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WPILib Project


Welcome to the WPILib project. This repository contains the HAL, WPILibJ, and WPILibC projects. These are the core libraries for creating robot programs for the roboRIO.

WPILib Mission

The WPILib Mission is to enable FIRST Robotics teams to focus on writing game-specific software rather than focusing on hardware details - "raise the floor, don't lower the ceiling". We work to enable teams with limited programming knowledge and/or mentor experience to be as successful as possible, while not hampering the abilities of teams with more advanced programming capabilities. We support Kit of Parts control system components directly in the library. We also strive to keep parity between major features of each language (Java, C++, and NI's LabVIEW), so that teams aren't at a disadvantage for choosing a specific programming language. WPILib is an open source project, licensed under the BSD 3-clause license. You can find a copy of the license here.

Building WPILib

Using Gradle makes building WPILib very straightforward. It only has a few dependencies on outside tools, such as the ARM cross compiler for creating roboRIO binaries.


  • JDK 11
    • Note that the JRE is insufficient; the full JDK is required
    • On Ubuntu, run
      sudo apt install openjdk-11-jdk
    • On Windows, install the JDK 11 .msi from the link above
    • On macOS, install the JDK 11 .pkg from the link above
  • C++ compiler
    • On Linux, install GCC 7 or greater
    • On Windows, install Visual Studio Community 2019 and select the C++ programming language during installation (Gradle can't use the build tools for Visual Studio 2019)
    • On macOS, install the Xcode command-line build tools via
      xcode-select --install
  • ARM compiler toolchain
    • Run
      ./gradlew installRoboRioToolchain
      after cloning this repository
    • If the WPILib installer was used, this toolchain is already installed
  • Raspberry Pi toolchain (optional)
    • Run
      ./gradlew installRaspbianToolchain
      after cloning this repository


Clone the WPILib repository and follow the instructions above for installing any required tooling.

See the styleguide README for wpiformat setup instructions.


All build steps are executed using the Gradle wrapper,

. Each target that Gradle can build is referred to as a task. The most common Gradle task to use is
. This will build all the outputs created by WPILib. To run, open a console and cd into the cloned WPILib directory. Then:
./gradlew build

To build a specific subproject, such as WPILibC, you must access the subproject and run the build task only on that project. Accessing a subproject in Gradle is quite easy. Simply use

with the Gradle wrapper. For example, building just WPILibC:
./gradlew :wpilibc:build

The gradlew wrapper only exists in the root of the main project, so be sure to run all commands from there. All of the subprojects have build tasks that can be run. Gradle automatically determines and rebuilds dependencies, so if you make a change in the HAL and then run

./gradlew :wpilibc:build
, the HAL will be rebuilt, then WPILibC.

There are a few tasks other than

available. To see them, run the meta-task
. This will print a list of all available tasks, with a description of each task.

Faster builds

./gradlew build
builds everything, which includes debug and release builds for desktop and all installed cross compilers. Many developers don't need or want to build all of this. Therefore, common tasks have shortcuts to only build necessary components for common development and testing tasks.

./gradlew testDesktopCpp
./gradlew testDesktopJava
will build and run the tests for
respectively. They will only build the minimum components required to run the tests.

tasks also exist for the projects
. These can be ran with
./gradlew :projectName:task

./gradlew buildDesktopCpp
./gradlew buildDesktopJava
will compile
respectively. The results can't be ran, but they can compile.

Using Development Builds

Please read the documentation available here

Custom toolchain location

If you have installed the FRC Toolchain to a directory other than the default, or if the Toolchain location is not on your System PATH, you can pass the

property to specify where it is located. Example:
./gradlew build -PtoolChainPath=some/path/to/frc/toolchain/bin

Gazebo simulation

If you also want simulation to be built, add -PmakeSim. This requires gazebo_transport. We have tested on 14.04 and 15.05, but any correct install of Gazebo should work, even on Windows if you build Gazebo from source. Correct means CMake needs to be able to find gazebo-config.cmake. See The Gazebo website for installation instructions.

./gradlew build -PmakeSim

If you prefer to use CMake directly, the you can still do so. The common CMake tasks are wpilibcSim, frcgazeboplugins, and gz_msgs

mkdir build #run this in the root of allwpilib
cd build
cmake ..



wpiformat can be executed anywhere in the repository via

py -3 -m wpiformat
on Windows or
python3 -m wpiformat
on other platforms.

Java Code Quality Tools

The Java code quality tools (checkstyle, pmd, etc.) can be run with the

./gradlew javaFormat


CMake is also supported for building. See


If you are building to test with other dependencies or just want to export the build as a Maven-style dependency, simply run the

task. This task will publish all available packages to ~/releases/maven/development. If you need to publish the project to a different repo, you can specify it with
. Valid options are:
  • development - The default repo.
  • beta - Publishes to ~/releases/maven/beta.
  • stable - Publishes to ~/releases/maven/stable.
  • release - Publishes to ~/releases/maven/release.

The maven artifacts are described in

Structure and Organization

The main WPILib code you're probably looking for is in WPILibJ and WPILibC. Those directories are split into shared, sim, and athena. Athena contains the WPILib code meant to run on your roboRIO. Sim is WPILib code meant to run on your computer with Gazebo, and shared is code shared between the two. Shared code must be platform-independent, since it will be compiled with both the ARM cross-compiler and whatever desktop compiler you are using (g++, msvc, etc...).

The Simulation directory contains extra simulation tools and libraries, such as gz_msgs and JavaGazebo. See sub-directories for more information.

The integration test directories for C++ and Java contain test code that runs on our test-system. When you submit code for review, it is tested by those programs. If you add new functionality you should make sure to write tests for it so we don't break it in the future.

The hal directory contains more C++ code meant to run on the roboRIO. HAL is an acronym for "Hardware Abstraction Layer", and it interfaces with the NI Libraries. The NI Libraries contain the low-level code for controlling devices on your robot. The NI Libraries are found in the ni-libraries folder.

The styleguide repository contains our style guides for C++ and Java code. Anything submitted to the WPILib project needs to follow the code style guides outlined in there. For details about the style, please see the contributors document here.

Contributing to WPILib


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