Installing the Kubos SDK

What is the Kubos SDK?

The Kubos SDK is a term used to describe all of the components used to build and run a Kubos project on a target device:

  • Kubos source modules - The individual components of the APIs, services, and mission applications
  • Kubos CLI - The command-line tool used to create, configure, build, and debug Kubos projects
  • Vagrant box - A command-line based VM that contains a “ready to run” Kubos development environment

How Does The SDK Work?

The Kubos SDK is distributed through a Vagrant box. A Vagrant box (referred to simply as a “box”) is a command-line based virtual machine.

The box, when started, is already pre-configured with all of the required tools for the Kubos CLI you will need. This minimizes the set-up process so you can work on your project rather than setting up tooling.

Vagrant is a command-line based tool that abstracts the virtualization provider into a simple-to-use interface. Vagrant supports a variety of providers (VirtualBox, VmWare, Parallels, etc.) but right now the Kubos SDK only supports VirtualBox, a free cross-platform virtualization provider.


System Requirements

The Kubos SDK has several hardware requirements, including:

  • 64-bit processor with AMD-V or Intel VT-x virtualization support
  • Mac OS (10.9 +), Windows 7 SP1 (or more recent), or a mainstream Linux distribution (see the full list of supported host OSes)
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 10 GB of free HDD space

Install Windows PowerShell v3+ (Windows 7 SP1 Only)

If you are running Windows 7 SP1, you must upgrade your version of Windows PowerShell to atleast v3.0.

You can verify your current version by opening Windows Command Prompt and running the following commands:

Windows PowerShell
Copyright (C) 2016 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

PS $> $PSVersionTable.PSVersion

Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
2      0      -1     -1

PS $> exit

The Major field should have a value of atleast 3.

Click here for instructions about upgrading PowerShell

Install VirtualBox

Vagrant requires a virtualization “provider”. Currently the only provider that Kubos officially supports is VirtualBox.

If you’re using Linux as your host operating system you will need to add yourself to the vboxusers group with the following command:

sudo usermod -aG vboxusers <username>

You will need to logout and log back in to your host computer, otherwise passing USB devices through to your development environment will not work correctly.

Install Vagrant

If you don’t already have Vagrant installed see the Vagrant installation documentation.

If your Vagrant installation is set up correctly, running the following command should print something similar to the following output:

$ vagrant --version
Vagrant 2.0.0


Create your Kubos SDK Vagrant Box:

To create an instance of the SDK box follow these steps:

$ vagrant init kubos/kubos-dev
$ vagrant up

This will create a Vagrantfile in your current directory. Vagrantfiles are important as they contain the configuration details for specific boxes. Additionally, Vagrant environments are dependant on the directory they were created in. To interact with this box in the future you will need to navigate back to this directory.

If the output of vagrant up mentions there’s a new version of the kubos-dev box available you can upgrade your box with the following command:



$ vagrant box update

Mounting a Host Directory

In the context of these documents, as well as virtual machines in general, the physical “main” computer is referred to as the “host”. The virtual machine inside of the host is referred to as the “guest”.

It is strongly recommended that you create your project in a directory on your host that is shared with your box when using a Linux or Mac OS host. By keeping your project on your host it will protect them in the event your box is destroyed or re-built.


There is not a supported method of this for Windows hosts at this time, as Windows does not support Linux symlinks. There is an alternate method for editing files on the SDK listed here.

To mount a specific directory from your host, open the Vagrantfile located in the directory from the previous step and look for the following lines:

# Share an additional folder to the guest VM. The first argument is
# the path on the host to the actual folder. The second argument is
# the path on the guest to mount the folder. And the optional third
# argument is a set of non-required options.
# config.vm.synced_folder "../data", "/vagrant_data"


The default home directory in the Kubos Vagrant boxes is /home/vagrant

Uncomment the last line in this block and change the paths to match your host directory and a desired mount point in the box.


The path in the box must be an absolute path

After a volume is mounted into the box all of the data from the host path will be available at the path specified for the box. In the above example the host path (../data) would be exposed at /vagrant_data inside of the box. This allows you to use the text editor of your choosing to edit the project files from your host machine at the host directory path.


If you make changes to the Vagrantfile after the box has been started you will need to run vagrant reload for these changes to take effect in the box.

For more information on mounting volumes see the following guide

Start the Vagrant Box

To start the box, run:

$ vagrant up

After the box has started you need to “ssh” into the machine to work with your projects.

$ vagrant ssh

This will start an SSH session in the Vagrant box with the Kubos CLI and all of the required dependencies installed.

That’s it! From here see more on:

After a little bit of usage you may want to look at how to upgrade the Kubos SDK