XP Software Requirements

I’m trying to get an older machine up and running with XP to be able to run Maslow. I have downloaded and run Ground Control Portable on a Windows 10 machine with no problem. When I run it on my freshly installed XP machine it looks like it’s going to run and flashes what looks like the Ground Control interface but then everything closes.

I read somewhere that I need to install Python 2.7x and Kivy yet I never did that with my windows 10 machine and it worked fine.

What are the software requirements to run Ground Control on XP? I want to see if the graphics card supports open gl 2 but I can’t get to that step yet (found out my XP netbook can’t run it cause it doesn’t support open gl 2 - bummer).


I don’t think XP will easily be compatible. I personally don’t advise running anything below Windows 10. Windows 8.1 is still supported everything below that is EOL. I saw a fresh install of XP in the 90’s owned 6 seconds after attached to the internet. There are way to many vulnerabilities and exploits to use this OS. Understand the problem is supporting drivers when you install something are offline. The Microsoft update servers for these os’s are turned off. So even if you do get it to work the act of upgrading Ground Control could bring it to it’s knees. There is so much against using an outdated OS unless it’s going to be disconnected and BTW XP doesn’t like running offline.

If you ignore all of that, finding Open GL 2 graphics drivers for XP is probably what your issue is.

If the hardware is old enough then you won’t find modern graphic drivers no matter what OS you use.

You would be better served to try Ubuntu on older hardware . I will state once again, this is a realtime controller it has to maintain a serial data connection uninterrupted. Think of it this way. You’re driving to a friends house you have never been to. You are on a cell phone with them and they are giving you turn by turn directions. You don’t have an address and they are telling you when to turn with about 800ft notice. If you loose your connection or they are too slow to give you the next turn things will go hinky. This is a real problem in CNC - if you miss a turn most software can’t proceed and stops.

You can get a good laptop for $150 for this. Lenovo T420 ,core I5 laptop, I got mine from Newegg. You can dedicate a Pi to it for ~$ 100

You don’t need Kivy and Python for running the Windows portable.

Thank you

Hum… very good food for thought. Thanks. I was planning on running this machine offline but maybe I should rethink it. My third option (before buying a laptop like you mentioned) is a Windows Vista laptop - another one collecting dust in the closet. I know, I just used a curse word (“Vista”). Any big gotchas before I even go down that path?

Yes - if it can run vista it probably can run windows 10. Same issue the OS is dead no updates. Security holes - unless you are making a closed development system, meaning you are going to design and operate without a internet connection and don’t upgrade. It is sort of impractical.

Thank you

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If the hardware is old enough then you won’t find modern graphic drivers no matter what OS you use.

Ubuntu has a fair chance of having suitable drivers, even for older hardware (or
can run software emulation for opengl to run GC)

You would be better served to try Ubuntu on older hardware . I will state once
again, this is a realtime controller it has to maintain a serial data
connection uninterrupted. Think of it this way. You’re driving to a friends
house you have never been to. You are on a cell phone with them and they are
giving you turn by turn directions. You don’t have an address and they are
telling you when to turn with about 800ft notice. If you loose your
connection or they are too slow to give you the next turn things will go
hinky. This is a real problem in CNC - if you miss a turn most software can’t
proceed and stops.

yes and no, if GC doesn’t send the next serial command, the maslow will stop and
wait, not run wild. the serial timing needed is pretty loose, so it’s not likely
to be a problem like it would be if it was controlling the motors directly.

If you’re looking to update windows, I run Win 7 on my machine with no issues. Not sure if you have an installer/licence though. If you need one, a license for Ultimate is only 50 USD. If you’re willing to use Home or Professional, it’s even cheaper. I never liked the jump to 10 myself.

So the original goal was to use a computer I already had (without spending any more money). Two questions have come up during this discussion:

  1. Why is having an isolated computer with no internet in the garage so bad? Instead of downloading updates on the Malsow computer, I’ll download them on a different one and bring them out on a USB thumb drive. All my design work will be inside anyway so I’ll also bring out the gcode file the same way. Don’t see this as a big deal.

  2. I keep seeing comments about drivers… drivers for what? Are there specific drivers for the arduino that may not be available for an older OS? What other drivers would I need?


From my stand point it’s a security issue.


I think you would be hard pressed to find a fuel injection system for a stock model A.

Windows runs on an internal database. They call it the registry. Windows has dependencies. When loading anything new, including updates it can trigger the need for dependencies. If the database becomes corrupted Windows no longer works, you have to start over. 2nd issue the need for new dependencies can trigger the computer to need a download of an updated program or Windows updates, this will lead to a message the servers are off line and you must update to a new OS. 3rd issue Security holes, there are issues that hackers have located that allow your computer to be accessed and taken over ( Owned ). This is what the Model A reference is. There is no active development and testing of OS’s that are End Of Life. They are ignored. Again in it’s days of being supported I watched Windows connect to the internet and 6 seconds later before anything could be downloaded to protect it, it was hacked. This means if someone owns your XP pc they could infect it, you move a file with your USB drive to your XP box and malware or a virus can be put on the USB drive designed to infiltrate your other systems. This is why it is impractical to view it as a “safe” system.

I tell you this as a PC Consultant, as the guy who once told the creator of one of the biggest antivurus companies in the world, his computer was malfunctioning due to a virus that was spreading it’s self every time he tried to "fix’ his problem.

I’m not telling you to spend money. You can, at this time download Windows 10 for free. You can download Linux for free. You will spend time to do so.

I can say that it may cost you a lot more if someone gets access to a major system in your life and takes control of your e-mail, logins to social media, bank accounts. The point is you can use current OS’s to minimize your risk. Most people don’t operate anything independently, they move files and that can lead to problems.

I will give you an example. I recently went on a trip. I was in an airport. All around me were people waiting for a plane and plugging there phones into “free” charging points. If I have the desire I could create a cable and install it inline with an outlet, it would consist of a small cheap computer. The act of you plugging in your phone means I could copy and access all of the content from that phone from my download of it and later probably get control of it remotely.

Protect yourself is what I’m advocating. You can do this through your time or by accruing something that is already set up to protect you. You may choose to pay for that.

I sound like I’m paranoid. It comes from having managed an ISP. In researching ways to share files I found some pretty interesting stuff. I can find services that claim who they have as customers, not 1 of them will guarantee the safety of your files. what they will say is they will guard your connection to them. They leave the security of checking your files for viruses and malware your responsibility on your PC. One other eye opening fact is there is no such thing as an open source Anti-Virus effort. The business of file sharing is a multibillion dollar business annually.

All of that was to answer #1

for Number 2 - Drivers are add on programs that give and OS a new ability, For instance natively Windows XP can not access a USB port. When XP was created there was no such thing as a USB port. Drivers are added into the OS to allow the use of USB.

In your case there are files or “drivers” that allow the OS to use the graphics card. XP was EOL in 2014. There are 10’s of thousands of companies that have come and gone in the life time of XP. If your PC has a piece of hardware from one of them or you wish to add something from one of them, it’s likely they didn’t keep making software, drivers or upgrades after they went out of business. All of which could circle back to inadvertently disabling the OS.

So I will put it this way - the least expensive option Download the latest Ubuntu -LTS, then sit down and learn about securing that OS, Once that is complete download and install the Maslow software.

The most expensive solution as some would see it. Go buy a New Mac. It will most likely give you 5 years of service before it will no longer be fully supported. What you will get with this, 1 access to current to bleeding edge mainstream technology. 2 A system designed to do most of security work for you. 3 Less direct control of your information.

As presented it can sound negative. I can say this - my father spent time and money following me on my journey to know and use computers. He was able to run Windows and a warehouse for a major business. He constantly spent a fraction of his time maintaining Windows. He constantly needed outside help to keep thins running - An IT guy.

12 years before my mother passed she got a Mac. She got a separate bank account to use on the internet. She used facebook, ebay, itunes and an Ipod. She never had to get an outside IT guy. She did buy a better Mac when hers got old. On a Mac she was able to do things my father wasn’t.

Choose what works best for you.

I will point out - Windows 10 is free to download, it will request a license. At this time Windows is not enforcing the entry of a license. You can find lots of information about this on line.

I hope this was helpful to you

Thank you

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Hard to let that one go past, took maybe 10 seconds. Port or direct injection might take a bit longer. Gosh, is J. C. Whitney still in business? Where’s my weekly catalogs?


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My plan, which I have already done, was to never connect the XP computer to the internet. All service packs and drivers were downloaded on a different Windows 10 PC (with antivirus) then brought over with a thumb drive. Everything is up and running great except for Ground Control. I understand what you are saying. I always try to protect myself the best way possible but understand that no matter how good you are, if someone wants in your system, they’ll find a way. I guess I’ll ditch this idea and go a different route.

Also, the free Windows 10 option is only for Windows 7 and up users which counts me out on my XP and Vista. I’ve tried Ubuntu a couple times and gave up. If there was an exact step by step on how to go from nothing to Ground Control working on Linux then I’d be happy to go that route - but it doesn’t exist from what I know.

Thanks for the insight and response.

AFAIK the Windows Insider Preview doesn’t require a license, didn’t on the machine I installed it on before W10 was released.

I use a “firewall” router, currently an ER-X although it was several Netgear FVS318s before that. Seems to keep the worst of the cruft out, just configure it to not respond to ICMP requests and it’s mostly invisible to the low budget scanners.

Nice try - That is fuel injection parts. That will not bolt onto a model A with out a ton of work. I have bought from JC whitney back in the day.

I still respect you :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you

To jump us back to getting you up and running, what’s the current status?

The XP machine can’t run OpenGL 2+ which is a bit of a show stopper.

Where are we at on the vista machine? I would expect that to work, but I haven’t actually tested it. I

The only real “driver” is for the Arduino to be recognized by the computer. That driver should automatically be installed when you download the Arduino IDE so if you can go through the process of uploading the firmware from that computer you should be OK.

If you run into issues with connecting to the Arduino on Vista I bet some googling will provide a solution. The whole reason we went with the Arduino Mega is that they have been around forever and are pretty rock solid at connecting to things.

Keep us posted with how things go!


@bar Thanks for the reply. That’s very good to know about XP - not compatible. I’ll give Vista a try. The first attempt gave me the open gl warning so I’ll have to see if I can update the graphics driver.



I want to be clear that Open GL is required or OpenGL 2 is required. I’m adding this to a Wiki under Software.

Thank you

OpenGL 2+ is required. The latest version is 4.5. Thank you for updating that!

I have been successful using an old vista laptop.(Hewlitt P) No issues installing and running GC and the Arduino package. The graphics card has finally died (knew it was on its way out) and I have made a half-ass attempt at installing Ubuntu on another old laptop so I have a dedicated machine at the router. For expedience I have temporarily put a windows 10 laptop out there until I can learn the Linux


Any Linux wizards out there that could put a very detailed step by step picture tutorial on how to get from nothing to Ground Control working with Linux?


Let me know if I can help in anyway with the computer situation.

Thank you

Different Linux distros would need different tutorials, as the python packages included variate. I have tested so far Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Mate and Manjaro with success.
Are you asking for a screen cast from how to create a bootable Usb-Drive from a downloaded .iso file, test if it works from usb-live boot, how to install it next to windows or how to replace windows, up to the first start of GroundControl? Guess I could record the steps in a VM.

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