Ground Control on Raspberry Pi 3 with Raspbian Stretch Desktop

This is from Raspbian stretch desktop (Python 2 IDLE) on RPi3… not even sure if this is possible to do from the desktop. Im a newb to Raspberry and Linux and need some help, please.

Python 2.7.13 (default, Jan 19 2017, 14:48:08)
[GCC 6.3.0 20170124] on linux2
Type “copyright”, “credits” or “license()” for more information.
=============== RESTART: /home/pi/GroundControl-master/ ===============
[INFO ] [Logger ] Record log in /home/pi/.kivy/logs/kivy_17-10-05_3.txt
[INFO ] [Kivy ] v1.9.1
[INFO ] [Python ] v2.7.13 (default, Jan 19 2017, 14:48:08)
[GCC 6.3.0 20170124]
[INFO ] [Factory ] 179 symbols loaded
[INFO ] [Image ] Providers: img_tex, img_dds, img_gif, img_sdl2, img_pil (img_ffpyplayer ignored)
[INFO ] [OSC ] using for socket
[INFO ] [Window ] Provider: sdl2([‘window_egl_rpi’] ignored)
[INFO ] [GL ] OpenGL version <3.0 Mesa 13.0.6>
[INFO ] [GL ] OpenGL vendor <VMware, Inc.>
[INFO ] [GL ] OpenGL renderer <Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 3.9, 128 bits)>
[INFO ] [GL ] OpenGL parsed version: 3, 0
[INFO ] [GL ] Shading version <1.30>
[INFO ] [GL ] Texture max size <8192>
[INFO ] [GL ] Texture max units <32>
[INFO ] [Window ] auto add sdl2 input provider
[INFO ] [Window ] virtual keyboard not allowed, single mode, not docked
[INFO ] [Text ] Provider: sdl2

Traceback (most recent call last):
File “/home/pi/GroundControl-master/”, line 40, in
from Connection.nonVisibleWidgets import NonVisibleWidgets
File “/home/pi/GroundControl-master/Connection/”, line 2, in
from Connection.serialPort import SerialPort
File “/home/pi/GroundControl-master/Connection/”, line 36
SyntaxError: Non-ASCII character ‘\xe2’ in file /home/pi/GroundControl-master/Connection/ on line 36, but no encoding declared; see for details

This is the initial screenshot after running

1 Like

If it helps to clarify, lines 35 and 36 are

35: message = message.encode()
36: print "Sending: " + str(message)

I haven’t seen this error before and I don’t have a ton of experience with Linux so any advice about where to look would be welcome

the error is earlier, where the message variable is defined

The error indicates that a garbled character ‘â’ is coming from the firmware. That’s not something the firmware normally sends. After checking that the USB connection is all correct and that no other program is using the serial port (Arduino), you could try re-uploading the firmware.


Thanks! I will give it a try.

Anyone have this running? I have everything installed and GC opens on my Pi3 but I cannot see a cursor. I understand this is a common problem on the Pi. So far the normal fixes are not working for me. I will test some other distros soonish.

Thank you

FYI - follow up - I used KivyPi and am able to see a cursor now on a Pi3. The experience with a mouse and keyboard is not great. It’s easy to lose the mouse. It crashes often on menu timeout. It looks like it might be a better experience on a touchscreen. I will keep testing this, but I will not recommend the Pi3 as a good solution. The cost of $79 for the screen & $~35 for the Pi makes something like a refurbished laptop form New Egg much more feasible as I can find good units from ~$105- $125 that would work well.

My current controller is a Lenovo T420 I got from New Egg for $125 and it works great.

Let’s review what is needed for a Touch Pi

$79 touch screen

$35 Raspberry Pi

Memory card to act as a disk

Power supply


Mouse or other pointing device

This all adds up. If you already have this stuff laying around that is different. As a buy it new solution I can’t recommend it.


Hey Bee, did you do anything special with the Port / COM settings to get yours to work? Ground Control is running on the Pi but we can’t get it to connect to the Maslow. Thanks!

add yourself to a dial out group.

Step 4:

Thank you

this post would be a good wiki start…