Axidraw Software Installation

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  This wiki page is part of our AxiDraw documentation

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AxiDraw is designed to work well on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. To use it, you'll need to install certain software on your computer. Please read below for specific instructions for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

The current software version is v. 2.6.3, released September 2020, and runs under Inkscape 1.0.

Mac[edit]

For recent macOS, 10.11 - 10.15 Catalina[edit]

Our primary release of the AxiDraw software is available for Inkscape 1.0, and works under macOS 10.11 through 10.15 Catalina.

1. Download and run the AxiDraw installer.
2. Download and install Inkscape 1.0 for Mac


Legacy install for older macOS 10.7 - 10.10[edit]

A previous release of our AxiDraw software is based on Inkscape 0.92, and works under macOS 10.7-10.10.

1. Download and open the AxiDraw Mac bundle DMG
2. Run the XQuartz installer included in that DMG (disk image) file.
3. Drag the included copy of Inkscape to your "Applications" folder.
4. Eject the disk image (DMG).


Troubleshooting[edit]

  • If you encounter difficulty installing or using the software, please request assistance through our contact form or through our Discord chat.
  • If there is any chance that a problem you encounter is specific to AxiDraw software or hardware, it is important that you do not directly seek assistance through Inkscape's support resources. You're much more likely to get your problem solved by asking people who know about AxiDraw. And, we'd like the Inkscape team to be ready to help us when we do encounter Inkscape-specific issues.


Windows[edit]

Installation[edit]

1. Download and run the AxiDraw v 2.6.3 installer for Windows: Download link (6.2 MB)
  • The installer is an executable, named "AxiDraw_263.exe".
2. Download and install Inkscape version 1.0 from the download page at Inkscape.org. (Most users will want the 64-Bit download.)
  • If you need additional assistance for installing Inkscape, you may be able to find good advice at the the Inkscape wiki and/or the Inkscape Forums. Please do not use Inkscape support resources for AxiDraw-specific issues-- see note below about troubleshooting.


Alternative (Manual) install[edit]

If you already have Inkscape 1.0 installed on your computer, you also manually install the AxiDraw extensions. For Windows 8 and older versions, please use the installer above for the first time that you install AxiDraw software, as the installer also includes a necessary USB driver. (You can use the manual method for subsequent installs and upgrades, and for Windows 10, which does not require the USB driver.)
1. Download the software in this ZIP archive (7 MB), and unzip it. (Your computer may unzip the archive automatically for you.)
2. Locate and open your Inkscape user extensions directory. You can find this location as follows:
A. Open Inkscape 1.0
B. From the menu, select Edit > Preferences
C. Select System from the list on the left panel of the preferences window.
D. On the right-hand panel is a list of directory locations. Click the "Open" button to the right of the "User extensions" folder location.
3. Copy the contents of the ZIP archive that you downloaded (32 items total; 30 files and 2 subdirectories) into your Inkscape extensions directory, overwriting any files and directories with the same names.
4. Launch Inkscape, or quit and re-launch it if it is open.


Troubleshooting[edit]

Your software should now be set up to work correctly.
  • If you encounter difficulty installing or using the software, please request assistance through our contact form or through our Discord chat.
  • If there is any chance that a problem you encounter is specific to AxiDraw software or hardware, it is important that you do not directly seek assistance through Inkscape's support resources. You're much more likely to get your problem solved by asking people who know about AxiDraw. And, we'd like the Inkscape team to be ready to help us when we do encounter Inkscape-specific issues.


Linux[edit]

The AxiDraw extensions for Inkscape have been developed and tested extensively under Ubuntu. We expect them to work equally well in most Ubuntu derivatives and other distributions where Inkscape is known to work. However, we do not have the capability to test every distribution. If you are unsure if your distribution will work, try to install Inkscape, and see if it appears to launch and run correctly. (We do also have python-based command-line tools available to run the AxiDraw, even on systems where Inkscape is not supported.)

Working with Inkscape 1.0:

  • Install Inkscape 1.0 on your computer. The best way to do this will vary by distribution, but in most cases you can use the software installer provided with the OS. See here for additional information. (All else being equal, we recommend the PPA type install over snap or flatpack.)
  • Launch Inkscape, and select Edit > Preferences from the menu, and then select the System entry. That should list the location of your User extensions directory.
  • Download and unzip the software in this ZIP archive. Copy its contents (32 items total; 30 files and 2 subdirectories) into your Inkscape User extensions directory and relaunch Inkscape. Make sure that you copy all of these files, not just some of the files, and not just a folder containing these files.


About adding your user account to the "dialout" group:

In modern Linux releases, it is often necessary to change your user permissions, to explicitly grant access to the USB port where the AxiDraw is located. This can be done by adding your user group to the "dialout" user group on your system.
  • Open up a terminal window
  • For most distributions (including Fedora and Ubuntu), enter the command "sudo usermod -a -G dialout <myUserName>" <return>, replacing the <myUserName> part with the user that is running Inkscape (and without the quotation marks or angle brackets!).
  • If you are unsure of your user name, enter the command "whoami" <return>, and the computer will happily remind you.
  • If you are unsure whether you are already in the "dialup" group, enter the command "groups" <return>, and the computer will list the groups that you are in.
  • After changing groups, you need to log out and log back in for the change to take effect.


Troubleshooting

If your permissions are not correct (your user is not in the dialout group), you may get consistent "Unable to find an AxiDraw" type error messages.
If you encounter difficulty installing or using the software, please request assistance through our contact form or through our Discord chat.

Firmware Update[edit]

We encourage all AxiDraw users to update the latest firmware version, which is "EBB" firmware version 2.6.5. Once your AxiDraw software is up and running, you can check which version of the firmware you have by selecting the "Config" tab of AxiDraw Control and clicking Apply.

EBB Firmware versions 2.4.6 and newer contain performance improvements and bug fixes that can prevent certain types of errors.

To update your firmware, please follow the directions here.