrong with Linux. - The MPLab IDE runs on top of Windows. - Blake

Myaybe he/she is like me and is totally biased against anything micro$oft becuse it is wrong and a messed up rippoff of Apple, Google and a lot of *nix distrobutions AND THEY DID NOT MAKE IT BETTER!

just my two cents worth

I have gotten the EasyC to run under WINE on my mac, but I don’t think that is what you are looking for

Faldarm, I’ve been looking at the atmega644 and I’ve found a development kit for it and some other components. I still don’t understand how it all goes together, for example do I need a programmer chip, how does the io( motors and stuff ) interface, does the joy stick interface. I like what I’ve read about the AVR gcc lib c. Thanks for your help…

Ok, can I have a straight up answer? Will Vex EasyC work with a Linux such as Ubuntu? If Yes, please tell me how it works.


One of our mentors from FRC GUS Team 228 posted directions on exactly how to install EasyC Pro on Ubuntu using Wine. While our main objective was to be able to program an FRC robot via Ubuntu, these directions should prove to be a good starting point for installing and using EasyC v2.0 for Vex on Ubuntu.